• National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Openings

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, is seeking applications for vacant seats for six of its 13 national marine sanctuary advisory councils and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council. Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of marine or Great Lakes resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve two or three-year terms, pursuant to the charter of the specific national marine sanctuary advisory council or Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council. Applications are due before or by Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

  • NMFS Seeks comments on Petition to Establish Southern Resident Killer Whales Protection Zone in San Juan Islands

    The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a petition for rulemaking to establish a whale protection zone in the San Juan Islands, Washington, to support recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. NMFS requests comments on the petition and will consider all comments and available information when determining whether to accept the petition and proceed with the suggested rulemaking. The closing date for comments on the petition is April 13, 2017.  Click here for more details.

  • Government of Canada is Consulting on New Proposed Marine Protected Area

    Canada issued the following Press Release:

    “OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 19, 2016) – Canada is taking action to protect marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features by proposing St. Anns Bank in Nova Scotia as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under Canada’s Oceans Act.

    Located east of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, St. Anns Bank has many ecologically significant features, including unique habitats and areas of high biodiversity and biological productivity. It is home to a number of at-risk species such as the Atlantic wolffish and is a summer foraging area for the endangered leatherback turtle.

  • The Swedish Government Protects a Huge Marine Area for the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise

    Mats Amundin, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Zoology, Kolmarden, Guest prof. Linkoping University, recently sent out the following notice:

    “In 2014, the EU LIFE-funded SAMBAH project, coordinated by Kolmarden Wildlife Park in Sweden, presented completely new information on the seasonal distribution and abundance of the Baltic Sea harbour porpoise. Recently, based on the SAMBAH results, a decision has been taken by the Swedish government to designate a large marine Natura 2000 area in the Baltic Proper for the harbor porpoise. With more than 1 million hectares this is the largest marine area ever proposed by Sweden as a Natura 2000 site, and it includes the major part of the most important breeding ground, which mainly is within Sweden’s EEZ, for this critically endangered population.

  • Obama and Trudeau Ban Most Arctic and Atlantic oil and Gas Operations

    On December 20, 2016, U.S. President Obama banned new offshore oil and gas drilling in much of the U.S. Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also committed to freeze new offshore leasing in Canada’s Arctic waters and to review the matter every five years. Click here to read a Bloomberg Politics article on these actions.

  • Russia Resists Creation of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas

    ABC News published an article on Russian recalcitrance toward creation of marine protected areas.  This article included the following:

    “Russia is now the only country holding back support to create marine protected areas (MPA) in Antarctica, and is facing international pressure to agree to the plan.

    A meeting of 24 countries is underway in Hobart, and members are set to spend the next fortnight deciding if they should protect the waters of the Ross Sea and East Antarctica.

    The issue has been before the international committee for more than five years.

  • Comments Sought on National Marine Sanctuaries ICR

    The U.S. Department of Commerce seeks public comment on a proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Written comments must be submitted on or before November 22, 2016.

  • New Marine National Monument in Atlantic

    President Obama has declared the first fully protected area in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean, designating 4,913 square miles off the New England coastline as a new marine national monument.

    The President’s previous marine conservation declarations have focused on some of the most remote waters under U.S. jurisdiction, including last month’s expansion of a massive protected area in Hawaii. But the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is more accessible, lying 130 miles off the southeast coast of Cape Cod.

    President Obama has now declared 553,000,000 acres of new national monuments, the most by any president.  The previous high was George W. Bush’s 214, 800,000.

  • NOAA’s Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council Meets

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council will hold a public meeting Tuesday, September 27, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. An opportunity for public comment will be provided at 3:45 p.m. ET. The meeting will be held in The National Press Club’s Bloomberg Room located on the 13th Floor of The National Press Building at 529 14th Street NW., Washington, DC 20045.

    The Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council has been formed to provide advice and recommendations to NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries regarding the relationship of ONMS with the business community. Additional information on the council can be found at here.

  • NOAA Seeks Nominations for Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Requests Nominations for the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The Committee advises the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior on implementing Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, specifically on strategies and priorities for developing the national system of marine protected areas (MPAs) and on practical approaches to further enhance and expand protection of new and existing MPAs.

    Nominations are sought for highly qualified non-Federal scientists, resource managers, and people representing other interests or organizations involved with or affected by marine protected areas, including in the Great Lakes. Ten of the 20 members of the 2 Committee have terms that expire November 15, 2016, and nominations are sought to fill these vacancies.