• UN Resolution to Protect Marine Environments

    Mongabay posted the following article:

    “UN General Assembly adopts resolution to move forward with high seas treaty negotiations

    by Mike Gaworecki on 26 December 2017

    • The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on Sunday to convene negotiations for an international treaty to protect the marine environments of the high seas.
    • Earth’s high seas represent about two-thirds of the oceans, but are not governed by any one international body or agency and there is currently no comprehensive management structure in place to protect the marine life that relies on them.
  • Costa Rica Adds 82 Thousand Hectares of Marine Protected Area

    The Costa Rico Star published the following article:

    “When it comes to the 82,000 hectares of marine area, according to information provided by the Association Costa Rica Por Siempre, in order to create this area in the Nicoya Peninsula which involves a large part of the coastal line of the Cobano district, from Punta Cocobolo to Playa Manzanillo, it took 6 years of dialogue and negotiations between the productive sector, the touristic sector, communities and government institutions. Finally in June, they officially created the Marine Management Area of Cabo Blanco.

  • Department of Commerce Publishes Marine Protected Areas Report in Response to Executive Order 13783

    President Trump’s Executive Order 13783 “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” requires that

    “The heads of agencies shall review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions (collectively, agency actions) that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources.  Such review shall not include agency actions that are mandated by law, necessary for the public interest, and consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.”

    Click here to view.

  • Proposed Marine Protected Area in Antarctica

    France, Australia, and the European Union have proposed the establishment of a marine protected area in a more than 900,000-square-kilometer zone in East Antarctica. It would cover three sectors, one of which is located off the coast of Adelaide Island.

    This project was supported by a large majority of members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which met in Hobart, Australia, on October 15-27. Due to the opposition of two countries, however, it could not be achieved.

  • U.S. Gulf of Mexico Leasing

    The publication WorkBoat posted an article on oil and gas leasing in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This article begins as follows:

    “The Interior Department announced today that it is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the U.S. — 77 million acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

    The proposed regionwide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), surpassing last year’s regionwide lease sale by about one million acres.”

  • Largest Marine Protected Area in North America to Be Created off Mexico

    The National Geographic posted an online article about Mexico’s planned new marine protected area: Revillagigedo marine reserve. Excerpts from the article follow:

    “Largest Marine Protected Area in North America to
    Be Created off Mexico

    On October 5, the Mexican government announced its intent to create a new marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean, the largest protected area of its kind in North America. Alejandro Del Mazo Maza, representing Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, announced the massive planned expansion of the Revillagigedo marine park at the Our Ocean conference in Malta.

  • Possible Reduction in Boundaries of Two Marine National Monuments?

    The Washington Post published an article, which claims that U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has recommended shrinking the boundaries of two marine national monuments — the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll. Click here to read the Post article. 

  • EU Malta Conference Includes Ocean Zoning

    The European Union will host its fourth Our Ocean Conference in St. Julian, Malta, on October 5-6, 2017.

    This conference will address the themes of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, climate change, blue economy and climate change.

    This conference complements the EU’s international ocean governance initiative, which sets out an agenda for the future of the oceans around the world.

    Click here for more detail and relevant links.

  • NOAA Sends Marine Sanctuary ICR to OMB/OIRA

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has submitted the following Paperwork Reduction Act Information Collection Request to the Office of Management and Budget for review: Socioeconomics of Users and Non Users of Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary. OMB Control Number: 0648–0625.

    This ICR is for a reinstatement, with changes, of a previous information collection. NOAA, through its National Ocean Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, is replicating a study done in 2010–2011 on users and non-users of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia. The study will support analysis of its current regulations to support management plan revision, which could include changes in regulations.

  • NOAA Extends Comment Period on Review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments Designated or Expanded Since April 28, 2007

    On June 26, 2017, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration requested comments to inform the review the Department of Commerce is conducting pursuant to Executive Order 13795— Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, signed on April 28, 2017. The Department of Commerce is conducting a review of all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments since April 28, 2007. On July 31, 2017, NOAA extended the public comment period by an additional 15 days. Written comments must be submitted to NOAA no later than August 15, 2017. Click here for more detail and relevant links.