NOAA Holds Public Meetings and Seeks Comment on Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary EIS Scoping
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published its notice of intent to conduct scoping and prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan Management Plan for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This Sanctuary was designated in September 1992. It spans 4,601 square nautical miles (6.094 square miles) of marine waters off the central California coast, encompassing several large, nearshore submarine canyons, an offshore seamount and numerous marine habitats representative of the central California coastal and marine ecosystem.
The present management plan was written and published in 2008 along with a final environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In accordance with Section 304(e) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, as amended, (NMSA), NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) is initiating a review of the MBNMS management plan, to evaluate substantive progress toward implementing the goals for the sanctuary, and to make revisions to the plan and regulations as necessary to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA. NOAA anticipates regulatory and management plan changes will require preparation of an environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
NOAA will conduct public scoping meetings to gather information and other comments from individuals, organizations, tribes, and government agencies on the scope, types and significance of issues related to the MBNMS management plan and regulations and the proper scope of environmental review for the project. The scoping meetings are scheduled as detailed below. Written comments should be received on or before October 30, 2015.
Scoping meetings will be held on: (1) September 10, 6–8 p.m., Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, CA. (2) September 23, 6–8 p.m., Louden Nelson Center, Santa Cruz, CA. (3) October 23, 6–8 p.m., Veteran’s Memorial Hall, Cambria, CA.
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