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    NOAA Seeks Comments for Marine Protected Areas Review Panel
    Executive Order 13158, directs federal agencies (led by NOAA and DOI) to establish a comprehensive national system of Marine Protected Areas. The EO further directs NOAA to establish a National Marine Protected Area Center within NOAA to carry out several provisions of the EO in cooperation with the Department of the Interior. NOAA believes that an external review of the MPA Center is now needed to maximize its effectiveness and transparency and to ensure that the MPA Center is conducting high quality work of significant value to NOAA and the nation. This expert review panel is scheduled to convene in late January, 2012. NOAA seeks public comment on the program's approach to balancing competing priorities. All comments received in response to this request will be summarized and provided to the review panel if they are submitted on or before January 10, 2012.

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