Tortugas 2000 - Joint Scoping Meetings

holtzd%fkeys at holtzd%fkeys at
Fri Oct 23 09:10:30 EDT 1998

David Holtz
Center for Marine Conservation
Florida Keys Office
513 Fleming Street  Suite 14
Key West, FL  33040
305-295-3371 (fax)
dholtz at
fkeysman at (home)

We could really use support for the joint scoping meetings between NOAA 
NPS for the Dry Torugas coming up in the next several days in Florida and 
Washington, DC. Please see below for the brief and dates.
Please encourage anyone in the Keys you may know to attend.

The Center for Marine Conservation supports a "no take" marine reserve to 
protect the Tortugas area. For NOAA and the Florida Keys National Marine 
Sanctuary, establishing a marine reserve in the Dry Tortugas will 
implement an objective of the sanctuary's management plan. However,this 
is a new step for the National Park Service. They are poised as a logical 
agency to take on the "no take" concept for marine resources within their 

 Please contact me if you have any questions.

>  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
>  Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement
>  and Notice of Scoping Meetings for the Proposed Tortugas Ecological
>  Reserve in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
>  AGENCY: Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric
>  Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Ocean
>  and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), Sanctuaries and Reserves
>  Division (SRD).
>  ACTION: Notice of intent; Notice of scoping meetings.
>  SUMMARY: SRD has initiated the process to establish an Ecological
>  Reserve within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS or
>  Sanctuary) west of the Dry Tortugas National Park. The Sanctuary
>  intends to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 
>  and hold scoping meetings to receive public input.
>  DATES AND ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written
>  comments by December 17, 1998, to assure full consideration during the
>  scoping process. Written comments may be sent to Billy D. Causey,
>  Superintendent,
>  [[Page 55366]]
>  Florid Key National Marine Sanctuary, Post Office Box 500368, 
>  Florida 33050. Comments will be available for public review at the
>  Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary office at 5550 Overseas Highway
>  in Marathon during normal business hours.
>      Scoping meetings are being held as follows:
>  October 27, 1998: 2-5 p.m.--Washington D.C., Department of Commerce
>  Main Auditorium, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue.
>  October 29: 3-8 p.m.--Ft. Myers Convention Center.
>  November 9: 3-8 p.m.--Key West Holiday Inn Beachside.
>  November 10: 3-8 p.m.--Marathon High School.
>  November 17: 3-8 p.m.--Miami, Florida International University Graham 
Center, SW 8th Street at SW 107th Ave.
>  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Billy D. Causey at (305) 743-2437 
>  26.
>  SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
>  was designated by an act of Congress entitled the Florida Keys 
>  Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act (FKNMSPA, Pub. L. 101-605) which
>  was signed into law on November 16, 1990. The Sanctuary was designated
>  to protect the 2800 square nautical mile ecosystem surrounding the
>  Florida Keys, including the third largest barrier reef system in the
>  world. A Final Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for
>  the Sanctuary was issued in 1996 and final regulations to implement 
>  plan went into effect in July 1997.
>      The Final Management Plan and regulations established one
>  Ecological Reserve (ER) in the Middle Keys (Western Sambo Ecological
>  Reserve). An ER is defined as an area of the Sanctuary consisting of
>  contiguous, diverse habitats, within which uses are subject to
>  conditions, restrictions and prohibitions, including access
>  restrictions, intended to minimize human influences, to provide 
>  spawning, nursery, and permanent residence areas for the replenishment
>  and genetic protection of marine life, and also to protect and 
>  natural assemblages of habitats and species within areas representing 
>  broad diversity of resources and habitats found within the Sanctuary
>  (15 CFR 922.162). Consumptive uses such as removing, taking or 
>  coral, fish or seagrass are prohibited in an ER. During the 
>  of the Draft Management Plan, NOAA had proposed an additional ER in 
>  Tortugas area within the Sanctuary but deferred the process to
>  establish a boundary or regulations for the Tortugas ER until after
>  implementation of the Final Management Plan. This process, estimated 
>  take approximately two years and referred to as ``Tortugas 2000,'' 
>  include coordination with the National Park Service, fishing
>  representatives, scientists, and others. There will also be extensive
>  opportunity for public input.
>      This notice announces NOAA's intent to prepare a Supplemental
>  Environmental Impact Statement and hold scoping meetings on the
>  proposed project. Formal scoping meetings are scheduled as detailed
>  above. The public is invited to attend the scoping meetings to provide
>  oral or written comments. Interested persons may also submit wirtten
>  comments to the address above.
>  (Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary
>  Program)


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