Fwd: FW: Public Scoping Meeting on Torgugas 2000

holtzd%fkeys at cenmarine.com holtzd%fkeys at cenmarine.com
Fri Oct 23 09:17:15 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 cenmarine.com
fkeysman at aol.com (home)

---------------[ Content-type: text/plain; name=Message Body 
please circulate to your HQ Offices.  billy
From: Phillips, B. on Thu, Oct 22, 1998 3:03 PM
Subject: Public Scoping Meeting on Torgugas 2000
To: Amy Mathews-Amos; Audrey Pritchard; Barbara Jeanne Polo; Bob Hansen; 
Darryl Hatheway; David Dickson; David Yonkman; Jack Sobel; Jennifer 
Dianto; Julia Novy; Karen Florini; Lauretta Burke; Lori Williams; Maxine 
McCloskey; Michael Barnette; royk%dccmc at cenmarine.com; Susan Boa; Tundi 
Agardy; Vivian Newman; Will Hildesley; William Kiene
Cc: Causey, B.; Kenney, J.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Dry Tortugas National Park 
invite you to help them develop their respective plans on how best to 
protect portions of the Dry Torgugas.  Please attend the Tortugas 2000 
public scoping meeting on Tuesday, October 27, 2:00-5:00 PM at the U.S. 
Department of Commerce Department Main Auditorium, 14th Street and 
Constitution Ave., NW; 2PM to 5:00 PM, (Superintendents'presentations at 
2:30 PM)

*** please help distribute this annoucement ***

read the media advisory for more information...

Cheva Heck                                   Rick Cook
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary            Everglades/Dry Tortugas 
National Parks 
(305) 292-0311                          (305) 242-7714 

October 22, 1998


(Key West, FL)  The Tortugas region, 70 miles west of Key West, has been 
called the crown jewel of the Florida Keys, where Civil War era Ft. 
Jefferson looks out over hundreds of miles of pristine ocean. Now, the 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Dry Tortugas National Park are 
inviting the public to join them in developing their respective plans on 
how best to protect portions of this spectacular area.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary plans to create an ecological 
reserve in the western portion of the Sanctuary. Dry Tortugas National 
Park, host to a steadily increasing number of visitors, is drafting a 
Visitor Use and Commercial Services Plan.

To make it easier for the public to participate in both efforts, and to 
help minimize public misunderstanding about the scope and objectives of 
each process, the Sanctuary and Park are holding joint public meetings to 
discuss the issues of each plan and request comments.  The meeting 
schedule is:

     October 27 -        Washington, D.C.; Commerce Department Main 
Auditorium; 14th                             St. and Constitution Ave., 
NW; 2PM to 5:00 PM                                         
(Superintendents'presentations at 2:30 PM)
     October 29 -        Ft. Myers at the Exhibition Hall, 1320 Hendry 
     November 9 -   Key West, Holiday Inn Beachside, 3841 North Roosevelt 
     November 10-   Marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Beach Rd.
     November 17-   Miami at Florida International University,
                    Graham Center, SW 8th St. at SW 107th Ave.

Except as noted, meetings will run from 3PM to 8PM and follow an open 
house format. Dry Tortugas National Park Superintendent Dick Ring/Deputy 
Superintendent Larry Belli and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary 
Superintendent Billy Causey will give brief presentations at 3:30 PM and 
6:30 PM. They, and others, will be available for questions and 
discussion. Attendees also will be able to comment in writing and by 
 Florida  Keys NMS/Dry Tortugas NP Joint Meetings - PAGE 2

While the marine environment offshore of the populated Florida Keys faces 
an onslaught of stresses, both natural and manmade, the coral reefs, 
seagrass beds and hardbottom communities of the Tortugas region remain 
relatively pristine.  Nineteenth Century Ft. Jefferson, within the Park, 
is an additional resource of cultural interest.  Together, the Park and 
surrounding Sanctuary provide outstanding opportunities for a unique 
visitor experience and for protection of a unique array of marine, 
terrestrial and avian resources.

In addressing the Sanctuary's goal, FKNMS Superintendent Billy Causey 
said, "By creating an ecological reserve in the Sanctuary's portion of 
the Tortugas, we hope to preserve the extraordinary range of species 
found there.  The reserve also will serve as a control site away from the 
populated Keys, helping scientists determine which changes in the coral 
reef ecosystem stem from human activities and which are natural."

The Sanctuary originally had proposed a 110 square nautical mile reserve 
but eliminated it in response to public input stating that it did not 
protect the right habitat and would unduly harm commercial fishermen.  
Instead, FKNMS established a smaller reserve off the lower Keys and 
committed to designing a Tortugas reserve from scratch, with extensive 
opportunities for public involvement. The target date for implementation 
is the year 2000.

In this scoping phase of the Sanctuary's Tortugas 2000, FKNMS is working 
to determine the range of issues it should consider in designing and 
locating a reserve.  Scoping comments are due December 17, 1998.  After 
considering the comments, a working group of agency officials, 
representatives of user groups (such as commercial fishermen and the dive 
industry), environmental and conservation organizations, and other 
concerned citizens will recommend alternative boundaries for comment.  To 
learn more, visit the Sanctuary's Tortugas 2000 website at 

Dry Tortugas National Park consists of seven small islands, including Ft. 
Jefferson, and 115 square nautical miles of pristine marine environment.  
It was established by act of Congress in 1992, with a strict mandate to 
provide opportunities for visitor use and enjoyment in balance with the 
conservation of natural and cultural resources so that they are 
unimpaired for the benefit of future generations.  Significant increases 
in numbers of visitors to the Park in recent years have raised issues for 
Park management, including visitor activities and quality of visitors' 
experiences, commercial services, natural and cultural resources, and 

The Park's plan will proceed with an emphasis on public participation in 
defining the scope of these and perhaps other issues, developing 
alternative approaches to address problems identified, and seeking 
further public input on preferred alternatives.  The resulting plan will 
help determine what visitor experiences and activities and commercial 
services are appropriate for the Park and where these activities should 
occur.  Further information on the Park and its planning effort may be 
found at www.nps.gov/drto/planning.

Sanctuary and Park representatives will be available for media interviews 
and briefings at each location one hour prior to the beginning of each 

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