[Coral-List] UPDATE: ESA Threatened Corals

Sarah Heberling Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
Mon Mar 17 10:53:26 EDT 2008

   Just  an  update  on recent happenings related to elkhorn and staghorn
   corals,   which   were  recently  listed  as  "threatened"  under  the
   Endangered Species Act (ESA).
   Last  week, Jennifer Moore and I completed the round of public comment
   hearings for the proposed critical habitat designations for threatened
   elkhorn  and  staghorn  corals.   For  those  of you that were able to
   participate in these hearings, thank you!  Your involvement, interest,
   and  concern are greatly appreciated!  For those of you unable to make
   it  to  the hearings, the presentation given by Jennifer and me is now
   available on our webpage
   The critical habitat proposal was published in the Federal Register on
   February  6,  2008  and the public comment period ends on May 6, 2008.
   Please  refer  to  the  Federal  Register  notice  for instructions on
   submitting  comments  on  the  proposed  rule and on the draft 4(b)(2)
   Impacts  report,  which  details  the  economic impacts of designating
   critical habitat
   oposed_CH.pdf and
   Once  the  public  comment  period  closes  for  the proposed critical
   habitat  designations,  Jennifer  and  I  will review all comments and
   evaluate  whether  changes  to  the proposal are necessary.  We have a
   court-ordered  date for finalizing critical habitat for these species,
   which  is  November  30,  2008.  All comments will be addressed in the
   final rule.
   4(d) RULE
   On  December  14,  2008, NOAA Fisheries Service published proposed ESA
   4(d) Regulations for threatened corals, which would prohibit "take" of
   these species, as it is defined by the ESA
   f).   The  public  comment period for this proposal ended on March 13,
   2008.   Now  that the public comment period for the proposed 4(d) rule
   has  closed,  Jennifer  and  I  will  go  through  the same review and
   evaluation  process  as  described for the critical habitat rule above
   for  all  comments received.  Any final 4(d) rule will be published in
   the  Federal  Register and all comments will be addressed in the final
   rule.   More  information on this proposal is available on our website
   Recovery  planning  for  these  two  species  has  already  begun.   A
   17-person  recovery  team was appointed last year and the team has met
   twice  already.   Members  of the recovery team represent governmental
   agencies,  non-governmental  organizations,  and  user  groups  at the
   local,  State/Territorial,  and  Federal  levels.  A week long writing
   workshop  is planned for this September and it is hoped that the draft
   recovery  plan  resulting  from  that  workshop  will be available for
   public comment in late winter.  The recovery plan serves as a road map
   for species recovery - it lays out where we need to go and how best to
   get there through prioritized site-specific recovery actions.
   If  you have questions or concerns about anything related to these two
   threatened  corals,  please do not hesitate to contact either Jennifer
   ([6]Jennifer.Moore at noaa.gov) or me ([7]Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov).
   If  you  would  like  to  receive  future  email updates on threatened
   elkhorn and staghorn corals, please email me.
   Sarah E. Heberling
   Natural Resource Specialist
   Protected Resources Division
   NOAA Fisheries Service
   263 13th Avenue South
   St. Petersburg, FL 33701
   Phone: (727) 824-5312
   Fax: (727) 824-5309
   Email: [8]Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
   Web: [9]http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/acropora.htm
   "What good is a used up world; and how could it be worth having?"


   1. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdf/Web_Postings/080303_Coral_CH_Presentation.pdf
   2. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdf/Web_Postings/73FR6895_Acropora_Proposed_CH.pdf
   3. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdf/Web_Postings/080130_draft_4%28b%29%282%29_report.pdf%29
   4. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/pdf/72FR71102_Proposed_4d_Rule.pdf
   5. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/acropora.htm
   6. mailto:Jennifer.Moore at noaa.gov
   7. mailto:Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
   8. mailto:Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
   9. http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/esa/acropora.htm

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