Emma Hickerson - NOAA Federal emma.hickerson at noaa.gov
Tue Jun 7 16:41:11 EDT 2016

Proposed Sanctuary Expansion Announced

Building on more than 30 years of scientific studies, including
numerous reports released in the last decade, NOAA today announced a
proposal to expand Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to
protect additional critical Gulf of Mexico habitat.

The plan lays out five expansion scenarios, ranging from no expansion
of the 56-square-mile sanctuary, to one bringing it to a total of 935
square miles. In NOAA’s preferred scenario, the sanctuary would expand
to 383 square miles to include 15 reefs and banks that provide habitat
for recreationally and commercially important fish, as well as a home
to 15 threatened or endangered species of whales, sea turtles, and

The public is invited to comment on this proposal from June 10-August
19, 2016. There will also be five public meetings held in Texas,
Louisiana, and Alabama. Comments collected during this process will be
used to develop a final environmental impact statement.

For more details about the expansion, or to download the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement, please visit http://go.usa.gov/cShBR

Press Release attached.

Emma L. Hickerson
Flower Garden Banks NMS
Research Coordinator
4700 Ave. U, Bldg 216
Galveston, TX 77551
409-621-5151 ext. 111
979-777-3895 cell
emma.hickerson at noaa.gov

Find us on FaceBook:  http://www.facebook.com/fgbnms
Watch Window in the Waves: www.lpb.org/waves

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