Monday, 19 August 2013

Request for public comments: Proposed rule on re-establishing the Sanctuary Nomination Process

SUMMARY: NOAA's ONMS is announcing that it is re-establishing the sanctuary nomination process and is proposing to amend its regulations governing the process for nominating and evaluating sites for eligibility as a national marine sanctuary. This action would replace the currently inactive Sanctuary Evaluation List (SEL) with a new process for local communities and other interested parties to provide NOAA with robust, criteria-driven proposals for new national marine sanctuaries. To implement this process, NOAA is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the sanctuary nomination and designation procedures, and on the criteria by which the agency would analyze nominations for potential new national marine sanctuaries. Once these criteria have been made final, NOAA intends to solicit nominations for areas of the marine and Great Lakes environments that satisfy those criteria for possible designation as a national marine sanctuary.

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received no later than August 27, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 0648-BD20, by any one of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2013-0091, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Matt Brookhart, Chief, Policy & Planning Division, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

All comments received are a part of the public record and will be posted to<> without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. ONMS will accept anonymous comments (for electronic comments submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, enter N/A in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to
electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Brookhart, Chief, Policy & Planning Division, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1305 East-West Highway, 11th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301) 713-7247.

View the full Federal Register announcement at