Providing Input to the Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review
Public input and interest is one of the primary reasons that Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is conducting its current review of sanctuary regulations. In order to stay informed of public meetings and participate in the review process, you can:
- Sign up for marine zoning and regulatory review email updates.
- Contact your representative on the Sanctuary Advisory Council.
- Attend the regular, bi-monthly advisory council meetings.
- Bookmark the sanctuary’s online events calendar.
- Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Public Input to Date
Public comments were instrumental in helping the Sanctuary Advisory Council understand topics of concern to the public. Initial public comment was received from April to June 2012, when NOAA solicited the public’s views on the direction the sanctuary should take to best protect and conserve the living marine resources and submerged cultural resources of the Florida Keys. The information gathered during this public scoping period helped the advisory council define the issues they would later address in a marine zoning and regulatory review workplan. Full comments from the scoping period are maintained in the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) under docket number NOAA-NOS-2012-0061. An overview of the comments, organized by topics, can be found in the Scoping Comments Summary (pdf, 5 MB) that was compiled by sanctuary staff. From 2012 to 2014, the advisory council conducted a detailed review and heard public comments on nine priority topics as outlined in their workplan, eventually requesting that NOAA analyze hundreds of ideas for changes to marine zones, boundaries, and regulations in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
NOAA is developing the advisory council's ideas into a series of proposed management alternatives, and will provide a detailed analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of each alternative in a DEIS. Once the DEIS is posted, a Notice of Availability will be published and a public comment period of at least 90 days will commence. During this time, the advisory council will also discuss the alternatives and provide feedback to NOAA. All public comments will be read and considered before any final decisions are made about changes to the sanctuary's zones, boundaries, management plan, or regulations. Responses to public comments will be released in a Final Environmental Impact Statement describing the agency's planned regulatory actions before any draft regulations are released.
Learn more and find related documents on the marine zoning and regulatory review homepage.