Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council to hold public input meetings

September 04, 2013

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council’s Ecosystem Protection Working Group is hosting regional public meetings to facilitate information exchange and solicit region and site-specific input from the community, as part of the Sanctuary’s ongoing Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review. This input will help inform the development of management recommendations and shape Florida Keys marine conservation for the future.

Members of the advisory council and working group are seeking input on the working group’s objectives, which include: evaluate existing marine zones, recommend zone modifications to ensure protection of diversity of marine resources, consider temporal zoning to address seasonal impacts, and ensure that marine zones promote sustainable use of resources while protecting diverse habitats and their ecosystem functions. The full working group objectives may be found at http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/review/reserves.html.

Each evening meeting will include two sessions with the same format and agenda — 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. — and provide an overview of the process, round-table discussions, and information on how to stay engaged. The full meeting agenda may be found at http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/review/documents/201309xxepregionalagenda.pdf.

Middle Keys Regional Input
September 23, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Key Colony Beach City Hall
600 West Ocean Drive
Key Colony Beach, FL 33051

Lower Keys Regional Input
September 25, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Doubletree Grand Key Resort
3990 South Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, FL 33040

Upper Keys Regional Input
September 24, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Hilton Key Largo Resort
97000 Overseas Highway 
Key Largo, FL 33037

Marquesas & Tortugas Regional Input
September 26, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Doubletree Grand Key Resort
3990 South Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, FL 33040

All meetings are posted to the Sanctuary’s online events calendar found at http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/visitor_information/events.html.

There will be additional opportunities for public comment as the Sanctuary Advisory Council proceeds with the development of recommendations for environmental and socioeconomic analysis. The public is encouraged to sign up for the email list of the Marine Zoning and Regulatory Review to stay informed of meetings and public input opportunities. Sign up at http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/review/email-list.html.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, sea grass meadows, mangrove communities and sand flats, as well as shipwrecks and maritime heritage resources. NOAA and the state of Florida manage the sanctuary. Visit us at http://floridakeys.noaa.gov, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join NOAA on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.