NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council to meet in Islamorada

February 3, 2015

NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will hold a public meeting of the Sanctuary Advisory Council in Islamorada, Fla., on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

The meeting will focus on artificial habitats, an issue the Advisory Council has prioritized. They have considered forming a working group to develop recommendations to the sanctuary as part of its current management plan and regulatory review.

The meeting will open with remarks by Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Director Daniel J. Basta. Representatives of FKNMS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present on their agencies’ protocols and policies related to artificial habitats. They will also clarify formal uses of the term, which members of the council have associated with a broad range of structures including scuttled ships, reef balls, and coral nurseries, among other items.

City of Marathon Planning Director George Garrett will share his experience as an artificial habitat permit holder, followed by a panel discussion that will allow the Advisory Council to consider any potential recommendations for the sanctuary. Public comment will be solicited before the Advisory Council takes any actions.

Public comment for items not on the agenda will be taken at 3:30 p.m., followed by general reports from state and federal agencies on recent activities.

WHAT:       Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting
WHEN:       February 17, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
WHERE:     Islander Resort & Conference Center,
                 82100 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Fla., 33036
WHO:        NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

To receive more information, or to request a meeting agenda, please contact Beth Dieveney at 305-809-4700 x228 or

Authorized in 1990 and established in 1992, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council provides advice and recommendations on managing and protecting the sanctuary. The council has 20 representatives and alternates from community constituent groups, and 10 government agencies have non-voting representatives on the council. Serving in a voluntary capacity, the council members represent a variety of local user groups, as well as the general public.

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, 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.