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

February 2, 2016

NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will hold a public meeting of the Sanctuary Advisory Council in Marathon, Florida, at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

The new Refuge Manager for Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, Dan Clark, will open the morning session, which includes updates on resource condition and recent activities of the refuge complex. The refuge complex is a federal partner in the sanctuary’s current regulatory review and updates to their backcountry management plan will be included in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan to release for public comment later this year.

Staff from the refuge complex will present on management issues throughout the day, culminating in a panel discussion about refuge management. Topics will include an overview of Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, plant species that are currently candidates for federal protection, habitat restoration, frigatebirds, sea turtle nesting and butterflies.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute staff will give a talk on spiny lobster ecology and management.

Public comment for items not on the agenda will be taken at 2:15 p.m., and will be taken before any Advisory Council decision or action. The meeting will include an update on the sanctuary’s marine zoning and regulatory review, as well as general reports from state and federal agencies on recent activities.

WHAT:       Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting
WHEN:       February 16, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
WHERE:      Hyatt Place, 1996 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050
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.