On June 8, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a Notice of Intent to begin the public scoping process to consider designating a national marine sanctuary in the Hudson Canyon area, a popular recreational fishing destination for tuna, marlin, and tilefish approximately 100 miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey.
Reported from NOAA:
NOAA is initiating this scoping process based on the area’s diverse qualities which are described in the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 2016 nomination. The area’s marine life is integral to the regional economy, underpinning commercial and recreational fishing, recreational diving, and wildlife viewing. A sanctuary designation would conserve the area’s ecosystems, promote sustainable use, and create new opportunities for scientific research, ocean education, and recreation. We are accepting public comments on this Notice of Intent through August 8, 2022. See instructions on how to provide a public comment below. In addition, we will host virtual and in-person public scoping meetings to gather additional input.
Upcoming Public Scoping Meetings:
1. Virtual Meeting 1:
· Date and Time: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
2. Virtual Meeting 2:
· Date and Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2022, 5:00 PM – 7:00 p.m. ET
3. In-person Meeting 1:
· Date and Time: Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET
· Location: Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House, Naval Officers Room, 1 Bowling Green, New York, NY, 10004
4. In-person Meeting 2:
· Date and Time: Thursday, July 21, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET
· Location: Monmouth University, Urban Coast Institute, Edison Building Atrium-E201, 400 Cedar Ave., West Long Branch, NJ 07764
How to Provide Public Comment as an Individual (not in official capacity as an advisory council member):
· If you would like to comment on the Notice of Intent as an individual, not representing the advisory council, you may provide comments via regulations.gov by clicking the link HERE or by entering “NOAA-NOS-2022-0053” in the regulations.gov search bar HERE.
· Please note, council members submitting public comments expressing their personal opinions (not those of the council) and referencing their advisory council title or affiliation with the federal government is inappropriate. Reference to a government title or position in connection with personal activities is permitted as part of biographical information, if other information is also included.
How to Provide Public Comment as an Advisory Council Member:
· All public comments should be voted on by the full advisory council and then sent to the superintendent to review for submission.
· The public comment letter should include the official council letterhead and required disclaimer before being submitted.
Public comments will inform NOAA’s preparation of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) that identifies alternatives for boundaries and management actions, a draft management plan, and a proposed rulemaking to define proposed sanctuary regulations. We encourage your input on this action and look forward to hearing from you during this scoping process. To learn more about the proposed sanctuary, please visit the website at https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/hudson-canyon/. ”