FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
News Releases 2003
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Today, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Sam Bodman and Deputy Secretary of Interior Steve Griles will host a two-day meeting to introduce the members of the first National Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. Established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of Presidential Executive Order 13158 dealing with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the 30-person committee represents a broad stakeholder community, including scientists, academia, commercial and recreational fishermen, resource users, state and tribal managers, and environmentalists.
“The management of our marine protected areas is truly a partnership between federal agencies, states and everyone that lives and works in coastal areas,” said Bodman. “Marine protected areas are most effective when all these groups work in concert to maintain and improve the quality and sustainability of our resources.”
Marine protected areas are one of several management tools NOAA uses to prevent decline and promote recovery of marine fish, mammal and sea turtle species and protect significant natural and cultural resources that fall under the agency's stewardship responsibilities in the oceans and Great Lakes. In partnership with the eight regional fishery management councils, states, territories, commonwealths, tribes, fishermen and coastal communities, NOAA combines protected areas with other marine resource management tools to ensure a healthy and bountiful ocean for all Americans.
“We look forward to working with the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee as we develop a comprehensive program that balances the conservation of our natural and cultural marine heritage with the ecologically and economically sustainable use of marine resources,” said Griles.
The advisory committee’s duties include providing advice and recommendations to the secretaries of commerce and the interior on implementation of aspects of the MPA Executive Order. The members may establish working groups, subcommittees, or task forces as needed to fulfill the committee’s goals. They also will create a scientific working group of experts in marine and Great Lakes science fields, which will assess the conditions of natural and submerged cultural resources within the nation’s MPAs. The members will serve for two terms, and will elect a chairperson from the group.
The committee will be supported by the National Marine Protected Areas Center, established by NOAA in cooperation with the Department of the Interior, as required by Executive Order. The MPA Center is charged with providing federal, state, territorial, tribal and local governments with the information, technologies, training and strategies to coordinate federal activities related to MPAs.
Committee members were nominated by organizations and individuals. Potential members are offered membership into the committee and then must undergo a background check. These candidates were selected by a panel of experts from both agencies seeking to ensure that the committee’s membership represented the broad spectrum of interested parties throughout the nation. A full listing of the committee members follows this release.
NOAA is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. NOAA Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards. NOAA Fisheries ensures the sustainable use of marine fishery resources, protects marine mammal and sea turtle populations, and promotes the health of coastal and offshore marine habitats.
The Department of the Interior is the nation’s principal conservation agency. Interior serves as the steward for approximately 426 million acres of America’s public land, representing about 19 percent of the U.S. land surface and 66 percent of all federally owned land. Interior also manages mineral development on the 1.48 billion acre U.S. outer continental shelf. Interior’s National Park Service currently manages 385 parks and serves about 285 million visitors. Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service is the primary federal agency responsible for the protection, conservation, and renewal of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, and manages 538 refuges and 37 wetland management districts throughout the U.S.
For more information online:
Department of Commerce: http://www.commerce.gov
NOAA Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov
NOAA Fisheries: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov
National Marine Protected Areas Center: http://www.mpa.gov
Department of the Interior: http://www.doi.gov
National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: http://www.fws.gov
Minerals Management Service: http://www.mms.gov
MPA Federal Advisory Committee Members