NOAA 2005-R401
Contact: Ben Sherman
NOAA News Releases 2004
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, managed by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is seeking applicants for four Sanctuary Advisory Council seats representing:

  • Sport fishing
  • Charter/commercial (for profit) fishing, (a newly created seat)
  • Sport diving and
  • Regional conservation

Applicants are chosen based upon their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying. Consideration includes knowledge of the resources, and community and professional affiliations. Terms run for three years and members will serve without pay. The council meets on average once every two to four months depending on issues.

Current seat holders may re-apply.

The Gray’s Reef Sanctuary Advisory Council was established in August 1999 to provide advice on management and protection of the Sanctuary. The council, through its members, also represents community interests and concerns to sanctuary management and NOAA.

More information, including the Council Charter, may be obtained by contacting Council Coordinator Becky Shortland at (912) 598-2381 or by e-mail: Letters of application should be mailed to Manager Reed Bohne, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA, 31411. Letters of application must be received by Friday, February 11, 2005. Representatives for each seat selected by the sanctuary will begin their terms in March.

Designated in 1981, Gray’s Reef is one of the largest near shore live-bottom reefs off the southeastern United States, encompassing approximately 17 square nautical miles. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary consists of a series of sandstone outcroppings and ledges up to ten feet in height, in a predominantly sandy, flat-bottomed sea floor. The live bottom and ledge habitat support an abundant reef fish and invertebrate community.

Loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species, also use Gray’s Reef year-round for foraging and resting, and the reef is within the known winter calving ground for the highly endangered Northern Right Whale.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service manages the NMSP and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. The National 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 is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary: