The National Marine Protected Areas Center has received the third round of nominations for existing marine protected areas (MPAs) to join the national system of MPAs, based on a call for nominations from March 2010 through May 2010.
This list of four nominated sites has now been published in the Federal Register for a 30-day public review period ending August 5. The group of sites includes Tilefish Gear Restricted Areas nominated by NOAA, in consultation with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. A list providing more detail for each site is available online.
Following review of public comments, NOAA will make a final decision about the nominations of these four sites to the national system in Fall 2010.
More detail on the national system of MPAs can be found in the Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States of America, which describes how the national system will be built from existing MPAs across all levels of government to enhance collective efforts to protect the nation’s natural and cultural marine heritage.
The National System of MPAs is the group of MPA sites, networks, and systems that collectively enhance conservation of the nation’s natural and cultural marine heritage. National system sites will have the opportunity to work with other MPAs in the region and nationally on issues of common conservation concern. Public participation is vital to the success of the national system, and the general public is invited to provide comments on all sites nominated to the national system.