Last Jan. 21, 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries initiated a review of the Mariana Trench National Marine Sanctuary nomination, which was set to expire on March 13, 2022, after five years in the sanctuary nomination inventory. The announcement included an opportunity for public comment.
Following a request for additional time to provide comments, NOAA has announced the reopening of the public comment period from March 10 to April 25, 2022. The nomination will remain in the inventory until NOAA makes a determination following the extended comment period.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will then determine if the Mariana Trench National Marine Sanctuary nomination will remain in the inventory for an additional five years.
NOAA has not initiated a designation process for this site. The purpose of the five-year review is to determine if the nomination remains accurate and responsive to the 11 criteria on national significance and management considerations.
Written comments must be received by April 25, 2022. Comments may be entered on the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Submit electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal and search for Docket Number NOAA-NOS-2022-0005.
To comment by mail: Kristina Kekuewa, Pacific Islands regional director, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Honolulu, Hawaii 96818. To comment by email: Kristina.Kekuewa@noaa.gov.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries hosted a virtual public scoping meeting on Feb. 12, 2022, to collect public comments, and will hold another virtual meeting on Thursday, March 31, 2022, from 12pm to 3pm ChST (Guam/Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)/Wednesday, March 30, 2022, from 4pm to 7pm HST (Hawaii).
To register, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1179203552492044303.
For more information about the nomination or five-year review process, visit nominate.noaa.gov. (PR)