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Public comments sought for 5-year coastal zone management program

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The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality’s Division of Coastal Resources Management is seeking public comment on its Draft Section 309 Assessment and Five-Year Strategy document for the Coastal Zone Management Program Enhancement Cycle for Fiscal Year 2016-2020. DCRM is requesting public input on the proposed five-year planning trajectory for the Coastal Zone Management Program and opportunities for program enhancement.

The 309 Strategy ultimately aims to result in program changes in the following areas: wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management planning, ocean/great lake resources, energy and government, facility siting, and aquaculture. Coastal hazards, cumulative and secondary impacts, and ocean resources, and wetlands have been identified as “high priority” focus areas over the next five-year period. The five-year plan articulates a strategy that includes (1) the development of mechanisms to conserve and enhance high-value sensitive areas and (2) support climate change adaptation in the CNMI to address identified threats to priority resource management areas.

The document can be downloaded at DCRM’s website (http://crm.gov.mp/sec.asp?secID=20) or a hard copy can be reviewed at BECQ-DCRM’s Permitting Office, Gualo Rai Commercial Center, Saipan, MP 96950. Written comments can be submitted to the DCRM Office, Suite 305, Gualo Rai Center, Middle Road, Gualo Rai, Saipan, or mail to the Division of Coastal Resources Management, Caller Box 10007 or by fax at 664-8315. Comments should be labeled “Attention: Planning Section – 309 Comment.” Comments also may be submitted via email to Erin Derrington, the lead coastal resources planner at erinderrington@becq.gov.mp.

All comments received by DCRM will be included as part of the 309 Assessment Strategy and Report publication and will be considered to support any final revisions of this document. Written comments must be received at the above address on or before Dec. 10, 2015.

Contact the DCRM at 664-8510 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about this planning effort. (DCRM)

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