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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Sanctuary System Advisory Council and how does it differ from a site advisory council?

Sanctuary system advisory councils bring together experts to provide specialized advice to the director on a specific sector, project, or issue related to the management and conservation of sanctuary resources. Sanctuary advisory councils focus on site-specific issues and projects; system advisory councils will focus on a specific issue or project and provide advice on a programmatic, not a site, basis.

What is the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council?

The Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council will provide advice and recommendations to the Director regarding the relationship of the ONMS with the ocean business community.

Why is the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council being formed?

The ocean is a fundamental aspect of the US economy, security, history, and culture; marine protected areas are a fundamental aspect of ocean protection. But the relationship between the conservation and commercial sectors is not well understood or coordinated. ONMS hopes this council will help bridge that divide.

What will the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council do?

The Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council will focus on the following areas:

  • Engaging the corporate sector and other non-traditional partners with mutual interest in marine resource protection (e.g., exchanging information about values, goals, and opportunities of mutual interest);
  • Assessing and expressing the economic, social, and cultural value of national marine sanctuaries and other marine protected areas (e.g., sharing socioeconomic data for specific geographic areas);
  • Leveraging the recreational and aesthetic values of national marine sanctuaries for building strong local, national, and international economies (e.g., creating programs that create or enhance ecotourism opportunities); and
  • Developing joint initiatives and projects with the goal of sustaining and protecting special marine places (e.g., identifying ways to both protect resources and enhance corporate interests and goals).

How will the members of the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council be chosen?

Unlike site council members who are chosen through an open competitive process, members of the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council will be appointed. Individuals will be invited to join the council; if they agree, they will be subject to the same vetting process as members of site councils. Once cleared, the members will be officially appointed by the Director.

How will the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council operate?

The council will operate as the sanctuary advisory councils do, in open meetings held two to four times a year, in the Washington, DC metro area. A Chair and Vice-Chair will be elected by the members. If useful and appropriate, the council may form subcommittees or working groups to accomplish specific objectives.

How will the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council interact with site councils?

Because the site councils and the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council have distinctly different charges, there may or may not be interaction. Any connection to a site council will always be context and content driven. We also don't want to infringe in any way on the already established relationships and influence of the site councils.

How does the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council differ from the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee?

The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee's role is broader, both programmatically and in terms of representation, that the Business Advisory Council. The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee advises both DOC/NOAA and the Department of the Interior on ways to strengthen and expand the nation's system of MPAs - including federal, state, territorial, tribal and local MPA programs. In addition, the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee includes members that represent all ocean sectors, not just business. The role of the Business Advisory Council will be much more focused on the relationship of ONMS with the ocean business community.

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