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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOAA 04 R497
November 23, 2004

CONTACT:
Michael Murray
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
(805) 884-1464

NOAA’S CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants to fill eight open sanctuary advisory council positions. The sanctuary advisory council was established to advise the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on management of the sanctuary, including public education, research, monitoring and the protection of natural and maritime heritage resources. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“This is a unique and powerful opportunity for members of the public to become directly involved with management and protection of the ocean waters surrounding the Channel Islands,” said Chris Mobley, sanctuary manager. “Our council members’ firsthand knowledge of the Channel Islands marine ecosystem and their links to the community help us attain our goal of protecting the sanctuary for future generations while preserving the economy that depends on it.”

The sanctuary will select new members and alternates for the following seats: Public At-Large (member and alternate), Commercial Fishing (member), Non-Consumptive Recreation (member and alternate), Tourism (member), Business (member), Conservation (member), and Research (alternate). Members and alternates serve as volunteers for two-year terms. The advisory council meets bi-monthly in daytime public sessions located throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

“This is an important time for community involvement with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary,” said Mobley. “In 2005 we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sanctuary, and locally we are now seeing increased attention focused on marine conservation from the release of California’s new ocean action strategy.”

Council members will be selected based upon expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying. Considerations include availability and commitment to active participation, community and professional affiliations, views regarding the conservation and management of marine resources, and the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary.

Sanctuary advisory council member application packages are available on the sanctuary Web site, http://www.channelislands.noaa.gov/sac/news.html or can be obtained by calling (805) 966-7107, Ext. 371. Completed applications must be submitted to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, 113 Harbor Way, Suite 150, Santa Barbara, CA 93109 or by fax at (805) 568-1582 by Dec. 4, 2004.

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was established in December 1998 to assure continued public participation in the management of the sanctuary. Serving in a volunteer capacity, the advisory council’s 21 voting members represent a variety of local user groups, as well as the general public, plus ten local, state and federal government jurisdictions. Since its establishment, the advisory council has played a vital role in advising the sanctuary and NOAA on critical issues and is currently focused on the development of a new 5-year management plan, the consideration of establishing marine protected areas within the sanctuary, biological impacts of ocean noise, aquaculture and liquid natural gas offshore port proposals, and various water quality concerns.

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the four northern Channel Islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa) and Santa Barbara Island off the coast of southern California. With marine boundaries extending from the mean high tide of the islands’ shores to six nautical miles offshore, CINMS spans 1,252 square nautical miles.

The sanctuary supports a rich and diverse range of marine life and habitats, unique and productive oceanographic processes and marine ecosystems, and culturally significant resources such as hundreds of shipwrecks and submerged Chumash cultural artifacts. This diversity, along with the busy Santa Barbara Channel, brings significant human use and value to sanctuary waters, including commercial fisheries, recreational fishing opportunities, marine wildlife viewing, boating and other recreational activities, maritime shipping, nearby offshore oil and gas development, research and monitoring activities, and numerous educational activities. Designated in 1980, the CIMNS is the nation's 4th largest marine sanctuary and is administered by NOAA.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase 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 131,000 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. NOAA 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 resource.

On the Web:
NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov
National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov
National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: http://channelislands.noaa.gov
Sanctuary Advisory Council:
http://channelislands.nos.noaa.gov/
sac/main.html

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