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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOAA05-R499-20
January 3, 2006

CONTACT:
Jacklyn Kelly
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
(805) 966-7107, Ext. 371

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Seeks Applicants for Sanctuary Advisory Council

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is seeking applicants to fill three open positions on the sanctuary’s advisory council.  The advisory council was established to advise NOAA on management of the sanctuary, including public education, research, monitoring and the protection of natural and maritime heritage resources.

“This is a unique and important 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, Channel Islands sanctuary manager.

The sanctuary program will select new members and alternates for the following seats: Tourism alternate and Recreational Fishing member and 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.

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 at the sanctuary Web site http://channelislands.noaa.gov/sac/news.html or can be obtained by calling (805) 966-7107, ext. 371.  Completed applications must be submitted to Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, 113 Harbor Way, Suite 150, Santa Barbara, CA 93109 or by fax at (805) 568-1582 by February 14, 2006.

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.

Designated in 1980, 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, the sanctuary spans 1,658 square miles.  The sanctuary supports a rich and diverse range of marine life and habitats, unique and productive oceanographic processes and ecosystems, and culturally significant resources such as hundreds of shipwrecks and submerged Chumash cultural artifacts.  This diversity, along with the busy Santa Barbara Channel, also 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.

The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase public awareness of America’s ocean and Great Lakes treasures by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs.  Today, the program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

The NOAA Ocean Service manages the Sanctuary Program and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans and works to balance environmental protection with economic prosperity in its mission promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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 resources.  Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Internet:
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.noaa.gov/sac/sacmain.html


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