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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2007

CONTACT:
Lilli Ferguson/FKNMS
(305) 292-0311, ext. 245

NOAA'S FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY SEEKS APPLICANTS FOR ADVISORY COUNCIL SEATS

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the state of Florida, is seeking applicants for 19 seats on its sanctuary advisory council, which ensures public participation in sanctuary management and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent.

The sanctuary is accepting applications for the following primary member seats: Citizen at Large (Lower Keys), Conservation and Environment, Diving (Lower Keys), Diving (Upper Keys), Education and Outreach, Fishing – Charter Fishing Flats Guide, Commercial Fishing – Marine/Tropical, Research and Monitoring, Tourism (Lower Keys), and Tourism (Upper Keys).

Also available are the following alternate seats: Boating Industry, Citizen at Large (Lower Keys) Conservation and Environment, Diving (Lower Keys), Fishing – Charter Fishing Flats Guide, Commercial Fishing – Shell/Scale, Submerged Cultural Resources, Tourism (Lower Keys), and Tourism (Upper Keys). Alternates attend meetings when members are not available, are encouraged to attend other meetings, and may apply for the member seat if a member resigns.

“Sanctuary advisory council members serve as invaluable liaisons between the community and sanctuary staff, and provide consensus-based recommendations for the resource management process,” said Cdr. David Score, sanctuary superintendent.

Representatives of NOAA and the state of Florida select council members based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seats for which they are applying. Consideration includes knowledge of the resources, community and professional affiliations, residency in the sanctuary area (Monroe or Dade counties), and philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Terms typically run for three years and members serve without pay. The council usually meets during the business day on the third Tuesday of alternate months, and members may join working groups focused on specific issues. Current seat holders may re-apply.

Council member application packages may be obtained by calling Lilli Ferguson at 305-292-0311, ext. 245 or by writing to: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 33 East Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040.

Application packages are also available for download on the sanctuary Web site, http://floridakeys.noaa.gov. Applications should be mailed to the above address and must be received by Sept. 21, 2007.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 2,896 square nautical miles of critical marine habitat, including coral reef, hard bottom, seagrass meadows, mangrove communities and sand flats. NOAA and the state of Florida manage the sanctuary.

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

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by 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 its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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