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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2009

Contact:
Carrie Carnes
305-809-4700

NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Seeks Applicants for Advisory Council

NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill 10 primary seats and nine alternate seats on its advisory council, which represents the public’s interests in sanctuary matters and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent.

“Advisory Council members play a vital role in the sanctuary, acting as conduits to community stakeholders and helping inform management decisions,” said acting sanctuary superintendent Sean Morton.

Specifically, the council's role is to provide the sanctuary superintendent with advice on the sanctuary’s resource protection, research, education and outreach programs. Recently, the council has focused on restoration, research, outreach and education, enforcement, maritime heritage resources surveys, marine spatial planning, and climate change.

Sanctuary staff are currently accepting applications for primary member seats representing Citizen at Large – Lower Keys; Citizen at Large – Middle Keys; Conservation and Environment (2 seats); Diving – Lower Keys; Education and Outreach; Fishing – Charter Fishing Flats Guide; Fishing – Commercial – Shell/Scale; Submerged Cultural Resources; and Tourism – Upper Keys.

The sanctuary is also accepting applications for alternates for the Citizen at Large – Lower Keys; Conservation and Environment; Diving – Lower Keys; Education and Outreach; Fishing – Charter Fishing Flats Guide; Fishing – Commercial – Shell/Scale; South Florida Ecosystem Restoration; Submerged Cultural Resources; and Tourism – Upper Keys.

Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve three-year terms, pursuant to the council’s Charter.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was established in 1991 to assure continuous public participation in the management of the sanctuary. The volunteer council’s 40 voting members and alternates and its ex-officio members represent a variety of local user groups, the general public, and state and federal governmental jurisdictions. Alternates are required to attend meetings when primary members are not available and assume responsibilities for a seat if a primary member resigns.

Applications are due August 21, 2009. To receive an application or for further information, please contact Lilli Ferguson at 305-292-0311 ext. 245, or by e-mail at Lilli.Ferguson@noaa.gov. Completed applications should be submitted to Lilli Ferguson, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 33 East Quay Rd., Key West, FL 33040. Application packages are also available for download on the sanctuary’s Web site.

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 manage the sanctuary.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

On the Web:

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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