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protection and managment
Taking Action: Protection Highlights
through development and periodic re- view of sanctuary management plans and regulations, the sanctuary system works with partners, advisory councils and the public to implement effective coastal and marine spatial planning. Significant actions taken in 2010 include:

Proposed establishment of a fully protected Research Area for conducting controlled scientific studies in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Proposed Research Area regulations would prohibit fishing and diving without a permit.

Initiated management plan review for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, in accordance with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Issued final regulations banning spearfishing in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, providing protection to its fish and habitats.

Issued a final rule to prohibit vessel sewage discharges in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and require marine sanitation devices be secured by an acceptable method.

Sanctuary scientists and their partners work to understand and predict natural and human-caused changes throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System. From environmental monitoring to ocean science education to development of partnerships that enhance the system's research capacity, science and exploration are essential to the effective management of our special underwater places.

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument becomes First Mixed UNeSCo world Heritage Site in the U.S.

volunteersDelegates to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) 34th World Heritage Convention in Brasilia, Brazil, agreed July 30, 2010, to inscribe Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument as one of only 27 mixed (natural and cultural) World Heritage sites in the world. The monument is the first U.S. site nominated to the World Heritage List in more than 15 years, and one of the largest on the planet, covering nearly 140,000 square miles of remote ocean and coral reefs. It is the only World Heritage site in the National Marine Sanctuary System, and its designation has energized a worldwide sharing of knowledge and experience with other marine protected areas. Also in 2010, the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve — now overlaid by the monument — was commemorated in a letter from President Bill Clinton. The designation of this special place to the World Heritage List recognizes the global significance of its near-pristine habitats, diverse marine life, and living, indigenous, cultural connections to the sea.

Cooperative Enforcement Enhances Sanctuary Protection

On the water, in the air, and in the classroom, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries collaborated with partners such as the National Park Service, California Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Coast Guard to address enforcement issues in 2010 and also issued a new three-year strategic plan for enforcement. The Coast Guard increased its support of sanctuary enforcement, conducting focused aerial surveys around the sanctuary system, while sanctuary staff developed patrol guides for aerial and vessel-based enforcement and held training sessions with federal and state law enforcement personnel at seven sanctuaries and the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Additionally, cooperative efforts at Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Stellwagen Bank national marine sanctuaries helped protect endangered whales through scientific observation, vessel traffic monitoring and outreach initiatives targeted at encouraging whale-friendly boating practices.

Stellwagen bank Releases New Science-based Management Plan

volunteers on the beachOn June 17, 2010, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary achieved a major milestone with the release of its final management plan, which will guide the sanctuary's resource protection and conservation efforts over the next five years. Based on years of scientific study, and developed with extensive public input, the new management plan focuses on key issues affecting the sanctuary, including wildlife disturbance, vessel traffic and invasive species. Many of these issues were not well understood or recognized when the original management plan was published in 1993. The plan also addresses sanctuary programs such as maritime heritage preservation, conservation science, enforcement, and public outreach and education. In developing the new management plan, the sanctuary relied on data and expertise from NOAA's Fisheries Service, worked in consultation with many local, state, federal and non-governmental entities, and received more than 45,000 public cments. The plan is available on the sanctuary's website.

Sanctuary Staff Provide wide-Ranging Support to Deepwater Horizon Spill Response

volunteers on the beachMore than 40 staff from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries contributed to NOAA's response to the MC252 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, beginning in April 2010. Personnel from across the National Marine Sanctuary System provided scientific and technical support, public affairs assistance, shoreline cleanup assessment, financial management, cultural resource expertise and environmental unit leadership. Many of these staff deployed to the field for multiple two-week rotations, traveling to all areas of the response, from the National Incident Command Center at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to Incident Command Posts in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. While much of the oil spill response activities have concluded, Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team and Natural Resource Damage Athe region for some time.

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Revised February 10, 2011 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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