Sanctuary Advisory Council

A tribal member speaks to a crowd
Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA

NOAA is Recruiting Candidates for the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council

NOAA is seeking applicants to fill the 15 seats of the new Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. The Sanctuary Advisory Council will provide advice to NOAA that supports the management plan. Members will serve as liaisons to a broad coalition of community organizations to facilitate communication and engagement. Council meetings will be open to the public and will provide a place where community interests, support, and concerns are heard.

More information about sanctuary advisory councils is available on the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries website.

Council members will represent a variety of community groups. These 15 voting seats reflect the primary purposes of sanctuary designation related to maritime and cultural resource protection and interpretation as well as recreation, tourism, and economic opportunity. These seats include perspectives from a diversity of community groups related to other sanctuary management plan priorities such as education, research, and science.

We are currently seeking applicants for the following 15 voting seats (one member and one alternate for each seat). Note that alternates must be from the same community organization as the member.

  • Maritime Archaeology and History (2 seats and 2 alternates)
  • Cultural Heritage (1 seat and 1 alternate)
  • Recreation (2 seats and 2 alternates)
  • Recreational Fishing (1 seat and 1 alternate)
  • Business and Economic Development (2 seats and 2 alternates)
  • Marketing and Tourism (1 seat and 1 alternate)
  • Education (2 seats and 2 alternates)
  • Research, Science, and Technology (1 seat and 1 alternate)
  • Commercial Fishing (1 seat and 1 alternate)
  • Citizen-at-Large (2 seats and 2 alternates)

Sanctuary Advisory Council members must be at least 18 years of age.

In addition, there are five categories of seats for which non-voting members are appointed or selected:

  • A NOAA representative is a non-voting member. NOAA will work with the chair in scheduling each meeting and approving the agenda to ensure each topic of discussion is relevant to the sanctuary. Council meetings may not be conducted in the absence of the NOAA representative or their designee.
  • As joint managers of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, the state of Maryland and Charles County, Maryland, governments are non-voting members. The state of Maryland will be represented by the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
  • By virtue of jurisdictions adjacent to the sanctuary, each of the following government entities will be requested by NOAA to designate one individual to serve on the council. The following government agencies will sit on the council as non-voting members:
    • Department of Navy / Department of Defense
    • U.S. Coast Guard
    • State of Virginia
  • By virtue of ancestral lands and waters that overlap with sanctuary boundaries, three Indian Tribes will be requested by NOAA to designate one individual to serve on the council. The follow Indian Tribes shall sit on the council as non-voting members:
    • Piscataway Conoy Tribe (Maryland)
    • Piscataway Indian Nation (Maryland)
    • Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia
  • A youth seat, defined for ages 14-17 at the time of application, will sit on the council as a non-voting member.

Application Process

A woman gives a presentation from a podium
Photo: Kim Hernandez/MD DNR

Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations, and views regarding the protection and management of maritime heritage resources. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve three-year terms.

Before applying, please review the following documents:

This is a standard application form for national marine sanctuary advisory councils across the National Marine Sanctuary System. Some questions may not apply to every site. Please answer those that you think are relevant to Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary.

Application Form

Submit applications by mail or fax to:

Sammy Orlando
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
200 Harry S Truman Parkway, Room 460
Annapolis, MD 21401
(240) 460-1978
Fax: (302) 200-7182

Frequently Asked Questions

National marine sanctuary advisory councils are community-based, volunteer advisory groups established to provide advice and recommendations to NOAA on issues including management, science, service, and stewardship. This Sanctuary Advisory Council brings members of a diverse community together to provide advice to NOAA that supports site management plan and to serve as liaisons to a broad coalition of community organizations to facilitate communication and engagement.

Applicants chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve three-year terms. Members are limited to three consecutive three-year terms on the council in the same seat, unless the director has granted a waiver.

Interested parties should submit their application form to:

Sammy Orlando
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
℅ NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
200 Harry S Truman Parkway, Room 460
Annapolis, MD 21401
(240) 460-1978
Fax: (302) 200-7182

To protect personally identifiable information, applications must be sent by mail or fax.

Sanctuary Advisory Council members must be at least 18 years of age, except for candidates for the youth (non-voting) seat.

Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; views regarding the protection and management of maritime heritage resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the site. NOAA seeks to create a Sanctuary Advisory Council that represents the primary purposes of the sanctuary and that is balanced in terms of points of view represented, geographic diversity, and advisory functions the council will perform. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will consult with representatives from the state of Maryland and Charles County who are identified in the memorandum of agreement for joint management of the sanctuary regarding selection of applicants. The director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will make the final determination of members and alternates selected.

NOAA will contact government agencies to determine their desire to participate. Government seats are separate from the 15 advisory council seats for community members and organizations. Government representatives participate fully in advisory council meetings but are considered “non-voting” when it comes to making recommendations to NOAA.

NOAA will contact the Piscataway Conoy Tribe (Maryland), Piscataway Indian Nation (Maryland), and the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia to determine their desire to participate and in what capacity.

The youth seat is a non-voting seat and intended for individuals aged 14-17 at the time of their application. NOAA will contact leaders of local schools, clubs, and other relevant activity groups to offer applications and permission slips to those who want to be considered.