Business Advisory Council Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: What is the Business Advisory Council?

ANSWER: The council provides advice and recommendations to the ONMS director regarding the sustainable management of the National Marine Sanctuary System and its natural and cultural resources and the ways in which partners, including the business community, can help advance ONMS goals, both locally and system-wide.

QUESTION: Has the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries had a previous Business Advisory Council?

ANSWER: Yes, ONMS established the council in 2013 to provide advice and recommendations to the ONMS Director regarding the relationship of ONMS with the ocean business community. The previous charter expired in 2018, and a new charter was adopted on March 3, 2020. While the purpose of the council has not changed, under the new charter, the focus of the council will now be on sustainable recreation and tourism within sanctuaries. 

QUESTION: How long do Business Advisory Council members serve?

ANSWER: Council members will serve staggered two and three-year terms, and may be reappointed, as deemed appropriate by the director. ONMS policy limits council members to three consecutive terms on the council.

QUESTION: How many members are appointed to the council?

ANSWER: The maximum number of voting members on the council is 15.

QUESTION: How are applicants for the Business Advisory Council selected?

ANSWER: Based on the focus/topic of the BAC, the ONMS director invites individuals to fill categorical seats on the council. Upon successful completion of the vetting process, the individual is appointed by the director to the council. The vetting process helps identify conflicts of interest or other issues.

QUESTION: Under what authority is NOAA undertaking this action?

ANSWER: Section 315 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to establish sanctuary advisory councils to provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the designation and management of national marine sanctuaries. This authority has been delegated to the director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.