[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 67 (Friday, April 7, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17838-17839]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-3339]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan Part II: Regional Priorities 
Draft

AGENCY: Coral Reef Conservation Program, NOAA, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
publishes this notice to announce the availability of the Draft NOAA 
Coral Ecosystem Research Plan Part II: Regional Priorities for public 
comment. The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan is being 
developed by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program to set priorities 
and guide NOAA-supported coral ecosystem research for fiscal years 2006 
to 2010, including research conducted through extramural partners, 
grants, and contracts. The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan 
covers all coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the United 
States and the Pacific Freely Associated States; and is written for a 
broad audience, including resource managers, scientists, policy makers, 
and the public.

DATES: Comments on this draft document must be submitted by May 8, 
2006.

ADDRESSES: The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan Part II: 
Regional Priorities will be available at the following location http://
www.nurp.noaa.gov/Docs/NOAA_ CoralResearch PlanPartII --FRN. pdf
    The public is encouraged to submit comments on the Draft NOAA Coral 
Ecosystem Research Plan Part II: Regional Priorities electronically to

[[Page 17839]]

coral. researchplan @noaa. gov. For comments who do not have access to 
a computer, comments on the document may be submitted in writing to: 
NOAA Research, c/o Kimberly Puglise, NOAA's Undersea Research Program, 
1315 East-West Highway R/NURP, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Puglise by mail at NOAA's 
Undersea Research Program, 1315 East-West highway R/NURP, Silver 
Spring, Maryland 20910 or phone (301) 713-2427 ext. 199 or e-mail at 
coral.research plan@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NOAA is publishing this notice to announce 
the availability of the Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan Part 
II: Regional Priorities for public comment. The draft plan will be 
posted for public comment on April 7, 2006. All interested parties are 
encouraged to provide comments. The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research 
Plan Part II: Regional Priorities is being issued for comment only and 
is not intended for interim use. Suggested changes will be 
incorporated, where appropriate, in the final version.
    The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan is being developed by 
the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program to set priorities and guide 
NOAA-supported coral ecosystem research for fiscal years 2006 to 2010, 
including research conducted through extramural partners, grants, and 
contracts. The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan covers all 
coral reef ecosystems under the jurisdiction of the United States and 
the Pacific Freely Associated States; and is written for a broad 
audience, including resource managers, scientists, policy makers, and 
the public.
    The Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research Plan consists of two 
sections: (1) Part I: National Priorities; and (2) Part II: Regional 
Priorities. At this time, we are requesting your comments solely on the 
Part II: Regional Priorities Draft.
    Part I of the Plan is national in scope and identifies: the role of 
research in management, including a review of the major stressors and 
threats facing coral reef ecosystems and an overview of stressor-
associated research priorities; the role of mapping and monitoring in 
management-driven research programs; a discussion of the tools and 
technologies necessary to conduct research and to manage ecosystems; a 
discussion of the importance of transferring science and technology 
into operations; and the importance of using strategic outreach and 
education to translate research results to improve management 
decisions.
    Part II of the Plan is regional in scope and reviews the major 
stressors for coral ecosystems in each region under the jurisdiction of 
the United States and the Pacific Freely Associated States; identifies 
key management objectives specific to each region; and the research 
priorities for fiscal years 2006 to 2010 to help address the stated 
management objectives in each region. Part II is divided into the 
following regions: Florida with subsections for the Florida Keys, 
Southeast Florida, and the West Florida Shelf (also known as the 
Eastern Gulf of Mexico); Flower Garden Banks; Puerto Rico; the U.S. 
Virgin Islands; Navassa Island; the Hawaiian Islands with subsections 
for the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; American Samoa; the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands; Guam; the U.S. Pacific 
Remote Insular Areas, which includes Midway Atoll, Rose Atoll, Wake 
Atoll, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Jarvis Island, 
Howland Island, and Baker Island; and the Pacific Freely Associated 
States with subsections for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the 
Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
    NOAA welcomes all comments on the content of the Draft NOAA Coral 
Ecosystem Research Plan Part II: Regional Priorities. We also request 
comments on any inconsistencies perceived within the document, and 
possible omissions of important topics or issues. For any shortcoming 
noted within the draft documents, please propose specific remedies.
    Please adhere to the instructions detailed below for preparing and 
submitting your comments on the Draft NOAA Coral Ecosystem Research 
Plan Part II: Regional Priorities. Using the format guidance described 
below will facilitate the processing of reviewer comments and assure 
that all comments are appropriately considered. Please format your 
comments into the following three sections: (1) Background information 
about yourself (optional); (2) overview or general comments; and (3) 
specific comments. Section one may include background information about 
yourself including: your name(s), organization(s), area(s) of 
expertise, and contact information, such as mailing address, telephone 
and fax numbers, and e-mail address(s). Section two should consist of 
overview or general comments on the document and should be numbered. 
Section three should consist of comments that are specific to 
particular pages, paragraphs, or lines in the document and should 
identify the page and line numbers to which they apply. Please number 
and print identifying information at the top of all pages.
    Public comments may be submitted from April 7, 2006, through May 8, 
2006.

    Dated: April 3, 2006.
David Kennedy,
Manager, Coral Reef Conservation Program.
[FR Doc. 06-3339 Filed 4-6-06; 8:45 am]
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