[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 27 (Wednesday, February 11, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Page 6859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-2818]



[[Page 6859]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


National Estuarine Research Reserve System

AGENCY: Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal 
Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Approval and Availability for the Revised Management 
Plan for the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research 
Reserve.

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SUMMARY: The Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal 
Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce has 
approved the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine Research 
Reserve Management Plan Revision. Notice and an opportunity for public 
comment on the Revised Management Plan was first published in the 
Federal Register on November 5, 2008 (73 FR 65837).
    Four sites along the York River comprise the Chesapeake Bay 
Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve; Sweet Hall Marsh, 
Taskinas Creek, the Catlett Islands, and the Goodwin Islands. The four 
sites were designated as the Chesapeake Bay Virginia National Estuarine 
Research Reserve in 1991 pursuant to Section 315 of the Coastal Zone 
Management Act of 1972, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1461. The reserve has 
been operating in partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine 
Science under a management plan approved in 1991. Pursuant to 15 CFR 
Section 92 1.33(c), a state must revise their management plan every 
five years. The submission of this plan fulfills this requirement and 
sets a course for successful implementation of the goals and objectives 
of the reserve. A boundary expansion, a revised geographic vision for 
the reserve, new facilities, and updated programmatic objectives are 
notable revisions to the 1991 approved management plan.
    The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; 
the education, stewardship, and research goals of the reserve; and the 
plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support 
reserve operations. This management plan describes how the strengths of 
the reserve will focus on four areas relevant to the Chesapeake Bay: 
Functions and linkages of land-margin ecosystems; ecosystem 
vulnerability to climate and human-induced stressors; water quality and 
aquatic stressors; and integrated ocean observing systems.
    Since 1991, the reserve has added a coastal training program that 
delivers science-based information to key decision makers in the 
Chesapeake Bay; has completed a site profile that characterizes the 
reserve; and has expanded the monitoring, stewardship and education 
programs significantly. A new administrative building (2003) and a new 
science and education lab (2005) have been built to support the growth 
of reserve programs.
    With the approval of this management plan, the Chesapeake Bay 
Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve will change their total 
acreage from 2,849 acres to a new total of 2,705 acres. This change is 
attributable to boundary modifications at two of the reserve sites. At 
Sweet Hall Marsh, 189 acres of reserve property are being removed from 
the reserve boundary due to a change in ownership. At the Taskinas 
Creek site, 44.5 acres are being added to the reserve boundary to 
provide a deciduous and hardwood forest buffer to protect the estuarine 
areas used for research and education.
    The 1991 Management Plan proposed a multi-phased expansion of the 
reserve that started with the four sites on the York River and planned 
to incorporate over 20 sites throughout Virginia to ensure adequate 
representation of Virginian estuarine areas important to the Chesapeake 
Bay. This expansion has not occurred since 1991. Due to the anticipated 
logistical, economic, and programmatic difficulties of having over 20 
sites administered as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve, 
the 2008 Management Plan focuses on the York River for the next five 
years.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Miglion at (301) 563-1126 or 
Laurie McGilvray at (301) 563-1158 of NOAA's National Ocean Service, 
Estuarine Reserves Division, 1305 East-West Highway, N/ORM5, 10th 
floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910. For copies of the Chesapeake Bay 
Virginia Management Plan revision, visit http://web.vims.edu/cbnerr/
index.htm.

    Dated: February 4, 2009.
David M. Kennedy,
Director, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. E9-2818 Filed 2-10-09; 8:45 am]
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