[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 133 (Wednesday, July 11, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40860-40861]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16919]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC071


Strategic Plan for Federal Research and Monitoring of Ocean 
Acidification

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for public comments.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that a Draft Strategic Plan for 
Federal Research and Monitoring of Ocean Acidification is being made 
available for public review and comment. The Draft Research Plan 
presents a vision for how to move Federal agencies toward a better 
understanding of the process of ocean acidification, its effects on 
marine ecosystems, and the steps that could be taken to adapt marine 
resource management to account for it.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 10, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Please visit http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/iwgoa/pages/research_strategy.html to view and provide comments on the draft 
Strategy. Comments can be submitted via an online form or by submitting 
revised version of the strategy, with changes tracked, to 
NMFS.ST.OAStrategy@noaa.gov. Alternatively, you may send comments by 
U.S. mail to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National 
Marine Fisheries Service, ATTN: OA Strategy Coordinator, 1315 East-West 
Highway, F/ST7, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Jennifer Howard, 301-713-8173, 
NMFS.ST.OAStrategy@noaa.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The development of this Strategic Plan (Plan) was directed by 
section 12404(c) and guided by section 12405 of the Federal Ocean 
Acidification Research And Monitoring Act of 2009, 33 U.S.C. 3701-3708, 
(FOARAM Act). The Plan is intended to guide ``Federal research and 
monitoring on ocean acidification that will provide for an assessment 
of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms and marine 
ecosystems and the development of adaption and mitigation strategies to 
conserve marine organisms and marine ecosystems.''
    This Plan presents a vision on how to move Federal agencies toward 
a better understanding of the process of ocean acidification, its 
effects on marine ecosystems, and the steps that could be taken to 
adapt marine resource management to account for it. The Plan calls for 
the implementation of a comprehensive global and regional ocean 
acidification observing system that includes the monitoring of 
biological effects on marine organisms and ecosystems. Researchers will 
quantify the physiological effects of ocean acidification, under a 
range of scenarios, on a wide variety of marine organisms. Enhanced 
modeling efforts

[[Page 40861]]

will lead to improved understanding of the global biogeochemical 
processes of ocean acidification and its impact on marine ecosystems. 
Pursuant to section 12404 of the FOARAM Act, 33 U.S.C. 3703, a National 
Ocean Acidification Program will be established to lead U.S. 
coordination of ocean acidification activities between the Federal 
agencies, and with academic institutions, industry, and other private 
sector and international partners. A national ocean acidification data 
management and information exchange program will ensure that ocean 
acidification information reaches scientists, decision makers, and the 
public in a timely manner. Finally, the U.S. will join other countries 
in establishing a robust international research program to address this 
global challenge.

Overview

    The Plan is organized into seven priority themes:

Theme 1--``Monitoring of Ocean Chemistry and Biological Impacts,'' 
identifies sampling programs that collect ocean acidification data, and 
it prioritizes additional monitoring systems necessary for adequate 
data collection and monitoring.
Theme 2--``Research to Understand Responses to Ocean Acidification,'' 
describes the goals and priorities to understand the physiological 
responses of marine organisms to ocean acidification and its 
interactions with other stressors, the impacts to marine food webs, and 
possible approaches to track ecosystem responses.
Theme 3--``Modeling to Predict Changes in the Ocean Carbon Cycle and 
Impacts on Marine Ecosystems and Organisms,'' summarizes requirements 
and recommendations for modeling ocean acidification, and its impacts 
on marine organisms and ecosystems, including codifying our research 
understanding and studying the interplay of factors affecting marine 
ecosystems, thus permitting analysis of the efficacy of adaptation and 
mitigation strategies.
Theme 4--``Technology Development and Standardization of 
Measurements,'' describes goals that ensure the ability to measure all 
required parameters through technology development and adequate data 
quality via measurement standardization.
Theme 5--``Assessment of Socioeconomic Impacts and Development of 
Strategies to Conserve Marine Organisms and Ecosystems,'' focuses on 
assessing the socioeconomic impacts of ocean acidification and 
developing adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Theme 6--``Education, Outreach, and Engagement Strategy on Ocean 
Acidification,'' describes goals for designing and coordinating 
educational, public outreach, and domestic and international engagement 
activities, as well as ensuring results and assessments of monitoring 
and research efforts are accessible to and understandable by all 
stakeholders.
Theme 7--``Data Management and Integration,'' discusses the need for 
effective data management and integration within the context of other 
international, Federal, State, local and private activities.

Description of Desired Comments

    General comments are welcome and specific comments are invited on: 
(1) Whether the proposed strategy meets the requirements of the FOARAM 
Act, (2) whether the proposed strategy meets the ocean acidification 
research needs of the United States; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the strategy; and (4) any additional 
information that is currently absent that should be included. Comments 
submitted in response to this notice will become a matter of public 
record and will be posted online together with responses from the 
Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification established under 
section 12404 of the FOARAM Act. Id. All comments will be carefully 
considered and addressed in the Strategic Research Plan to the extent 
possible.

Public Availability of Comments

    All comments received are a part of the public record and may be 
posted for public viewing at http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/iwgoa/pages/research_strategy.html without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the 
sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will 
accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you 
wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be 
accepted via email to NMFS.ST.OAStrategy@noaa.gov in Microsoft Word or 
Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Dated: July 5, 2012.
David Detlor,
Acting Director, Office of Science and Technology, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-16919 Filed 7-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P