[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 100 (Thursday, May 23, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30870-30871]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-12175]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Nomination of Existing Marine Protected Areas to the National 
System of Marine Protected Areas

AGENCY: National Marine Protected Areas Center (MPA Center), Office of 
National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce 
(DOC).

ACTION: Notice; request for public comments.

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SUMMARY: In January 2013, NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) 
invited federal, state, commonwealth, and territorial marine protected 
area (MPA) programs with potentially eligible existing MPAs to nominate 
their sites to the National System of MPAs (national system). The 
national system and the nomination process are described in the 
Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the 
United States (Framework), developed in response to Executive Order 
13158 on Marine Protected Areas and published on November 19, 2008 (73 
FR 69608). The Framework provides guidance for collaborative efforts 
among federal, state, commonwealth, territorial, tribal and local 
governments and stakeholders to develop an effective and well-
coordinated national system of MPAs.

DATES: Comments on the nominations to the national system are due July 
22, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Lauren Wenzel, National Marine Protected Areas Center, 
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1305 East-West Highway, N/NMS, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910. Comments sent by any other method, to any 
other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment 
period, will not be considered by NOAA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lauren Wenzel, NOAA, at 301-713-7265 
or via email at lauren.wenzel@noaa.gov. A detailed electronic copy of 
the List of National System MPAs is available for download at http://www.mpa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background on National System

    The national system of MPAs is made up of member MPA sites, 
networks and systems established and managed by federal, state, 
commonwealth, territorial, tribal or local governments that 
collectively enhance conservation of the nation's natural and cultural 
marine heritage and represent its diverse ecosystems and resources.
    Benefits of joining the national system, include a facilitated 
means to work with other MPA managers in the region, and nationally on 
issues of common conservation concern; fostering greater public and 
international recognition of U.S. MPAs and the resources they protect; 
priority in the receipt of available technical and other support for 
cross-cutting needs; and additional opportunities to participate in and 
influence federal and regional ocean conservation and management 
initiatives (such as integrated ocean observing systems, systematic 
monitoring and evaluation, targeted outreach to key user groups, and 
helping to identify and address MPA research needs). In addition, the 
national system provides a forum for coordinated regional planning 
about place-based conservation priorities that does not otherwise 
exist.
    A site must have existing protections of natural and/or cultural 
resources in place in order to be eligible to join the national system, 
as well as meet other criteria described in the Framework. Joining the 
national system does not establish new regulatory authority or change 
existing regulations in any way, require changes affecting the 
designation process or management of member MPAs, or bring state, 
territorial, tribal or local sites under federal authority.

II. Nomination Process

    This current round of nominations began on January 28, 2013 and the 
deadline for nominations was March 29, 2013.
    There are four entry criteria for existing MPAs to join the 
national system.
    1. Meets the definition of an MPA as defined in the Framework.
    2. Has a management plan (can be site-specific or part of a broader 
programmatic management plan; must have goals and objectives and call 
for monitoring or evaluation of those goals and objectives).

[[Page 30871]]

    3. Contributes to at least one priority conservation objective as 
listed in the Framework.
    4. Cultural heritage MPAs must also conform to criteria for the 
National Register for Historic Places.
    Additional sites not currently meeting the management plan 
criterion can be evaluated for eligibility to be nominated to the 
national system on a case-by-case basis based on their ability to fill 
gaps in the national system coverage of the priority conservation 
objectives and design principles described in the Framework.
    NOAA used existing information in the MPA Inventory to determine 
which MPAs meet the first and second criteria. The inventory is online 
at http://www.mpa.gov/dataanalysis/mpainventory/ and information about 
potentially eligible sites is posted online at http://www.mpa.gov/pdf/helpful-resources/nomination_summary_jan2013.pdf. As part of the 
nomination process, the managing entity for each potentially eligible 
site is asked to provide information on the third and fourth criteria. 
Following this public comment period, NOAA and DOI will make a 
determination about the eligibility of nominated sites. All comments 
will be forwarded to the relevant MPA management agency, which will 
reaffirm or withdraw the nomination based on public comment received 
and any other factors deemed relevant.

III. List of MPAs Nominated to the National System MPAs

    The following 82 MPAs have been nominated by the California 
Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service. The 
complete list of National System MPAs, which now includes 355 members, 
is available at www.mpa.gov.

Federal Marine Protected Areas

Padre Island National Seashore (TX)
Redwood National Park (CA)

California

Abalone Cove State Marine Conservation Area
Anacapa Island Special Closure (A)
Anacapa Island Special Closure (B)
Anacapa Island State Marine Conservation Area
Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve
Arrow Point to Lion Head Point (Catalina Island) State Marine 
Conservation Area
Batiquitos Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area
Begg Rock (San Nicolas Island Quad) State Marine Reserve
Big Flat State Marine Conservation Area
Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area
Bird Rock (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Blue Cavern (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Bolsa Bay State Marine Conservation Area
Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area
Cabrillo State Marine Reserve
Campus Point State Marine Conservation Area
Carrington Point (Santa Rosa Island) State Marine Reserve
Casino Point (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Castle Rock Special Closure
Cat Harbor (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area
Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area
Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area
False Klamath Rock Special Closure
Famosa Slough State Marine Conservation Area
Farnsworth Offshore (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Farnsworth Onshore (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Footprint State Marine Reserve
Goleta Slough State Marine Conservation Area
Gull Island (Santa Cruz Island) State Marine Reserve
Harris Point (San Miguel Island) State Marine Reserve
Judith Rock (San Miguel Island) State Marine Reserve
Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Area
Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area
Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve
Long Point (Catalina Island) State Marine Reserve
Lover's Cove (Catalina Island) State Marine Conservation Area
MacKerricher State Marine Conservation Area
Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve
Mattole Canyon State Marine Reserve
Naples State Marine Conservation Area
Navarro River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area
Painted Cave (Santa Cruz Island) State Marine Conservation Area
Point Cabrillo State Marine Reserve
Point Conception State Marine Reserve
Point Dume State Marine Conservation Area
Point Dume State Marine Reserve
Point St. George Reef Offshore State Marine Conservation Area
Point Vicente State Marine Conservation Area
Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area
Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area
Reading Rock State Marine Reserve
Richardson Rock (San Miguel Island) State Marine Reserve
Rockport Rocks Special Closure
Russian Gulch State Marine Conservation Area
Samoa State Marine Conservation Area
San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area
San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area
San Elijo Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area
San Miguel Island Special Closure A-1
Santa Barbara Island State Marine Reserve
Scorpion (Santa Cruz Island) State Marine Reserve
Sea Lion Gulch State Marine Reserve
Skunk Point (Santa Rosa Island) State Marine Reserve
South Cape Mendocino State Marine Reserve
South Humboldt Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area
South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area
South La Jolla State Marine Reserve
South Point (Santa Rosa Island) State Marine Reserve
Southwest Seal Rock Special Closure
Steamboat Rock Special Closure
Sugarloaf Island Special Closure
Swami's State Marine Conservation Area
Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area
Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area
Ten Mile State Marine Reserve
Tijuana River Mouth State Marine Conservation Area
Upper Newport Bay State Marine Conservation Area
Van Damme State Marine Conservation Area
Vizcaino Rock Special Closure

IV. Request for Comments

    NOAA is requesting comments on degree to which the nominated MPAs 
meet the criteria for membership in the National System of Marine 
Protected Areas. Details on the criteria are found at http://www.mpa.gov/pdf/national-system/finalframework_full.pdf.

    Dated: May 15, 2013.
Holly A. Bamford,
Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management.
[FR Doc. 2013-12175 Filed 5-22-13; 8:45 am]
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