[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 105 (Thursday, June 2, 2005)]
[Page 32292]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-10984]

[[Page 32292]]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Announcement of Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve 
Revised Management Plan Including a Boundary Expansion

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 of the final revised 
management plan for the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that 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 revised management plan, which 
includes an expansion of the boundary of the reserve, for the Delaware 
National Estuarine Research Reserve.
    The Delaware Reserve was designated in 1993, pursuant to Section 
315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 
1461. The reserve has been operating under a management plan approved 
in 1993. Pursuant to 15 CFR 921.33(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.
    The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve is administered in 
partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and 
Environmental Control. The reserve consists of two component sites that 
are located thirty miles apart. These components include both brackish 
and freshwater estuaries and represent the diverse estuarine ecosystems 
found throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The Upper Blackbird Creek 
site in New Castle County is a low salinity brackish or freshwater 
system that is located in a rural area. The Lower St. Jones River site 
in Kent County is located just south of the state capital and 
represents a more saline estuary that has experienced greater impacts 
from the surrounding development. These diverse settings provide an 
ideal opportunity to study anthropogenic impacts to natural estuarine 
and coastal systems and to convey information about the importance of 
estuarine habitats and functions to the citizens of Delaware.
    The mission of the reserve is to preserve and manage the natural 
resources within the two reserve components for research, to provide 
education and outreach programs that promote better understanding of 
Delaware's estuarine and coastal areas, and to promote informed coastal 
decisionmaking. Goals and objectives to advance this mission are 
identified within the management plan for administration; facilities 
and construction; public access; education, interpretation and 
outreach; environmental research and monitoring; and stewardship.
    Administrative goals for the Delaware Reserve include increasing 
volunteer activities; coordinating with partners to promote science 
based management; and ensuring that education, research, monitoring, 
and land management efforts are supported with staff, facilities and 
operational necessities. Facilities that were constructed over the past 
three years at the St. Jones component site will be maintained for 
reserve and for community and partner use.
    Education, interpretation and outreach efforts will focus on 
enhancing public understanding of the function of estuaries and 
promoting the wise use of estuarine resources to encourage an 
environmental ethic. Programs for the public, for students, teachers, 
and coastal decisionmakers will be offered and exhibits at the visitor 
center will be maintained and updated as needed. The reserve education 
program will continue to improve the use of Web based tools and public 
events to promote increased estuarine awareness among target audiences 
and the general public.
    The Delaware reserve's research and monitoring program will focus 
on anthropogenic impacts that contribute to habitat degradation or 
loss. The reserve research and monitoring goals are to identify the 
various types, quality, and quantity of habitats available in the 
estuary to facilitate proper management and protection; and to 
identify, monitor, and limit the anthropogenic impacts to the estuarine 
system. Specifically, the reserve will develop an on site library of 
reference materials and data; collect baseline data and build a 
database for use in long term studies; promote the use of the reserve 
within the research community in the study of anthropogenic changes; 
disseminate important research and monitoring results about Delaware 
estuaries to key decisionmakers and the scientific community; and 
increase monitoring.
    Habitat protection and restoration efforts over the next five years 
will address controlling invasive species, developing best management 
practices for agricultural lands surrounding the reserve, monitoring 
land use decisions within the reserve watershed, and developing 
conservation plans for all reserve owned property.
    One hundred and forty seven privately held acres adjacent to the 
Upper Blackbird Creek component were acquired by the reserve in 2004. 
Obtaining land adjacent to the Blackbird Creek will ensure that 
researchers have adequate access to the natural resources of the 
reserve and will add woodland, marsh and open field upland habitats to 
this component site. The management plan incorporates the land into the 
reserve boundary and outlines a plan to phase in public access, 
education programming, and restoration activities on the new property.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cory Riley at (301) 563-7222 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.

    Dated: May 27, 2005.
Mitchell Luxenberg,
Acting Director, Management and Budget, National Ocean Service, 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
[FR Doc. 05-10984 Filed 6-1-05; 8:45 am]