The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries has taken the next step in the process of designating the Pacific Remote Islands as a national marine sanctuary.
A “Notice of Intent to Conduct Scoping and Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement” was issued today, according to NOAA.
The boundaries of the proposed sanctuary would be as follows:
“The proposed national marine sanctuary would include the marine areas within the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, as well as those currently unprotected submerged lands and waters to the full extent of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, an area totaling about 770,000 square miles. The Pacific Remote Islands encompass Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands; Johnston, Wake, and Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman Reef. The proposed sanctuary would not include terrestrial areas above the mean high tide line.”
NOAA is calling on the public to submit comments on the proposed sanctuary by June 2, 2023.
Additionally, a series of public meetings — both in-person and virtual — are scheduled for the following dates:
- May 10, 2023: Honolulu, Hawaii
- May 11, 2023: Hilo, Hawaii
- May 17, 2023: Hagatna, Guam
- May 18, 2023: Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- May 19, 2023: Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- May 20, 2023: Tinian, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- May 24, 2023: Pago Pago, American Samoa
For more info on registering for the meetings as well as submitting comments, go to sanctuaries.noaa.gov.
BREAKING NEWS: Today, @NOAA announced it is starting the process to potentially designate a new national marine sanctuary in the Pacific Remote Islands area. @NOAA invites the public to comment on the proposed sanctuary designation through June 2, 2023.https://t.co/KUIzMQiswm pic.twitter.com/vJlXzBptfu
— Sanctuaries (NOAA) (@sanctuaries) April 17, 2023