Commerce Department Appoints Members to Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

July 20, 2010

The Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 11 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 30-member committee, which meets twice yearly, is made up of representatives of diverse interests who advise the Departments of Commerce and the Interior on the development and implementation of a national system of marine protected areas (MPAs). The new members join the 16 continuing members appointed in March 2008. An additional three new members will be appointed later this year.

The following members have been newly appointed to the MPA Federal Advisory Committee: 

The committee is supported by the National Marine Protected Areas Center, established within NOAA, in cooperation with the Department of the Interior. The Center is charged with working with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and effective national system of marine protected areas (MPA) to conserve the nation’s natural and cultural heritage.

“The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee plays a critical role in shaping the direction of the national system of MPAs, and ensuring that stakeholder perspectives are heard,” said Joseph Uravitch, director of NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas Center. “I am pleased to welcome such a diverse and highly qualified group.” 

Required as part of Presidential Executive Order 13158, the committee includes representatives of natural and social scientists, commercial and recreational fishermen, energy and tourism industries, state and tribal resource managers and environmentalists. In addition, nine representatives of federal agencies serve in a non-voting capacity.

Committee meetings are held in various regions across the country to provide an opportunity for public comments. Transcripts, presentations, the committee’s recommendations and other documents from past meetings are available on the National Marine Protected Areas Center website, http://www.mpa.gov.

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