The final environmental impact statement about a proposed research area within Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is now available.
A copy of the statement can be found at http://graysreef.noaa.gov. Hard copies, in the form of a printed document or CD, can be obtained by contacting Becky Shortland at 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Ga., 31411; 912-598-2381; or Becky.Shortland@noaa.gov.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposes closing about one-third of the sanctuary to fishing and diving in order to have a control area where research and monitoring can be conducted on reef habitats that have minimal direct human impact.
Public hearings were held on the draft environmental impact statement and the proposed rule from September 2010 to December 2010. All comments received are addressed in the document.
Send comments to Sanctuary Superintendent George Sedberry, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, Ga., 31411, by Sept. 26. A record of decision will be made publically available following final agency action after Sept. 26.