NOAA Requests Information on Advancing America the Beautiful Goals

On Friday October 29, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began a 60-day comment period (ends Dec. 28, 2021) for the public to offer their thoughts on how NOAA can advance the goals and recommendations in the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report (report).

The report was a product of one of the elements in President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. You learn more about this part of the executive order in our article, Executive Order on Climate Change Takes Inclusive Approach to 30×30 Initiative.

Commenting and Public Listening Sessions

“Members of the U.S. fishing community are one of NOAA’s primary conservation partners, and contribute to the sustainable, collaborative management of our nation’s $244 billion commercial and recreational fishing industries,” said Janet Coit, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. “We are committed to providing all stakeholders with a seat at the table as we move forward with this important initiative.”

To read the entire federal register notice and submit a written comment, please go here. For those who have already made comments before this notice, the folks at NOAA tell me, “All input received since the release of the Report will be considered equally with the input we receive through this Federal Register Notice.”

To review comments as they are posted, please go here.

NOAA will host two online sessions for people to offer their comments.

Monday, November 8 | 2:00-4:00 PM ET
Dial in (REQUIRED for audio): 888-324-2609, Passcode: 727-5932
Webinar (optional to view slides): Join here on the day of the meeting (no advanced registration).
(Conference number: PWXW2474478, Audience Passcode: 727-5932)

Tuesday, November 16 | 4:00-6:00 PM ET
Dial in (REQUIRED for audio): 888-324-2609, Passcode: 727-5932
Webinar (optional to view slides): Join here on the day of the meeting (no advanced registration).
(Conference number: PWXW2474479, Audience Passcode: 727-5932)

NOAA is especially interested in hearing from the public on the following, as noted in their request for information:

  • Which of NOAA’s existing authorities and associated measures are most appropriate for addressing the threats identified in the Report, which are the disappearance of nature, climate change, and inequitable access to the outdoors.
  • Whether NOAA should better apply its existing authorities and associated measures, as listed above, to advance the goals and recommendations in the Report.
  • What criteria NOAA should consider in working with other agencies to identify existing or potential new “conserved” or “restored” areas for the purpose of advancing the goals and recommendations in the Report.
  • What additional scientific information, Indigenous Knowledge, or other expertise NOAA should consider in order to advance the goals and recommendations in the Report.
  • How NOAA should consider tracking its actions and measuring its progress, including with partners, toward advancing the goals and recommendations in the Report.
  • What actions NOAA should consider taking to support non-Federal entities, including tribal, state, territorial, and local governments and non-governmental organizations and other private entities, to advance their efforts to conserve and restore U.S. lands and waters.
  • What actions NOAA should consider taking to facilitate broad participation in the America the Beautiful initiative.
  • What additional information NOAA should consider as relevant to its role in implementing the America the Beautiful initiative.

It is worth pointing out that at this stage NOAA is most interested in hearing about those things it can lawfully do now. NOAA’s existing authorities, as well as associated regulations, conservation and management plans, and similar measures include the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, Coral Reef Conservation Act, and others.

Comments focused on what can be done within existing law and regulations are important because changes to those existing authorities will take time and the clock is running.

You can learn more on NOAA’s involvement in Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful on their website.

About Tom Sadler

Tom Sadler is the Network's deputy director. He has an extensive background in advocacy and journalism and a passion for oceans and fly-fishing. 

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