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Contact: Laura Rich-Acosta, (912) 786-5787
Fort Pulaski Nominated for Inclusion in the
National System of Marine Protected Areas
The National Park Service (NPS) has nominated Fort Pulaski National Monument for inclusion in the National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This program is managed by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). NOAA is accepting public comments on the nominations through February 13, 2012.
The National System of MPAs currently consists of 297 state and federal sites across the U.S. including 29 National Park units with ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources.NPS identified Fort Pulaski in 2011 as eligible to be nominated under Executive Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas.EO 13158 requires DOI and NOAA to jointly develop the National System of MPAs.
"Inclusion in the National System does not change how we currently manage the Monument," stated Superintendent Randy Wester, "nor will it interfere with our current General Management Planning process."
As stated in the December 30, 2011 Federal Register notice announcing the nomination of Fort Pulaski National Monument and other sites, "Joining the national system does not establish new regulatory authority or change existing regulations in any way…The national system is a mechanism to foster greater collaboration among participating MPA sites and programs in order to enhance stewardship in the waters of the United States. The act of joining the national system does not create new MPAs, or create new restrictions for existing MPAs…"
The purpose of joining the National System of MPAs is to enhance public recognition of ocean and coastal parks, including the valuable natural, cultural and historic resources of Fort Pulaski National Monument, and to increase cooperation with state and federal partners and the public. More information about MPAs and the nomination process can be found at http://www.mpa.gov. Public comments about nominations may be sent by mail, e-mail, or fax to NOAA's MPA Center.
To learn more about the NPS Ocean and Coastal Resources Program, see https://www.nature.nps.gov/water/oceans.cfm