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Contact: Allison Banks, Public Information Officer, 907-697-2230
In accordance with 36 CFR 13.1160(b), Superintendent Cherry Payne has proposed that the 2011cruise ship day use quota for Glacier Bay remain unchanged from the 2010 season. Currently, the quota for the June, July, and August summer season is set at 153 use days and the quota for the May and September shoulder season is set at 92 use days.
In 2003, the National Park Service completed the Vessel Quota and Operating Restrictions Environmental Impact Statement (VQOR EIS). Subsequent regulations delegated the authority to set annual cruise ship quotas to the park superintendent. Additionally, the VQOR EIS Record of Decision states that the determination of whether to increase seasonal day use quotas for cruise ships will rely on criteria that define the environmental and social conditions to be met before any additional seasonal use days are approved.
In 2005, an independent Science Advisory Board was appointed by Glacier Bay that recommended various studies to assess potential impacts from vessels-including cruise ships-on physical and biological resources. The Board also recommended studies to assess potential impacts to the Huna Tlingit relationship to park resources, and impacts of cruise ships on visitor experience.
In December, 2009, the NPS convened a meeting that brought together the Science Advisory Board members, principal investigators, and NPS scientists and managers to review the results of the first suite of studies. Based on the presentations from researchers, the Board evaluated the potential impacts of cruise ships and compared these to those impact topics originally analyzed in the VQOR EIS. Their assessment indicates that the original impact analyses from the VQOR EIS remain accurate. However, the NPS will continue to pursue independently recommended research and monitoring in order to assess the effects of vessel traffic on the environment, as well as their effects on cultural relationships to and visitor experience in Glacier Bay. Areas that warrant additional research include wildlife disturbance, soundscape, and visitor experience.
The NPS is soliciting public comment on the proposed day use quota. Comments will be accepted until close of business on May 28, 2010. You may submit comments by regular mail, fax, or by using the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website at:
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by regular mail at the following address:
Cherry Payne, Superintendent
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
PO Box 140
Gustavus, AK 99826