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Contact: Allison Banks, Public Information Officer, 907-697-2230
In 2003, the National Park Service (NPS) completed a Vessel Quota and Operating Requirements Environmental Impact Statement (VQOR EIS). Subsequent regulations delegated the authority to set annual cruise ship quotas to the park superintendent. The VQOR EIS Record of Decision (ROD) states that the determination of whether to increase seasonal use-day 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 2004, an independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) was appointed to assist in determining and recommending studies that better define these environmental and social conditions. In 2005, the SAB made recommendations for priority research and several studies were implemented. In 2009, SAB members, principal investigators, and NPS managers met to review results of the first suite of studies. Their assessment indicated that the original impact analyses from the VQOR EIS remain accurate. However, the SAB identified important information gaps that require investigation. Ongoing studies that address these information gaps include those examining cruise ship effects on air quality, soundscape, marine wildlife, and the Huna Tlingit relationship to their ancestral homeland.
Based on the scientific information available at this time, the Superintendent has proposed that the 2013 seasonal use-day quota for cruise ships remain unchanged from the 2012 levels. For the June, July, and August summer season the quota would be set at 153 use days. The May and September shoulder season quota would be set at 92 use days. The year-round daily quota for cruise ships remains at two per day in accordance with the 2003 VQOR EIS ROD and existing regulations.
The NPS is soliciting public comment on the proposed day use quota. Comments will be accepted until close of business on February 29, 2012. You may read more about the proposal and submit comments by visiting the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/
Or e-mail us
Or by regular mail at the following address:
Susan L. Boudreau, Superintendent
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
P.O. Box 140
Gustavus, AK 99826