National Ocean Policy Coalition Newsletter
I. Capitol Hill Ocean Week Set for June 5-6
II. Gulf of Mexico Alliance to Hold All Hands Meeting in June
III. Northeast RPB Releases Agenda for June Meeting
IV. Mid-Atlantic RPB Announces Save the Date for August Meeting
V. Updates Announced for Northeast Ocean Data Portal 
VI. Advisory Council Approves Flower Garden Banks Expansion Recommendation
VII. OMB Seeks Comments on Potential Maritime Regulatory Reforms
VIII. Comments Sought on Environmental Effects of Polar Icebreaker Program
IX. NOAA Science Advisory Board to Hold Public Meeting
X. Marine Mammal Commission to Hold Public Meeting
XI. State Dept. Announces Prep. Meeting Ahead of IMO Subcommittee Gathering
XII. Applications Sought For Vacancies on Navigation Safety Advisory Council

I.  Capitol Hill Ocean Week Set for June 5-6

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2018 will take place in Washington, DCon June 5-6 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  Registration is accessible here.

In addition to Emerging Leaders and Congressional Roundtables, the conference will include sessions on NOAA’s Vision for a Blue Economy (featuring Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Tim Gallaudet), Recovering Coral Reefs, Adaptive Management for Shifting Populations, Reducing Risks in Coastal Communities, Offshore Aquaculture: Rewards and Risks of Ocean Farming, The Value of Protected Places, and Restoring and Recovering American Fisheries: The Magnuson-Stevens Act.

II.  Gulf of Mexico Alliance to Hold All Hands Meeting in June

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance will hold its 2018 All Hands Meetingon June 11-14 in St. Petersburg, FL.  Registration is $100 and accessible here.

The Opening Plenary, Business Advisory Council meeting, Priority Issue Team meetings, and a reception will take place on Tuesday, June 12, with pre-meetings, special sessions, and team/cross-team meetings taking place on June 11 and 13-14.

Throughout the week, Priority Issue Teams will address coastal resilience, data and monitoring, education and engagement, habitat resources, water resources, and wildlife and fisheries will meet on June 12-14 to address a variety of topics.

June 11 activities include a Monitoring Community of Practice Workshop (registration required), a marine debris collaborative portal demo, a kayak trip with Nature’s Academy (register here), and a Gulf of Mexico Alliance Management Team meeting.

III.  Northeast RPB Releases Agenda for June Meeting

The Northeast Regional Planning Body (MA, CT, RI, NH, VT, ME) on Thursday released an agenda for its previously-announced meeting in Warwick, RI on Thursday, June 21.

According to the agenda, the meeting will include discussion of ongoing and potential offshore projects, including the role of the RPB and Northeast Ocean Data Portal and best practices for implementation of the Northeast Ocean Plan, Northeast Ocean Data Portal trainings, use, updates, and long-term sustainability, submerged paleocultural landscape research, tribal ocean planning priorities, Restoration, Sand Management, and Aquaculture Subcommittee updates, and updates on RPB monitoring and evaluation activities.

Meeting attendees are also invited to participate in a June 20 ferry tour of the Block Island Wind Farm.

IV.  Mid-Atlantic RPB Announces Save the Date for August Meeting

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (VA, MD, DE, NY, NJ, PA) has announced a Save the Date for an in-person meeting on Thursday, Aug. 2 in Richmond, VA.  The announcement notes that the meeting will take place at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and that additional details will be postedhere when available.

V.  Updates Announced for Northeast Ocean Data Portal 

In an email communication sent on Wednesday, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council announced the update and addition of several datasets to the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.

New data layers relate to administrative boundaries and potential areas that the federal government has identified for possible future renewable and conventional energy activity, with updated data layers pertaining to commercial fishing vessel activity and eelgrass.

VI.  Advisory Council Approves Flower Garden Banks Expansion Recommendation

The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council last week approved for additional federal review a recommendation to expand the sanctuary from 56 square miles to 206 square miles.  Previous Council recommendations would have expanded the sanctuary to 28 square miles (2007 recommendation) or 383 square miles (2016 recommendation).

Designated in 1992, the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is the only sanctuary sited in the Gulf of Mexico and is located 70-115 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.

VII.  OMB Seeks Comments on Potential Maritime Regulatory Reforms

The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday announcedthat it is seeking comments by Monday, July 16 on how the federal government may prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector, including how existing agency requirements affecting the maritime sector can be modified or repealed to increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance while continuing to meet statutory missions.

Regulatory reforms suggested by the public will be communicated to Regulatory Reform Task Forces charged with making recommendations to agency heads on the repeal, replacement, or modification of existing regulations.

OMB is particularly interested in learning more about experiences with regulations involving cargo or passenger vessels, and is also interested in understanding how U.S. regulations might be better coordinated with the regulations and requirements of other countries, especially Canada and Mexico, in shared bodies of water.

For this proceeding, the maritime sector is defined to include all enterprises related to maritime commerce, including:

(1) Designing, building, acquiring, repairing, or scrapping vessels;
(2) Operating, manning, or maintaining vessels, port facilities, or shipyards;
(3) Operating shipping lines, customs brokerage services, shipping and freight forwarding services; and
(4) Maritime activities related to resource extraction, renewable energy, cable laying, or marine research

The Request for Information is being conducted in furtherance of President Trump’s 2017 Executive Orders on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” and “Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda.”

VIII.  Comments Sought on Environmental Effects of Polar Icebreaker Program

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it is seeking comments by Monday, June 25 on the potential environmental impacts associated with the design and construction of up to 6 polar icebreakers.  The impacts will be analyzed in an Environmental Impact Statement, with the first polar icebreaker expected to be delivered in 2023.  In connection with the comment period, public scoping meetings will be held in May in Anchorage, Barrow, Nome, and Kotzebue.

IX.  NOAA Science Advisory Board to Hold Public Meeting

NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research recentlyannounced that the agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) will hold a public webinar meeting on Thursday, May 24.  The meeting will include a 5-minute public comment period and review, discussion, and approval of the 2018-2019 SAB work plan

The SAB is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advice the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administration on long and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction.

X.  Marine Mammal Commission to Hold Public Meeting

The Marine Mammal Commission on Tuesday announced that the Commission and its Committee on Scientific Advisors will hold a public meeting on May 29-31 in Seattle, WA while the Commission and Committee will meet in a private executive session on May 29.  During the public sessions, the Commission and Committee will discuss a broad range of marine mammal science and conservation issues, with a particular focus on issues related to the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast.

Specific agenda items include:

  • Physical and biological characteristics of the North Pacific
  • Impacts of a Changing Ocean on Marine Mammals
  • Research Tool & Technology Developments
  • Recovering Pinniped Populations
  • Southern Resident Killer Whales
  • Cetacean Entanglements
  • Sea Otters – California, Washington, Alaska
  • Alaska Species of Concern

XI.  State Dept. Announces Prep. Meeting Ahead of IMO Subcommittee Gathering

The State Department on Thursday announced that it will hold an open meeting in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 28 to prepare for the 5th Session of the International Maritime Organization’s Subcommittee on Human Element, Training, and Watch Keeping, to be held in London on July 16-20. 

XII.  Applications Sought For Vacancies on Navigation Safety Advisory Council

The Coast Guard on Friday announced that it is seeking applications by Tuesday, July 17 to fill seven upcoming vacancies on the Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC) in the following categories: commercial vessel owners and operators and professional mariners.

Through the Coast Guard Commandant, NAVSAC provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters regarding maritime collisions, rammings, and groundings, Inland and International Rules of the Road, navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information, diving safety, and aids to navigation systems.

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About the Author:

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC and Vice Chairman of NARUC's Gas Committee. He served as Gas Committee Chairman of the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners. He also served as commissioner of the Anchorage Bicentennial Commission and the Anchorage Heritage Land Bank Commission.He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree: English, at Colorado State University, a Master of Science Degree: Communications-Journalism at Murray State University and graduated from Utility Regulatory School for Commissioners at Michigan State University. He served as a Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at Alaska Pacific University, taught bank marketing classes at the University of Alaska and was an English teacher at Los Alamos High School.Harbour served in ranks of Private - Captain during a 4-year assignment with the Army in Korea, Idaho, Georgia and Fort Meade and received the Meritorious Service Medal among other commendations.Harbour is also a past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, the Alaska Oil & Gas Association Government Affairs Committee, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Export Council of Alaska and the Department of Commerce's District Export Council. He is a past President of the Alaska Press Club, American Bald Eagle Foundation, Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska and Common Sense for Alaska.Harbour was instrumental in founding the American Bald Eagle Research Institute (UAS), the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Downtown Anchorage Business Partnership, and Arctic Power.He also served as CEO of several small Alaska organizations, including the Anchorage Parking Authority and Action Security, Inc. Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.Harbour's wife, Nancy, is a professional, performing arts administrator and his three boys, Todd, Benjamin and William work in the fields of environmental management, energy marketing and medicine.
By | 2018-05-18T13:29:31+00:00 May 18th, 2018|Coastal Management, Global Warming, Ocean Policy|0 Comments