The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is requesting written comments to facilitate ONMS review of the nomination for Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary (CHNMS). NOAA is requesting relevant information as it pertains to the 11 national significance criteria and management considerations that NOAA applied to evaluate the CHNMS nomination for inclusion in the national inventory of areas that NOAA may consider for future designation as a national marine sanctuary. Particular attention will be given to new scientific information about the national significance of natural and cultural resources, as well as increases or decreases in the threats to resources originally proposed for protection, and changes to the management framework of the area. NOAA will also assess the level of community-based support for the nomination from a broad range of interests. NOAA has provided the original nominating party, the Northern Chumash Tribal Council, an opportunity to share its views on these same questions. Subsequent to the information gathering and internal analysis, the ONMS Director will make a final determination on whether or not the CHNMS nomination will remain in the inventory prior to the five-year anniversary of accepting the nomination, October 5, 2020.
Written comments must be received by June 15, 2020.