National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

Managing Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Management Plan Review

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Check out American Samoa's Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG)link leaves a government site. Fagatele Bay is a founding member of the group, and continues to collaborate with local resource agencies in CRAG.
The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) requires NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) to periodically review and evaluate the progress in implementing the management plan and goals for each sanctuary, with special focus on the effectiveness of site-specific techniques and strategies. The sanctuary's current management plan was written during the sanctuary designation process in 1984, and the ONMS and sanctuary managers began the public review of this plan in 2009. A sanctuary management plan is a site-specific planning and management tool that describes the sanctuary's goals, objectives, regulations and boundaries, guides future activities, outlines staffing and budget needs, and sets priorities and performance measures for resource protection, research and education programs. ONMS must revise management plans and regulations as necessary to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA (16 U.S.C. 1434(e)) to ensure that sanctuary sites continue to best conserve, protect, and enhance their nationally significant living and cultural resources.

The sanctuary management plan review (MPR) process is based on three fundamental steps: (1) public scoping, which includes a formal comment period and public meetings to identify a broad range of issues and concerns related to management of the sanctuary; (2) analysis and prioritization of the issues raised during scoping, followed by development of action plans; and (3) preparation of the draft and final management plans and relevant National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation, such as an EIS or Environmental Assessment. Public review of the draft management plan (DMP) provides guidance for staff to revise the document and prepare the final management plan. Once approved by NOAA, the final management plan will outline the sanctuary's priorities for the next 5 to 10 years.

The 1984 management plan was written to give broad, general direction for the formation of sanctuary program areas. In the ensuing 25 years, the ONMS has achieved an extensive and diverse variety of accomplishments in support of the original sanctuary goals. In addition, sanctuary managers recognize significant advances in science and technology, innovations in marine resource management techniques, challenging new resource management issues and new local community concerns have emerged and, as such, have rendered the original 1984 management plan obsolete. The ONMS also recognizes that the sanctuary's focus on a single isolated bay limits its ability to foster awareness and stewardship throughout villages across the territory, and that other areas in the territory also warrant the additional federal protections and programs provided by the NMSA and ONMS. Finally, Presidential Proclamation 8337 issued by President George Bush in 2009 states that, "[t]he Secretary of Commerce shall initiate the process to add the marine areas of the [Rose Atoll Marine National M]onument to the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary in accordance with the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.)." The updated management plan and proposed sanctuary expansion is designed to address all of these factors and through the management plan review process to inform (and be informed by) sanctuary constituents regarding the sanctuary, its accomplishments to date, its revised goals objectives and planned management actions. For more on how you can get involved in the public process visit our Get Involved page.

To download a copy of the management plan please visit our Reports & Documents page. That page also provides a helpful summary guide to the management plan, and additional background resources.

Revised July 19, 2017 by National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa | Contact Us
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