NOAA Seeks Comments on Proposal to Update Regulations for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

On July 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a proposed rule to expand the boundaries of the sanctuary, and update sanctuary-wide regulations. The proposal would expand certain sanctuary boundaries and clarify certain exceptions for activities performed within the sanctuary including those pertaining to discharge of materials by ships.

NOAA is also proposing to modify the procedures for temporary regulations for emergencies, by expanding the time frame during which a temporary regulation could remain in place from 60 days to six months. The agency is also proposing a number of additional changes pertaining to fish feeding, overnight use of mooring buoys, grounded and deserted vessels, historical resource permitting and more.

Written comments on the proposed rule are due by October 26, 2022.

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