Part 2, Sec. 4A
Administration - Administrative Framework

Administrative Framework

This section of the management plan describes the roles of various agencies that will be involved in Sanctuary management; proposes strategies to coordinate their activities; and provides for periodic evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the management plan. As previously discussed, sanctuary management consists of three basic functions: resource protection, research, and education/interpretation. Administration oversees all other functions and establishes who is responsible for implementing specific programs. The administrative framework ensures that all management activities are coordinated.

The Sanctuaries and Reserves Division (SRD) is responsible for the overall management of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS). SRD will coordinate its on-site activities through cooperative agreements with the Commonwealth, regional, local and other Federal agencies. The general administrative roles of each agency are described below.

1. Sanctuaries and Reserves Division

The National Marine Sanctuary Program is administered by SRD. A site-specific management plan is prepared for each individual Sanctuary to ensure that on-site activities involving resource protection, research, and education/interpretation are coordinated and are consistent with Sanctuary goals and objectives.

SRD develops a general budget, setting out expenditures for program development, operating costs, and staffing. Funding priorities will be reviewed and adjusted annually to reflect evolving conditions in the SBNMS and National Marine Sanctuary Program priorities and requirements. SRD also establishes policies and procedures in response to specific issues in each Sanctuary. Detailed SRD responsibilities are listed under the resource protection, research, education/ interpretation, and general administration sections which follow.

The Sanctuary Manager for the SBNMS reports directly to the Atlantic and Great Lakes Regional Manager at SRD. In this capacity, the Manager represents SRD and is the primary spokesperson for the SBNMS. The Sanctuary's headquarters will be located at a site which provides access both to the visiting public and to the Sanctuary. The town of Plymouth has been selected for the location of the SBNMS headquarters office; additional "satellite" information centers will be established following the designation of the Sanctuary.

2. National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), within NOAA, has a variety of missions which are directly involved with Sanctuary resources. In general, these include implementation of the various Fishery Management Plans; and implementation of the provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. (Further discussion of NMFS roles is presented in Part Three, Section I: Status Quo Alternative.) NMFS offices are located in Gloucester and in Woods Hole.

3. U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for enforcement of Federal laws in waters under U.S. jurisdiction, including those related to vessel traffic and search and rescue activities. (See further discussion in Part Three, Section I: Status Quo Alternative.) The First Coast Guard District office is located in Boston; Coast Guard stations are located at Boston Harbor, Gloucester, Scituate, Sandwich, Merrimack River, Provincetown, Cape Cod Air Station (at Otis Air Force Base), and Woods Hole.

4. Sanctuary Advisory Committee

The National Marine Sanctuary Program differs from many other special area management programs, in that Sanctuaries are managed to enhance research and education/interpretation, as well as to ensure the primary goal of overall resource protection. Several agencies, organizations, and interest groups are already involved with resources and qualities within the area of the Sanctuary. A mechanism will be established to facilitate the participation of interested and appropriate individuals and groups in providing to the Sanctuary Manager recommendations on policy related to management of the Sanctuary. In accordance with the provisions of Title III of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), as amended, a Sanctuary Advisory Committee (SAC) will be established to provide this means of participation. Section 315 of Title III (as amended at P.L. 102-587, §2112) provides that the Secretary of Commerce may appoint up to 15 individuals who are: employed by Federal or State agencies with expertise in management of natural resources; members of relevant Regional Fishery Management Councils established under section 302 of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act; or representatives of local user groups, conservation and other public interest organizations, scientific organizations, educational organizations, or others interested in the protection and multiple use management of Sanctuary resources.

Groups, individuals and agencies will be consulted to ensure that all interests are taken into account, and that the SAC is representative of a broad-based constituency. For example, interests represented on the SAC should include commercial and recreational fishing, commercial whalewatching, commercial and recreational boating, environmental, research, and education groups, and regional ocean/coastal management initiatives. Final selection of SAC members is the responsibility of the Secretary of Commerce, as parent agency to NOAA.

A SAC with a broad representation will help ensure that the Sanctuary Manager has an expanded information base upon which to make management decisions. The experience and expertise of the SAC will be available to the Manager on an ad hoc basis, as well as at regularly scheduled meetings. In order for the SAC to function efficiently, it may be beneficial to divide the SAC into subcommittees that deal directly with resource protection, research, education/interpretation, and general administration issues. Responsibilities of the SAC are detailed in the resource protection, research, education/interpretation, and general administration sections which follow.

5. Other Federal Agencies

The Environmental Protection Agency, Region I office (EPA) in Boston, has regulatory responsibilities related to sewage outfalls and ocean disposal activities. Certain ocean disposal activities are also permitted and monitored by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, New England Division, located in Waltham, MA. The Corps is also responsible for certain activities in navigable waters.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS), within the U. S. Department of the Interior, is responsible for activities conducted pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OSCLA). (Further discussion of other Federal agency responsibilities is provided at Part Three, Section I: Status Quo Alternative.)

6. State, Regional and Local Agencies

NOAA will work closely within the existing administrative framework of Commonwealth agencies, such as the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office and the Division of Marine Fisheries, to ensure a coordinated approach to the ocean and ocean resource management responsibilities of all agencies.

It is NOAA's intention to work to ensure full cooperation and coordination with other State and State/Federal programs, such as the Massachusetts Bays Program. This cooperation may involve formalization of Cooperative Agreements and/or Memoranda of Understanding.

To facilitate the administrative procedures regarding certification and notification of leases, licenses, permits, approvals, rights or other authorizations (as described above in Part Two, Section III, Designation Document and Regulations), NOAA intends to work closely with the owners or holders of, or applicants for, leases, licenses, permits, approvals, rights or other authorizations as well as with the appropriate issuing agencies.

Given the proximity of the Sanctuary to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the close ties between resources of the Commonwealth and those of the Stellwagen Bank area, it is presumed that all activities proposed for Stellwagen Bank which are subject to direct Sanctuary management can be demonstrated to potentially affect land and water uses and natural resources of the Massachusetts coastal zone. Such activities will, therefore, be subject to the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Program (MCZM). Such activities -- whether they are direct Federal activities, require Federal permits, or are supported with Federal funds -- are subject to review by MCZM to determine whether they are consistent with applicable enforceable MCZM Program policies. The determination of consistency with the Commonwealth's enforceable policies, known as Federal Consistency Review, is conducted by the MCZM Program Office pursuant to § 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act and its implementing regulations.

NOAA intends to seek the active participation of the MCZM Program Office in Sanctuary management issues; to draw upon the Commonwealth's experience and expertise in coastal ocean resource management; and to provide direct links with relevant Commonwealth environmental management and regulatory agencies. When it is feasible, reviews of proposed activities which are subject to both Sanctuary and MCZM jurisdiction will be conducted concurrently.

As a networking coastal program, MCZM implements its program policies through the regulatory authorities of several different Commonwealth agencies. NOAA believes, therefore, that close coordination with the MCZM Program will provide an effective means of developing appropriate and direct linkages between the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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