Opportunity: Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan (March 31)
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposes to designate approximately 52 square miles of waters encompassing and surrounding Maryland’s Mallows Bay as the Mallows Bay—Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary (MPNMS or sanctuary). NOAA also proposes regulations to implement the sanctuary designation and establish the sanctuary’s terms of designation to protect historical, archeological, and cultural resources of national significance. A draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and draft management plan (DMP) have also been prepared for this proposed action. The purpose of this action is to supplement and complement current Maryland state regulations and resource protection efforts to ensure long term protection of the nationally significant collection of historic shipwrecks and other maritime cultural heritage resources. NOAA is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule, draft environmental impact statement, and draft management plan. NOAA will also begin consultations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and solicit public comments specifically related to the identification and assessment of the historic properties within the affected area in compliance with Section 106 review process.
NOAA will consider all comments received by March 31, 2017.
Public meetings will be held on the following dates: (1) March 7, 2017, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., La Plata, MD, and (2) March 9, 2017, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Arnold, MD.