NAO 216-118: Implementation of Regional Marine Plans Developed Under the National Ocean Policy

Issued 12/15/2016; Effective 12/15/2016; Last Reviewed: 12/15/2016

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SECTION  1.  PURPOSE.
.01 The stewardship of the ocean, the Nation’s coasts, and the Great Lakes are intrinsically linked to environmental sustainability, human health and well-being, national prosperity, adaptation to climate and other environmental changes, social justice, international diplomacy and national security.

.02 This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrative Order (NAO) establishes NOAA policies and procedures for the implementation of regional marine plans certified by the National Ocean Council (NOC). The governing authority and requisite allowances are provided by the National Ocean Policy (NOP), as set forth in Executive Order 13547; “Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes”, July 19, 2010, the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, Council on Environmental Quality, July 19, 2010 (Final Recommendations), and the NOC Marine Planning Handbook, NOC, July, 2013 (Handbook).

.03 NOAA shares the mission and objectives of the NOP, as the Nation’s leading Federal agency for ocean, coastal and Great Lakes science and stewardship. NOAA is charged with the implementation of a variety of laws for the management and conservation of the Nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. NOAA will implement the NOP consistent with these and other applicable laws.
SECTION  2.  SCOPE.
.01 This order describes and directs NOAA’s participation in the process for regional marine planning and the implementation of certified regional marine plans. Regional marine plans are based on science and developed through extensive gathering of public and stakeholder input. They enable an integrated, comprehensive, ecosystem-based, flexible, and proactive approach to planning and managing sustainable uses and to improve conservation of the Nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.

.02 This order describes and directs NOAA’s participation in the process for regional marine planning and the implementation of certified regional marine plans that are consistent with applicable law.

SECTION  3.  DEFINITIONS.

.01 National Ocean Policy: The National Ocean Policy as set in Executive Order 13547 and the Final Recommendations. The goal of the National Ocean Policy is to ensure that the Nation’s oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured. This policy promotes the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations.

.02 Marine Planning: Marine planning is a science-and information-based tool that can help advance local and regional interests, such as management challenges associated with the multiple uses of the ocean, economic and energy development priorities, and conservation objectives.

.03 Certified Regional Marine Plan: A regional marine plan developed in accordance with the definition, goals, principles, and process described in the Final Recommendations and the Marine Planning Handbook and certified by the NOC.
.04 Regional Marine Planning Area: The ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes environments addressed by or described in a certified regional marine plan.
SECTION  4.  POLICY.
.01 NOAA will participate and contribute to regional marine planning and implement certified regional marine plans to create and enhance a comprehensive, collaborative framework for the stewardship of the ocean, coasts, and the Great Lakes. Through its participation in regional marine planning and the implementation of certified regional marine plans, NOAA will support and facilitate national and regional goals, objectives, and principles of regional marine planning, as described in the Final Recommendations, the Marine Planning Handbook, and the certified marine plan for a particular marine planning area for which NOAA is a participating Regional Planning Body (RPB) member.

.02 NOAA, through its participation in RPBs and engagement in the regional marine planning process, will support the implementation of certified regional marine plans (e.g., maintain data portals, data access, and usability). NOAA will support commitments to which it has agreed in a certified marine plan, subject to the availability of appropriations and consistent with applicable laws.
SECTION  5.  RESPONSIBILITIES.
.01 Each NOAA Line Office (LO) and relevant Regional Office (RO) will implement and use certified regional marine plans. The LOs and ROs will use the plans to guide and inform decisions, activities, or planning processes that involve or affect a regional marine planning area, to the extent consistent with applicable law.   

.02 Each NOAA LO and relevant RO will (as appropriate) incorporate, describe, or refer to the way it used a certified regional marine plan (e.g., the plan’s data and information products, priorities, and best practices) in decisional, analytical (e.g. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)), or other supporting document for actions, activities, planning processes, or decisions that involve or affect a regional marine planning area.

.03 Each NOAA LO and relevant ROs will ensure that NOAA commitments are met as described in a certified regional marine plan for which the office has a role. To accomplish this, each NOAA LO and relevant RO will identify the appropriate staff member(s) who will be accountable for meeting NOAA responsibilities, consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. NOAA LOs or relevant ROs should also coordinate across offices to leverage expertise and resources and to ensure efficiency in meeting NOAA’s commitments.

.04 Each NOAA LO and relevant RO is responsible for making/has an obligation to make its  implementation of certified regional marine plans transparent and fully available to the public through the use of websites, bulletins, guidance, and decision documents, as appropriate. 
SECTION 6.  REFERENCES.
.01The Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. §1451 et seq.).
.02 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. §1801 et seq.).
.03 Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. §1531 et seq.).
.04 Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. §1362 et seq.).
.05 Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. §2701 et seq.).
.06 Coral Reef Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. §6401 et seq.).
.07 Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (16 U.S.C. §1451 note).
.08 Marine Debris Act (33 U.S.C. §1951 et seq.).
.09 Non-Indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (16 U.S.C. §4701 et seq.).
.10 National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. §1431 et seq.).
.11 National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. §4321 et seq.).
.12 Ocean and Coastal Mapping and Integration Act (33 U.S.C. §3501 et seq.).
.13 Ocean Exploration Authorization Act (33 U.S.C. §3402 et seq.).
.14 Executive Order 13547 – Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes.
.15 Executive Order 13653 – Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.
.16 Executive Order 13158 - Marine Protected Areas.
.17 Executive Order 13175 – Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.
.18 Ocean Satellite Data (33 U.S.C. §883j et seq.).
.19 Executive Order 13508 – Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.
.20 National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2008 (U.S.C. § 1121 et seq.).
.21 NOAA, National Ocean Council, Marine Planning Handbook, July, 2013.

SECTION 7.  EFFECT ON OTHER ISSUANCES.

.01 The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere signs because the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) does not have a delegation of authority for the NAO. 

An electronic copy of this Order will be posted on the NOAA Office of the Chief Administrative Officer website under the NOAA Administrative Issuances Section. http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/~ocao/index.html

 

 

___________________________________
Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans and Atmosphere

Offices of Primary Interest: 
National Ocean Service (NOS)
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
National Weather Service (NWS)
National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service (NESDIS)