The National Marine Sanctuary Program began the process of designating the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as a National Marine Sanctuary under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act in 2002.
The Sanctuary designation process includes: (see details below)
1) Public Scoping (2002)
2) Issue Characterization
3) Development of an Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan (EIS/MP)
Public scoping meetings were held in the spring of 2002. From 2003 to 2004 the reserve staff, working with its advisory council and interagency partners developed a vision, mission, principles, goals, and objectives for the proposed sanctuary. A document offering guidance and recommendations regarding the preparation of draft fishing regulations for the proposed sanctuary was submitted to the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council in 2004. For more information on this process, click here.
On June 15, 2006, President Bush signed a proclamation that created the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. The monument will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii. Click here for more.