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Public comment period on proposed Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary ends

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Proposed Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary

The 45-day public comment period on a proposed national marine sanctuary for the Pacific Remote Islands is now closed.

Hundreds of people testified to provide comments during public meetings held last month in Hawaiʻi, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa. More than 50,000 written comments were submitted.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hosted the virtual and in-person public meetings and collected public comments online and by mail. They are considering whether to designate a national marine sanctuary for about 777,000 square miles in and around the Pacific Remote Islands, which would make it the world’s largest protected ocean area.

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The national marine sanctuary nomination was submitted by the Pacific Remote Islands Coalition.

NOAA will review the comments and begin developing a draft management plan and Environmental Impact Statement. NOAA will schedule additional public meetings and request comment on these draft materials, providing the public with an additional chance to give input and shape the sanctuary designation.

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