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08 • 12 • 2021

NOAA To Host Public Listening Sessions on 30x30

By Pete Stauffer

The agency will host public sessions to gather input on the America the Beautiful Initiative to conserve 30% of U.S. land, water and ocean by 2030

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced upcoming public listening sessions on August 26 and September 13 to gather input on the administration’s initiative to expand protections for U.S. lands and waters. The listening sessions will focus on NOAA’s role in managing and protecting the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes as part of the America the Beautiful Initiative. The NOAA sessions will complement leadership from California and other states that are also moving forward with state 30x30 conservation planning.

This spring, the Biden-Harris administration released a report on Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful calling for a decade-long effort to advance locally led and voluntary conservation and restoration in public, private, and tribal lands and waters. The America the Beautiful initiative is part of a global 30x30 call to action to tackle the climate change emergency and alarming declines in biodiversity across the planet. With science underpinning the need for bold action, the goal is to conserve 30% of the world’s land, water and ocean by 2030.

As the lead federal agency for the ocean, NOAA plays an integral role in managing marine and Great Lake ecosystems. NOAA is seeking input from stakeholders on how NOAA should, using existing legal authorities, conserve and restore America’s ocean, coasts and Great Lakes. Guided by the eight core principles in the report, NOAA will work with all stakeholders to identify areas or networks of areas where resource management efforts would support long-term conservation goals.

NOAA’s continuing efforts will include expanding the National Marine Sanctuary System, with a focus on designating new sanctuaries that align with the Administration’s goals to address nature loss, climate change, and equity, including through enhanced engagement with underserved and tribal communities. NOAA will also soon announce selected projects for the National Coastal Resilience Fund that will advance restoration or enhancement of natural features, while also improving habitat for fish and wildlife.

The Surfrider Foundation and the coastal recreation community have engaged with NOAA for decades on ocean protection issues. Our advocacy has supported the designation of both National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments across the United States along with state and community MPAs. We also play an active role in many MPA stakeholder bodies, including Sanctuary Advisory Councils, as a representative of the coastal recreation community.

Surfrider is committed to supporting the success of the America the Beautiful initiative through outreach, advocacy and stewardship efforts. We urge you to participate in the upcoming public opportunities below.

NOAA Public Listening Sessions 

NOAA would like to hear from the public at large and all interested stakeholders.  NOAA will be hosting opportunities for the public to learn about, and provide input on,  “America the Beautiful.”  Below are meeting details for two upcoming listening sessions. 

Thursday, August 26: Stakeholder Listening Session

Time: 3:00-5:00 PM ET

Dial in: 888-323-9726, Passcode: 890-4233

Webinar: Join Hereoffsite link on the day of the meeting (Conference number: PWXW2317057, Audience passcode: 8904233)

Monday, September 13: Stakeholder Listening Session

Time: 3:00-5:00 PM ET

Dial in: 800-857-5743, Passcode: 727-5932

Webinar: Join Hereoffsite link on the day of the meeting (Conference number: PWXW2317058, Audience passcode: 7275932)