Plan for national system of MPAs available for comment

Are deep-sea and pelagic habitats adequately represented in the new US plan for a national system of marine protected areas? I dunno, it just came out! We have 30 days to comment….

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) is pleased to announce the release of the Revised Draft Framework for Developing the National System of Marine Protected Areas for a 30 day comment period ending April 16. You can find electronic copies of the draft framework and associated documents at

The release of this revised draft framework reflects continued dialogue with federal, state, tribal and territorial resource managers; fishery management councils; inter-state fishery commissions; anglers; conservation organizations; the energy industry; commercial fishermen; coastal communities; scientists; divers; and others. At the end of the public comment period, the MPA Center will address all comments received, and begin working with government partners to establish the national system.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.