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Public Hearings in Alaska on Proposal to List Sunflower Sea Stars Under the Endangered Species Act

April 12, 2023

Hearings will be in Kodiak and Petersburg and may be attended in person or via teleconference.

Sunflower sea star A sunflower sea star. Credit: Gullekson/WDFW

NOAA Fisheries is holding two public hearings in Alaska on the agency’s proposal to list the sunflower sea star as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The proposed listing was published in the Federal Register with a public comment deadline of May 15, 2023. 

The sunflower sea star is one of the largest sea stars in the world, and they can be found from northern Baja California, Mexico, north to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Their numbers once estimated at several billion individuals. 

From 2013–2017, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome led to a major die-off of sunflower sea stars across the species’ range, causing an estimated 90 percent decline across its range. 

Under the Act, a threatened species is one “which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.”  

Public Hearings

Public hearings will be held in person in Kodiak and Petersburg, or may be attended virtually:

Kodiak Public Hearing

May 2,2023 from 4–7 p.m.
Harbor Room of the Best Western Kodiak Inn
236 Rezanof Drive
Kodiak, AK 99615 

Petersburg Public Hearing

May 10,2023 from 4–7 p.m. 
Petersburg Borough Assembly Chambers
12 South Nordic Drive
Petersburg, AK 99833

Teleconference (both hearings)

(888) 790-2053 (toll free)
Conference Code: 2314303 

The hearings will begin with a presentation by NOAA Fisheries on the proposed listing under the Endangered Species Act. Then, members of the public will have the opportunity to provide oral comments on the record regarding the proposed listing in person or via the teleconference line. Members of the public will also have the opportunity to submit written comments at the hearing. 

We will record the hearing will and provide transcripts of oral comments we receive.

NOAA Fisheries may close the hearings 15 minutes after the conclusion of public testimony and after responding to any clarifying questions from hearing participants about the proposed rule. 

How to Comment

If you are unable to attend either public hearing in-person or by teleconference, you may still submit written data, information, or comments regarding the proposed rule.

Electronic Submission

Submit electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal by clicking the “Comment” icon, completing the required fields, and entering or attaching your comments.


Submit written comments to:

Dayv Lowry
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region Lacey Field Office
1009 College St. SE
Lacey, WA 98503

Following the close of the public comment period, NOAA Fisheries will consider all comments submitted on the proposed rule and will prepare a final rule. 

If you have any questions about these two scheduled public hearings, contact Sadie Wright, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region at sadie.wright@noaa.gov.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on May 01, 2023

Endangered Species Act