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Get Involved

New opportunities to participate are coming.

Get Involved   

Stay tuned! The next opportunity for formal public comment and involvement in the PEIS process will be when the draft PEIS is published.

In the meantime, if you have questions about the PEIS or new information that you think would help NOAA Fisheries in its analysis of potential AOA locations, please reach out to Andrew Richard, Southeast Regional Aquaculture Coordinator at nmfs.ser.aquaculture@noaa.gov or (727) 551-5709.

Past Meetings and Comment Opportunities

NOAA Fisheries held a 60-day public comment period from Wednesday, June 1, 2022 to Monday, August 1, 2022 to gather feedback from the public on the scope of the programmatic environmental impact statement. 

Written comments were accepted electronically  via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal and by mail.  Verbal comments were accepted at three virtual public scoping meetings. To view the recordings or transcripts from those virtual scoping meetings click the links below:

Scoping Meeting Presentation (PDF)

Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. CDT/7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. EDT

Read Transcript (PDF)

Listen to Recorded Meeting (MP4)

 

Thursday, June 16, 2022, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. CDT/6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EDT

Read Transcript (PDF)

Listen to Recorded Meeting (MP4)

 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. CDT/7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. EDT

Read Transcript (PDF)

Listen to Recorded Meeting (MP4)

 

Information Requested During Scoping

During the public scoping period, NOAA Fisheries requested data, comments, views, information, analyses, alternatives, or suggestions on:

  • The scope of the NEPA analysis, including the range of reasonable alternatives and how many/which locations should be considered and evaluated;
  • The type of aquaculture (e.g., finfish, shellfish, seaweed, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture) that could be supported and/or analyzed in a proposed AOA location;
  • Ecologically, economically and socially suitable species and gear for aquaculture that could be analyzed for a proposed AOA location; 
  • Monitoring and reporting requirements for owners and operators of aquaculture facilities that could mitigate impacts to managed and non-managed fishery resource, protected species, habitat, water quality, storm, navigation, economic, social/cultural and other impacts;
  • Potential adverse, beneficial, neutral and/or cumulative impacts to biological, physical and ecological resources, including potential interactions with marine mammals and other species protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act or Endangered Species Act, essential fish habitat designated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other sensitive, managed, or protected habitats in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • Potential adverse, beneficial, neutral and/or cumulative impacts to the social, economic, and cultural environment, including commercial and recreational fishing industries and coastal communities;
  • Promotion of environmental justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion when considering alternative AOA locations and other aspects of offshore aquaculture development in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico; 
  • Underserved communities and underrepresented groups, and/or regions and communities that could either benefit from or be adversely impacted by the siting of AOAs in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • The impact of  climate change and/or changing environmental conditions (e.g., storm intensity, sea level rise, water quality) on siting and other aspects of aquaculture;
  • Current or planned activities in or near the areas highlighted in this Notice of Intent and their possible impacts on aquaculture development or the impact of aquaculture developments on those activities;
  • Other topics relevant to the Proposed Action and its impacts on the human environment.

Cooperating Agencies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and U.S. Air Force will be cooperating agencies on this PEIS. 

For More Information

Contact Andrew Richard, Southeast Regional Aquaculture Coordinator at nmfs.ser.aquaculture@noaa.gov or (727) 551-5709. 

Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf  may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

 

Federal Register Notices 

Notice of Intent to Prepare PEIS

 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on September 02, 2022