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Advisory Council Introduction

Community involvement is vital to successfully managing and protecting sanctuary resources. In anticipation of the Management Plan Review, the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary established a Sanctuary Advisory Council in the fall of 2005. The council is the mechanism for achieving involvement of community members and developing stewardship of the sanctuary.

The role of the Sanctuary Advisory Council is to facilitate communication between the sanctuary staff and the diverse groups of people interested in how sanctuary resources are managed. The advisory council consists of 12 members and 3 alternates: 8 non-governmental voting members and 4 governmental non-voting members. The council seats represent a variety of regional interests and stakeholders, including: Recreational Diving, Heritage Tourism, Education, Maritime Museums, Conservation, the US Navy, Virginia and North Carolina Department of Historic Resources, the National Park Service and the public at-large. It is the combined expertise and experience of these individuals that creates an advisory council that is a valuable and effective resource for the sanctuary manager. The council's objectives are to provide the sanctuary manager with advice on:

  • Protecting natural and cultural resources, and identifying and evaluating emergent or critical issues involving sanctuary use or resources;
  • Identifying and realizing the sanctuary's research objectives;
  • Identifying and realizing educational opportunities to increase public knowledge and stewardship of the sanctuary environment; and
  • Developing an informed constituency to increase awareness and understanding of the purpose and value of the sanctuary and the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

The council may serve as a forum for consultation and deliberation among its members and as a source of advice to the sanctuary manager regarding the management of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary advisory council holds open meetings to ensure continued public input on management issues and to increase public awareness and knowledge of the sanctuary environment. Public participation at these meetings is welcomed and encouraged. For further information on the structure and procedures of the council, see the Sanctuary Advisory Council Charter.

Periodically the sanctuary program selects members for council vacancies. Applicants are chosen based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seats for which they are applying. Consideration includes knowledge of sanctuary resources, community and professional affiliations, residency in the sanctuary area, and philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Terms run for two years and members serve without pay. Current seat holders may re-apply.

NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is seeking to fill two seats on its advisory council. Please read the press release for more information.

Application Cover Letter
Application Form
Council Handbook

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