NEW YORK STATE - Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administation (NOAA) still are looking for members for its advisory group to work on creation of the Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary.
NOAA put out a request for applicants in mid-September, but has received only two applications. People have until Nov. 1 to apply.
NOAA is seeking to fill 15 seats on the proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. NOAA is looking for people representing a variety of interests from recreation and tourism to education and outreach. The 15 seats will be filled with people from our four counties involved in the sanctuary -- Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties.
NOAA is seeking applicants to represent:
n Divers/dive clubs/shipwreck exploration (2 seats)
n Education (2 seats)
n Tourism (1 seat)
n Economic development (2 seats)
n Recreational fishing (2 seats)
n Recreational boating (1 seat)
n Shoreline property owner (1 seat)
n Maritime history and interpretation (2 seats)
n Citizen-at-large (2 seats)
“We aim to create a council that is balanced in point of view, experience, and geographic diversity. Candidates will be selected based on their expertise relating to the seat they apply for, their community and professional affiliations, and their interests regarding the protection and management of maritime heritage resources,” NOAA officials said in a news release.
Council representatives will meet several times each year in half to full-day sessions at various locations. Council meetings will be open to the public and provide a place where community interests, support and concerns are heard.
Anyone interested in applying for a seat on the Proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/lake-ontario/advisory.html.
Applications will be accepted through Nov. 1.
Ellen Brody, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator with the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, came to the Oswego County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee meeting Oct. 1 to report on sanctuary progress. She said the marine sanctuary process is moving forward and steps such as public meetings and the public comment period have been completed.
“But now we are trying to establish the local santuary council,” she said. “This is critical to how we manage sanctuaries.”
“If you know of any people who are interested, please pass this on,” she told the committee members.
County Administator Philip Church, who is a main force behind the establishment of the Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary, said he would provide information about the council to people who had sent in letters of support for the sanctuary.
The proposal by Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties, the city of Oswego and New York Sea Grant to make the water in the southeastern part of Lake Ontario a National Marine Sanctuary began making its way through the approval process in 2015 and has been reviewed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) since 2017.
Creating a National Marine Sanctuary would help protect the hidden treasures in the cold-water depths of Lake Ontario. It is estimated there are 17 known shipwrecks and one aircraft sitting at the bottom of the sanctuary area.
There also are 52 other shipwrecks and two more aircraft that are believed to be somewhere in the waters of Lake Ontario in the sanctuary nomination region.
Creating the sanctuary would draw more tourists to the area creating more jobs and bringing more money to area businesses. It also would be an educational tool for colleges and public schools throughout New York and beyond.
It will be another two to three years of work before NOAA makes a decision on the Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary.
Before applying for a seat on the council, people should review the following documents:
Proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council charter at https://nmssanctuaries.blob.core.windows.net/sanctuaries-prod/media/docs/20190917-signed-lake-ontario-sac-charter.pdf
Sanctuary Advisory Council seat descriptions at https://nmssanctuaries.blob.core.windows.net/sanctuaries-prod/media/docs/20190917-lake-ontario-sac-seat-descriptions.pdf
Application materials may be downloaded from https://nmssanctuaries.blob.core.windows.net/sanctuaries-prod/media/docs/20190917-lake-ontario-sac-application-form.pdf below:
Submit applications by mail or fax to: Ellen Brody, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries,
4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48108, Fax: (734) 741-2055