Following several years of scientific and archaeological assessment and public input, NOAA last week announced plans to consider possible expansion of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, off the North Carolina coast. NOAA says that the proposed expansion would protect a collection of historically significant shipwrecks including vessels sunk during World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic.
NOAA will host public meetings in February, and the public is invited to submit comments to the agency on the proposed expansion through March 18. Following the comment period, NOAA may develop a draft environmental impact statement, draft management plan and potential regulations, which will then be available for public review. After reviewing those comments, NOAA would then make a final decision on the proposed expansion. The proposed expansion plans can be found in the Federal Register.