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County Spotlights

Posted on: April 24, 2019

NOAA Seeks Public Comment On Proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary

Diver Inspects Shipwreck In Lake Ontario Photo Credit Jill Heinerth

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering a national marine sanctuary in eastern Lake Ontario to protect historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources and is holding four public meetings on the proposal. This is the first step in the designation process, and the public can comment through July 31 on the proposed sanctuary online, by mail, or in person at the public meetings.

“Our communities, partner counties, State of New York, and NOAA have been working for several years to establish The Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Lake Ontario. I have been proud to support these local efforts to preserve our maritime heritage, as well as the exciting tourism and economic development opportunities that a National Marine Sanctuary Designation will bring,” said Tucker Whitman, Chair, Cayuga County Legislature.

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, which currently operates a system of 13 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, is proposing a 1,700-square-mile sanctuary, adjacent to Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga, and Wayne counties, that would protect 21 known shipwrecks and one military aircraft representing events spanning more than 200 years of our nation's history. An additional 47 shipwrecks and two historic aircraft are also likely located within the proposed sanctuary boundaries, based on historical records. The proposed sanctuary also includes a separate area surrounding the HMS Ontario, which is both the oldest confirmed shipwreck (1780) and the only fully intact British warship discovered in the Great Lakes.

WHAT:
Public meetings to provide information and gather input on a proposed national marine sanctuary in Lake Ontario.

WHEN and WHERE:
June 10, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Fair Haven Fire Hall, 14447 Fair Haven Road, Sterling, New York (Cayuga County)
June 11, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Emergency Operations Center, 7376 Route 31, Lyons, New York (Wayne County)
June 12, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Lake Ontario Conference Center, 26 East 1st Street, Oswego, New York (Oswego County)
June 13, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Jefferson Community College, 1220 Coffeen Street, Jules Center, Room 6-002, Watertown, New York 13601 (Jefferson County)

How to comment:
Online: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, www.regulations.gov. Use docket number NOAA-NOS-2019-0032.
By mail: Comments should be addressed to:
Ellen Brody
Great Lakes Regional Coordinator
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
4840 South State Road
Ann Arbor MI 48108

In person: At the public meetings above.

For more information, visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/lake-ontario/.

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