NOAA considering petition to review critical habitat for elkhorn and staghorn coral
74 Fed. Reg. 36995 /Vol. 74, No. 142 /Monday, July 27, 2009 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / 50 CFR Part 226 / Listing Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Designating Critical Habitat; 90–day Finding for a Petition to Revise Designated Critical Habitat for Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals
ACTION: Notice of petition finding; request for information and comments.
SUMMARY: We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce a 90–day finding for a petition to revise elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (A. cervicornis) corals’ critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. Elkhorn and staghorn corals are listed as threatened throughout their ranges and have designated critical habitat consisting of substrate of suitable quality and availability to support larval settlement and recruitment and the reattachment and recruitment of asexual fragments in water depths shallower than 30 meters in four areas in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The petition seeks to extend the northern boundary of designated critical habitat in the Florida area to the Lake Worth Inlet, approximately 15.5 miles (24.9 km) north of the current boundary at Boynton Beach Inlet. We find that the petition presents substantial scientific information that the revision may be warranted. We are soliciting information and comments pertaining to this request for revision of critical habitat. DATES: Written comments and information related to this petition finding or the petitioned action must be received ee ADDRESSESby August 26, 2009.
Photo of staghorn coral from the politics of green. KEITHINKING: bloggers do make a difference. Congratz to the politics of green.