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Capital Report

2018:  MARCH

October 2017 Issue

More Funding in Historic Preservation Grants
Distributed throughout US

An additional $21 million in historic preservation grants is being distributed to every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories and partnering nations, as well as $4.6 million for historic preservation grants to 169 Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, NOIA reported.

This funding, along with $32.6 million awarded earlier this year under a continuing resolution, represents a total of $58 million that the National Park Service has invested in the preservation efforts of states and tribes this year.

Since its inception in 1977, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) has provided more than $1.2 billion in historic preservation grants to states, tribes, local governments and nonprofit organizations. Funded at $80 million in 2017, the HPF is supported solely by Outer Continental Shelf oil lease revenues.

Buzby Now Heads
Maritime Administration

RAdm. Mark H. Buzby (U.S. Navy, retired) is now the administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration. Prior to his appointment, Buzby served as president of the National Defense Transportation Association.

Buzby will lead an agency tasked with promoting the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system; and the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced U.S. Merchant Marine, sufficient to carry a substantial portion of the nation’s waterborne commerce and capable of service in time of war or national emergency. The Maritime Administration also oversees the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

A career naval officer with more than 34 years of service, Buzby has an extensive background in maritime transportation and leadership, having served on the staffs of the Sixth Fleet, the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, the Navy staff and the Joint Staff. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 2013, Buzby served as the commander of the Military Sealift Command from October 2009 to March 2013.

Buzby is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the Joint Forces Staff College and holds a master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College.

Seeks New Commercial Products

NOAA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is seeking highly innovative products with excellent commercial potential.

All SBIR proposals must directly benefit the NOAA mission, but should also be responsive to the greater market demands in order to be successful.

The risk and expense of conducting serious R&D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses.

By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small business, SBIR protects the small business and enables it to compete on the same level as larger businesses. SBIR funds the critical start-up and development stages and encourages the commercialization of the technology, product or service, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy.

Zinke Sends Review
Of National Monuments

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has sent the draft review of national monuments and marine national monuments to the White House, NOIA reported. The review was triggered by an executive order and examines monuments designated since 1996 that are 100,000 acres or greater in size or were made without “adequate public consultation.” The Northeast Canyons and the Seamounts, both of which are offshore New England, were included in the review. NOAA is conducting a separate review of national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments.

Atlantic Sturgeon Gets
Critical Habitat Designation

NOAA Fisheries has designated critical habitat for Atlantic sturgeon—an important step to ensuring their recovery. The critical habitat designation will require federal agencies to consult NOAA Fisheries if they operate or fund activities that may affect designated critical habitat in more than 3,968 mi. of important coastal river habitat from Maine to Florida.

Atlantic sturgeon was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2012 and comprises the threatened Gulf of Maine distinct population segment and the endangered New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina and South Atlantic distinct population segments. The designation of critical habitat does not include any new restrictions or management measures for recreational or commercial fishing operations, nor does it create any preserves or refuges.

Instead, when a federal agency funds, authorizes or carries out activities that may affect critical habitat, it must work with NOAA Fisheries to avoid or minimize potential impacts to critical habitat. The activity of the federal agency may need to be modified to avoid destroying or adversely modifying the critical habitat.

Atlantic sturgeon are anadromous and use coastal and estuarine waters throughout their lives and travel to rivers to spawn or lay their eggs. Unlike some anadromous fish, sturgeon do not die after spawning and will return to spawn multiple times. They can grow up to 14 ft. long, weigh up to 800 lb. and live up to 60 years.

Historically, Atlantic sturgeon inhabited approximately 38 rivers in the U.S. spanning from Maine to Florida. Scientists identified 35 of those as spawning rivers. Atlantic sturgeon can now be found in approximately 32 of these rivers, and spawn in at least 20 of them. Critical habitat areas in coastal rivers were identified based on physical and biological features, such as substrate type in the riverbed, water temperature and salinity, that are essential to the conservation of Atlantic sturgeon, particularly for spawning and development.

Atlantic sturgeon were harvested heavily in the 20th century, particularly for their eggs (or roe) used for caviar. Overfishing led to a decline in abundance of Atlantic sturgeon, and in 1998 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission issued a coast-wide moratorium on the harvest of Atlantic sturgeon, and NOAA Fisheries followed with a similar moratorium in federal waters.

2018:  MARCH

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