Natl Park Svc Seeks Public Comments on Plan to Protect Species of Concern on Southeast Coastlines

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March 20, 2017
Gulf Islands News Release

Release Date: March 18, 2017

Contacts:        David Bryant, David_Bryant@nps.gov, 404 -507-5615

National Park Service Seeks Public Comments on Plan to Protect Species of Concern on Southeast Coastlines

Comment period ends April 15, 2017

Public scoping webinars to be held April 4 and 6


Atlanta, Ga. – The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments to inform development of a regional environmental assessment that will examine options for protecting shorebirds, sea turtles and beach mice from the threat of predators at NPS units in the Southeast Region. The Coastal Species of Concern Predator Management Plan Programmatic Environmental Assessment (assessment) will evaluate the best available predator management options and analyze relevant environmental issues.

Many NPS southeast coastal parks have habitats that support species of concern, including parks in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and the US Virgin Islands.  Some parks need a strategy to better protect species of concern, which includes both federally listed threatened and endangered species and state listed species — examples include:  snowy and piping plover shorebirds, loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, southeastern beach mouse and Perdido Key beach mouse — from such predators as coyote, raccoons, fox, feral hogs and others. Species of concern using coastal and dune habitats are especially vulnerable during their respective breeding seasons, generally falling between April and October. Once complete, affected parks may implement actions from the final assessment by first preparing site-specific plans.

The public is invited to submit comments on the project through April 15, 2017.  NPS has arranged a series of opportunities to encourage public awareness and  involvement in the project, including:  
Electronic and postal submission of written comments postmarked no later than April 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET to:

Southeast Regional Office
National Park Service
Planning and Compliance Division
Attn: SERO PEA
100 Alabama Street SW, 1924 Building
Atlanta, GA 30303  

or

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/sero

Select “Open for Comment” on the left menu.

Following the public comment period, NPS will analyze and consider all feedback and begin preparation of the draft assessment, which the public will also have an opportunity to comment on around Spring 2018.

About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/guis, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslands_NPS, and Instagram www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice and Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice.

 
~NPS~

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Public Affairs
Gulf Islands National Seashore
1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
850-934-2600 (HQ)
228-230-4100 (MS)