MPA Source Documents

The Council has a long history of considering MPAs as a management tool for the snapper grouper management complex, a diverse group of 73 species that includes snappers, groupers, jacks, porgies, tilefishes, grunts, and sea basses. Dating back to 1990, the Council began to explore MPAs through technical advisors, scoping, scientific review panels, and later, the formation of its MPA Advisory Panel and Committee.

More recently, the Council has utilized input from its advisory panels along with a series of stakeholder meetings, public scoping meetings, and workshops in the development of
MPAs. Following an unprecedented joint "Mega-AP" meeting held in 2001 and with input from technical committees, the Council determined it would focus on sites that would be
most beneficial to overfished deepwater snapper grouper species.

In 2004, an Informational Public Hearing Document was taken out to public hearings. Social and economic information gathered during those hearings was utilized in the
development of Amendment 14. Below is a series of documents, including reports and meeting minutes, detailing this history.


MPAs 1990-1998

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-261 -- This document titled "The potential of marine fishery reserves for reef fish management in the U.S. Southern Atlantic" was prepared by the Council's Plan Development Team for the Reef Fish Management Plan and was the impetus for the Council looking at marine reserves/MPAs as a management tool for the snapper grouper fishery.

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-376 -- This document titled "Review the use of marine fishery reserves in the U.S. Southeastern Atlantic" was the report of a panel of scientist who gathered at the Council's request at the American Fisheries Society Meeting in Tampa, Florida in 1995. Through a special symposium scientists provided SAFMC and NMFS recommendations and guidance on the use of permanently protected areas for fisheries management in the Southeastern U.S.

1998 Marine Reserves Workshop Report -- At its June 1998 meeting in St. Augustine, FL the Council held a workshop on marine reserves that discussed scientific justification and purposes for marine reserves; criteria and direct experience; and effect and perspectives of marine reserves. This document is the final report from that workshop.

Action Plan (April 1998) -- This document is the Council's Action Plan for developing marine reserves as it stood in the spring of 1998. It lays out the phases of planning/criteria development and implementation.

Law Enforcement AP MPA Recommendations -- These recommendations for establishing marine reserves come from a February 1998 joint meeting of the Council's Law Enforcement Advisory Panel and Committee and have been referenced many times throughout the MPA process.

Marine Fishery Reserve Criteria (March 1998) -- A discussion on potential criteria for establishing marine reserves as discussed by the Council's Marine Reserves Committee in 1998.

Snapper Grouper Assessment Group List (February 1998) -- A list of proposed criteria for developing marine reserves as discussed by the Council's Snapper Grouper Assessment Group in 1998.


MPAs 1999

Minutes, Joint Marine Reserves AP and Committee (May 1999) -- The minutes from this joint meeting of the Marine Reserves AP and Committee include discussion on the development of the Council's Public Information Document on marine reserves and a motion by the AP that marine reserves are a tool the Council should consider.


MPAs 2000

Final Scoping Document (2000) -- This scoping document addressed potential options for use of marine reserves in the South Atlantic and was used during the 2000 scoping process in which the Council asked the public their opinions on the concept of marine reserves.

Final Public Information Document -- This document was written by the Council's Marine Reserves Advisory Panel and Committee in 2000 to inform the public of the Council's consideration of marine reserves (nearshore and/or offshore, natural and man-made), emphasizing the habitat and the species associated with the snapper grouper complex.

Marine Reserves Criteria by AP (2000) -- A list of how the Council's Advisory Panels ranked 21 criteria for establishing marine reserves.

Minutes, Marine Reserves Committee (March 2000) -- Minutes for this meeting of the Council's Marine Reserves Committee include a review of the comments received during the 2000 informal meeting process and a discussion of the Memorandum of Understanding with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

Minutes, Marine Reserves Committee (June 2000) -- Minutes for this meeting of the Council's Marine Reserves Committee include a review of the comments received during the 2000 scoping process, a discussion of the Memorandum of Understanding with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and a discussion of the NMFS White Paper on marine reserves.

Minutes, Marine Reserves AP (July 2000) -- Minutes from this meeting of the July 2000 Marine Reserves Advisory Panel include discussions on the AP's support for using marine reserves as a management tool and the use of artificial refugia as an experiment in marine reserves design and for mitigation of losses of natural bottom reserved for management.

Marine Reserves AP Recommendations (July 2000) -- Recommendations made by the Council's Marine Reserves AP based on testimony from a round of informal public hearings and scoping meetings in 2000. The recommendations include a reaffirmation that the Council should use marine reserves to protect overfished deepwater snapper grouper species.

Minutes, Marine Reserves Committee (September 2000) -- Minutes for this meeting of the Council's Marine Reserves Committee include a review of the comments received during the 2000 informal meeting and scoping process and a discussion on the Council's plan to move forward with marine reserves by holding another round of scoping meetings intended to ask the public to comment on the siting of marine reserves.

Minutes, Marine Reserves Committee, NC (November 2000) -- The minutes from this meeting reflect the Marine Reserves Committee's discussions on criteria for establishing MPAs and on a Memorandum of Understanding with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.


MPAs 2001

Final Spring 2001 Scoping Document -- The purpose of this document was to request that the public provide additional and specific input on possible areas that the Council should examine in their consideration of marine protected areas.

Alternatives considered but rejected for MPAs -- These sites were considered by the Council at some point during the MPA scoping process but were not considered reasonable alternatives as MPAs to meet the Council's goal at that time.

Marine Reserves Committee Agenda (February 2001) -- The agenda provides an overview of topics discussed at the February 2001 Marine Reserves Committee Meeting.

Minutes, Marine Reserves Committee SC (February 2001) -- The minutes from this meeting include extensive discussion on the Council's definition of a marine reserve versus the widely used term marine protected areas. During this meeting the Committee voted to use the term MPA and refined the various types of MPAs available for the Council's use.

Marine Reserves Committee Agenda (March 2001) -- The agenda provides an overview of topics discussed at the March 2001 Marine Reserves Committee Meeting.

Minutes, MPA Committee (March 2001) --  The minutes from this meeting include committee discussion on the newly formed national Marine Protected Areas Center, a NMFS white paper on MPAs, and discussions on future scoping meetings from siting MPAs.

MPA Advisory Panel Agenda (May 2001) -- The agenda provides an overview of topics discussed at the May 2001 MPA Advisory Panel Meeting.

Minutes, MPA Advisory Panel (May 2001) -- Minutes from this advisory panel meeting include the APs suggestion of sites that the Council consider as possible MPAs. The majority of the sites that the Council is considering for Amendment 13B were first suggested during this meeting.

June 2001 MPA Committee Agenda (June 2001) -- The agenda provides a list of topics discussed at the June 2001 MPA Committee Meeting.

MPA Committee Meeting Overview (June 2001) -- The overview provides a brief synopsis of topics discussed at the June 2001 MPA Committee Meeting.

Minutes, MPA Committee (June 2001) -- The minutes from this meeting include committee discussions on comments received during the scoping process in which the public was asked where MPAs should be sited; further committee refinement on possible sites to be considered; and the committees plan for moving forward with implementing MPAs.

Mega AP Meeting Recommendations -- This document is a list of specific possible MPA sites as recommended by each advisory panel at the "Mega-AP" meeting in 2001.

Minutes, Joint MPA Mega AP (August 2001) -- These are the minutes for the historical "Mega-AP" meeting which included the Snapper Grouper, MPA, Wreckfish, Coral, Habitat, and Law Enforcement Advisory Panels. During this meeting the APs made recommendations on priority MPA sites.

Minutes, MPA Committee (August 2001) -- Minutes from this meeting include the Committee's reaffirmation that the Council consider the use of MPAs to supplement management approaches to be considered for the deepwater grouper tilefish complex. These minutes also contain a discussion on including in the Council's plan for MPAs a formal Council Sanctioned Review of any implemented MPAs.

MPA Committee Recommendations to the Snapper Grouper Committee (August 2001) -- This document is a list of recommendations from the Council's MPA Committee developed during their August 2001 meeting to the Snapper Grouper Committee who became responsible for implementing MPAs from that point on.

Snapper Grouper Committee Overview (September 2001) -- The overview provides a brief synopsis of topics discussed at the September 2001 MPA Committee Meeting.

Minutes, Snapper Grouper Committee (October 2001) -- These are the minutes from the October 2001 Snapper Grouper Committee Meeting (re-scheduled from September 2001). This was the first meeting that the Snapper Grouper Committee became the steering committee for MPAs.

Results from October 2001 Snapper Grouper Committee Meeting --  This document summarizes the Council's Snapper Grouper Committee's position on using MPAs as a management tool to help protect overfished snapper grouper species.

Criteria Explanation (October 2001) -- This document was in response to some confusion over the criteria the Council was using for siting marine protected areas and how the criteria fit into the process they subsequently used for developing MPAs.

Snapper Grouper Committee Meeting Overview (December 2001) -- This one-page document gives a brief synopsis of what was discussed at the December 2001 meeting of the Snapper Grouper Committee.

Minutes, Snapper Grouper Committee (December 2001) -- The minutes from this meeting include Snapper Grouper Committee discussion on specific MPA sites that the Committee endorsed for further analysis and consideration.


MPAs 2002

Amendment 14 Notice of Intent (2002)  -- This is the Federal Register Notice letting the public know that the Council was intending to prepare a plan amendment that would include the implementation of MPAs.

Minutes, Joint Snapper Grouper Wreckfish AP and Committee (March 2002) -- Minutes from this March 2002 joint meeting of the Snapper Grouper Committee include discussion on the siting of certain MPAs with the Wreckfish AP.


MPAs 2003

Minutes, Snapper Grouper Committee (March 2003) -- In the minutes from this meeting the Snapper Grouper Committee discussed future plans for Snapper Grouper Amendment 14 (MPAs).


MPAs 2004

Informational Public Hearing Document -- This is the document used to support the Informational Public Hearings on Snapper Grouper Amendment 14 (MPAs) that were held to help Council staff gather additional information to analyze the social and economic impacts of proposed MPA sites.

Informational Public Hearing Minutes
Charleston, SC, February 2004
Atlantic Beach, FL, January 2004
Richmond Hill, GA, February 2004
Stuart, FL, January 2004
 Wrightsville Beach, NC, January 2004
 Brunswick, GA, February 2004
Islamorada, FL, January 2004
Little River, SC, February 2004
Morehead, NC, January 2004


MPAs 2005

MPAs in Snapper Grouper Amendment 13B -- This document was included in the September 2005 Briefing Book and contains the justification for including MPAs as a management tool for deepwater snapper grouper species in Snapper Grouper Amendment 13B.

MPA Sites (October 2005) -- List of all sites considered to be established as MPAs in Snapper Grouper Amendment 13B.


MPAs 2006

At the March 2nd Council meeting in Jekyll Island, Georgia the Council reviewed a draft of Snapper Grouper Amendment 14 and approved motions to: (a) add a monitoring plan to the research needs section and (b) add alternatives to look at Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for snapper grouper vessels with a snapper grouper permit and bottom longline gear onboard.

At their June 12-17, 2006 Council Meeting in Miami, Florida the Council approved Snapper Grouper Amendment 14 for public hearings.