No sooner than thirty days after issuing a notice under this subsection, the Secretary shall hold at least one public hearing in the coastal area or areas that will be most affected by the proposed designation of the area as a national marine sanctuary for the purpose of receiving the views of interested parties.
The terms of designation of a sanctuary shall include the geographic area proposed to be included within the sanctuary, the characteristics of the area that give it conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, research, educational, or esthetic value, and the types of activities that will be subject to regulation by the Secretary to protect those characteristics. The terms of designation may be modified only by the same procedures by which the original designation is made.
The Secretary shall provide the appropriate Regional Fishery Management Council with the opportunity to prepare draft regulations for fishing within the Exclusive Economic Zone as the Council may deem necessary to implement the proposed designation. Draft regulations prepared by the Council, or a Council determination that regulations are not necessary pursuant to this paragraph, shall be accepted and issued as proposed regulations by the Secretary unless the Secretary finds that the Council’s action fails to fulfill the purposes and policies of this chapter and the goals and objectives of the proposed designation. In preparing the draft regulations, a Regional Fishery Management Council shall use as guidance the national standards of section 301(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1851) to the extent that the standards are consistent and compatible with the goals and objectives of the proposed designation. The Secretary shall prepare the fishing regulations, if the Council declines to make a determination with respect to the need for regulations, makes a determination which is rejected by the Secretary, or fails to prepare the draft regulations in a timely manner. Any amendments to the fishing regulations shall be drafted, approved, and issued in the same manner as the original regulations. The Secretary shall also cooperate with other appropriate fishery management authorities with rights or responsibilities within a proposed sanctuary at the earliest practicable stage in drafting any sanctuary fishing regulations.
After receiving the documents under subsection (a)(1)(C), the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate may each hold hearings on the proposed designation and on the matters set forth in the documents. If within the forty-five day period of continuous session of Congress beginning on the date of submission of the documents, either Committee issues a report concerning matters addressed in the documents, the Secretary shall consider this report before publishing a notice to designate the national marine sanctuary.
In designating a national marine sanctuary, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register notice of the designation together with final regulations to implement the designation and any other matters required by law, and submit such notice to the Congress. The Secretary shall advise the public of the availability of the final management plan and the final environmental impact statement with respect to such sanctuary. The Secretary shall issue a notice of designation with respect to a proposed national marine sanctuary site not later than 30 months after the date a notice declaring the site to be an active candidate for sanctuary designation is published in the Federal Register under regulations issued under this Act, or shall publish not later than such date in the Federal Register findings regarding why such notice has not been published. No notice of designation may occur until the expiration of the period for Committee action under subsection (a)(6). The designation (and any of its terms not disapproved under this subsection) and regulations shall take effect and become final after the close of a review period of forty-five days of continuous session of Congress beginning on the day on which such notice is published unless, in the case of a national marine sanctuary that is located partially or entirely within the seaward boundary of any State, the Governor affected certifies to the Secretary that the designation or any of its terms is unacceptable, in which case the designation or the unacceptable term shall not take effect in the area of the sanctuary lying within the seaward boundary of the State.
If the Secretary considers that actions taken under paragraph (1) will affect the designation of a national marine sanctuary in a manner that the goals and objectives of the sanctuary or System cannot be fulfilled, the Secretary may withdraw the entire designation. If the Secretary does not withdraw the designation, only those terms of the designation not certified under paragraph (1) shall take effect.
Subject to any regulations the Secretary may establish each Federal agency proposing an action described in subparagraph (A) shall provide the Secretary with a written statement describing the action and its potential effects on sanctuary resources at the earliest practicable time, but in no case later than 45 days before the final approval of the action unless such Federal agency and the Secretary agree to a different schedule.
If the Secretary finds that a Federal agency action is likely to destroy, cause the loss of, or injure a sanctuary resource, the Secretary shall (within 45 days of receipt of complete information on the proposed agency action) recommend reasonable and prudent alternatives, which may include conduct of the action elsewhere, which can be taken by the Federal agency in implementing the agency action that will protect sanctuary resources.
The agency head who receives the Secretary’s recommended alternatives under paragraph (2) shall promptly consult with the Secretary on the alternatives. If the agency head decides not to follow the alternatives, the agency head shall provide the Secretary with a written statement explaining the reasons for that decision.
If the head of a Federal agency takes an action other than an alternative recommended by the Secretary and such action results in the destruction of, loss of, or injury to a sanctuary resource, the head of the agency shall promptly prevent and mitigate further damage and restore or replace the sanctuary resource in a manner approved by the Secretary.
Not more than five years after the date of designation of any national marine sanctuary, and thereafter at intervals not exceeding five years, the Secretary shall evaluate the substantive progress toward implementing the management plan and goals for the sanctuary, especially the effectiveness of site-specific management techniques and strategies, and shall revise the management plan and regulations as necessary to fulfill the purposes and policies of this chapter. This review shall include a prioritization of management objectives.
If the Secretary does not submit the findings required by paragraph (1) before February 1, 2004, the Secretary shall submit to the Congress before October 1, 2004, a finding with respect to whether the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) have been met by all existing sanctuaries.