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e-CFR data is current as of January 19, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter BPart 922 → Subpart I


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 922—NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS


Subpart I—Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary


Contents
§922.90   Boundary.
§922.91   Definitions.
§922.92   Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities—Sanctuary-wide.
§922.93   Permit procedures and criteria.
§922.94   Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities—Research area.
Appendix A to Subpart I of Part 922—Boundary Coordinates for the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Research Area

Source: 71 FR 60063, Oct. 12, 2006, unless otherwise noted.

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§922.90   Boundary.

The Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) consists of approximately 16.68 square nautical miles of ocean waters and the submerged lands thereunder, off the coast of Georgia. The Sanctuary boundary includes all waters and submerged lands within the geodetic lines connecting the following coordinates:

Datum: NAD83

Geographic Coordinate System

(1) N 31.362732 degrees W 80.921200 degrees

(2) N 31.421064 degrees W 80.921201 degrees

(3) N 31.421064 degrees W 80.828145 degrees

(4) N 31.362732 degrees W 80.828145 degrees

(5) N 31.362732 degrees W 80.921200 degrees

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§922.91   Definitions.

In addition to those definitions found at §922.3, the following definitions apply to this subpart:

Handline means fishing gear that is set and pulled by hand and consists of one vertical line to which may be attached leader lines with hooks.

Rod and reel means a rod and reel unit that is not attached to a vessel, or, if attached, is readily removable, from which a line and attached hook(s) are deployed. The line is payed out from and retrieved on the reel manually or electrically.

Stowed and not available for immediate use means not readily accessible for immediate use, e.g., by being securely covered and lashed to a deck or bulkhead, tied down, unbaited, unloaded, partially disassembled, or stowed for transit.

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§922.92   Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities—Sanctuary-wide.

(a) Except as specified in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section and in §922.94 regarding additional prohibitions in the research area, the following activities are prohibited and thus are unlawful for any person to conduct or to cause to be conducted within the Sanctuary:

(1) Dredging, drilling into, or otherwise altering in any way the submerged lands of the Sanctuary (including bottom formations).

(2) Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid, or constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter on the submerged lands of the Sanctuary except weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker buoy shall not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, shall be attached with not greater than one-fourth inch ( 14 ) line and shall be removed from the Sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended may be removed by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized officer, without notice.

(3) Discharging or depositing any material or other matter except:

(i) Fish or fish parts, bait, or chumming materials;

(ii) Effluent from marine sanitation devices; and

(iii) Vessel cooling water.

(4) Operating a watercraft other than in accordance with the Federal rules and regulations that would apply if there were no Sanctuary.

(5)(i) Injuring, catching, harvesting, or collecting, or attempting to injure, catch, harvest, or collect, any marine organism, or any part thereof, living or dead, within the Sanctuary by any means except by use of rod and reel, and handline gear;

(ii) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any marine organism or part thereof referenced in this paragraph found in the possession of a person within the Sanctuary has been collected from the Sanctuary.

(6) Using any fishing gear within the Sanctuary except rod and reel, and handline gear, or for law enforcement purposes.

(7) Using underwater any explosives, or devices that produce electric charges underwater.

(8) Breaking, cutting, damaging, taking, or removing any bottom formation.

(9) Moving, removing, damaging, or possessing, or attempting to move, remove, damage, or possess, any Sanctuary historical resource.

(10) Anchoring, or attempting to anchor, any vessel in the Sanctuary, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section when responding to an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment.

(11) Possessing or carrying any fishing gear within the Sanctuary except:

(i) Rod and reel, and handline gear;

(ii) Fishing gear other than rod and reel, handline gear, and spearfishing gear, provided that it is stowed on a vessel and not available for immediate use;

(iii) Spearfishing gear provided that it is stowed on a vessel, not available for immediate use, and the vessel is passing through the Sanctuary without interruption; and

(iv) For law enforcement purposes.

(b) All activities currently carried out by the Department of Defense within the Sanctuary are essential for the national defense and, therefore, not subject to the prohibitions in this section and §922.94. The exemption of additional activities having significant impacts shall be determined in consultation between the Director and the Department of Defense.

(c) The prohibitions in this section and in §922.94 do not apply to any activity conducted under and in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms, and conditions of a National Marine Sanctuary permit issued pursuant to 15 CFR 922.48 and 922.93.

(d) The prohibitions in this section and in §922.94 do not apply to any activity necessary to respond to an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment.

[76 FR 63832, Oct. 14, 2011, as amended at 79 FR 41881, July 18, 2014]

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§922.93   Permit procedures and criteria.

(a) A person may conduct an activity prohibited by §922.92(a)(1) through (10) and §922.94 if conducted in accordance within the scope, purpose, manner, terms and conditions of a permit issued under this section and §922.48.

(b) Applications for such permits should be addressed to the Director, National Marine Sanctuary Program, ATTN: Manager, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411.

(c) The Director, at his or her discretion may issue a permit, subject to such terms and conditions as he or she deems appropriate, to conduct an activity prohibited by §922.92(a)(1) through (10). The Director must also find that the activity will:

(1) Further research related to the resources and qualities of the Sanctuary;

(2) Further the educational, natural, or historical resource value of the Sanctuary;

(3) Further salvage or recovery operations in connection with a recent air or marine casualty; or

(4) Assist in managing the Sanctuary.

(d) The Director shall not issue a permit unless the Director also finds that:

(1) The applicant is professionally qualified to conduct and complete the proposed activity;

(2) The applicant has adequate financial resources available to conduct and complete the proposed activity;

(3) The duration of the proposed activity is no longer than necessary to achieve its stated purpose;

(4) The methods and procedures proposed by the applicant are appropriate to achieve the proposed activity's goals in relation to the activity's impacts on Sanctuary resources and qualities;

(5) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible with the primary objective of protection of Sanctuary resources and qualities, considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity may diminish or enhance Sanctuary resources and qualities, any indirect, secondary or cumulative effects of the activity, and the duration of such effects;

(6) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible with the value of the Sanctuary as a source of recreation, or as a source of educational or scientific information considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity may result in conflicts between different users of the Sanctuary, and the duration of such effects;

(7) It is necessary to conduct the proposed activity within the Sanctuary to achieve its purposes;

(8) The reasonably expected end value of the activity to the furtherance of Sanctuary goals and purposes outweighs any potential adverse impacts on Sanctuary resources and qualities from the conduct of the activity; and

(9) There are no other factors that make the issuance of a permit for the activity inappropriate.

(e) It shall be a condition of any permit issued that the permit or a copy thereof be displayed on board all vessels or aircraft used in the conduct of the activity.

(f) The Director shall, inter alia, make it a condition of any permit issued that any data or information obtained under the permit be made available to the public.

(g) The Director may, inter alia, make it a condition of any permit issued to require the submission of one or more reports of the status and progress of such activity.

(h) The Director may, inter alia, make it a condition of any permit issued that a NOAA official be allowed to observe any activity conducted under the permit and/or that the permit holder submit one or more reports on the status, progress or results of any activity authorized by the permit.

[71 FR 60063, Oct. 12, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 63832, Oct. 14, 2011]

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§922.94   Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities—Research area.

In addition to the prohibitions set out in §922.92, which apply throughout the Sanctuary, the following activities are prohibited and thus unlawful for any person to conduct or cause to be conducted within the research area described in Appendix A to this subpart.

(a)(1) Injuring, catching, harvesting, or collecting, or attempting to injure, catch, harvest, or collect, any marine organism, or any part thereof, living or dead.

(2) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any marine organism or part thereof referenced in this paragraph found in the possession of a person within the research area has been collected from the research area.

(b) Using any fishing gear, or possessing, or carrying any fishing gear unless such gear is stowed and not available for immediate use while on board a vessel transiting through the research area without interruption or for valid law enforcement purposes.

(c) Diving.

(d) Stopping a vessel in the research area.

[76 FR 63832, Oct. 14, 2011]

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Appendix A to Subpart I of Part 922—Boundary Coordinates for the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Research Area

[Coordinates listed in this Appendix are unprojected (Geographic) and based on the North American Datum of 1983.]

The research area boundary is defined by the coordinates provided in Table 1 and the following textual description. The research area boundary extends from Point 1, the southwest corner of the sanctuary, to Point 2 along a straight line following the western boundary of the Sanctuary. It then extends along a straight line from Point 2 to Point 3, which is on the eastern boundary of GRNMS. The boundary then follows the eastern boundary line of the sanctuary southward until it intersects the line of the southern boundary of GRNMS at Point 4, the southeastern corner of the sanctuary. The last straight line is defined by connecting Point 4 and Point 5, along the southern boundary of the GRNMS.

Table 1—Coordinates for the Research Area

Point IDLatitude
(north, in degrees)
Longitude
(west, in degrees)
1N 31.362732W 80.921200
2N 31.384444W 80.921200
3N 31.384444W 80.828145
4N 31.362732W 80.828145
5N 31.362732W 80.921200

[76 FR 63832, Oct. 14, 2011]

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