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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BJ52 Publication ID: Spring 2023 
Title: Designation of Critical Habitat for Threatened Indo-Pacific Reef-Building Corals 

On September 10, 2014, NMFS listed 20 species of reef-building corals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, 15 in the Indo-Pacific and five in the Caribbean. Of the 15 Indo-Pacific species, seven occur in U.S. waters of the Pacific Islands Region, including in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas. This proposed rule would designate critical habitat for the seven species in U.S. waters (Acropora globiceps, Acropora jacquelineae, Acropora retusa, Acropora speciosa, Euphyllia paradivisa, Isopora crateriformis, and Seriatopora aculeata). This proposed rule would designate critical habitat for the listed Caribbean coral species. The proposed designation may cover coral reef habitat around 13 island or atoll units in the Pacific Islands Region, including three in American Samoa, one in Guam, seven in the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, and two in Pacific Remote Island Areas, containing essential features that support reproduction, growth, and survival of the listed coral species. NMFS will coordinate the Departments of the Navy, Air Force, and Army as well as the U.S. Coast Guard to assess any potential national security impacts that may result from the critical habitat designation. Based on information provided, we will determine whether to propose to exclude any areas based on national security impacts.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 226   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
NPRM  Judicial  Court settlement agreement. Submission of the proposed rule to the Federal Register October 6, 2020.  10/06/2020 
Final  Statutory  ESA Sec 4(b)(6)(A) requires the Final Rule be published in the Federal Register within one year of the date of the proposed rule.  11/27/2021 
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  11/27/2020  85 FR 76262   
NPRM Comment Period End  01/26/2021 
NPRM Comment Period Extended  12/23/2020  85 FR 83899   
NPRM Comment Period Extended End  02/25/2021 
Second NPRM Comment Period Extended  02/09/2021  86 FR 8749   
Second Extended Comment Period End  03/27/2021 
Third NPRM Comment Period Extended  03/29/2021  86 FR 16325   
Third NPRM Comment Period Extended End  05/26/2021 
Second NPRM  06/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Federal 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Related RINs: Split from 0648-BG26 
Agency Contact:
Kim Damon-Randall
Director, Office of Protected Resources
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:301 427-8400