Comment period on draft Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard --- 13 December 2010

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NatureServe have developed the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS), a classification standard that is relevant to all U.S. coastal and marine environments and that can be applied locally, regionally, nationally, and potentially globally. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is conducting a public review of the draft CMECS which provides a means of classifying ecological and habitat units using a common terminology. It provides a uniform protocol for identifying, characterizing and naming ecological units in support of monitoring, protection, and restoration of unique biotic assemblages, protected species, critical habitat, and important ecosystem components. The FGDC Coastal and Marine Spatial Data Subcommittee, chaired by NOAA, developed this draft standard. The FGDC invites all stakeholders in coastal and marine ecology and management to comment on this standard to ensure that the standard meets their needs.

DATES: Comments on the draft Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) must be submitted no later than Monday, December 13, 2010.

The CMECS document can be downloaded from http://www.csc.noaa.gov/benthic/cmecs/CMECS_doc.pdf