NOAA is developing a Programmatic Environmental Assessment to analyze the potential impacts on the natural and human environment from aquaculture research and development projects funded by federal financial assistance awards. The effort is led by NOAA Sea Grant and NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture.
A public comment period for the draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment is open now through December 18, 2022.
NOAA intends for this Programmatic Environmental Assessment to enhance agency efforts for environmental review and federal regulation compliance related to current and future aquaculture research and development awards. After the public comment periods closes, comments will be digested and implemented in the final version of the document, which is expected to be released in early 2023.
Aquaculture research and development federal awards are needed to develop scientific knowledge and a trained workforce to address critical issues including: supporting a healthy coastal economy; addressing the demand for domestic seafood products; and enhancing wild stock populations (for commercial purposes). The federal financial assistance award programs described provide a unique opportunity within NOAA to partner with external researchers and institutions, engage in private sector and public collaborations, and facilitate aquaculture research and development to meet these needs.