This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA17FC1052.

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CONTACT: JEFF RESTER

MISSISSIPPI/LOUISIANA HABITAT PROTECTION ADVISORY PANEL TO DISCUSS HABITAT ISSUES OF CONCERN

Tampa, Florida - November 2, 2001 A panel of concerned representatives of Louisiana and Mississippi recreational and commercial fishing groups, conservation organizations, academia, and state and federal resource agencies will gather at the New Orleans Airport Hilton, 901 Airline Highway, New Orleans, Louisiana to review and discuss fishery habitat issues. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 27, 2001 and is expected to adjourn by 4:00 p.m.

The Louisiana/Mississippi group is part of a three unit Habitat Protection Advisory Panel (AP) of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The principal role of the advisory panels is to assist the Council in attempting to maintain optimum conditions within the habitat and ecosystems supporting the marine resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Advisory panels serve as a first alert system to call to the Councilís attention proposed projects being developed and other activities which may adversely impact the Gulf marine fisheries and their supporting ecosystems. The panels may also provide advice to the Council on its policies and procedures for addressing environmental affairs.

At this meeting, the AP will discuss the progress of the coastal Mississippi Environmental Impact Statement; the Hancock County Board of Supervisors beach nourishment project; the Islander Casino and Resort project; the Caernarvon freshwater diversion impacts on fisheries; and review the Councilís Freshwater Inflow Policy. The AP will also receive an update on the Essential Fish Habitat Environmental Impact Statement.

A copy of the agenda can be obtained by calling 813-228-2815.

Although other issues not on the agenda may come before the panel for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal panel action during this meeting. Panel action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda listed as available by this notice.

The meeting is open to the public and is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office by November 20, 2001

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is 1 of 8 regional fishery management councils that were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans that are designed to manage fishery resources in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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