This is a publication of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Award No. NA03NMF4410028.

Gulf Council logoNEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: AS APPROPRIATE
CONTACT: JEFF RESTER

TEXAS HABITAT PROTECTION ADVISORY PANEL TO DISCUSS HABITAT ISSUES OF CONCERN

Tampa, Florida - November 18, 2003 - The Texas Habitat Protection Advisory Panel (AP) will meet at the Hobby Airport Hilton, 8181 Airport Boulevard, Houston, Texas to review and discuss fishery habitat issues. The AP is composed of persons from recreational and commercial fishing groups, conservation organizations, academia, and state and federal resource agencies. The meeting will convene at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 9, 2003 and is expected to adjourn by 4:00 p.m.

The Texas Habitat Protection APís principal role 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. The AP serves as a first alert system to call to the Council=s attention proposed projects being developed and other activities that may adversely impact the Gulf marine fisheries and their supporting ecosystems. The AP may also provide advice to the Council on its policies and procedures for addressing environmental affairs.

At this meeting, the Texas Habitat Protection AP will tentatively discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Bahia Grande restoration project, the Sabine-Neches waterway deepening project, the mouth of the Colorado River project, the possible reopening of Parkerís Cut, current freshwater inflow issues in Texas, beneficial uses of dredged material in Galveston Bay, and information on the Harte Research Institute. 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 December 2, 2003.

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. This news release, and other Council news releases, can be viewed at the Councilís web site at http://www.gulfcouncil.org. In addition, Council press releases may be received via e-mail by sending a blank e-mail message to pressreleases@gulfcouncil.org with SUBSCRIBE as the subject.

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