SACA presents researcher and conservationist George Sedberry at the Dec. 3Â meeting, 7 p.m. in Whitney Hall. Sedberry is science coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region of the Office of Marine Sanctuaries. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Local environmental group, Friends of the Matanzas, submitted a marine sanctuary proposal called the Eubaelena Oculina National Marine Sanctuary in order to conserve and protect ocean waters from St. Simonâ€™s Island south to Melbourne. Since marine sanctuaries also prohibit seismic testing and oil exploration within its boundaries, the current proposal is timely in face of recent permit requests for seismic testing off St. Augustineâ€™s coast, a Right Whale calving ground.
SACA encourages everyone to attend who has an interest in commercial and recreational fishing, along with those working to secure marine wildlife habitats and ocean recreation for future generations. Chowder, wine and beer will be available at 6 p.m.; meeting starts at 7 p.m.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, which functions under NOAA, serves as trustee for a network of 14 marine protected areas encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa.
The South Anastasia Communities Association (SACA) formed 20 years ago to preserve quality of life issues in the southeast coastal region of St. Johns County. The group meets four times a year in campus facilities of the University of Floridaâ€™s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, 9505 Ocean Shore Boulevard. Call 904-471-0753 for information.