For Immediate Release
Date: January 8, 2003
Release #: 001-03
Media Contact:
Chuck Underwood <mailto:[email protected]>, 904-232-2580 ext. 109
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extends Public Comment Period on Proposed
Regulations for the Florida Manatee

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the closing
date for the public comment period on proposed regulations authorizing the
incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of manatee has been
extended. The comment period was originally scheduled to close on
Monday, January 13, but has now been extend an additional two-weeks to Monday,
January 27. The formal notice will be published in the Federal Register
later this week.

The decision to extend the comment period is in response to requests
received from the public, local agencies and the State of Florida.
Comments may be mailed, hand delivered, faxed, or submitted electronically.
Please mail or deliver comments to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
North Florida Field Office, Attn: MMPA Proposal, 6620 Southpoint Drive, Suite
310, Jacksonville, FL 32216-0958. Comments may also be faxed to 904-232-2404.
Comments submitted electronically should be embedded in your message or
be attached as text files. Please include your name and return mailing
address in your email and indicate "MMPA Rule" or "Draft EIS" in the subject
line depending on which document your comments address. Send electronic
comments to: [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> .
A copy of the proposed regulations and finding, as well as the Draft
EIS, fact sheets and Frequently Asked Questions are available via the
Internet at <> or may be obtained from the address above,
requested by telephone at 904/232-2580 extension 109, by fax at
904/232-2404, or by e-mail at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
The Services manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System
which encompasses more than 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66
national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance
offices, 64 Fishery Resource Offices and 78 ecological services field
stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the
Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores
nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife
habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation
efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes
hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment
to state fish and wildlife agencies.
-- FWS --

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