NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.

The committee provides advice and support to the National Marine Protected Areas Center which works with federal agencies, states, tribes, and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and effective national MPA system to conserve the nation's natural and cultural heritage.

"The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee provides critical and practical advice on ways to collaborate across MPA programs and engages with partners to tap the great potential of these special places in protecting our environment and sustaining local communities," said Lauren Wenzel, acting director of NOAA's National Marine Protected Areas Center. "I am pleased to welcome such a diverse and highly qualified group."

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