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Notice of Public Hearing

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), propose to designate critical habitat for elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (A. cervicornis) corals, which was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), on May 9, 2006. Four specific areas are proposed for designation: the Florida unit, which comprises approximately 3,301 square miles (8,671 sq km) of marine habitat; the Puerto Rico unit, which comprises approximately 1,383 square miles (3,582 sq km) of marine habitat; the St. John/St. Thomas unit, which comprises approximately 121 square miles (313 sq km) of marine habitat; and the St. Croix unit, which comprises approximately 126 square miles (326 sq km) of marine habitat. NMFS proposes to exclude one military site, comprising approximately 47 square miles (123 sq km), because of national security impacts. One public hearings will be held in Puerto Rico and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands:
1. Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Administration and Conference Center (ACC), 1st Floor Conference Room, University of the Virgin Islands, 2 John Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I./ Simulcast Location on St. Croix: The Great Hall, Room #134, University of the Virgin Islands, RR 1, Box 10000 Kingshill, St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
2. Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., 4th Floor Conference Room, Environmental Building, Cruz Matos, State Road #838, km 6.3, Sector El Cinco, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

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