Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has invited the Fono leadership and NOAA officials to attend the public meeting scheduled for 4 P.M. on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at the Fono Guest House.
The Congressman has invited President Gaoteote and Speaker Savali of the Fono or their designees to join him in conducting this public meeting as well as the following day covering the two proposed immigration legislation that would affect American Samoa.
The NOAA officials invited are Ms. Gene Brighouse, Superintendent of the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Mr. Lelei Peau, Deputy Director of Department of Commerce, and Mr. Dean Hudson, Chairman of the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council who will be given an opportunity to share with the public the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposal for the expansion of the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the regulatory changes in these areas, and the sanctuary name change.
“Last week, I met with Mr. Daniel Basta, Director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and his staff in my office in Washington, D.C. concerning NOAA’s recent proposal to expand the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary,” said Faleomavaega. “This meeting was held in order to address my early opposition and concerns about the new proposal.
“As everyone knows, I had early reservations about the proposed management plan because I was not properly briefed by NOAA regarding their plans in moving forward. After further review and discussions with Mr. Basta, I am now having this public meeting in order for all stakeholders to voice and address any concerns.”
“This public meeting will provide an opportunity for those involved to share with our people about this proposal in managing and assessing our natural resources. I know there has been a strong public response because this is a very sensitive issue that will affect the livelihoods of many of our residents. I have always been a strong advocate for conservation but I do not want it to infringe on the rights of our people.”
“I am hopeful that through the public meetings many of the concerns and questions about these proposals are addressed. I look forward to the constructive dialogue in ensuring that there is a better understanding of these critical issues that will significantly impact American Samoa,” Faleomavaega concluded.