Aspects of Sanctuary Management
Sanctuary management is where all the individual efforts of conservation research, inter-sanctuary cooperation, and much more come together. It is the tricky job of coordinating everything in a way that best protects the region's resources. Here is a sampling of the many different aspects of managing the Monterey Bay Sanctuary's 5,000+ square miles of ocean.
"The two biggest highlights have been public involvement and working directly with other agencies," explains Terry Jackson, reflecting on the Sanctuary's first five years. "Everyone here wants the same thing &emdash; to protect the resources &emdash; so we've striven to build partnerships that work towards that goal."
Central Coast citizens have been untiring Sanctuary supporters. The hundreds of volunteers who donate their time have been an enormous help to Sanctuary staff.
Sanctuary management has also worked closely over the years with federal, state and local agencies, particularly with those state agencies that have overlapping jurisdictions with the Sanctuary. "We've built some outstanding relationships &emdash; with the California Coastal Commission, for example," Jackson points out. "We now ask, 'what are we going to do?' rather than 'what am I going to do?' and 'what are you going to do?'," he explains. "That really helps get things done."
Another key partnership has been with the California Biodiversity Council. One of that group's tasks has been to define bio-regions across the state. "They asked us to join because they are considering defining marine bio-regions also, and wanted our input," explains Jackson. "They are also looking at water quality issues and resource management on private land &emdash; subjects with which we've had experience," he adds.
Permitting and enforcement may not sound particularly glamorous. But they are an important part of resources protection.
The Sanctuary Permit Program allows individuals and institutions to conduct activities otherwise prohibited by Sanctuary regulations if those activities can be conducted with only short-term, insignificant impacts to the Sanctuary. The permitting process has been successful in preventing seabed disturbance and habitat alteration, reducing disturbance of marine bird rookeries by low-flying aircraft, and much more.
Air and sea enforcement and monitoring patrols maintain vigilance and enable staff to investigate incidents that may threaten Sanctuary resources. The Sanctuary's philosophy has been to help people understand the regulations and to promote good stewardship. "We believe enforcement is important," says Scott Kathey, Sanctuary Enforcement Coordinator, "but we would prefer to educate people to help us protect the resources rather than write tickets. The National Park Service has had a great deal of success with this approach over the years, and we believe it will work just as well within the Marine Sanctuary."
The Sanctuary was recently approached by a donor who wanted to make a significant contribution towards enforcement activities in this region. Sanctuary staff were able to facilitate an arrangement, with the help of the Resources Agency of California, whereby this donation will fund enforcement efforts by the California Dept. of Fish & Game and the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation in the Sanctuary and along the Central Coast.
These are just brief glimpses at Sanctuary management. Whether it is sitting in a meeting with state and local agencies, coordinating volunteer efforts, or overseeing enforcement activities &emdash; the scope of the job is enormous!
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Last modified on: June 14,