"I feel that I offer the SAC the knowledge that comes from people who are actually out on the water seeing what's going on. We see the whales, the sea turtles, and other creatures, and notice population fluctuations. Also, I take back information to the industry. For example, being on the SAC helps me in tracking this latest group of [marine-related] state legislation."
"The Council acts like the center of a communications network. I bring information to the SAC from groups like Surfrider Foundation, who monitor water quality, and then I can go back to Surfrider meetings and update members on issues such as shark chumming, or on how the Water Quality Protection Program will interface with Surfrider activities like storm drain stenciling. SAC meetings also give me the opportunity to talk with other members, keeping up on what the Center for Marine Conservation or the California EPA are doing, for example."
The Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) is a group of volunteers, representing the Sanctuary's many constituents, who advise and assist the Sanctuary management. The group meets regularly at different locations throughout the Central Coast. Meetings provide an opportunity for the community to learn and participate in discussions about issues affecting the Sanctuary. Presentations and discussion topics at past meetings have included kelp harvesting practices, jade collection, agriculture, jet ski usage, and vessel traffic within the Sanctuary's boundaries.
"I encourage my constituents to come and take advantage of this public forum," says SAC member Thomas LaHue. "If people have concerns, or want to express their opinions, I suggest that they get on the agenda &emdash; that's what we're here for."
The SAC also has three "working groups," for education, research, and conservation. These are made up of local experts and interested individuals who coordinate activities and assist Sanctuary staff in their field of interest.
Council members represent the many faces of the Sanctuary, including the diving, recreation, fishing, education, and conservation communities, as well as government agencies. This broad representation means that the group's advice to the Sanctuary management is comprehensive and well-informed.
Richard Nutter is the agricultural representative. "My input has been to see that the voice of the agricultural community is heard," he explains. "I know that there are still some concerns among the agricultural community about the Sanctuary possibly bringing in new regulations," he continues. "I've helped keep those concerns in balance, and helped ensure that Sanctuary efforts have been primarily toward collaboration and education."
Brian Baird, Resources Agency
Since coming to the Agency in 1993, Baird has worked towards developing a strategy to deal with comprehensive ocean management in this state. The fruits of his (and many others') labor was released recently: California's Ocean Resources: An Agenda for the Future, (the "Ocean Agenda"), was published in conjunction with the California and the World Ocean '97 Conference in San Diego earlier this year.
"From my perspective, the most important thing we need to do, when looking at ocean resource management, is to obtain credible 'on the ground' information," Baird explains. "With the Resources Agency based in Sacramento, it's great for us to be able to come to the SAC meetings to hear local points of view and get up to speed on issues and activities affecting Sanctuary resources."
Baird's SAC connections also helped with the development of the Ocean Agenda. "Many people from the SAC helped develop the Ocean Agenda," he says, adding that several fellow members also chaired sessions or presented papers at the San Diego conference.
Baird brings his considerable public policy skills to a variety of Sanctuary endeavors. He has been involved with the Water Quality Protection Program review group, he participated on the Jade Cove subcommittee to help develop solutions to jade harvesting, and he is working to increase education and enforcement capacity for the Sanctuary.
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Last modified on: June 14,