MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
June 2, 2000
The Club at Heritage Harbor
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on Friday, June 2, 2000 at The Club at Heritage Harbor in downtown Monterey. Public categories and government agencies were present as indicated:
The following non-voting members were present as indicated:
I. CALL TO ORDER, ROLL CALL, APPROVAL OF APRIL 7, 2000 DRAFT MEETING MINUTES
A) Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Stephanie Harlan, at 9:00 a.m. Ed Brown conducted the roll call - a quorum was present.
B) Approval of Meeting Minutes
The minutes from the April 7, 2000 Advisory Council meeting were approved as presented.
Barbara Bass Evans from Save our Waterfront Committee, raised the issue of a proposed hotel development in Monterey's cannery row to extend on pilings past the high tide mark. This hotel has an open space permit dating back to 1981, before the sanctuary was designated. Barbara requested the answer to two questions: 1) Do the sanctuary's rules and regulations apply if this hotel is built below the mean high water mark, and 2) Do the regulations relating to historic structures apply to this case. Michele Finn, Acting Sanctuary Superintendent, responded that the sanctuary alternation of the seabed regulations do apply to construction activities below the mean high water mark, and the historic structures is not within the sanctuary's purview.
David Dilworth from Helping Our Peninsula's Environment, requested that the sanctuary consider another alternative to preventing oil spills. His proposal is to require ships carrying oil to line their cargo bays with a rubber liner or bladder. A handout entitled "Oil-Tanker Spills Prevented with Aircraft Technology" by David Dilworth was given to the Sanctuary coordinator to distribute to the SAC.
Nick Papadakis, on behalf of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), presented an award and token of the appreciation to Steve Webster for his help over the last 15 years.
Jim Stilwell, SAC - Ports and Harbors representative, requested that SAC members receive all correspondence related to MPA issues in other sanctuaries.
Sally Smith, SAC &endash; Recreation representative, brought up the issue of a proposed seawall construction project between 32nd-38th Avenue and East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. This is an important surf break and local recreational users are concerned about the proposed impact of such a project on the offshore reef and nor nearshore sandflow and erosion. Vicki Nichols added that the Conservation Working Group will address this issue in their next meeting and will develop an action item for the SAC to consider. This item may be placed on the agenda at a future SAC meeting. Gregor Cailliet added that the SAC should hear from all sides, and the SAC should only be involved if there is something that directly affects the sanctuary's regulations.
Aaron King, MBNMS Marine Scientist, presented the second version of the Draft MBNMS Kelp Management Report. The SAC will have until the August 4 meeting to provide feedback on the recommendations. The public is also encouraged to provide comments directly to the sanctuary or at various upcoming public meetings. The purpose of this report is to:
1. To fulfill the MBNMS legal mandate requiring protection and management of MBNMS kelp resources --- Without resorting to Federal Regulations.
Timeline for submitting these recommendations to Cal. Fish and Game:
June 2, 2000: Release of Draft MBNMS Kelp Management Report: Background, Environmental Setting and Draft Recommendations, which contains Draft Management Recommendations, in addition to alternative management concepts.
June 2 &endash; August 7, 2000: Solicitation of comments on Draft MBNMS Kelp Management Report: Background, Environmental Setting and Draft Recommendations.
August 7, 2000: Close comment period on Draft MBNMS Kelp Management Report: Background, Environmental Setting and Draft Recommendations.
August 7 - Late August, 2000: Writing Final MBNMS Kelp Management Report, including Final Management Recommendations for the MBNMS.
Late August, 2000: Release of Final MBNMS Kelp Management Report, and delivery to the DFG.
Late August - Late November, 2000: Staff discussions with DFG on issues of concern raised in the MBNMS Kelp Management Report (DFG finishes writing Draft California Kelp Management Plan for 2001-2005).
Late August, 2000: DFG publicly releases draft California Kelp Management Plan that contains proposed solutions to issues of concern to the MBNMS.
December, 2000: DFG submits final California Kelp Management Plan to FGC for review and approval.
The second report differs from the first draft in the following ways:
changed from "Plan" to "Report", reflecting that these are recommendations
The final MBNMS Kelp Management Report will contain:
"Preferred Management Alternative"
Draft Recommendation #1: The MBNMS recommends that DFG's CEQA document fully analyze the State's costs in managing kelp harvesting, including monitoring and enforcement, and that these costs should reflect revenues generated from various fees collected from the kelp harvesting industry (e.g., license fees, business and personal taxes, tonnage fees).
Draft Recommendation #2: The MBNMS recommends that California designate two no-kelp harvest areas along the Cannery Row area of the Monterey city coastline (DFG Bed #220). The first no-kelp harvest area should be from the Monterey Coast Guard Breakwater, and out 500 feet to the north. The second area should be to the 100 ft depth contour from the low tide mark between Prescott and Drake Avenues.
Draft Recommendation #3: The MBNMS recommends that, without a special FGC approved permit, kelp harvesting north of, and including, DFG Kelp Bed #219 be exclusively by hand-harvesting (i.e., no mechanical harvesting).
Draft Recommendation #4: The MBNMS recommends that the FGC allow the Monterey Kelp Cooperative to be the exclusive commercial harvester of DFG Kelp Bed #220, and that harvest from that bed be exclusively for the abalone mariculture businesses presently represented in the Cooperative. However, the MBNMS believes that persons or businesses in possession of herring roe permits should be exempted from this prohibition provided their harvests are done "by hand" for the herring roe-on-kelp fishery.
Recommendation #5: The MBNMS recommends that no hand harvesting
of Nereocystis be allowed in the MBNMS
Draft Recommendation #7: The MBNMS recommends that all parties interested in kelp use issues in DFG Kelp Bed #220 join in a discussion about the pros and cons of a kelp enhancement project.
Draft Recommendation #8: The MBNMS recommends that California keep all kelp harvest data per bed (leased or open) available to the public on an ongoing basis, and in a timely fashion.
Recommendation #9: The MBNMS recommends that kelp beds in the MBNMS
and north of Año Nuevo Island (DFG Beds #224, 225, 226 and 301)
be closed to commercial harvesting.
1) Kelp forest enhancement projects, including the possibility of artificial reefs and no-take zones;
Following Aaron's presentation, the SAC discussed the specific recommendations. Numerous minor technical clarifications were provided and other questions were asked. The following issues were raised:
The SAC also opened the issue up for public comments. Some of the issues included:
Vicki Nichols indicated that Save Our Shores will host a series of forums to raise public awareness of the kelp issue. There are three meeting scheduled so far:
in Santa Cruz
There was much discussion on what action the SAC should take regarding the kelp report. The following motion was passed unanimously by the SAC.
SAC members should submit their individual comments on the draft kelp
report to the Sanctuary directly. The SAC, as a body, will take formal
action on the kelp report at the August 4 SAC meeting after hearing
from the sanctuary about the comments submitted and potential changes.
LCDR Michele Finn provided an update on fiber optic cable issues in the sanctuary. NOAA is actively working on addressing fiber optic cables throughout the US EEZ by developing a national policy. This policy address regulations and laws such as the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act, and others. The national policy gives the communication industry greater certainty as to where they can and cannot build cables and what they need to consider when designing a project. NOAA will soon publish an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. This notices places the public on notice that NOAA intends on creating new regulations relating to fiber optic cables in U.S. waters.
On June 1, 2000, The County of Santa Cruz notified MCI WorldCom that their permit application for the Southern Crossing (permit # 99-0098) was considered abandoned. The county will keep its two EIR consultant contracts active for the next 45 days to facilitate environmental review work for a revised project if an application is made before July 14, 2000. Any new permit application made after that date would require a new EIS to be submitted.
Global Photon continues to resist the EIS process on their proposed cable crossing. They sent another letter to the Sanctuary stating their EIR was adequate and did not feel the need to complete a full EIS.
The California Coastal Commission is will hold a hearing in Santa Barbara concerning another AT&T cable project from Oregon to S. California. The cable will be laid about 150 miles offshore and it does not cross the MBNMS. Concern was raised at future coastal landings from this project.
The SAC recognized the need for the Federal government to have a policy regarding fiber optic cables. The SAC also wanted the national policy to recognize that individual decisions on projects are made on a local level and thus locals interest groups should be involved to help set national policy. It was even suggested that the Monterey Bay NMS should even develop its own policy on fiber optic cables.
The SAC requested that fiber optic cables be placed on the August 4 agenda.
Mario Tamburri provided the SAC with an introduction to the MBNMS Ecosystem Monitoring program. The objective is to develop and implement an ecosystem monitoring program to detect natural and human induced changes to Sanctuary resources and advise resource managers on necessary steps to protect those resources.
With over 20 marine research institutions, the Monterey Bay area is an internationally recognized leader in marine research, resource management, and policy. The entire Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary can be managed more effectively by summarizing and integrating information from existing monitoring efforts at these regional institutions and by identifying the critical gaps in our current knowledge. With this information, important issues will be identified and prioritized in a new long-term, integrated ecosystem monitoring plan that relies on existing data sets, supports and augments current research/monitoring efforts, and addresses the important gaps detected. This comprehensive plan will be the blueprint for new monitoring efforts locally at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, as well as a model for other National Marine Sanctuaries and marine protected areas worldwide.
Methods for Developing the Monitoring Plan
An important part of the monitoring plan will be to identify ways for resource managers, scientists and the public to use this information. The MBNMS plans on have a web-based map linking to databases, a central library, and partnership with sample/specimen archives.
The SAC reacted favorably to the monitoring program. Individual SAC members asked questions that ranged from how the Sanctuary would make this information more accessible, to funding, to the type and degree that resources are monitored. There was also a suggestion to bring in the general non-scientific public to make sure the sanctuary is asking the "right" questions in terms of management. A recommendation was made to present this plan to the educators who can help distribute the information and to make sure money is put into the budget for distribution and education.
Andrew DeVogelaere mentioned the new MBNMS Zoning report and offered to send it out to the SAC.
SAC members commended Andrew and Mario for their efforts in working
with the various research institutions to create this plan. The SAC
collectively voiced their strong support for the Sanctuary's efforts
to implement the ecosystem monitoring program.
VI. PRESENTATION: SUSTAINABLE SEAS EXPEDITIONS
DeVogelaere and Liz Love presented the science and education activities
for the upcoming Sustainable Seas Expeditions (SSE). The Monterey Bay
SSE mission is designed to collect information required to assist the
Sanctuary with habitat characterization efforts. Partners in the SSE
mission include: NOS, the National Geographic Society, Monterey Bay
Aquarium, MBARI, Carmel High School, National Marine Fisheries Service,
and the University of California Sea Grant Program. The majority of
the work proposed will occur off the Bur Sur coast (Big Creek reserve,
Sur Canyon), in the vicinity of the Pt. Lobos reserve, and in Monterey
VII. PROGRESS REPORT: FUNDING PILOT PROJECTS
Steve Webster initiated the report from the various funding pilot project chairs. He wanted clarification as to whom he should report to when getting a funding pledge. All SAC members should report this information to Brady Phillips. The SAC funding pilot project chairs would also like color copies of interpretive signs to use for their fundraising efforts.
Steve W: reported $3K from Monterey Bay Kayaks
Steve S: looking at list of a dozen people along wharf
Sally S: reported that Jim Stilwell was able to get $10 &endash; $12K in DOT T-21 funds for signage in the Moss Landing Harbor.
Karin S-K: looking at potential donors along Big Sur and along Carmel Highlands and Carmel Lagoon
Chet F: timing off for signs in Cambria. May have some pledges, but concerned about getting pledges for part of sign &endash; what happens if there isn't enough to purchase an entire sign.
Stephanie H: working with Leslie Stone on design for signs along Santa Cruz Sanctuary trail. Trying to solicit donations from cities, county and local businesses. Question on what type of recognition businesses get if they contribute money. Also, someone should work with the new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's California Coastal National Monument office to coordinate signage along the coast.
to reporting potential pledges: potential donors should sign a pledge
form, and collect $ when the sign is purchased. Individual signs will
go forward as money is collected.
VIII. REPORT: DONNA BLITZER &endash; CONGRESSMAN FARR'S OFFICE
Donna Blitzer, the local staffer for Representative for Sam Farr provided an update on the representatives involvement in marine issues. Rep. Farr attended the Vessel Traffic Press Event in San Francisco which is a great example of collaboration between industry, government and environmentalists. He also attend the President's press conference on the Maryland shore where he announced the new Marine Protected Area Initiative.
Rep. Farr is a primary member of the Ocean Caucus in the House of Representatives &endash; a group formed among House congressional members interested in ocean and coastal issues.
Rep. Farr has been working hard to try and get the Oceans Act passed.
This July there will be an international conference in D.C. as a follow-up to the Oceans Conference.
The Commerce, State and Justice appropriations have not yet come up. Farr has been supportive of the Agriculture appropriations, which has language that helps provide funding for a water quality protection program.
Donna provided SAC members with a Congressional Research Service report for Congress entitled "Restrictions on Lobbying Congress with Federal Funds" to help clarify communication between the SAC and Congressman Farr. Donna also offered to have Congressman Farr attend a future SAC meeting &endash; Oct. or Dec.
SAC voiced their sincere appreciation to Holly Price and the other members of the Vessel Traffic Management Taskforce and suggested writing letters of appreciation to all involved. No formal motion was proposed or passed.
suggested that the SAC members write letters to Congressman Farr and
others on the Agriculture Appropriation Committee supporting the $500K
targeted to the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to carry
out portions of the Monterey Bay WQPP Agricultural plan. Individual
SAC members agreed to write letters in support of this legislation.
LCDR Michele Finn summarized the President's May 26 Executive Order on Marine Protected Areas. As the policy was recently announced, there is not precise Information as to how this will be implemented. However, the policy does directs the federal government to strengthen and expand the national system of MPAs, working closely with state, territorial, local, and tribal trustees and other stakeholders. NOAA played a crucial role in the development of this Executive Order and will have a prominent leadership role in its implementation. Following are the key aspects of this E.O. that affect NOAA programs directly.
The Executive Order lays out three primary actions to be taken by relevant Federal agencies:
NOAA has been directed to play a lead role in developing two key components of this work:
The SAC had many questions as to what many of the provisions of this E.O. would mean to Monterey Bay NMS. Some comments focused on the fact that no new money had been allocated to implement this center. The SAC cautioned against using existing sanctuary program fund to develop and staff this center. Some questions were raised as to how many people would work there and what the center would actually do. The SAC is very supportive if this center and unanimously passed the following motion:
MOTION: The SAC should write Dr. Baker urging NOAA to locate the proposed Marine Protected Area Center in the Monterey Bay area.
Some of the reasons cited include: home of the largest MPA in the U.S.; over 23 research, education and policy institutions based in the area; State of Calif. is undergoing a systematic evaluation of its own MPAs; close proximity of a major airports. The SAC also suggested using the reasons listed in a letter from Gregor Cailliet.
also expressed concern about the meaning of the E.O. directing agencies
to "strengthen existing MPA sites and add new protected areas where
needed using existing authorities, programs and public processes." The
SAC was assured this would not bring new, uniform regulations banning
activities such as fishing and nor does it mean a mandatory 20% no take
area for all sanctuaries. The SAC conveyed the need to keep them informed
and as part of the process. There is a need for intense discussion and
deliberation with the public to address what this means now and in the
future. Some SAC members suggested writing a letter to Dan Basta stating
such concerns or at least copied on the letter to Dr. Baker.
Karin Strasser Kauffman summarized the recent announcement by Leon Panetta and New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman to lead an independent commission to assess the condition of America's oceans and living marine resources, and set national priorities to restore and protect them for future generations. The first meeting of this group will occur this July.
agreed to contact the Pew Oceans Commission and invite Leon Panetta
to give a presentation about this topic at the next SAC meeting or at
another special meeting of the SAC.
DISCUSSION: MAY RETREAT FOLLOW-UP & AUG. RETREAT
SAC mutually agreed to have a joint staff-SAC retreat on Thursday, August 3 from 3-6 PM in Cambria. Since the length of this retreat is compressed, the SAC would like to have the MBNMS priorities mailed to them in advance of the retreat. The SAC also agreed to address the May 10 retreat suggestions during this retreat.
SAC members express a desire to increase inter-SAC communications with
the Channel Islands NMS. The SAC agreed to extend an invitation to
the Channel Islands NMS SAC to come to Cambria for a reception and to
attend the Aug. 4 meeting.
The SAC discussed topics for the next agenda. Since the next meeting is in Cambria, the SAC agreed to let Chet Forest come up with a list of items relevant to the Cambria area for inclusion on the agenda. Some of the topics included:
Gregor Cailliet provided a summary of the April 14 Research Activity Panel (RAP) meeting held at CSUMB. A written summary of the topics discussed was handed out to SAC members.
Patricia Clark-Gray directed the Advisory Council to her written Sanctuary Education Panel (SEP) report.
The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.