MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
December 1, 2000
The Sesnon House at Cabrillo College (Board Room)
6500 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95003
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on Friday, December 1, 2000, at the Sesnon House at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. 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 THE OCTOBER 8, 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. Brady Phillips conducted the roll call - a quorum was present.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
The SAC unanimously adopted the minutes from the October 8, 2000 Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting, with the following minor changes:
Vote: Unanimous in favor (16 in favor, 0 opposed)
Jim Stilwell: The US Army will conduct military exercises the first week of February in Moss Landing Beach.
Greg Cailliet: The RAP minutes from the Nov. 17th meeting in Santa Cruz has been distributed. The RAP heard presentations on ATOC, a summary of SIMoN, the new MPA Science Center, COMPASS, and Tagging Pelagics. The RAP will also be involved in the revision of the research plan.
Chet Forrest: There was a memo from Dan Basta dated Sept. 22 requesting input from SAC members on the upcoming SAC Coordination/Chair meeting. Chet wanted to know if anyone has sent their input and strongly urged members to do so. Karin indicated that some of the recommendations from the NAPA report could be used as a basis for the comments. Stephanie Harlan indicated she met with Brady to come up with a list of items for the agenda.
Pat Clark Gray: The minutes from the Nov. 16th SEP meeting were distributed. The National Ocean Science Bowl (Otter Bowl) is looking for volunteers to judge and moderators at its Feb. 10th bowl. The Friends of Moss Landing Marine Labs are putting together a 2001 Conservation Forum (March 7, April 19, & May 2) to present concepts in Global Climate Change.
Karin Strasser Kauffman: Asked Gregor Cailliet about the status of ATOC in California and the results of the ongoing studies. Greg indicated that the Navy has put forth funds to study impacts on marine mammals near Pioneer Seamount. At the RAP meeting, Dan Costa gave an update on some of their research. These studies allow researchers to study the effects on elephant seals, sperm whales, humpback whales. Sperm whales were found to "clump" together when the sound source was on and humpback whales appeared to veer ~1Km away from the source. Elephant seals showed dramatic changes only when a ship passed over. The researchers will prepare a summary report. The sound source is no longer emitting sound, but it is still in place. They attempted to pull out the cable this past summer and had equipment problems. The sound source was disconnected and the cable sliced in two places. It is now lying on the bottom of the ocean. Dr. Baker gave them an extra year to attempt to figure out if they can use the cable for scientific instruments.
Vicki Nichols: A consortium of 4 conservation groups, including SOS and CMC met with Duke Power and successfully were able to get an additional $ 1 million over 5 years for monitoring. They have asked the MBNMS Foundation to administer Duke Powerplant mitigation funds through the SIMoN monitoring efforts. The funds will provide about $200K annually (over 5 years) for biological and physical monitoring of Elkhorn Slough.
Karin Strasser Kauffman: Asked about the status of a letter from the Sanctuary to Monterey County regarding rewrite of Titles 20 & 21, relating to erosion control practices. Kirk Schmidt indicated that the Planning commission declined to address this issue for political reasons since other items were put on the table as well. Thus the rewrite of title 20 & 21 has been dropped at this time. Kirk is trying to revive and improve erosion control and erosion monitoring in North Monterey County.
Bill Douros: The IMO-approved Vessel Traffic recommendations go into effect today, Dec. 1. MBNMS staff sent out notices and maps depicting the routes to all commercial fishermen in central California, mariners, and maritime industry.
Please keep in mind March 16 & 17 for this year's Sanctuary Currents Symposium which will focus on fishing. The seminar is co-sponsored by NMFS, and will in part address the salmonid fisheries and habitat issues.
The MBNMS Water Quality Protection Program, in cooperation with CMC, CCC, and the Coastal Watershed Council, released the results of last April's Snapshot Day. The focus of snapshot day is to get as many people as possible out in the watershed monitoring and recording data. Resource managers will use the data.
There are several new staff members attending this meeting, including: Erica Burton, Research Assistant, Michele Roest, Education and Outreach Specialist in Cambria, and Tanya Haeri-Mc-Carroll, Water Quality Specialist.
Tami Grove: The California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing in San Francisco on December 12, 2000 on whether to approve the Navy's request to initiate a Low Frequency Acoustic (LFA) project. The Navy is proposing to use LFA technology to detect submarines. CCC intends to object to the project due to inadequate information. See the CCC website at http://agency.resource.ca.gov/coastalcomm/web/ or call Mark Delaplane at (831) 427-4863.
Jim Stilwell: At the last Moss Landing Harbor Commission Board Meeting, there was a question from the fishermen as to whether Jim votes on behalf of the Sanctuary or the users (fishermen). Sanctuary needs to have a more aggressive education and outreach campaign regarding the purposes of the SAC.
Steve Webster: He was listening to a radio interview of Leon Panetta and someone asked Leon a question about the Sanctuary, "Since Monterey Bay is a Sanctuary, how can they allow fishing and allow for the expansion of the Duke Energy Project?" The public really doesn't understand what the Sanctuary means. If they don't know, they will automatically think "sanctuary" means total protection. It is important to get the real essence of what the MBNMS means out to the public.
Richard Nutter : For an update on the status of Agriculture Appropriations see the Nov. 9 press release in your packets. This appropriation is the end product of a conversation with Congressman Farr from last year, who directed Dick to contact Donna Blitzer. This resulted in $500K targeted to go towards the NRCS. They will hire 4 new staff members (soil conservation, rural road engineer, water quality specialist, and outreach specialist). NMSF will receive $70K to hire someone to help implement and track agriculture and rural lands plan. Dick thanks congressman Farr, Donna Blizer, MBNMS Staff, Farm Bureaus, and others who helped make it a reality. There is also an additional $165K from Central Calif. Coalition of Farm Bureaus to help implement the agriculture and rural lands plan.
Stephanie Harlan: Took this opportunity to officially recognize the 4 members of SAC who will not seek renomination to the SAC for another term.
The following alternates have not sought renomination.
Also, Doug Huckins, Cal. Fish and Game Enforcement recently resigned from the SAC since taking a new position at CFG.
Stephanie thanked each of the 4 members and gave information about each person. Bill Douros also thanked each member for having a passion for helping protect the Sanctuary's resource, for doing the right thing for the Sanctuary, for being really committed to being a SAC member, and supporting the notion of having a Sanctuary. Bill gave each of those members in attendance a framed "Star of the Sea" appreciation certificate. Andrew DeVogelaere also gave his appreciation for the work the Gregor Cailliet did as "acting" research coordinator over the years when there was no research coordinator. Gregor stepped in and really helped get people motivated and write a first research plan.
Chet Forrest: Really enjoyed this experience. Urges all SAC members to continue our efforts and progress made to date. There is good management, good staff, and a good public that cares about the Sanctuary. Chet sees SAC members as ambassadors with 3 hats: reach out to constituents, NOAA, and on behalf of the ocean. No where else does a group of people this size have such an impact. Try not to let one's personal agenda and politics get in the way of moving forward. Chet coined a new term "Emotion for the Ocean"
Gregor Cailliet: It was really a pleasure getting to know people on the council. The SAC was a different experience than he was used to with such a multi-disciplinary focus. It was very interesting be part of such a group. The SAC and associated working groups helped make the MBNMS a national leader of involving the public. The people here are the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary has acted as a collaborative force and as a result is much better coordinated and diverse. The RAP has been a great group and very active and Gregor will continue to work with the RAP.
Steve Abbott: It has been a privilege to serve on the SAC and have the challenging task of representing and balancing the interests of business with the need to protect the Sanctuary's resources. He was honored to be involved from the start, and is heartened to see the passion from designation carry forth to now. It has always been fascinating, interesting and a challenge.
Doug Huckins: sent a letter of resignation and can't participate in the SAC any longer due to a new promotion. Since Oct. 1, Doug has responsibility for coordinating enforcement in over 6 coastal counties (San Mateo to San Luis Obispo). The relationship he has developed between DFG-Enforcement, MBNMS Staff, and the SAC has been a very pleasurable experience. Over the years DFG has hosted a number of events on the Blue fin, including during the National Ocean Conference, and helped teach others about California's marine resources. Special thanks to Bill Douros who has been very supportive and to Capt. Carmel Babich who will fill in for his seat. Doug truly appreciates the way the SAC hasn't let the badge stand in the way of developing a good relationship.
II. PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Steve Scheiblauer: Monterey hosted over 110 Harbormasters from throughout the West Coast on Nov. 8 & 9th. Commander Craig McLean from MSD headquarter, and staff or managers from 4 west coast sanctuaries (Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast) discussed sanctuary issues and the concerns of harbor managers such as dredging, SACs, fisheries, and other related matters. Steve thought the session was a success and thanked NOAA for participating. Steve would like to request extra copies of packets for the public.
Kaitlin Gaffney: Gave a brief update on the Global West/Global Photon project. The CCC is recommending approval for the portions of the cable outside of the MBNMS. The CCC will be taking public comments at their next meeting in San Francisco on December 12, 2000.
III. UPDATE: REP. SAM FARR'S PARTICIPATION IN NMSA REAUTHORIZATION & APPROPRIATIONS; OTHER LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
Donna Blitzer extends Congressman Farr's regrets that he could not attend this meeting. They had no idea that Congress would still be in session this late in the year. Congress has not yet finished the appropriations process for FY 2001. They were scheduled to go into session right after the election, but the final vote on appropriations was delayed due to the uncertainty of the Presidential election. Tentatively, this has been scheduled to meet next week. Congressman Farr was looking forward to hearing from the SAC.
There are four areas that Congressman Farr has been involved in Sanctuary issues: appropriations, legislation, presidential initiatives, and the private sector ocean commission initiatives.
They expect President Clinton to veto the Commerce, State, Justice (CSJ) bill, because it does not contain enough funding for oceans, Lands Legacy, Justice Dept. programs (community policing), and lacks emergency VISAS for certain countries. Please talk to Donna if you have ideas for next year's budget.
They expect Congressman Farr to continue on the Appropriations committee for next year. He is also co-chair of California Delegation (on the Democrat side). This California delegation is a national model of how bipartisan members can work together.
The Oceans Act was passed this last year, which establishes a commission on Ocean Policy. This will be a Stratton-type commission that looks at all broad issues regarding the ocean and makes recommendations for the next administration.
Pew Oceans Commission is a private-sector commission, and will make a report to Congress in about 18-months. Congress looks forward to getting their report. This report and commission will complement the new Oceans Commission set up under the Oceans Act.
Exploration of the Sea Act. -- This Act establishes an Oceanographic Advisory Panel to make recommendations as to how the federal government can better coordinate and support ocean research. There is also an International component. This was funded at $5.5 million.
National Marine Sanctuaries Act Reauthorization: President Clinton signed the Act on November 14th. Congressman Farr feels it was a successful reauthorization, despite the fact that everything didn't get included. The Act creates a new Nancy Foster Scholarship, which will be funded at 1% of NMSP budget with a focus on women and minorities. In part, as a follow up to the President's Executive Order on MPAs, the Act makes it possible to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a Sanctuary. The Act also authorizes $32 million in fiscal year 2001, with levels increasing by $2 million a year through fiscal year 2005, and has an additional $6 million a year in fiscal years 2001 through 2005 to provide the visitor facilities. The Act comes with a provision that, with the exception of the new Hawaii site, no new sanctuaries can be designated unless it is proven it will not negatively impact the existing system.
The Ocean Exploration Panel (Marcia McNutt and Peter Douglas serve on this group), which is part of the Exploration of the Sea Act, will be sending their recommendations to the President soon. Congressman Farr is interested in seeing the recommendations and may turn them into a bill.
Private Sector-Pew Oceans Commission
They are also looking for ways to help bolster the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Trail by trying to find a legislative way to help.
Gregor Cailliet: Greg stated he was an initial skeptic of National Ocean Conference, and has since done a 180-degree turn and now realizes the support and momentum it really generated. The research community is very excited at all the opportunities coming out of this momentum and thanks Rep. Farr for getting this in Monterey.
Dave Clayton: Noted the NMSA retained the language " facilitate human uses." This was language that the SAC supported and it was good to see it was left in.
Karin Strasser Kauffman: many thanks to Donna for all her input and support. She has tremendously helped improve communication with Congressman Farr.
Karin is the Chair of the NAPA Subcommittee. Others include, Ron Massengill, Jim Stilwell, Chet Forest, David Clayton, and Stephanie Harlan. The NAPA Subcommittee has met several times and has initially reviewed the NAPA recommendations, and will be identifying areas where the SAC should focus. The Subcommittee's task is to examine and follow up on recommendations of the NAPA report, in particular those recommendations dealing with SACs. The Subcommittee provided recommendation as to how to proceed with the review of the report.
Karin would like to have a consensus-based approach on reviewing the report and would like to have support from the SAC. This could be a regular agenda item for the next few SAC meetings as they work through the process.
Bill Douros provided a brief update on what the NMSP has been doing to address the NAPA report. The review and initial assessment by NOAA was done in the first 6 months following the release of the report. The NMSP identified those items that can be easily addressed and those that will take additional time. Some things, like the National SAC Chairs-Coordinator meeting, have already been planned.
Karin turned to the handouts provided to SAC members. She highlighted those portions directly relevant to SACs. The report highlights in several places that SACs are critical to the program but that the program continues to fear a strong-willed SAC. Some of the NAPA recommendations include: 1) making sanctuaries more visible to the public, 2) setting priorities for Sanctuary education priorities, 3) making public involvement part of the mission of the sanctuaries, 4) clarifying the roles and responsibilities of sanctuary councils - welcome advisory councils of local citizens as active partners, rather than holding at arms length, and train sanctuary managers to work with strong-minded boards, 5) publishing "state of the sanctuary" reports, 6) putting more staff in the field at sanctuary sites.
NOAA's response to the report was positive not negative and indicates it wants to move forward to help improve the program.
Karin pointed out specific sections of text relating to SACs and asked members to review these sections. In particular she noted that:
There is also a profile in the report that summarizes the resources, threats, and authorities of the Monterey Bay NMS.
The Charter was one issue that came up at nearly every Sanctuary with a SAC. After designation, it was the Monterey Bay SAC's suggestion to have a Charter and protocols. At the time, the SAC, through its Chair, argued with Washington on the wording of the Charter. They finally accepted it because it was thought it was a working document that could be updated with time. Over time, NOAA became more difficult to work with to change the Charter -- it became set in stone. Karin has the feeling that there are issues left undone and it is worth finishing.
The MBNMS SAC strongly urged NOAA to accept that local communities be involved in the designation of the Sanctuary and in the ongoing management of the Sanctuary.
Karin indicated that she wanted to discuss with the SAC those areas of the NAPA report that are more important to tackle. They could then call the subcommittee together and come up with recommendations. Vicki Nichols stated it was a good idea for committee to come back to the SAC with specific recommendations since they have already reviewed this information. The information Karin highlighted is a good place to start.
Chet Forrest cautioned the group to not let personal agendas get involved. The NAPA report was well done and it came out with clear picture of what was and wasn't working with SACs. Another area the group could address is opportunities for the future. SAC can play an important role in helping shape the future. It is important to note the accomplishments listed in table 4, though there are a lot more. Some other recommendations for the Sanctuary to consider are how SACs can help the site build up staffing and garner the necessary resources to run the Sanctuary. SACs should also look at marine Reserves in depth.
Steve Webster summarized some of the issues that Karin brought up as she went through the NAPA report
(MP) Steve Webster suggests could be addressed in Management Plan
Tami Grove suggested that there may be other ways of focusing the effort. The SAC should think about the type of forum that will help the most. A number of the broader issues would play out more in the management plan review, which we are getting ready to address. In terms of what we are trying to accomplish, we are trying to influence the actions that NOAA takes in response to this document. What is NOAA doing to implement the NAPA report and how can the SAC be involved? We may want to focus comments or suggestions on those things NOAA is actually working on and is seeking comments (such as the SAC Handbook).
Karin suggested that the SAC write a letter to NOAA asking what portions of the NAPA report they are working on, clarifying that the SAC wants to be helpful and productive and provided input where needed.
Vicki: Some questions may be a good round-table for the entire SAC to be involved in, such as perceptions.
The draft SAC handbook and upcoming SAC Chairs meeting was brought up as an immediate need. This should be an immediate focal point.
Stephanie reminded the SAC that there has been important discussions over the Charter and Protocols. We have already finished the charter and we still need to finish the protocols.
Steve Shimek noted that he has attended many of the SAC meetings over the last 3 years. He explained that SAC meetings are very frustrating to members of the public because of the amount of time the SAC takes to address the charter issue instead of the many important resource issues that confront the Sanctuary. Steve mentioned that the SAC is not getting to accomplish all it was intended to accomplish, because it spends all its time talking about these procedural types of issues. Steve indicated that he has not idea when or if these issues will ever end. Steve pointed out the Karin even stated that "we didn't get the charter and protocols we wanted from NOAA". Steve is afraid it will never end. The business of the SAC is to tackle resource management issues of concern to the Sanctuary, not to try and run a more powerful SAC. Steve asked "When will you get down to the business of the SAC and not try to wriest power from the Sanctuary."
Chet made the following motion, seconded by Steve Webster.
SAC supports and endorses the NAPA report recommendations in general, and strongly stresses that all factors in both the recommendations section and the opportunities section of the report be taken into consideration in all phase of the MBNMS next management plan.
Vote: unanimous in favor (16 in favor, 0 opposed)
Jim Stilwell introduced a subsequent motion, seconded by Steve Webster:
Refer SAC related issues from the NAPA report to the NAPA report subcommittee to consider and return to the SAC in February with a prioritized recommended list for future SAC consideration.
Vote: unanimous in favor (16 in favor, 0 opposed)
Steve Shimek expressed concern that this is merely an attempt to rehash the issues all over again. He understood that there was an understanding going into the retreat from last May that these issues were addressed. Gregor Cailliet noted that it is very important as to how SACs relate to the Manager and to "big" NOAA. Steve Webster recommended that the committee should bring back specific examples of what still continues to be a problem. If trust is a problem, then bring back specific examples.
V. DISCUSSION & ACTION: WORKING GROUP ON CONGRESSIONAL CONTACT AND CHARTER/PROTOCOLS
Jim Stilwell: The Legislative Working Group sent a letter to the SAC dated 11/1/00 regarding the role of the SAC in its relationship to NOAA and its constituents. The purpose of the letter was to provide current SAC members with a historical background behind this issue so new members know the context for which this group is operating.
Since the legislative working group met, they have learned of the new SAC handbook distributed by the NMSP. The working group recommends passing a motion to Dan Basta asking for the SAC Chairs to consider the memo from 11/1/00 in their upcoming SAC Chairs/Coordinator meeting at the end of January. This group would like to ensure that the Sanctuary Superintendent and SAC Chair are on an equal footing. Jim wants the MSD headquarters to be aware of this group's work and the SAC opinions.
Craig Wilson: This memo does not tell the whole story. It does not even mention the motions made by the SAC on the Charter at the last meeting.
Karin: It would be good to see what the Sanctuary program's reaction is to the general intent, and if it is favorable we can then pursue the changes.
Gregor Cailliet: The SAC should send NOAA the revised Charter as approved by the Oct. 6 SAC meeting minutes plus Jim's memo from 11/1/00.
Jim and Karin brought up the need for a cover memo that mentions the SAC is vigorously discussing this topic. This is part of the process of us working together.
Jim Stilwell introduced the following motion, seconded by Gregor Cailliet:
Forward legislation Working Group memo from 10/31/2000 and supporting documentation, including the proposed charter revisions adopted at the 10/06/00 SAC meeting, to Mr. Dan Basta of NOAA with the recommendation that the issues and materials contained therein be agendized, discussed and considered at the SAC Chairs/Coordinators meeting scheduled for the end of January in Monterey, CA under the topic of the National Marine Sanctuary Program SAC Implementation Handbook (Draft October 2000) with a cover memo indicating it's a work in progress under vigorous discussion.
Vote: 14 in favor, 2 opposed
Tami brought up that the motion only directs actions from the last meeting and it doesn't include the protocols or the provisions in the new SAC Handbook.
There was discussion on whether this SAC Chair/Coordinator meeting should be open to the public.
Karin introduced the following motion, seconded by Dave Clayton
SAC Chairs/Coordinators meeting scheduled for the end of January in Monterey, CA should be open to the public.
Vote: 3 in favor, 13 opposed.
VI. PRESENTATION: PACIFIC GROVE SEWAGE SPILLS INTO THE MONTEREY BAY NMS
Dave Clayton introduced the topic of water quality issues in the Sanctuary. Dave gave examples from San Mateo County and pointed out that sewage and water quality issues are a problem everywhere, not just in Pacific Grove or Monterey County. The sources of water quality problems are coming from a lot of diverse sources in the surrounding watersheds. Dave indicated that he talked with the San Mateo County Health Department who expressed interest in getting volunteers to help sample streams in that area. Dave wanted to know if the Sanctuary could help provide him some ammunition (in the form of regulations or prohibitions) to help give him leverage to deal with some of these water quality issues.
Bill Douros responded that our two discharge regulations for the Sanctuary are adequate legal mechanism to address water quality issues in the Sanctuary, but that we should work cooperatively with counties and state agencies to ensure the problems are really being addressed.
Dave turned to some of the examples of water quality issues in Pacific Grove over the last year. This is an issue that has economic impacts to local businesses, such as dive and surf shops, who depend upon clean water for their business. They lose money when the beaches are closed due to health issues. Even the tourism industry is negatively impacted by such publicity. Some of the water sports industry is coming together and considering initiating a class actions suit to deal with their individual financial losses due to these beach closures.
Steve Leiker - P.G. Public Works Director
The City of Pacific Grove is not happy about having sewage enter the Sanctuary and wants to limit these discharges into the Sanctuary. Back in January, 70,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Monterey Bay, which started the firestorm that continues today. That particular spill was triggered by a problem of a faulty bypass in the sewer line. The bypass pumped the sewage into the adjacent storm drain, which drained into the ocean. The City plugged that by-pass and found about 6-7 other bypasses that have similar design flaws.
When the P.G. sewer systems was originally installed, the outfalls drained downhill to Ocean Blvd. and out to Ocean. They redesigned the systems so the flow went to a treatment site near Pt. Pinos before going to the Ocean. Today the sewage is pumped to a sewage treatment plant in Marina.
Over the last year, the City of P.G. has learned that its notification protocol was not up to date. It has since been revised in terms of getting the right contacts and phone numbers. The City is now working to educate the public about the sewage system, how it works, and its limitations. The City has a storm drain system that is completely separate from the sewer system. Urban runoff through stormdrains is different than sewage spills.
Some of the problems with the sewer lines have been from household disposal of materials. There is a big problem from household grease. Many backups have been caused by grease in the line. Most of the sewage system is connected by a 6" pipe (fairly standard). It does not take long for blockages to happen when grease solidifies with other non-biodegradable materials. As a result P.G. has instituted a program to power wash all their sewer lines. Part of the system is cleaned nearly every day. They wash every part of the line at least once a year if not more often. Hot spots are cleaned more often.
The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency is responsible for taking care of all the sewage pump stations that pump the sewage to Marina. It is operated and monitored remotely in Marina. By putting floats in manholes, the MRWPCA would be alterted if there was a backup or problem. But there are a lot of manholes in PG and it would be very costly. They are also looking at placing shut-off values at the end of stormdrains to keep flows from entering the sanctuary. In PG, once sewage enters the stormdrains, spills don't have far to go before entering the ocean. The city is also looking at their Grease Trap ordinance and how best to enforce it. In conjunction with the Sanctuary, they are working with local restaurants to install grease traps and better grease disposal practices.
Steve Leiker said that despite efforts to reduce the probability of spills, he could never guarantee there would never be another spill that drains into the Sanctuary.
In last January's spill, Pacific Grove was fined $70,000 by the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency. Some of the money is going toward programs to educate the public about stormdrains and sewers and to directly fix the problems. A supplemental environmental program was developed to help reduce urban runoff. Some examples include: "Dirty Words" PSA, "Fat Free Sewer" brochures, restaurant videos, urban watch volunteer storm drain monitoring, posters, etc. The Sanctuary Foundation is overseeing these projects.
Spills in Pacific Grove:
Many of the pipelines are old, and they are having trouble with tree roots tapping into the sewer lines and breaking open the pipes. Steve discussed some of the varied caused of the spills over the last year.
Vicki Nichols asked Steve what would it take to prevent spills in an ideal world. Steve's answer: Not using any water. Vicki then refined her question to ask about what other things could be done to help alleviate the problems.
Steve L.: Pacific Grove has unique situation. It is a small hilly area located adjacent to the Bay. There are also a lot of trees throughout the city. When a spill happens, it goes directly into the Bay. In other communities it may be stopped (i.e., Monterey's Lake Estero). Given that here are some needs:
Pacific Grove needs more money for capital improvements on the sewer system. They estimate it will take $40 million just to repair the problems associated with age. The Storm drain network needs a couple of million for design and repair. Money is also needed to help fix some of the erosion problems along Blvd. Right now, the master plan for the streets and sewers is between $500K - $600K.
Dave Clayton: The data Steve presented shows an increasing pattern of spills. What is causing this trend? Steve L. was not sure why the data shows an increase or how the reported the data in the past. They are more forthright in their reporting now than they were in the past.
Gregor Cailliet: Asked Steve what plans the City had in the 5-year capital improvement program to deal with these issues. Steve reported that are working on the plan now. It costs about $600K to maintain the system per year, which includes replacing some of the lines each year. Short answer -- it will cost millions.
Joe Cavanaugh: President of Monterey Abalone Company. Their divers are in the water nearly every day tending the abalone and on occasion harvesting kelp. The abalone farms share these water quality concerns with the fishing, diving and hospitality industry. Their specific concerns include: 1) public health issue for people working in the water. There should be a better way to notify the public; 2) Reproduction, growth and survival of cultured species; 3) concern that sewage spills will impact growth of kelp -- particular when bad winters remove a lot of the kelp; 4) perception of public that local seafood is not safe to eat -- tarnished reputation from repetitive spills. Joe thanked the Sanctuary for monitoring and diving community for helping clean up the harbor -- it all helps. Two things that need improvement: 1) program for upgrading and rebuilding sewers in PG, and 2) more responsive emergency notification.
Richard Lewarne, Branch Chief, Monterey County Dept. of Enviromental Health
Most of the counties required monitoring of ocean beaches is a direct result of State Law AB 411, introduced in 1998 by Senator Wayne. This bill was passed in response to concerns raised by a lot of marine related recreation happening in close proximity to waters contaminated by bacteria. The law sets forth certain protocols in the health and safety code that must be followed.
In California, before AB 411, different counties had different ways of monitoring the coastal waters. The monitored at different intervals, had varying standards, and ways of notifying the public. The idea was to have consistent standards for all counties.
The law set forth mandatory testing for those Coastal and Ocean beaches that have 50,000 annual visitors, and are located adjacent to storm drains (including rivers, creeks and streams) that flow during the summer months. In Monterey County, the Department of Health selected eight beaches located mostly on the Peninsula to monitor on a weekly basis. These include: Carmel, Stillwater and Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Asilomar and Lovers Pt. in Pacific Grove, San Carlos and Del Monte Beach in Monterey, and near the Monterey Beach Hotel in Seaside. (see http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/health/beaches/).
The law mandates that counties monitor beaches meeting the above criteria if the state legislature has appropriated funds for the purpose. The established time period of testing is between April 1 and Oct. 31 when most people are using the beaches. Testing needs to be done weekly. For the past 30 years Monterey has sampled beaches on a monthly basis. It now monitors the 8 beaches weekly, and continues to monitor the other beaches monthly. From Nov. to March, the 8 beaches are monitored monthly.
The water samples are analyzed for bacteriological "indicator" organisms. Elevated concentrations of indicator organisms are suggestive of contamination by human sewage and other wastes that may result in human disease. When bacterial indicator organisms exceed the State guidelines for beaches, the County Health Department takes appropriate actions to ensure that the public is safe, and that the causes of contamination are addressed.
Ocean water quality standards for public beaches establish numeric limits for total coliform bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, and enterococcus bacteria. These organisms do not necessarily cause disease in humans. They are good indicators of microbiological contamination and are used as a substitute by health authorities for disease causing organisms (such as hepatitis, dysentery, cholera, etc) that are likely to be present in sewage but are difficult to analyze for directly. Statewide standards establish levels of bacteria that should not be exceeded at public beaches or public water contact sports areas.
There are 7 state water quality standards. If any one standard is exceeded, the County is required to do something. The standards are based on a potential health risk (potential for gastrointestinal illness).
Posting Beaches: 2 types of posting
Monterey County Beach Closures and Postings of Beaches Mandated to be Monitored by State Law 1999 - December 3, 2000
SEWAGE SPILLS IN 2000:
Jim Stilwell -- It may helpful to set up a list server to disseminate the information.
Regional Water Quality Control Board is responsible to enforcement of sewage issues.
Dick Nutter: Asked Richard if there were any closing attributed to marine birds. Richard answered that in Los Angeles they have detected high bacteria levels from marine mammals and birds. There are also animal wastes from stormwater discharges.
Pat Clark Gray suggested that the County, when beginning new education campaigns, coordinate with Sanctuary staff and bring ideas for the SEP for input on how to design.
Bill Douros: The city of Pacific Grove should be commended, they have stepped up the plate and taken responsibility to help solve these water quality issues. They are not the only municipality around the bay having water quality issues, but they have demonstrated leadership in helping develop solutions. They have demonstrated a willingness to work with the Sanctuary and other agencies to address these problems.
Holly Price: Glad to see that ocean monitoring is increasing, but it is still important to track down the sources of the pollution. First Flush and other monitoring programs can help do this and track down hot spots. We need to ultimately get at a solution to the problems.
Richard L: There is a new federal Beach Bill, which in part is based on AB 411, and directs EPA to establish monitoring protocols for tracking the source of bacterial contaminants.
Jim Stilwell: How many of the spills are a result of increases in demand and population, or as a result of better notification. Richard responded that the standards are easier to trip now. So it is likely the result of both. We are also paying a lot more attention than we were in the past.
Steve L: In 1999 there was a total of 3547 beach closures in the State.
Charlie Wahle: To help find solutions to the PG infrastructure problem, you should use the Sanctuary as a tool to leverage funding from other agencies such Dept. of Commerce's Economic Development Agency and EPA. This has been successful in the Florida Keys.
Links to all the County Health Departments Beach Monitoring Pages can be found at http://montereybay.nos.noaa.gov/visitor/waterquality.html
VII. UPDATE: PRESIDENT'S MARINE PROTECTED AREA EXEC. ORDER MPA CENTER IN SANTA CRUZ
Wahle, Acting Director, Center for MPA Science, provided an update on
the President's Executive Order relating to Marine Protected Areas and
the new MPA Center in Santa Cruz.
The momentum for a National Marine Protected Area Initiative came from multiple places: National Oceans Conference calls for a national system of MPAs in Monterey; Expert MCBI-Cousteau panel recommends the President create a national system through Executive Order; Congressional Oceans Caucus high priority; State & local MPA initiatives emerging around the US; National Academy of Sciences study recommends science-based use of MPAs, and others.
The National Response:
The MPA Center will develop and disseminate the scientific information, technical tools and management strategies needed to design and effectively manage the nation's system of marine protected areas.
Four Major Initiatives. NOAA is leading four major national efforts:
Center for MPA Science -- what it will do:
Center for MPA Science -- how it will work:
Center for MPA Science -- initial priorities:
SAC-TOIDS - on the relationship of the Center for MPA Science to the MBNMS:
Stephanie Harlan: What could a change in administration do to the Center? Charlie is not too worried since this is important to get done regardless of the administration as long as it is rooted in science and collecting accurate data. NOAA is committed to supporting this project with or without the E.O.
Karin: How do you see yourself connected to the Sanctuary. Charlie: there is no functional relationship with the MBNMS, but because of location and interests, Charlie expects there to be a lot of cooperation. It will be defined by what the Sanctuary wants from the Center. They are not looking to get into the Sanctuary's business.
VIII. UPDATE: PEW OCEANS COMMISSION MEETING
The Pew Oceans Commission came to Monterey from Nov. 27-Nov. 29 to hold one of their meetings. The Monterey Bay Aquarium helped coordinate the logistics of this meeting. Locally, Julie Packard and Pietro Parravano are members of the commission. The Commission is chaired by Christine Todd Whitman, (Gov. of NJ) and Leon Panetta. The governor of Alaska also sits on the board. Visit http://www.pewoceans.org for more information.
The focus of this meeting was pollution (each meeting has a different theme). Holly Price addressed the Commission at its public meeting regarding regional urban runoff and sewage issues, and Carolyn Richardson from the California Farm Bureau Federation addressed our joint efforts with the agricultural community. Bill Douros was invited and gave an overview on the National Marine Sanctuary System, the MBNMS, our efforts to reduce pollution, and future high priorities such as the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network and the Management Plan Review. Bill then led a tour with five Commission members and some of their staff of Pt. Lobos reserve, where the group discussed resource threats to the site, the value of the "no-take" reserve there at the reserve, and natural history of the area.
Bill tried to arrange a reception with the Commissioners, the Aquarium staff, and SAC members -- but the Commission opted not to do this.
Dave Danbom, and other fishermen, also met with members of the commission to discuss issues of concern to Monterey Bay fishermen. They also gave them briefings on local programs that the fishing industry is doing to enhance fisheries and protect habitats.
IX. PROGRESS REPORT: FUNDING PILOT PROJECTS
Chet Forrest: Cambria recently raised $11 million to buy the 411-acre East-West Ranch in Cambria (near where sanctuary's southern boundary goes ashore). The community alone raised over $1 million, which is great for a community of 6,000 people. In another 3 months may be a good time to start collecting for local signage. The purchase permanently protects the land as open space. May be opportunities for signage there.
Karin Strasser Kauffman (Big Sur): a "donor" is actively being pursued for signage at the Big Sur pull-out near Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park.
Dave Clayton: Talked with 4 dive shops in Monterey. All wanted signs, but Dave was able to get them to agree to consolidate their names so they are all on the signs. They may be interested in getting 1 or 2 signs at each site, depending on the cost. The dive shops have agreed to have a sanctuary-focused message and exclusively focused on diving. Recommends that other groups follow suite. Also talked with the Kayak Shops -- one shop is very interested and the other has expressed interested. There should be a uniformity of the sign message and look.
Steve Scheiblauer: reported that some groups, such as the kelp harvesters, are interested in having their own messages. He will talk them to find out their interest about sponsoring a sign focused more on protection of the Sanctuary's resources.
Monterey Beach Hotel -- decided to make their own sign and place it on their property Community Bank of Monterey -- is still interested but needs to be approached
Monterey Plaza Hotel -- will approach soon
Ultimately, what would be useful is a list of where the signs can go and what text will be on the signs.
The SAC discussed signage issues and the need to have consistent sanctuary focused signs.
Dave Clayton introduced the following motion, seconded by Pat Clark-Gray.
Sanctuary program staff should be the entity with primary responsibility for creating the text and design of signs and that sponsors are only responsible for contributing to the cost of the sign.
Vote: unanimous, in favor (11 in favor, 0 opposed)
Steve S: Need sample language for different types of signs (conservation theme, multiple use theme, etc.)
Dave C: How long will it take to erect signs. What about planning, city permits, etc. Bill indicated he would check with Liz Love.
X. UPDATE: SAC RECRUITMENT PROCESS
Bill Douros: In February, we will have at least 4 new SAC members and maybe more. As we discussed at the last meeting, there is one current government seat designated for EPA or the Army Corps of Engineers. Bill indicated we wanted to convert this seat to a California State Park seat since neither EPA nor the Corps has expressed interest in filling the seat. There was also discussion about the Enforcement seat. Bill recommended converting this seat to a Cal. Fish and Game seat, which would also include enforcement.
Bill contacted the Corps who indicated, after rejecting the seat 6 months ago, that they may be interested in sending someone to attend these meetings.
Bill asked the SAC for the following advice:
we convert Corps seat to a California State Parks seat?
2) Should we covert the Enforcement Seat to a California Fish and Game Seat?
Jim Stilwell expressed concern about the overall make-up of the SAC in that we are tending towards too many governmental seats. The Corps, although a federal government agency, is appropriate for the SAC and looks out more for maritime commerce and other industrial and commercial. They are also involved in dredge and fill, discharge, and wetland issues, which have limited representation on the SAC. The SAC already has someone from State Parks. Jim is concerned that we keep a good balance on the SAC. Feels we are not keeping a balance of users.
Tom Stuhlreyer: Both are good seats and can offer different perspectives. But it is important to have the right level person attending these meetings
Vicki Nichols: State Parks is important player that we work with and will continue to work with very closely in the future.
Pat Clark Gray: Although she works for State Parks, her seat is not a State Park seat -- it is education. Indicates she is representing education, not the agency. Once she is gone there will not be someone from State Parks.
Steve Scheiblauer: What is timeline to replace these seats. Bill responded that the timing should be coordinated with the new SAC members coming on in February.
Stephanie H. recommended that the seat be converted to State Parks. They have been a very active and committed partner in the SC Taskforce.
Regardless of who is selected, we should make sure they are committed to sending an appropriate person at the right level meaning a high level manager or decision-maker.
Gregor Cailliet: We have gotten a lot of support from the enforcement agencies and their input has been invaluable to the SAC. Cal Fish and Game is under the Resources Agency. Already, Brian and Tami, both part of the resources agency are on the SAC. Also, Becky Christensen works for Cal. Fish and Game. Unless you want someone to represent the policy end of Fish and Game, it may not be necessary to change the seat. However, if you do decide to convert the seat to Fish and Game, you need someone that can speak for enforcement and all the other resource management issues.
Steve Webster introduced a motion, seconded by Chet Forrest:
Convert the Corps seat to a State Parks Seat at a Regional Supervisor Level.
Vote: 12 in favor, 2 opposed, 1 abstain
Some discussion over value of losing the enforcement perspective as a permanent seat and gaining the California Fish and Game seat. Bill could identify enforcement as one of the areas that we needed covered by Fish and Game.
Chet Forrest introduced a motion, seconded by Steve Webster:
Convert Enforcement seat to California Fish and Game.
Vote: 14 in favor, 1 opposed, 0 abstain
Stephanie provided a very brief summary about the SAC Subcommittee's review of applications. They provided their recommendations to Bill who will now decide the new primary and alternates for each seat.
XI. ACTION: SET FEBRUARY 2 SAC MEETING AGENDA
of New SAC Members
Chet Forrest noted the number of people who left the meeting early. It is frustrating for SAC members, particularly those who drove a long way, to see people leaving early when there is still business to conduct.
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.