II Table of Contents
Human ActivitiesI [Part
Commercial Fishing [Part
The Monterey Bay area has a large and economically important commercial
fishing industry. The major commercial fishing ports are Princeton,
Santa Cruz, Moss Landing and Monterey. Table
12, derived from California Department of Fish and Game statistics,
shows a summary of the poundage and ex-vessel value (greater than
$20,000) of landings of some of the commercial species at the
four major ports in the study area. In 1987, a total of over 34
million pounds of fish with an ex-vessel value of almost $15 million
was landed at Moss Landing, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Princeton.
The retail value of the fish to the local economy is worth two
to three times that of the ex- vessel value. The diversity of
the commercial catch is shown by the number of different species
or species groups landed at each port: 89 at Monterey, 69 at Moss
Landing, 59 at Santa Cruz, and 71 at Princeton. These statistics
also include shrimp, crab, octopus, squid, eels, lobster, abalone,
and sea urchins.
There are five main types of commercial fisheries in the Monterey
Bay area: 1) a troll (hook-and-line) fishery for salmon and
albacore, 2) a trawl fishery for the various species of rockfish
and flatfish, 3) a gill and trammel net fishery for California
halibut, rockfish, and white croaker, 4) a roundhaul and lampara
net fishery for squid, anchovy, and herring and 5) a trap fishery
for dungeness and rock crab. Figures
15 and 16 show the location
of primary commercial fishing areas and types of gear utilized.
There are approximately 6 to 15 gill-net boats; 8 trawlers
using a mixture of otter trawls and roller trawls; and one to
three trap boats participating in the commercial fishery off
Monterey Bay (Personal Communication, Marine Resources Division,
Monterey Bay area, CDF&G, March 1990).
There are presently eleven mariculture operations within the
area. Silverking Oceanic Farms in Davenport operates a silver
and king salmon hatchery. Up to one million fish may be released
to the ocean annually. These fish mature in the ocean with about
two to three percent of them eventually returning to the farms
to spawn where they are harvested for sale. This company is
planning to raise Atlantic salmon in pens for eventual sale.
Pacific Mariculture is involved in research to determine the
feasibility of culturing abalone for sale to restaurants and
markets. It is now completing research and development at the
Long Marine Laboratory and recently received approval from Santa
12: Fisheries Data
15: Trawl fishery
16: Line, Trap, Lampara and Gillnet Fisheries
County for production of abalone. Pacific Mariculture is the
only bivalve mollusk hatchery in California. It produces oyster
and clam seed for grow-out to other growers.
There are two inactive oyster leases (Danny Burns Shellfish
and Monterey Bay Marine Farm) which are limited in their operations
because of water quality problems in the Elkhorn Slough growing
Sea Life Supply raises sea hares (a species of nudibranch or
sea slug) in grow-out pens near the mouth of Elkhorn Slough.
They are used for neurophysiological research. Until recently,
Ocean Genetics, Inc. operated an algae research farm where a
variety of forms of algae were grown for chemical extracts,
such as agar and medicinal materials. A new company, Quantify,
Inc., was recently started and is presently raising algae to
A recent proposal is under consideration for a Monterey Bay
salmon and trout project and chinook salmon enhancement program.
The purpose of this project is to enhance the sport and commercial
catches of chinook salmon in the Monterey Bay area by raising
fry in the Elkhorn Slough area.
Granite Canyon Marine Laboratory of the California Department
of Fish and Game is actively involved in aquaculture research.
It is presently studying the feasibility of abalone aquaculture
and planning some form of marine finfish aquaculture. Abalone
West and Pacific Abalone Farms are each involved in red abalone
research and development. 3. Kelp Harvesting
Kelp is harvested commercially for alginate extraction. Alginate
is used in a large number of human use products, ranging from
toothpaste to ice cream. KELCO, a San Diego based company has
harvested Macrosystis pyrifera (Giant kelp) since 1970. KELCO
harvests once a year and sometimes twice depending upon seasonal
growing conditions. Almost all of the harvesting is done with
a 4 to 5 miles area between Point Sur and Pfeiffer Point. Approximately
5,000 tons of kelp (wet weight) are harvested a year from the
study area compared with approximately 151,000 tons of kelp
(wet weight) harvested in 1990 from all of California, (primarily
in southern California). KELCO uses 3 harvesting vessels, two
of 400 wet ton capacity and one of 600 wet ton capacity.
Kelp is also harvested as food for abalone by four small aquaculture
facilities (Foster, pers. comm., 1989). These companies use
small vessels, less than 30 feet, and together harvest approximately
Hydrocarbon and Mineral Activities [Part
Oil and Gas [Part
Activities in the Central California Planning Area began in 1963
when the first Federal OCS oil and gas lease sale resulted in
the acceptance of bids for 29 tracts in the area off San Francisco.
Twelve exploratory wells were drilled but no development occurred
and all leases were relinquished in mid-1968.
The Minerals Management Service, within the U.S. Department
of Interior, is authorized to prepare and implement 5-year plans
which identify the federal waters to be opened for offshore
oil drilling. The Monterey Bay Sanctuary study area lies within
the Central California Planning Area (Figure
17). MMS estimates that the high case conditional mean estimate
of the undiscovered, economically recoverable oil resource for
the entire Central California Planning Area is 530 million barrels
and 920 billion cubic feet of gas (Cooke and Dellagiarino, in
press). Conditional mean values for oil resource within the
Sanctuary study area is 370 million barrels and 580 cubic feet
of gas (MMS Pacific Regional Office, 1991). (Conditional mean
estimates for all proposed boundary alternatives are provided
in Figure 17). The first lease
sale scheduled for the Central California region was Lease Sale
#119 which was subsequently canceled in 1990.
The latest draft proposal Comprehensive Program for OCS Natural
Gas and Oil Resource Management considers only studies and no
leasing in the Central California area through 1997. Approval
of this proposal is due in Mid-1992. Future 5-Year Plans may
consider leasing other geographical areas within the central
California planning area that may contain additional hydrocarbon
resources. The current Federal Lease Sale process, which takes
up to two years, includes public hearings, environmental studies,
and recommendations from the Governor.
In July 1990, President Bush declared that OCS activities within
the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (the then-preferred
Boundary Alternative #2) would be permanently prohibited. All
state waters off central California have been designated by
the State as an oil and gas sanctuary (Sections 6871.1 and 6871.2
of the California Public Resources Code). No oil and gas leasing
is permitted within three miles of the California coast.
The six central California coastal counties (Monterey, Santa
Cruz, San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma) are cooperatively
sponsoring a Central Coast Counties OCS Regional Studies Program
to identify and assess the implications of potential offshore
oil development in the Central Coast area.
17: Oil and Gas Development
Sand Mining [Part
Sand for commercial use has been dredged in the bay area for
the last 70 years (Clark and Osborne, 1982). Deposits in the
southern part of the bay, below the high tide line, are presently
being mined by the Monterey Sand Company. This company operates
sand extraction plants in Marina and Sand City. About 150,000
cubic yards of sand have been extracted every year since 1978,
from the surf zone and ocean. The Monterey Sand Company had
applied to the Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers,
for authorization to continue its sand extraction activities
but recently withdrew its request.
Lone Star Industries, Inc. operates a facility at Marina which
dredges approximately 200,000 cubic yards./yr. of sand from
an inland pond at the rear of the beach which is presumably
naturally resupplied with coarse beach sand during high tides.
Prior to 1987, Lone Star mined between 50,000 and 100,000 cubic
yards./yr. at an additional facility in Sand City.
Vessel Traffic, Harbors and Dredging [Part
Vessel Traffic [Part
Commercial Shipping [Part
Almost 9,000 commercial vessels (excluding domestic fishing
craft) entered and exited the San Francisco Bay entrance in
1988 (Table 13). Of these,
approximately 4,500 vessels (including those of foreign flag)
transit south through the study area to and from San Francisco.
The majority of these southern vessels were passenger and dry
cargo vessels. Just under 25% of the vessels moving to and from
San Francisco to the south, and through the Sanctuary study
area, were tankers of medium size (draft less than 50 feet).
In contrast, tankers approaching and exiting San Francisco to
the north contain a large proportion (approx. 5%) of large tankers
(draft greater than 50 feet).
Most of the commercial shipping along the coast follows customary
north-south shipping lanes. Tankers loaded with oil from Alaska
pass along the central coast of California approximately 85
nautical miles offshore from Point Sur and those bound for
the Los Angeles area turn to the east at a point about 100
nautical miles southwest of Point Sur and then gradually approach
the entrances to the Santa Barbara Channel (U.S. Coast Guard,
1983). Vessels travel in approximately a straight line between
the end of the Santa Barbara Channel Traffic Separation Scheme
(TSS) and the San Francisco Bay entrance TSS (Texaco, 1989,
in CMC, 1991) (Figure 18).
These vessels would therefore travel within 10 to 15 miles
of Point Sur. Approximately 27% of vessel traffic are within
0-5 miles; 36% within 6-10 miles; 17% within 11-15 miles and;
20% over 16 miles off headlands (CMC, 1991).
13: Trips and drafts of vessels
18: Vessel traffic in Monterey Bay
The U.S. Coast Guard proposed to establish a routing system
that amended the San Francisco Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS)
and the Santa Barbara Channel TSS and linked them with a Shipping
Safety Fairway (SSF). The proposal is currently on hold as
the U.S. Coast Guard responds to comments on the proposal.
Some commercial shipping vessels enter Monterey Bay. In 1986,
a total of 5 vessels offloaded at either Monterey Harbor or
Moss Landing Harbor (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1986).
Until 1982, tankers delivered oil products to Pacific Gas
and Electric's (PG&E) power generating plant at Moss Landing.
The plant burns natural gas as its primary source and has
the capability of burning either gas or oil. From 1982 to
1989 the plant returned to burning gas and is now using oil
for its fuel source.
PG&E uses a permitted marine terminal for offloading
oil from 50,000 DWT tankers. PG&E was denied permission
to construct an offshore marine terminal for off-loading oil
from 90,000 DWT tankers.
Oil tanker traffic may increase in the future depending on
whether any OCS lease sales occur in the area and whether
it is determined preferable to transport oil by pipeline versus
by tanker. Further, maintenance and supply vessels for the
offshore platforms would cause an increase in small vessel
traffic in the area.
Commercial Fishing Vessels [Part
Numerous commercial fishing vessels, including kelp harvesting
boats, use the Monterey Bay area and many are based at one
of the four harbors in the area. (For a discussion on numbers
and types of fishing vessels see above under Fishing).
Research Vessels [Part
The numerous marine research facilities in the area conduct
frequent surveys and experiments from specially equipped research
vessels. Research includes collecting biological samples to
communication with submarines and guidance of Remotely Operated
Vehicles (ROVs). Research vessels may also conduct seismic
surveys of the ocean floor to determine sub-seafloor geologic
Recreational Boating [Part
Recreational boating in California is popular in the more
sheltered environments of San Francisco Bay and around the
Channel Islands of southern California. However, recreational
fishing is an important use of the central California area
and whale-watching trips are growing in popularity. Also,
an annual speed-boat race for charity occurs across the mouth
of Monterey Bay with boats reaching speeds of over 100 mph.
Charter boats on the way to fishing grounds or nature-viewing
areas can also reach speeds in excess of 25 knots.
Santa Cruz Harbor [Part
The City of Santa Cruz established in 1950 a special zone within
the City limits for the harbor district, governed by a board
of commissioners (Figure 19).
Berths exist for 215 commercial fishing vessels and 759 recreational
boats. The recreational use of this harbor is very high and
it is not unusual to have 30 percent use of the slips during
Moss Landing Harbor [Part
The Moss Landing Harbor was created by special legislation
in 1947 designating the Moss Landing Harbor District a political
subdivision of the State of California (California General
Laws §5118) (Figure 20).
It consists of the harbor entrance, north and south harbors
and Elkhorn Slough. The northern harbor is used primarily
by recreational boats with 110 berths available. The southern
harbor is used primarily by commercial vessels (approximately
2/3) with 488 berths available. The entrance is protected
by two parallel jetties approximately 600 feet apart. Recently
there is a proposal to extend the northern harbor by dredging
tidal-mudflats to the north of existing berths.
Monterey Harbor [Part
Monterey Harbor has had a long history of development and
activity since the late 1700s (Figure
21). It was used by English and Russian ships that stopped
for supplies and trade while on pelt and whale oil expeditions.
It is owned and operated by the City of Monterey and has two
wharves and two boat launch ramps. Commercial fishermen use
175 of the 425 available berths at the marina. An additional
150 moorings are available in open water between the breakwater
and the two wharves.
Princeton/Pillar Point Harbor [Part
San Mateo County Harbor District operates the Pillar Point
Harbor in Princeton (Figure 22).
It is the base for a large commercial fishing fleet, particularly
salmon fishing vessels from all of California, as well as
numerous small recreational boats. The harbor facilities include:
369 berths, 60 percent for commercial and 40 percent for recreational
vessels; a fuel dock; a 100 ton ice facility; and a new 6
lane sport-fishing boat launch. Three commercial fish buyers
are based in the port. A fishing pier and Johnson Pier provide
recreational land-based fishing opportunities. Two outer breakwaters
built in the 1960s and two more recent inner breakwaters built
in 1984 provide excellent protection to the moored vessels.
19: Santa Cruz Harbor
20: Moss Landing Harbor
21: Monterey Harbor
22: Pillar Point
Periodic dredging of sediments is required at Santa Cruz, Moss
Landing and Monterey harbors to provide access to boaters as
well as for safety concerns. The boat harbor of Santa Cruz is
dredged annually removing 100,000 to 130,000 cubic yards of
sand. Moss Landing harbor requires dredging every two to three
years and about 50,000 cubic yards of material are removed a
year. Monterey harbor only requires minor maintenance with removal
of approximately 2,000 cubic yards of material (primarily sand)
each year. Princeton Harbor does not yet conduct any dredging
operations but may need to do so in the future. The entrance
way to the Golden Gate within the northern portion of the study
area also requires dredging to maintain the ship channel in
and out of San Francisco Bay at a project depth of 55 feet.
Dredge Disposal [Part
Most dredge material from Monterey and Santa Cruz harbors is
composed of clean sand and is currently used for beach nourishment
by being pumped directly to beaches east and south of the harbors.
Two offshore sites are presently being used for dredged material
disposal from Moss Landing harbor (Figure
23). Disposal of dredged material has occurred intermittently
off the end of Sandholdt Pier at Moss Landing about 400 feet
from shore since 1947 (Disposal Site SF- 12). When dredge spoils
do not meet disposal criteria for beach nourishment, they must
be taken by barge to a deep water disposal site near the head
of the submarine canyon (Disposal Site SF-14) or to an appropriate
land-based disposal site.
A Long-Term Management Strategy (LTMS) is underway by the EPA
and Corps of Engineers to determine a location for the disposal
of 400 million cubic yards of dredge material from San Francisco
Bay and its entrance channel over a 50-year period. One of the
five sites under consideration is currently used for the disposal
of approximately one million cubic yards/yr. of sand that is
dredged from the entrance channel and disposed of at a site
approximately two nmi. due south (Figure
Discharges, and Non-Dredge Material Dump Sites [Part
Point Source Discharges [Part
Appendix D provides a detailed breakdown of magnitude and effluent
composition of point-source discharges by facility directly into
the ocean and in adjacent watersheds. There are nine municipal
and two industrial sources of discharges which empty directly
into the ocean of the Monterey Bay study area (Figure
Point source wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges
are major sources of pollutants in the northern and central
areas (Figure 24). The PG&E
plant discharges the vast majority of the total wastewater into
the central area although the magnitude of pollutants associated
with this discharge is small.
23: Ocean Discharge and dump sites
24: Total wastewater
The Carmel Sanitary District, and the Monterey regional water
sewage system treat wastes to a secondary level. The Monterey
Bay regional water sewage system located to the north of Marina,
and managed by the MRWPCA, has been operational since February,
1990. The treatment plant replaces small treatment plants at
Monterey, Seaside, Fort Ord, Salinas, and Castroville (Marina
will tie into this regional system at a later date, probably
in 1992). The outfall associated with the new system receives
the collective wastes from the five small treatment plants mentioned
above. A 40% increase in capacity was planned into this regional
system to handle the anticipated regional growth in population
through at least 2005. The present population of 544,000 people
in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties is projected to increase
to 755,000 by the year 2005 (AMBAG, 1987).
The City and County of San Francisco operates the Richmond-
Sunset water pollution control plant, located at the west end
of Golden Gate Park. The plant provides primary treatment for
an average dry weather flow of approximately 22 million gallons
per day (mgd). The plant serves the western third of the city,
a primarily residential area with a population of about 200,000
and little industry. Plant effluent is discharged to the Pacific
Ocean via a 4.5 mile long outfall.
The City of San Francisco also has a combined sewer overflow
system. During wet weather periods, effluent from the plant
increases to a maximum of 45 mgd, and the ocean outfall also
receives up to 100 mgd of decant from the Westside Transport.
The Westside Transport stores combined sewer overflows and removes
floatable material and some settleable solids prior to discharge.
Decant is discharged to the outfall an average of 26 times per
year; the actual frequency and volume varies depending on rainfall
conditions. Decant is also discharged to the shoreline at 8
locations an average of 8 times per year; this discharge is
regulated by a separate NPDES permit.
The City of San Francisco is also constructing a new Oceanside
plant to take the place of the Richmond-Sunset plant. The new
plant will be located in the southwest corner of the city and
will provide full secondary treatment. The plant will have approximately
the same capacity as the existing plant, with a peak wet-weather
capacity of 65 mgd (maximum of 43 mgd receiving secondary treatment.
Plant construction started in January 1990, and will be completed
by December 1993.
The City of Santa Cruz is using two ocean outfall pipelines
to dispose of treated sewage. The main outfall pipeline is 12,250
feet in length, and discharges effluent one mile from shore
into 110 feet of water. A secondary outfall pipe is used only
during peak wet weather flows. This is the city's original ocean
outfall pipe and it is only 2,000 feet in length. The City WWTP
is being improved and upgraded to treat sewage to a secondary
The City of Watsonville also discharges primary sewage directly
into Monterey Bay. Watsonville is in the process of obtaining
a waiver renewal postponing secondary treatment of their sewage.
This permit will allow Watsonville to continue discharging primary
treated sewage for another 5 years from the date of the permit.
The PG&E plant discharges cooling water at an elevated
temperature and National Refractories discharges seawater with
an altered ionic composition after removing magnesium. In addition,
numerous dischargers within the watersheds adjacent to the Monterey
Bay study area, discharge into rivers and tributaries that eventually
flow into the Sanctuary waters. For example, the cities of Gilroy
and Morgan Hill, located outside the coastal counties, have
adopted a Long Term Wastewater Management Plan to provide wastewater
treatment and disposal capacity to accommodate the projected
growth of the two cities. The Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
for this project was challenged and after revising the EIR to
satisfy the issues raised a decision was reached in March 1991
to certify the EIR. The cities are now proceeding in three phases
with the development of the discharge project. The first phase
is the design for expansion of the existing plant to a secondary
treatment level with nitrogen removal to 10 mg/l. The discharge
of 7.1 million gallons per day will be disposed of entirely
on land. Construction of the expansion is planned for 1992 and
operation in 1994. Throughout these phases the Cities will continue
studies and research to assist with plans for discharge to the
Pajaro River during the winter months (Ross, pers. comm., April,
All major point-source municipal dischargers into the ocean
and adjacent to the Monterey Bay study area are required to
obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
permit that contains terms and conditions requiring monitoring
of effluent to ensure water quality standards are maintained.
For example, the City of Santa Cruz performs over $150,000 ocean
monitoring annually and analyzes 100 water quality parameters,
28 with set limits.
Two desalination projects are proposed for the Monterey Bay
area to provide an alternative source of freshwater supply to
the surrounding communities. Both projects are still in their
planning phases and final locations and magnitudes of discharge
have yet to be determined.
Desalination plants can be used to purify seawater, brackish
ground water, or treated waste water. With the recent drought
in California, coupled with escalating population growth and
water delivery problems, central coastal areas including Monterey
Bay are considering the construction of desalination facilities.
While it is a proven and effective technology that has been
widely used in the Middle East and in the Caribbean, the desalination
of seawater has not been attempted until now in the continental
United States. This has been primarily due to the high costs
associated with seawater desalination compared to other sources
of drinking water. The United States has over 1000 small plants
that desalinate brackish groundwater. Although used principally
for industrial uses, many plants provide drinking water, especially
in Florida, where ground water must be treated before use.
The first sea water desalination plant in the United States
was opened by the U.S. Navy on San Nicholas Island in late 1990.
A second facility, to be operated by the Southern California
Edison, is scheduled to open on Santa Catalina Island. The Navy
unit will produce fresh water at a cost of $1,625 per acre-foot
(AF?5,851 gals.), which is substantially cheaper than the cost
of barging water to the island.
A number of technologies have been developed for desalination,
including vapor compression, ion exchange, electrodialysis,
distillation, and reverse osmosis. Two of these technologies,
distillation and reverse osmosis (R/O) are being considered
for seawater desalination in California. Plants can be built
as separate units or in combination with electricity generating
plants, where the waste heat is used for the desalination process.
In distillation, water is heated until it is turned into steam
and the salt and other contaminates are left behind. When the
steam is condensed it becomes very pure water, In reverse osmosis,
the seawater is passed through a thin plastic membrane with
pores so small they only allow water molecules to penetrate.
While approximately 65 percent of all desalinated water worldwide
is produced by distillation, virtually all of the U.S. plants
are based on reverse osmosis, including those on San Nicholas
Island and Santa Catalina Island. An emergency plant proposed
to be built at Santa Barbara, California in late 1991, will
be a reverse osmosis facility. The high costs of reverse osmosis
facilities are for the production and maintenance of the sophisticated
plastic membranes and for powering the pumps that provide the
high pressures necessary to force water through the filters.
An advantage of reverse osmosis is that the operation requires
about 50 percent less energy than distillation, and the feed
water does not have to be heated. Another advantage of the R/O
plants is that they take up less area than distillation plants
and can be rapidly assembled in small modular units. The fouling
of R/O membranes is the most serious disadvantage, as the plants
must be shut down when they are cleaned or replaced. In the
Monterey Bay area, there is one existing industrial desalination
operation and several proposals for producing drinking water
from desalinated seawater. Exhaust steam from the Pacific Gas
and Electric Company power plant at Moss Landing is used in
the Mechanical Vapor Compressor Evaporator desalination unit.
The plant, which was licensed before 1950, produces 480 AF/year
(475,000 gals/day) of 1 ppm product water, which is used in
the power plant turbines.
The Sterling Hotel/ Conference Center in Sand City was approved
by Sand City in 1985 but was disapproved by the California Coastal
Commission that same year, in part, because of a discrepancy
between the proposed water use and the Land Use Plan's allocation
of water. A revised proposal was submitted that included a much
lower level of water use, which would still exceed that allowed
by LUP, but the excess water would be provided by a desalination
plant. The plant would utilize reverse osmosis and would produce
20 AF/year (18,000 gpd). The intake water would be taken from
a ground well. The project is still under review by the Coastal
In February 1991, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management Board
contracted for a study to investigate seven different sites
for the feasibility and costs of a desalination plant. In April
1991, Boyle engineering reported to the board that the most
promising location for a desalination plant to serve the Peninsula
was the Marina site of the Monterey Regional Water Pollution
Control Agency. The second ranked site was the most landing
PG&E power plant and the third most promising site was the
abandoned Monterey waste water treatment plant across from the
Naval Postgraduate School on a beach owned by the Marina Water
Although the Marina site appears to be the best location, it
would need a new intake pipe from Monterey Bay for feed water.
Another drawback for the two top-ranked sites is that eight
or fifteen miles of connecting line would have to be constructed,
respectively, to tie a plant into Cal-Am Water Co's northern
most water mains.
To a certain extent, the site that is ultimately selected for
the 3 million gallon/day plant will dictate the technology that
is used. The favored Marina Regional plant could probably use
reverse osmosis or distillation. The Moss Landing site might
be best suited for a hybrid plant combining R/O and distillation.
PG&E is doing an independent assessment of the Moss Landing
location and is expected to complete a report in late spring.
Regardless of the site selected, the District would have to
get permits from up to seven different federal agencies, seven
state agencies, three county agencies and two city departments.
In addition to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District's
proposal, the Marina Water District has contracted for a feasibility
study of desalination plants, either inland or along the coast.
They propose to build a plant that would produce 1,000 AF/year
(0.9 million gpd), which would supply approximately 1/3 of the
water needs of the City of Marina. The plant would most likely
use reverse osmosis technology. If the plant is built on the
coast, the preferred site would be at Marina's waste water treatment
plant, located just to the south of the regional Water Pollution
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is planning to build a reverse osmosis
desalination unit on site to provide water for their toilets.
The unit would produce a maximum of 48 AF/year (43,000 gpd),
but the average production is estimated to be about 24 AF/year
(21,500 gpd). The quality of the water produced would be about
400 ppm and would cost $1,800/AF. The brine would be mixed with
the seawater used in the aquarium before it is discharged. Proponents
of Monterra Ranch, a housing subdivision planned alongside the
Monterey-Salinas Highway, have also applied to Monterey County
for permits to build their own desalination plant.
Another source of point source pollution is the garbage generated
and disposed of by ships during their ocean voyages as well
as by smaller boats in harbors and marinas. Because of studies
by the National Academy of Sciences and by the U.S. Coast Guard,
ports are now required under regulations implementing Annex
V of MARPOL, to provide reception facilities for vessel garbage.
Thus "ports of call" receive wastes that were traditionally
disposed of in the ocean.
Non-Point Source Discharges [Part
Non-point source discharges includes runoff from urban, cropland,
forest and pasture and range sources as well as irrigation return
flow and upstream sources. Non-point source discharges is the
major source of pollution to the entire Monterey Bay area (Figure
24). Only natural forest runoff contributes non-point source
pollution to the southern portion of the study area and this
is negligible when compared to the magnitude of pollutants entering
the entire study area. By far the greatest pesticide loading
occurs in Monterey County reflecting the extensive, highly productive
agricultural activities of Salinas Valley (Figure
25). For a detailed breakdown and comparison of pollutant
input from point and non-point sources into the different regions
of the study area, consult Appendix D.
Non-Dredge Material Dump Sites [Part
There are three military areas used, (either currently or in
the past), for the disposal of explosives and wastes (Figure
23). First, part of an inactive explosive dumping ground
occurs in the northern portion of the study area. Second, also
in the northern portion of the study area, lie the remains of
the USS INDEPENDENCE. This was a small aircraft carrier used
as a target ship during the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests in
1947. It was sunk as a target during testing of aerial and undersea
weapons off of Central California in 1951. Third, the dunes
and adjacent ocean waters off of Fort Ord contain many spent
rounds of ammunition fired by the army during practice drills
at target ranges on the dunes. Many rounds missed the targets
and ended up in the dunes or in the ocean where the steel-jackets
of the bullets erode leaving behind a lead core. Finally, limited
studies at the Fort Ord site itself, show both soil and groundwater
are contaminated from the storage of hazardous wastes on-site.
Groundwater movement, surface water runoff and erosion of the
dunes provide pathways for the discharges and deposits on-site
to enter the central portion of the Sanctuary study area.
25: Pesticide Use
Military Activity [Part
Throughout the study area there are numerous areas of military
activity representing all branches of the armed forces (Figure
26). There are two military activity areas within Monterey
Bay itself. The U.S. Army administers a restricted firing range
impact area extending 8,000 yards offshore from its Fort Ord installation
(with more strict limits extending 5,000 yds offshore). Its purpose
is to provide a safety buffer for the public against stray rounds
from the small arms firing ranges. Activities are prohibited in
the restricted area on days when the ranges are being used. The
recent closing of Fort Ord will terminate this activity. This
danger zone is also utilized for Navy mine warfare operations
from February 16 through July 31 each year.
The U.S. Navy has an operating area in the northeast section
of the Bay that can be used for mine sweeping practice maneuvers.
Minehunting training is conducted by Navy minesweeping ships in
this section of Monterey Bay eight times a year and each exercise
lasts about one week. Inert metal shapes are placed (or moored)
on the bay floor and are located only by sonar; nothing is dragged
through the water during these training exercises and all objects
are recovered after completion (Capt. Larson, Pers. Comm., August,
1989). On occasion the U.S. Marines practice amphibious landings
on the beaches adjacent to these two areas.
The northern portion of the study area overlaps with portions,
or entire areas, of submerged submarine operating areas. During
non- explosive torpedo practice firing, all vessels are cautioned
to keep clear of Naval Target Vessels flying a large red flag
from the highest masthead.
A Warning Area (W-285) exists to the west of the proposed Sanctuary
and overlaps the western boundary of the study area (approximately
992 square nautical miles). It is in frequent use
26: Military Training areas
for both air and surface training -- 700 scheduled uses occur
per month (Capt. Larson, Pers. Comm., August, 1989). Air activities
include aircraft carrier takeoffs and landings, and low-level
air combat maneuvering. This activity results in the expenditure
of smoke markers, sonobuoys and non-explosive ordnance in the
A military air training route (IR-207) exists across the proposed
Sanctuary starting from between Carmel and Monterey and proceeding
northwest. It is used exclusively for air navigation at an altitude
of 3000 feet above mean sea level with approximately 30 flights
per month (Capt. Larson, Pers. Comm., August, 1989).
Finally, the southern portion of the study area overlaps with
a small corner of the Pacific Missile Range.
Research and Education [Part
The highly diverse biota and the physical features of Monterey
Bay combine to provide outstanding opportunities for scientific
research. The wide variety of habitats are all readily accessible
to researchers. There are thirteen research and/or education programs
in the entire study area (Figure 27).
The Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University is located
in Pacific Grove. The main research effort is in using intertidal
organisms to study cellular and developmental biology, immunology,
and neurobiology. Research is also conducted on the ecology of
the rocky intertidal zone of the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge located
offshore of the laboratory.
The Naval Postgraduate School is operated by the U.S. Navy in
Monterey. Research is conducted exclusively on physical oceanography.
The school shares access to the research vessel maintained by
Moss Landing Laboratories.
NOAA's Center for Ocean Analysis and Prediction, located in Monterey,
adjacent to numerous State facilities, assists in the distribution
of NOAA's ocean and atmospheric data to local users at universities
as well as other State and Federal agencies.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories of San Jose State University
conducts research in many fields, e.g., oceanography, geology,
invertebrates, ichthyology, marine algae, and marine mammal and
seabird behavior. The Laboratory facilities, located at Moss Landing,
were destroyed in the recent Loma Prieta earthquake. Their activities
are being continued at a temporary location in Salinas. The Laboratories
operate the R/V Point Sur for research cruises.
27: Research and education facilities
The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR),
managed in partnership between the Federal Government (NOAA's
Sanctuaries and Reserves Division) and California's Department
of Fish and Game, is one of eighteen such sites in the Nationwide
NERR system. Elkhorn Slough NERR is managed to provide a natural
outdoor laboratory setting that attracts researchers from all
fields of oceanography and limnology. Information gained from
the research is provided to local, state and Federal decision-makers
to assist in the management of the Nation's coastal zone. In addition,
trained volunteers as well as CDF&G staff lead interpretive
walks through Elkhorn Slough NERR trails on the Reserve showing
the diverse habitats and organisms of a productive salt-marsh
The Long Marine Laboratories and the Institute of Marine Sciences
of the University of California at Santa Cruz conducts research
on cetaceans, pinnipeds (especially at Año Nuevo), sea
otters, invertebrates, and plankton.
Granite Canyon Marine Laboratory of the California Department
of Fish and Game is located on the Big Sur coast. In addition
to its involvement in mariculture research, it is presently conducting
two large studies in marine toxicology. The Marine Bioassay Project
is developing sensitive tests using marine species for evaluating
the toxicity of municipal/industrial effluents. The Oil Spill
Cleanup Agent or Dispersant Toxicity Project is evaluating the
toxicity and toxicological properties of oil spill dispersant,
utilizing sensitive marine life forms (Michael Martin, pers. comm.,
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is operated by a non-profit foundation,
and not only displays some of the best marine aquarium facilities
in the world but also conducts a variety of research through their
Research Division. Research is primarily focused on the natural
nearshore habitats of the Bay, especially the kelp forest communities
and sea otters. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was
incorporated in May 1987. It is planning an extensive research
project to study the Monterey Submarine Canyon. It will use the
R/V Point Lobos to launch a remote-operated unmanned submarine
to explore the deep waters of the canyon (S. Webster, personal
The University of California Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve in
Big Sur, south of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is part of a
UNESCO international Biosphere Reserve, and protects and manages
the lower portion of the 25 square mile Big Creek watershed. Limited
research and educational programs are provided at the facility.
The staff is now considering establishment of a permanent ecological
refuge analogous to that at Point Lobos or the Bodega Marine Laboratory.
Finally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a small
research station at Point Peidras Blancas and conducts frequent
surveys of sea otters and seabirds that concentrate at Point Piedras
Extensive marine and coastal education and interpretive efforts
complement Monterey Bay's many research activities. For example,
over 7 million visitors, assisted by 500 volunteer guides trained
in interpreting the marine environment, have experienced the interpretive
exhibits of the Monterey Bay Aquarium since it opened in fall
of 1984. Over 70,000 school children participate in aquarium education
programs each year (J. Packard, personal communication, 1989).
A number of other institutions have highly successful interpretive
programs as well. For example: Pt. Lobos Ecological Reserve, Elkhorn
Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Long Marine Laboratory
and Año Nuevo State Reserve all have excellent docent programs
serving the public, and marine related programs for school groups
and teachers (J. Packard, personal communication, 1989). In addition,
marine related post-secondary and/or postgraduate education is
available through three local colleges: the University of California
Santa Cruz; Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and the Naval Postgraduate
The soon to be completed Stanton Center will provide a new major
Maritime and History Center in Monterey. The Stanton Center will
house priceless historical artifacts, interesting and informative
exhibits, history film and heritage education programs for both
children and adults and in general increase the public's awareness
of the importance of this Nation's maritime heritage.
Land Use [Part
The majority of land adjacent to the Sanctuary study area is undeveloped
forest and range land although large areas are used for agriculture
in the central portion of the study area (Figure
28). The land adjacent to the southern portion of the study
area is composed entirely of undeveloped range and forest land
including the Los Padres National Forest. Major urban centers
are found in the central portion of the study area at Monterey,
Moss Landing and Santa Cruz. To the north, Princeton, Pacifica
and portions of San Francisco lie adjacent to the coast.
Commercial agriculture is an important activity in the land surrounding
the bay primarily within the watersheds draining into the central
portion of the study area (Table
14). Agriculture includes both irrigated and non-irrigated
agriculture as well as semi- agricultural land uses (e.g. dairies,
and feedlots). Monterey County was once known as "The Salad Bowl
of the World" because of the wide variety of vegetables grown
Monterey County alone produces 90 percent of U.S. artichokes,
60 percent of its broccoli, 50 percent of its cauliflower and
mushrooms, 25 percent of its celery, and up to 80 percent of its
lettuce (Monterey County Agriculture, Food for Thought, 1988).
Santa Cruz County agricultural production includes berries, fruits,
nuts, vegetables, field crops (hay and pasture), nursery crops,
and products from the apiary, poultry, and cattle industry. Strawberries
were the most valuable crop in 1988 with a total value of 58 million
dollars. Lettuce was the second most valuable at 18 million dollars,
followed by roses (16 million), apples (14 million), and raspberries
(almost 14 million). Total agricultural production for 1988 was
166 million dollars.
28: Land Use
14: Land use by county
Coastal Development [Part
The major population centers within the adjacent coastal counties
to the study areas are growing steadily (Figure
29). Both commercial and residential unit development is concentrated
in the central portion of the study area. Large growth has occurred
in places such as Monterey, Marin, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville
located along or adjacent to Monterey Bay. Almost 3,800 new homes
were constructed every year in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties
between 1970 and 1989. Development was greatest in the early 1970s,
late 1970s and mid 1980s.
Associated with this development are increases in the need for
seawalls to protect coastal property and facilities to gain access
to the ocean such as docks, piers and jetties. In addition to
direct physical changes to the coastline there are the indirect
effects of this increased growth in terms of additional discharges
and deposits via non-point source surface runoff or via groundwater
and additional demands on point source discharges from sewage
Recreational Activities and Tourism [Part
The moderate climate, rich diversity of marine flora and fauna,
and variety of coastal types present many recreational opportunities
for residents and tourists alike. The area is internationally
renowned for its beauty and recreational opportunities. The recreation
industry is worth approximately $641 million/year to San Mateo,
Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties (Central Coast Regional Studies
Program, Economic Values of the Central Coast, 1989).
Monterey Bay has been a tourist attraction since the late 1800's.
About 18 million tourists visit the area annually (AMBAG, 1978).
The total number of tourists to Santa Cruz annually is 2.5 million
(Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council, pers., comm,
1989). There were about 1.7 million overnight visitors to Monterey
Peninsula in 1988 (Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, pers.
comm., 1989). The primary recreational activities are sportfishing,
boating, hiking, skindiving, sightseeing, nature observation,
29: Coastal county pop. change
Many existing attractions are open to the public. The Monterey
Bay Aquarium opened in 1984 and currently attracts about 1.6
million visitors annually (S. Webster, per. comm., in Heimlich
- Boran, 1988).
Coastal Recreation Areas [Part
Shoreline and nearshore recreation occurs throughout the bay
area, with concentrations from Point Lobos to Santa Cruz (Table
10). Almost all of these sites are managed by the state
or local governments. Most of these sites are recreational beach
areas and/or marinas providing access to Monterey Bay. The numerous
public beaches account for 45 miles of coastline bordering the
preferred boundary alternative.
The numerous protected areas of special environmental significance
allow varying levels of public use. These include the Point
Lobos Ecological Reserve, the Carmel Bay Ecological Reserve,
the Año Nuevo State Reserve, the Pacific Grove Marine
Garden Fish Refuge, the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge, and the
California Sea Otter Game Refuge. The Año Nuevo State
Reserve attracts over 140,000 visitors annually (Coastal Concern,
Recreational Boating [Part
Recreational boating activities originate primarily in the harbors
of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Moss Landing. Each harbor has a
marina servicing recreational boaters, commercial fisherman,
and partyboat charters. Approximately 2,100 boat slips are available
in these harbors. All the marinas are full and have long waiting
lists. Five boat ramps, one at Santa Cruz, and two each at Moss
Landing and Monterey, are available for launching small boats
from trailers. The boat ramp at Santa Cruz was used to launch
approximately 8,000 boats in 1987 (Santa Cruz Port District,
1987). Overnight berths are available in the marinas for transient
boaters. Recently a para- sailing company has begun to operate
out of Santa Cruz. Once a year large speed boats participate
in a charity race exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour.
"Personal water craft" [Part
The use of smaller speed vessels, termed "personal water craft",
such as jet-skis or mini-motorboats has become a highly popular
sport. Personal water craft are a relatively new form of water
sport and while their popularity is increasing, they are currently
operated in small numbers in the Monterey Bay area. In the northern
part of the Bay, primarily around Santa Cruz, it is estimated
that 12-16 vessels per day are operated on weekends during the
summer months (6- month period, with 6-8 vessels operating on
weekdays. During the winter only 6 vessels operate on weekends
and 1-2 during the weekdays. The vessels are launched and recovered
at a launch ramp in the Santa Cruz harbor area.
In the central portion of the Bay, primarily Moss Landing/Elkhorn
Slough area, it is estimated that "dozens per month" operate
during the summer. The vessels are launched and recovered at
a launch ramp near the Yacht Club in the harbor area and have
been seen to travel the length of Elkhorn Slough.
In the southern portion of the Bay, there are no estimates
of vessel use but they are known to be on the increase. Vessels
which are launched and recovered at the Coast Guard Pier launch
ramp, are prohibited from the Monterey Marine area. There has
been an increase in concern over the use of these vessels in
the vicinity of local beaches, where the operators desire to
ride the surf and jump waves. An ordinance is being considered
to prohibit use of the so-called "thrill craft" in the "Window
of the Bay" area of Monterey.
Recreational Fishing [Part
Recreational fishing is a very popular activity both in Monterey
Bay and the exposed coastal areas throughout the entire study
area. Five major types of recreational fishing are pursued:
private boat or skiff fishing, partyboat fishing, spearfishing,
pier and shore (surf) fishing, and shellfishing. Skiff fishing
is limited almost entirely to sheltered Monterey and Carmel
Bays. Most of the skiff catch is made up of white croaker, several
species of rockfishes, Pacific sanddab, lingcod, and mackerel
(Table 15). The rugged nature
of some sections of the coast make shorefishing impossible.
Where the shoreline can be reached there is excellent rocky-shore
fishing for lingcod, kelp greenling, cabezon, surfperch, and
rockfishes. Most sandy beaches offer good surf fishing for surfperches
and flatfishes (Table 15).
Pier fishing is available on the public piers in Monterey, Seacliff
State Beach, Capitola, and Santa Cruz. Jetties at Moss Landing
harbor and Santa Cruz Small-Craft harbor provide good fishing
for surfperch, starry flounder, and rockfishes. Table
15 also shows the main fish species caught from piers and
jetties. Surf smelt and night smelt are netted in the surf off
sandy beaches during certain months of the year.
Partyboats operate primarily out of Monterey, Moss Landing,
and Santa Cruz harbor; a total of 25 were operating in 1987.
The Big Sur coast is a very popular partyboat fishing area.
Salmon, lingcod, mackerel, and many varieties of rockfish are
the main species caught (Table
15: Major species of fish caught- Recreational
16: Fish caught by commercial partyboat fleet
Intertidal Collecting [Part
Clam digging in ocean waters has been all but eliminated because
of sea otter foraging, while other shellfish such as limpets
and mussels are harvested from rocky tidepools. Abalone were
once collected on rocky shore areas but their numbers have dwindled
from overharvesting and sea otter predation.
The Monterey Bay area is well known for recreational diving.
The area from Cannery Row on the Monterey Peninsula to Point
Lobos State Underwater Reserve is the most popular diving area
in all of central and northern California. More than 70 percent
of all diving between Point Conception and Oregon occurs in
this area (U.S. Department of the Interior, 1987). Other underwater
parks popular with divers include Carmel Bay State Underwater
Park and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Underwater Park (McMillon,
1982). Rosenberg (1987) presents an excellent guide to diving
in the Northern California and Monterey Peninsula area.
Nature Observation [Part
Opportunities for nature observation include whale watching,
viewing seabird nesting and roosting sites, and observing marine
mammal pupping and haul-out areas. Partyboats are used for nature
observation tours, including watching blue whale and migrating
California gray whales. One company (Shearwater Journeys), which
offers natural history boat trips, takes over 3,000 people each
year out on Monterey Bay to view seabird and marine mammals
(Sheila Baldridge, pers. comm., 1989) Rocky shorelines provide
the hiker with the opportunity to view the fascinating flora
and fauna associated with the rocky intertidal habitats. A seaplane
operation at the Santa Cruz Municipal wharf provides nature
observers opportunities to watch whale migrations from the air
as well as provide emergency rescue service when necessary.
Surfing is a popular activity throughout the bay area, especially
at Pacific Grove, Moss Landing, Asilomar Beach, the mouth of
the Big Sur river, and Santa Cruz. Throughout the entire study
area there are 4 major sites in South Mateo County (south of
Half Moon Bay), 32 in Santa Cruz County, 10 around the Monterey
peninsula and 6 in Big Sur. Surfing accounts for a major source
of revenue to the area (approximately $150 million per year
to Santa Cruz alone) and special events such as the six day
O'Neil Cold Water Classic ProSurf contributes $ 2.0 million
alone. The main surfing season runs from late summer through
early spring, although surfing continues year round (J. Young,
pers. comm., 1989). Santa Cruz has been a major surfing area
since the turn of the century. Its long history is traced in
the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Wind surfing has also increased
in popularity in the last few years with major competition located
in the small bay south of Año Nuevo.
II Table of Contents