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Section: Existing Resource Protection Regime
The Federal agencies with primary existing responsibilities in
the Monterey Bay study area are: the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) of the Department of Commerce; the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of
the Interior; the Corps of Engineers (COE), the Department of
the Army and the Department of the Navy of the Department of Defense;
and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) of the Department of Transportation.
The California state agencies with primary existing jurisdiction
in the Monterey Bay study area are: the Coastal Commission, the
State Water Resources Control Board, the Central and San Francisco
Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the State Lands Commission,
the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Parks and Recreation,
the Air Resources Board and the Historical Resources Commission.
This section will review briefly the responsibilities of these
agencies in the Monterey Bay area. Additional information is provided
in Appendix C and Parts III and IV.
The NMFS works with the CDF&G, under the Magnuson Fishery
Conservation and Management Act, on approving and enforcing Fishery
Management Plans (FMPs) prepared by regional fishery management
councils. Through a cooperative enforcement agreement, the CDF&G
is also deputized to enforce FMPs beyond three miles from the
State's coastal baseline.
NMFS shares responsibility with the FWS for implementation of
the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
The protection of cetaceans and pinnipeds is the responsibility
of NMFS. The FWS is responsible for protecting endangered bird
species and some marine mammals (such as the southern sea otter
and walrus). Three of these bird species: the California brown
pelican, the American peregrine falcon, and the California least
tern, are found in the vicinity of Monterey Bay as well as the
majority of the entire population of the threatened southern sea
otter. The short-tailed albatross is extremely rare in this area
but was recently sighted off central California in the vicinity
of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
The USCG, in addition to its enforcement of fishing regulations,
is responsible for enforcing regulations under the Clean Water
Act (CWA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation
and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Act to Prevent Pollution from
Ships to prevent pollution caused by discharges from vessels of
oil, hazardous substances, or other pollutants. The USCG is also
responsible for regulating vessel traffic, maintaining boater
safety, and coordinating search and rescue operations.
The EPA has regulatory responsibilities with regard to sewage
outfalls, and ocean dumping. Sewage outfall regulation is governed
under the Clean Water Act (CWA) via the National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES), administered by the EPA. Under the
NPDES program, a permit is required for the discharge of any pollutant
from a point source into the navigable waters of the United States,
the waters of the contiguous zone, or the ocean beyond. Within
California state waters, EPA has delegated NPDES permitting authority
to the State government. Title I of the Marine Protection, Research,
and Sanctuaries Act prohibits the transportation of any materials
from the United States for the purpose of dumping them into the
territorial sea, the contiguous zone, and the ocean beyond without
a permit from EPA. The COE grant permits that are based on EPA
guidelines for the discharge of dredged materials into State waters
and the waters beyond.
Pursuant to the Rivers and Harbors Act, a permit must be obtained
from the COE prior to any marine construction, excavation or fill
activities in any navigable waters of the United States (33 U.S.C.
§ 403). The COE may refuse to issue permits on the basis
of a threat to navigation or potential adverse effects on living
The MMS is responsible for the overall management of offshore
oil and gas exploration and development operations in accordance
with the provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
These include enforcement of regulations pursuant to the OCSLA
(30 C.F.R. Parts 250 and 256) and the stipulations applicable
to particular leases discussed above. This responsibility was
formerly divided between the Bureau of Land Management and the
U.S. Geological Survey.
The United States Department of Defense maintains numerous training
areas in the area and routine training missions are frequently
conducted by all branches of the armed services.
The California Coastal Act of 1976 (the CCA) is the foundation
of the California Coastal Management Program. The CCA establishes
the State Coastal Commission to implement the Act, granting it
permit authority until such time as local governments adopt local
plans approved by the Commission. It establishes a comprehensive
set of specific policies for the protection of coastal resources
and the management of orderly economic development throughout
the coastal zone. The CCA defines the coastal zone as the land
and water area of the State, extending seaward to the outer limit
of the State's jurisdiction, including all offshore islands, and
extending inland generally 1,000 yards from the mean tide line.
In significant coastal, estuarine, habitat, and recreational areas,
it extends inland to the first major ridge line or 5.0 nm (8.0
km) from the mean high tide, whichever is less.
The State Lands Commission has jurisdiction over all state owned
lands and submerged lands extending 3.0 nm (5.6 km) from the mean
high tide line. Administration of State lands includes leasing
of these lands for various legislatively authorized purposes;
in particular, oil and gas exploration and development. In addition,
as the State agency with sole responsibility for administering
the trust, the SLC has adopted regulations for the protection
and use of public trust lands in the coastal zone.
The CDF&G is responsible for enforcing California as well
as Federal fishing laws in the 200-mile wide exclusive economic
zone as well as in State waters. The CDF&G also works with
other Federal and State agencies with water quality projects and
In order to protect special marine resources and water-based
recreational values in ocean waters within state jurisdiction
and to expand coastal park units beyond the water's edge, the
California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDP&R) has
established an Underwater Parks Program which is managed in conjunction
with CDF&G. CDP&R also shares responsibility with the
National Forest Service for management of the Los Padres National
The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act is designed to enhance
and maintain water quality in State waters, including ocean waters,
under the jurisdiction of the State. The State Water Resource
Control Board (SWRCB) and the nine regional water quality control
boards (RWQCB) have primary responsibility for regulating water
quality in California. The authority to administer the NPDES permits
has been delegated by EPA to the SWRCB and by the State to the
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is charged with the
maintenance and enhancement of the ambient air quality of the
State. The ARB has set air quality standards designed to meet
National Ambient Air Quality Standards and delegated their implementation
to local Air Pollution Control Districts (APCDs).
State preservation of representative and unique archaeological,
paleontological, and historical sites in the land and water areas
of the state is the responsibility of the California Historical
Resources Commission (CHRC) and the State Lands Commission. The
commissions evaluate and make recommendations to the State Historic
Preservation Officer on nominations to the National Register.
The CHRC also recommends state registration of sites as landmarks
to The Resources Agency which is responsible for maintenance of
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