IV: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF ALTERNATIVES
III. Section:Management Alternative
III. Section:Management Alternative Consequences
A. Consequences of Status Quo [Part IV TOC]
Presently, numerous Federal, State, and various other regional and local government agencies are vested with some regulatory authority over specific resources and human activities. However, no single entity has management jurisdiction to govern marine resource use and conservation comprehensively (i.e., for the entire Monterey Bay region). Generally, each has a narrow geographic or functional jurisdiction. Present arrangements, therefore, fail to integrate a breath of scope sufficient for sustained regional resource protection in the offshore environment. Although the importance of individual resources (e.g., endangered species), is on occasion well acknowledged in law and regulatory implementation is often fairly effective, the system under-emphasizes the national significance and preservation priorities warranted by this unique marine environment. Finally, the formal designation of a Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, requires providing a concerted management focus on coordination of existing regulatory arrangements to ensure long-term protection of the exceptional diversity of marine resources in the region.
1. Enforcement [Part IV TOC]
A reliable and effective enforcement capability is also necessary to ensure that regulations are observed. The CDFG has approximately eight skiffs, two 65 ft. patrol boats (in Monterey and San Francisco), and one 30 ft. patrol boat in San Francisco. CDFG staffs a 30 ft. vessel owned by NOAA for patrolling the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. No boats patrol all ocean waters from Bodega Bay to Monterey. The 65 ft. vessel in Monterey occasionally patrols the area south of Monterey. (Capt. Phil Helms, CDF&G, Personal Communication; 1989). The two larger patrol boats in the 65 ft. (20 m) class traverse the proposed Sanctuary area out of San Francisco, and Moss Landing from Bodega Bay to Morro Bay. Finally CDF&G has two 100 ft. patrol boats: one originates from the south in Long Beach and patrolling Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, but does not conduct surveillance runs on any regular basis into the proposed Sanctuary's southernmost segment. The other 100 ft. boat, based to the north in Eureka, occasionally heads south through the proposed Sanctuary.
CDFG wardens sometimes patrol the Año Nuevo Reserve mainland, the Point Lobos Ecological Reserve, and California Sea Otter Game Refuge by foot or vehicle; however, no wardens are permanently located at any of these areas. Moreover, patrols by boat or on land are responsible for enforcing not only specific regulations applicable to individual reserves and refuges, but also the entire California Fish and Game Code. Thus, arrangements appear somewhat strained regarding enforcement and monitoring.
Certain enforcement functions in the proposed Monterey Bay Sanctuary area are also carried out by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDP&R). For example, although the Año Nuevo State Reserve and the Point Lobos Ecological Reserve were originally designated under CDF&G authority, CDP&R assumed on-site management responsibility. Pursuant to this mandate, CDP&R staff are permanently located at both areas and conduct regular land-based patrols. They do not, however, have general authority to prohibit diving, fishing, collecting, or other human activities which may adversely affect, e.g., through intrusion, sensitive marine resources. Also, the CDP&R is entirely dependent on the CDF&G for the prosecution of violations occurring beyond the intertidal zone. As a result, actual CDP&R enforcement levels in the study area tend to reflect CDF&G capabilities. The CDF&G occasionally conducts patrols of Año Nuevo and Point Lobos Reserves, but, due to personnel shortages, the CDP&R has assumed primary management responsibility here as well.
The NMFS recently entered into a cooperative agreement with the State CDF&G whereby both parties agreed to enforce each other's regulations. However, due to practical constraints of budget and staffing NMFS enforcement activity has remained largely confined to its own statutory responsibilities.
In view of available State and Federal enforcement staff and the large marine area of approximately 2,200 square nmi (6860 square Km) to be covered, the current enforcement capability appears inadequate.
2. Research and Education [Part IV TOC]
The existing management system contains no mechanism for maximizing the area's research value, e.g., by means of a comprehensive or extended program framework. A variety of organizations conduct significant research in the ocean waters of the Monterey Bay area on an individual basis. The establishment of a Monterey Bay Marine Geological Consortium has been proposed. The consortium, consisting of the Institute of Marine Sciences-University of California at Santa Cruz, the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, would improve marine geological and geophysical studies of the Monterey Bay and offshore regions. To date, however, no coordinating entity exists to identify regional research information needs or to design strategies for filling them. Thus, scientific research is pursued in a rather fragmented fashion which often fails to incorporate other relevant environmental quality parameters.
Although literature and other educational information on Monterey Bay and its habitat values is available to the general public, these efforts are largely uncoordinated and collected research is rarely applied to management problems. Thus, tourists, recreational fishermen and, nature enthusiasts who visit the Bay have little or no knowledge of its geology or of the complex communities of biota that inhabit the canyon and surrounding waters. Nor do they realize the value of Bay waters to the mammals and birds that feed there or pass through in transit.
B. Consequences of Sanctuary Alternative 1. [Part IV TOC]
This alternative is cost effective as it slowly phases in the necessary management structure in parallel to the growing presence of the Sanctuary and the demands of its users. However, the Sanctuary would initially have low visibility and reduce the effectiveness of the resource protection regime due to the limited staff. In addition, due to the long coastline boundary of the Sanctuary and the variety of shoreline habitats and user groups, one centralized information center may not provide optimal representation or access to widely separated visitor groups.
1. Enforcement [Part IV TOC]
Gradually NOAA would provide an enhanced enforcement regime by providing additional boats, personnel and equipment for on the water and surveillance and enforcement. See the Management Plan for possible additional enforcement measures provided by the Sanctuary.
2. Research and Education [Part IV TOC]
Research and education programs should benefit from Sanctuary designation with the implementation of NOAA programs and assistance with coordination. See the Management Plan for possible areas where the Sanctuary could positively impact existing programs.
C. Consequences of Sanctuary Alternative 2 (Preferred) [Part IV TOC]
The preferred alternative would ensure that the Sanctuary program is implemented rapidly and cultivates the public support gained during the early, designation process. The wide variety of opportunities for interpretation and research requires the full-time attention of individual research and education coordinators. The Sanctuary Manager would then be able to devote him/herself to the coordination of existing management authorities and resource protection. In the long run this alternative would not increase the budget of the Sanctuary as all of these personnel will be required for effective management in the future.
1. Enforcement [Part IV TOC]
The impact of enhanced surveillance and enforcement efforts focused on Sanctuary resources should be beneficial. What is proposed is a coordinated emphasis on resource protection in Monterey Bay rather than an elaborate surveillance and enforcement presence. Presently, NOAA envisions a State-Federal cooperative enforcement system involving the California Departments of Fish and Game, and Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the National Park Service. Since the proposed Sanctuary would include both State and Federal waters close coordination between State and Federal authorities would be required.
2. Research and Education [Part IV TOC]
The impacts resulting from implementation of the research and education program are also expected to be positive. The research program would result in a coordinated mechanism for studying Monterey Bay area's resources and developing effective management strategies. The educational program is designed to enhance public awareness of the Bay area resources and the importance of protecting such special marine areas.
The research program would provide a coordinated effort to obtain vital baseline and monitoring data on the resources and on human activities in Monterey Bay area. Information on water quality and circulation, species density and diversity, fisheries resources and marine mammals and seabirds would be used in assessing the health of the Bay environment and the effects of human activity in the area. This would improve management's ability to develop long-term planning for the Sanctuary and would provide data useful in responding to oil spills.
The educational program would improve public awareness of the importance and fragility of Monterey Bay's resources and thus engender support for resource protection efforts. The program would provide audiovisual material, exhibits, and other information products for individuals, schools and interested groups.
A major responsibility of the Sanctuary manager is the development and enhancement of education and research efforts. As presently envisioned, the Sanctuary Information Center might also serve as the administrative headquarters for the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary Information Center would be the focus for research and education activity. The Center would collect literature and information on resources and activities in the Sanctuary, and also provide visitor orientation and education materials, such as slides, brochures, and apprise visitors both of regulations and the need for protecting the marine resources. Efforts to develop the Sanctuary Information Center will be coordinated with existing agencies, particularly the State of California Departments of Parks and Recreation and Fish and Game; private institutions, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and other Federal agencies such as the National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service.
The general information collection would include both technical and non-technical reference material, and would provide as complete and detailed a description of Sanctuary conditions and use over time as possible. In addition, the Sanctuary manager would ask researchers to notify the Sanctuary Information Center of any research projects in the sanctuary and to submit reports of their research. This notification process would result in a master listing of research projects conducted from the time of designation. This listing would be continually updated and kept open for public use.
A notification procedure should ensure that research parties are not only familiar with existing regulatory controls, but also that they better understand which resources are particularly susceptible to adverse research-related impacts. In addition, the master listing could: (1) produce a record of scientific investigations which might provide important management information, (2) contribute to efforts to monitor use patterns within the Sanctuary, (3) assist in identifying areas of research not receiving adequate attention, and (4) ensure that Sanctuary managers are aware of relevant area- specific studies and literature. Finally, this notification process would provide both sanctuary managers and researches with a record of individuals and groups who have first-hand experience with the area's resources. This would be a valuable tool in coordinating research efforts and encouraging multi-disciplinary analyses.
In turn, researchers could benefit from the resources of the Information Center and, unless the research would require a permit, notification would not impose any delay. The compilation of technical documents in the Sanctuary Information Center would provide a baseline of site-specific information which would help long-term environmental analysis and encourage further research within Sanctuary boundaries. The Sanctuary manager would directly encourage research by sponsoring a monitoring program, providing partial funding for research, and encouraging researchers and funding organizations to conduct or support studies in the Sanctuary. The monitoring effort would focus on the overall health of the natural resources of the area as well as the level and effects of human activities occurring nearby. The information gained from such monitoring efforts and other research projects should enable NOAA to manage and regulate the Sanctuary more effectively, and to assist other applicable authorities in carrying out their responsibilities.
Another research objective of the Sanctuary managers would be to map and complete a detailed inventory of historical resources. Many of the known wrecks in the area need to be documented and researched. Limited archaeological research has been conducted in the area and active research into possible historical artifacts in the Bay has been initiated (U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 1979c; California State Lands Commission.)