FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS FOR MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE
SANCTUARY OVERFLIGHT AUTHORIZATIONS
National Marine Sanctuaries are recognized as resource areas of national significance.
Their distinctive characteristics have established them as environmental
and historic resources for scientific research and public education. Each
Sanctuary has specific regulations in place to safeguard marine resources
within its boundaries. The National Marine Sanctuary Program has developed
a system of permits and authorizations to review requests to conduct otherwise
prohibited activities. The guidelines presented below describe the Sanctuary
below 1000 feet altitude within four prescribed zones of the Monterey
Bay National Marine Sanctuary are prohibited by Federal regulation 15
CFR Part 922.132(a)(6) to protect critical seabird and marine mammal habitat
from disturbance. Any planned overflight that will violate Sanctuary regulations
must first be approved by issuance of a Sanctuary "authorization" or "permit".
are issued by the Sanctuary Superintendent under special circumstances
for non-research/education related activities otherwise prohibited by
Sanctuary regulations. An authorization must be issued in conjunction
with a valid lease, permit, license, approval or other authorization issued
by any Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction.
are issued by the Sanctuary Superintendent for research and education
related activities otherwise prohibited by Sanctuary regulations. The
Superintendent can issue such permits if he/she determines that the activity
will have only negligible short-term adverse effects on Sanctuary resources
and qualities and will further research related to Sanctuary resources
and qualities or further the educational, natural, or historical resource
value of the Sanctuary.
prohibited activities without a valid National Marine Sanctuary permit
or authorization may be subject to the penalties as provided under Section
307 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (as amended). A civil penalty
of up to $119,000 for each violation of any regulation may be levied.
Cover Sheet or Letter: The cover sheet or letter shall identify
the following: l) area of the National Marine Sanctuary where the proposed
activity will take place; 2) title of the project; 3) name, address,
telephone number, and affiliation of the applicant and responsible authorization/permit
holder; 4) name, address, telephone number, and affiliation of and relationship
of any colleagues covered by the authorization/permit; 5) project duration;
and 6) signature of the applicant. The cover letter must specify the
individual(s) who will assume responsibility for the requested authorization/permit.
The individual(s) must have the authority to control the activity and
assure that permit conditions are met. It is best that the person(s)
assuming responsibility for the authorization/permit submit the application.
This helps reduce processing time if questions arise or additional information
Project Summary or Abstract: A 250-word (maximum) summary
shall include a brief statement of objectives, methods to be used, and
why it is preferable that the low-altitude overflight occur within an
overflight restriction zone(s) of the Sanctuary. The summary shall also
specify the significance of the proposed work to the Monterey Bay National
Marine Sanctuary or to the National Marine Sanctuary system.
Technical Information: This includes clear, concise, and
complete statements in the following categories:
Reason for the activity.
State the objectives of the project.
Significance. Explain why the project should be performed in the
Sanctuary and the potential benefits to the Sanctuary.
Describe the tasks required to accomplish the project's objectives.
Provide an adequate description of methods and procedures. Describe
the rationale for selecting the proposed methods over any alternative
methods. Specify the exact location of work within the Sanctuary and
provide a map showing the proposed project location(s) and a description
of the habitat area affected. Also indicate the intended start date,
frequency, anticipated duration of the activity, and hours of flight
operations. Specify the number and type of aircraft to be used (make
and model), aircraft markings and tail numbers, the lowest planned
flight altitude, the overall flight plan and schedule, detailed flight
patterns, (repeat transects, circling, hovering, diving, etc.), refueling
plan, and landing/takeoff locations. Identify any special equipment
that will be mounted on, lowered, or towed from the aircraft. Identify
any object planned for release from the aircraft. Also submit a communications
plan that identifies call signs and frequencies for all aircraft and
Identify the individuals who would be supervising project activities
and the name of the pilot(s) and aviation company(ies) involved. Provide
qualifications and evidence of ability to perform and supervise tasks.
The authorization/permit holder is ultimately responsible for all
activities carried out under a Sanctuary authorization or permit.
Provide a copy of a current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
pilot's license and FAA medical certificate for each pilot operating
aircraft as part of the proposed activity within the Sanctuary.
Environmental Consequences: Discuss the environmental consequences of conducting an otherwise
prohibited activity and indicate whether the activity could be conducted
outside the Sanctuary and still accomplish the project's objectives.
Specify the consequences and explain how the benefits of the activity
will outweigh the disadvantages or environmental consequences (short
and long term).
Copies of Other Permits. Applicant must include, if applicable, copies
of other Federal, state and/or local permits issued with regards to
this authorization/permit request. For example, County permits, California
Department of Fish and Game, California State Parks, etc.
Other Sanctuary Permits or Authorizations. Applicants should include a listing of all their previous Sanctuary permits/authorizations.
C. SUBMISSION OF AUTHORIZATION/PERMIT REQUESTS
One (1) copy of requests for permit/authorization should be sent to
the MBNMS Permit Coordinator. Authorization applications must be submitted
at least forty-five (45) days in advance of the requested effective date
to allow sufficient time for evaluation and processing. Sensitive or complicated
requests, or requests for Sanctuary support should be submitted 90 days
in advance. If additional time is required for review, the applicant will
be notified within 20 days of the receipt of the request. Requests for
permit/authorization must be addressed to Superintendent, Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary, 99 Pacific Street, Bldg. 455A, Monterey, California 93940.
OF AUTHORIZATION/PERMIT REQUESTS
Authorization/permit applications are reviewed for completeness and
adherence to these guidelines. Applicants will be contacted for clarification
if applications are incomplete. Complete applications are reviewed by
on-site Sanctuary personnel, NOAA program officials, and, where necessary,
peer-reviewed by outside experts. Applications are judged on the basis
relevance or importance to the Sanctuary;
scientific and educational merits;
appropriateness and environmental consequences of the technical approach; and
whether the proposed activity is more appropriately conducted outside the Sanctuary.
E. CONDITIONS OF AUTHORIZATIONS/PERMITS
Based on the reviews of the authorization/permit application, the
program will approve or deny the proposed activity. If denied, applicants
are notified of the reason(s) for denial and informed of the appeal process.
Approved authorizations and permits are issued by the Sanctuary Superintendent.
holders must counter-sign the authorization/permit and return copies to
on-site Sanctuary personnel prior to conducting the approved activities.
Copies must be signed and returned within 10 days of receipt by the applicant.
If not returned within 30 days, the authorization/permit will automatically
permit holders must be present during all authorized operations. Authorizations
and permits are non-transferable. Authorization/permit holders must abide
by all provisions set forth in the authorization/permit as well as applicable
Sanctuary regulations. Project summaries and technical information are
incorporated into the conditions of the authorization/permit. Authorized
activities must be conducted with adequate safeguards for the environment.
To the extent possible, the environment shall be returned to the conditions
which existed prior to the authorized activity.
conditions of any authorization/permit are that the authorization/permit
holder submit a project report and log to the Sanctuary office within
30 days of the authorization/permit's expiration date. The project report
is a brief (1-2) page statement summarizing the results of authorized
activities. A log should list the days spent in the Sanctuary as well
as activities pursued, approximate positions, and general observations.
Project reports are used in Sanctuary interpretive programs and logs are
used in the assessment of Sanctuary activities.
Superintendent may immediately amend, suspend, or revoke an authorization/permit
granted pursuant to these guidelines and Sanctuary regulations, in whole
or in part, temporarily or indefinitely, if in his/her view the authorization/permit
holder(s) acted in violation of the terms of the authorization/permit
or of applicable Sanctuary regulations, or for any good cause shown. Formal
notice of such action shall be subsequently communicated in writing to
the authorization/permit holder and shall set forth the reason for the
action taken. The authorization/permit holder in relation to whom the
action is taken may appeal the action as provided for in the Sanctuary
F. AMENDMENTS TO ACTIVE AUTHORIZATIONS/PERMITS
Requests for amendments to active authorizations/permits (e.g. change
in study design or other form of amendment) must conform to these guidelines.
Persons desiring to continue authorized activities in the Sanctuary must
reapply for an extension of his/her current authorization/permit before
it expires. Reference to the original application may be given in lieu
of a new application, provided the scope of work does not change significantly
and all report logs and project summaries pertinent to the original authorization/permit
have been submitted to and approved by the Sanctuary and Reserves Division.
G. MONITORING PERFORMANCE
Authorized activities will be monitored to ensure compliance with
the conditions of the authorization/permit. Sanctuary personnel may periodically
assess work in progress by visiting the project location and observing
any authorized activity or by reviewing any required reports. The discovery
of any irregularities in conformance to the authorization/permit shall
be promptly reported and appropriate action shall be taken. Authorized
activities will he evaluated and the findings used to evaluate future
H. REPORTING BURDEN
The information requested in these guidelines is necessary to evaluate
whether issuance of a special use permit is appropriate. The information
is used to evaluate the activity and to determine whether the proposed
activity meets the two criteria and four conditions of special use permits
provide for by the NMSA. It is through this evaluation and the tracking
of all otherwise prohibited activities that the NMSP is able to use permitting
as one of the management tools to protect Sanctuary resources and qualities.
Submittal of the information requested in these guidelines is required
to obtain a special use permit pursuant to the NMSA. Applicants are requested
to indicate any information that is considered proprietary business information.
Such information is typically exempt from disclosure to anyone requesting
information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). NOAA will
make all possible attempts to protect such proprietary information, consistent
with all applicable FOIA exemptions in 5 U.S.C. 552(b). Typically exempt
information includes trade secrets, commercial and financial information
(5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)). Personal information affecting an individuals
privacy will also be kept confidential consistent with 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6).
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average twenty
four (24) hours per response (application, annual report, and financial
report), including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing
data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing
and reviewing the collection of information. This estimate also includes
the significant time that may be required should the applicant choose
to themselves complete any documentation that may be required under the
National Environmental Policy Act (e.g. Environmental Impact Statement).
Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this
collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden,
to John Armor, Permit Coordinator, NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program,
1305 East-West Highway (N/ORM6), 11th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor
shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a
collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork
Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently
valid OMB Control Number.
I. FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information on the National Marine Sanctuary Program, write
or call the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary or the Office of Ocean
and Coastal Resource Management contacts listed below: