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MBNMS SAC Meeting Minutes October 3, 1997

MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
ADVISORY COUNCIL

Final Meeting Minutes
October 3, 1997
Moss Landing Chamber of Commerce


The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on
Friday, October 3, 1997 at the Moss Landing Chamber of Commerce in Moss Landing,
California. Public categories and government agencies were present as indicated:

Agriculture: Richard Nutter
Diving: VACANT

AMBAG: Katherine Beiers
Education: Dorris Welch

At Large: Karin Strasser Kauffman, Chair
Enforcement: Tom Pedersen - NOT PRESENT

At Large: Steve Webster - NOT PRESENT
Fishing: Dave Danbom

At Large: David Iverson - NOT PRESENT
Ports & Harbors: Joe Townsend

Business & Industry: Steve Abbott
Recreation: Tom La Hue - NOT PRESENT

CA EPA: Marc Del Piero - NOT PRESENT
Research: Greg Çailliet - NOT PRESENT

CA Coastal Commission: Tami Grove
Tourism: Ed Brown - NOT PRESENT

CA Resources Agency: Brian Baird
U.S. Coast Guard: Lt. Phyllis Blanton

Conservation: Rachel Saunders



The following non-voting members were present as indicated:

Monterey Bay NMS: Joanne Flanders
Gulf of the Farallones NMS and Cordell Bank NMS: Ed Ueber
Channel Islands NMS: Ed Cassano - NOT PRESENT
Elkhorn Slough NERR: Becky Christensen - NOT PRESENT

I. CALL TO ORDER, ROLL CALL, APPROVAL OF AUGUST 1, 1997 DRAFT
MEETING MINUTES, REVIEW OF CORRESPONDENCE

A) Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Karin Strasser Kauffman, at 9:10 a.m.

B) Welcome and Roll Call

The Chair welcomed Council members and the public to Moss Landing. Rachel Saunders conducted the roll call.

C) Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes

The minutes from the August 1, 1997 meeting were approved with modifications.

D) Review of Correspondence

The Chair reviewed Council correspondence written since the last Council meeting. She expressed her interest in improving communication between the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

II. PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA

Joe Townsend requested that a discussion of the possible establishment of a user group panel be included on the next Council meeting agenda.

III. SANCTUARY MANAGER'S REPORT

Joanne Flanders provided a verbal and written report on MBNMS activities. See Attachment A. Highlights of the report included:

  • The Chair announced that the public's reaction to this week's oil spill south of the Sanctuary's boundaries demonstrated an awareness that this would not happen on the central coast, as a result of the Sanctuary's establishment.
  • The Chair requested a presentation on the new Sanctuary Sponsorship program at the next Council meeting.
  • Nancy Foster may possibly attend the December 5, 1997 Council meeting.
  • SRD has recognized the Twin Lakes State Beach site in Santa Cruz Harbor as a pre- existing disposal site that was in existence prior to the designation of the MBNMS. The Council thanked MBNMS staff member, Patrick Cotter, for his hard work on this issue.

    Ed Ueber provided a verbal report on the activities of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS). Highlights included:
  • Research Workshop on October 1, 1997 was very successful. In the future, Ed would like to alternate this workshop annually between Monterey and San Francisco. Ed provided a handout on the workshop.
  • Ed handed out a written update on research projects at GFNMS; Brian Baird requested that funding sources be included in future research project reports;
  • GFNMS hosted an open house for the McArthur;
  • Ed Ueber and Patrick Cotter have been reviewing a proposal before the California Coastal Commission to build a bed and breakfast inn at Pigeon Point. The GFNMS and MBNMS have septic concerns about the site.
  • GFNMS continues work on the proposal to ban personal watercraft within the GFNMS; Ed hopes to have a draft regulation in place by February 1998, and in the meantime is requesting information on personal watercraft impacts.

 

IV. CONSTITUENT REPORTS

Katherine Beiers - AMBAG

Katherine is hoping for increased AMBAG involvement with the Council. Joint AMBAG/MBNMS projects include the Santa Cruz Birthday Celebration, water quality monitoring, and contributions to the Santa Cruz Interagency Task Force.

The Santa Cruz Task Force's action plan includes 3 components:

  • to establish a Sanctuary trail with interpretive sites within Santa Cruz county;
  • to establish the proposed Sanctuary Seal Program;
  • to build a Marine Sanctuary Center with an "ecotainment" focus.

The Chair expressed her interest in improving ties between AMBAG and the Sanctuary and would recommend including a Sanctuary report on AMBAG agendas.

Dave Danbom - Fishing

Dave's primary source of communication to the fishing community is through Zeke Grader, Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA). Current issues and concerns from the fishing community include the need for the efficient dredging of harbors, and the spreading of parasites by abalone aquaculture.

According to Dave, most responsible fishers understand the need for clean oceans, yet are still concerned about the Sanctuary Program and its potential impact on their livelihood. Dave cited the example of the fishermen's good rapport with GFNMS as assisting the establishment of the MBNMS. Despite this, there are many fishermen who are still skeptical of the Sanctuary.

V. PRESENTATION: GILROY/MORGAN HILL WASTEWATER DRAINAGE PROPOSAL

The Chair introduced the presentation on the proposed Gilroy/Morgan Hill wastewater discharge permit. The project was revised from its initial plan due to objections by Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. In 1995, the plant was activated and treated wastewater has been pumped to percolation ponds. Now the plant wants to discharge excess tertiary treated water to the Pajaro River.

The Chair stated that the Sanctuary program is the appropriate channel to oversee and coordinate maintenance of good water quality. She explained that the Memorandum Of Understanding regarding water quality was signed by several State agencies, many of whom sit on the Council.

The proposed Waste Discharge Requirements for the South County Regional Wastewater Authority (SCRWA) Gilroy Facility, which includes the Cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill, are based on requested discharges of 9.0 MGD (Million Gallons per Day) of tertiary treated wastewater directly into the Pajaro River.

Linda Stiegler, the civil engineer hired by the SCRWA, presented an overview of the proposal. Linda reviewed SCRWA improvements since the previous proposals, such as:

  • $70 million in new technology and facilities;
  • Addition of percolation ponds;
  • Tertiary treatment facilities - recycling 3 MGD for local use;
  • Award-winning pre-treatment program;
  • Reducing inflow/infiltration in both cities.

Linda described the SCRWA treatment process:

  • Primary - screening, aerated grit removal;
  • Secondary - oxidation ditches, ammonia removal basins, secondary clarifiers;
  • Tertiary - coagulation, filtration, disinfection.

The proposed NPDES permit requests discharge of tertiary effluent during wet weather months (October - April). According to Linda, the discharged wastewater would be cleaner that the Pajaro River's water.

Walter Wong, Monterey County Environmental Health Director, gave a presentation on his concerns regarding the SCRWA permit request.

Walter explained that concerns about the proposal are being raised because the designated beneficial uses of the Pajaro River are domestic water supply and groundwater recharge. Additional concerns include: the lack of effort by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to upgrade the water quality of the Pajaro River, local flooding issues, and opening the door for other wastewater treatment plant discharges to the river.

Walter's position is that the water should be treated and re-used whenever possible. He stated that the Regional Board has allowed the river to remain impaired and that if it were cleaned up, a tertiary discharge would not be cleaner than the river. Walter stated that the Regional Board needs to set lower permit limits for the SCRWA NPDES permit.

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors scheduled independent hearings on this project on October 7, 1997. AMBAG is coordinating meetings of the staff of interested jurisdictions.

Patrick Cotter, MBNMS staff, expressed his concern that there has been miscommunication between the Regional Board, the Monterey and Santa Cruz Departments of Environmental Health, the Pajaro Valley Water Management District, and SCRWA. He urged the agencies to get together and discuss their concerns. He explained that the Sanctuary program can help by working with the cities and counties to identify ways to use or recycle water.

The Chair requested that Patrick and Katherine Beiers keep the Council informed on this issue.

VI. PRESENTATION: ACTIONS FOR PREVENTING INVASIVE SPECIES TRANSPORT

The Chair reviewed Council action on this issue and the response to the Council letters. Steve Scheiblauer, Monterey Harbormaster, announced that he has spoken to cruise ships about this issue. The cruise ships do not discharge ballast water. He has also spoken with the Navy, who does not object to the Council's request that ballast water not be discharged within Sanctuary waters. Steve advised that there may be a need for concern regarding vessel ballast discharge in shipping lanes.

Joanne Flanders reported on Scott Kathey (MBNMS staff) and Ed Cassano's review of Sanctuary regulations and vessel ballast discharges. The Sanctuary could control such discharge under emergency circumstances. The issue of non-emergency control will be discussed with GC in the near future since ballast water discharge could be considered part of normal vessel operations which are exempt from the Sanctuary's prohibitions on discharge.

Ed Ueber pointed out that there are many other potential sources of introduced species that the Council should address. The Chair acknowledged that the issue is larger than vessel ballast discharge.

VII. PRESENTATION: KELP HARVESTING COOPERATIVE

Dr. David Ebert, US Abalone, presented a Monterey Kelp Harvester's Cooperative signed by Pete Scrivani (Pacific Mariculture), Bill Williamson (California Kelp Company), David Ebert (US Abalone), and Steve Stanson.

The Chair raised concern about the clause which dictated that the Cooperative would be put into effect upon the establishment of the Ed Ricketts Underwater Park. The Council requested that the clause be removed, enabling the Cooperative to operate independently of the willingness of the Cities of Monterey and Pacific Grove to establish an Ed Ricketts Underwater Park.

Joseph Cavanaugh, Monterey Abalone Company, presented a separate Monterey Kelp Harvester's Cooperative signed by Dominic Grillo, Gary Russell (Pacific Abalone Farm), and Joseph Cavanaugh (Monterey Abalone Company). This Cooperative called for an equal share of the resource among the Cooperative members.

The Chair requested that the harvesters present a single, unified Cooperative to the Council at the December 5, 1997 meeting, and in the meantime work with the California Department of Fish and Game to resolve conflicts.

Please see Attachment B.

VIII. ANNUAL IN-DEPTH REPORT: PUBLIC RELATIONS

John Robinson, MBNMS staff, reviewed news coverage of the Sanctuary over the past year. John has given 300 interviews. The media calls the Sanctuary first on ocean issues, giving the Sanctuary the opportunity to get the word out on Sanctuary programs. National and international coverage of the Sanctuary has increased.

John presented his plan for the future of the Public Relations Program:

  • Program-wide approach to Sanctuary issues;
  • Formation of partnerships with educational projects such as the Jason Project;
  • Monthly slots in editorial pages;
  • Regular slots on morning radio shows;
  • Media training for the Sanctuary staff.

Steve Cohen, Jason Project, presented an overview on the project and its mission, which is to get youth excited about science and technology. The Jason Project has conducted eight expeditions but is best known for its oceans programs. The Jason Project will be conducting live broadcasts from Monterey in March 1998 as part of a new program.

John announced the new Sanctuary website. Marty Atkinson, Infopoint, demonstrated the website.

Discussion ensued.

Rachel Saunders commended John for his work, but described the need for a general over-arching strategic plan for public relations. Tami Grove would like to see avenues other than the media used in the Sanctuary's public relation strategy.

The Chair stated that the Council is under-utilized in terms of public relations and requested an outline of priorities and ideas for a formal public relations program. With this outline in hand, the Council could assist in spreading the message of the Sanctuary Program.

The Council thanked Sea Grant Fellow, Michele Jacobi, for her work on the new Sanctuary website.

IX. PRESENTATION: MBNMS ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN

Joanne Flanders reviewed the new Annual Operating Plan for the Sanctuary.

Discussion ensued over several items:

  • The advantage of combining the three Sanctuary seal programs;
  • Satellite office space for the Sanctuary staff.

XI. PRESENTATION: SAC ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN

The Chair reviewed the Advisory Council portion of the Sanctuary's Annual Operating Plan. Tami Grove reviewed the Council's annual calendar and made editorial comments.

XII. DISCUSSION: SAC PRIORITIES FOR UPCOMING YEAR

The Chair reviewed the Council's current priorities and requested input on possible changes.

The Council reconfirmed the current priority list by consensus and agreed to review updates made by the Strategic Planning Task Force at the Council's December 5, 1997 meeting.

XIII. REPORT: VESSEL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP

Rachel Saunders provided an update on the Vessel Traffic Management Workgroup. Up until the last meeting of the workgroup, most meetings have been informational. However, at the last meeting, work began on further refining the strategies and members broke into sub-groups which are now working to develop written strategies.

Joanne Flanders announced that the group would like to have a plan developed by Summer 1998.

XIV. REPORT: SALMON/SEA LION FORUM

Aaron King provided a verbal and written summary of the August 28, 1997 Salmon/Sea Lion Forum which was successful in attracting a large and active audience. See Attachment C. Russ Colwell, Fishermen's Alliance, thanked the Council for increasing the public awareness of this issue.

XV. WORKING GROUP/WQPP REPORT: CWG

Rachel Saunders provided an update on the activities of the Conservation Working Group (CWG). Local conservation organizations are involved in a tremendous amount of volunteer programs. BAYNET has begun its orientation in Cambria. Rachel urged the Council to think about increased support for volunteer programs.

XVI. REPORT: SAC TERMS

Lisa Ziobro provided an update on the application process for the Council seats. The deadline to submit applications is October 3, 1997. As of October 2, Lisa received approximately 80 requests for applications and received approximately 40 completed applications. The breakdown of applications is as follows:

  • At-Large - 17
  • Agriculture - 2
  • Fishing - 4
  • Other Recreational - 2
  • Research 4
  • Education - 5
  • Diving - 2
  • Conservation - 6
  • Business - 4

Many applicants selected multiple seats.

The review process will go as follows:

  • Applications will be ready for Council member review on October 9 - 17, in the conference room (this has since been modified to October 13 -20); please make notes and attach to the applications; or send e-mail messages to the executive committee;
  • The Council executive committee will forward their top three recommendations for each seat to Joanne by November 3;
  • Joanne will forward her top two choices (member and alternate) to SRD by November 21;
  • New members will be notified by December 12.

Regarding the harbor seat, the four harbormasters have gotten together and decided to fill their seat by rotation every two years, beginning with Monterey, following with Moss Landing, Half Moon Bay, and Santa Cruz. The harbormasters will be filling the seats. Alternate seats will be filled by the next harbor on the rotation list. We will be receiving an official letter from the harbors soon, at which point SRD will make an amendment to the charter.

XVII. STATUS REPORT: LFA

Joanne Flanders provided a verbal report on the Navy's LFS (Low Frequency Sound) project. The term LFA (Low Frequency Activity) is also used. The Navy uses active sonar transmissions to detect submarines and has recently launched four 72-ton vessels designed to actively transmit LFA and listen for the echoes.

In the upcoming year, the Navy plans to conduct LFS research in three geographic areas to determine the effects of the sound on marine mammals:

  • Phase 1 took place this Fall off the southern California coast to determine its effects on blue and finback whales;
  • Phase 2 is proposed to occur off Yankee Point in the MBNMS during the southward gray whale migration;
  • Phase 3 is proposed to occur off Maui immediately adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to study the effects of the sound on mother/calf pairs and on sperm whales.

MBNMS Headquarters has been working with the Navy's researchers to move Phase 2 outside MBNMS boundaries.

The Scientific Working Group on the potential effects of low frequency sound on the marine environment will meet in Monterey on October 28 - 29, 1997. The group will review results Phase 1 and provide guidance for Phases 2 and 3. The Sanctuary and SRD have been invited to participate in the working group.

XVIII. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Dorris Welch announced that the "Marine Discovery Center at LML" has broken ground and she is expecting it to be completed in one year; the Sanctuary is being integrated throughout the exhibits;
  • The Council thanked Joanne Flanders for her professionalism and strong support of the Sanctuary Program during exceptional times.

The meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Ziobro
MBNMS Advisory Council Coordinator

ENC.
MBNMS Manager's Report
Monterey Kelp Harvester's Cooperatives
Salmon/Sea Lion Forum Report
Working Group/WQPP Reports
Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting 10/3/97 FINAL Minutes

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