SAC Meeting Minutes October 7th,
MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
October 7th, 2005
Codiga Center and Museum
(Agricultural History Project)
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on Friday, October 7th, 2005, in Cambria, California. Public categories and government agencies were present as indicated:
|Agriculture: Kirk Schmidt
||CA State Parks: Dave Vincent
|AMBAG: Stephanie Harlan
||Conservation: Steve Shimek
|At Large: Margaret Webb
||Commercial Fishing: Thomas Canale
|At Large: Mike Laffen
||Diving: Randy Herz
|At Large: Deborah Streeter
||Education: Tracey Weiss
|Business and Industry: Nancy Black
||Ports and Harbors: Brian Foss
|CA Coastal Commission: Charles Lester
||Recreation: Dan Haifley
|CA Dept. of Fish and Game: Paul Reilly
||Recreation Fishing: Howard Egan - ABSENT
|CA EPA: Russ Jeffries
||Research: Chris Harrold
CA Resources Agency: Brian Baird - ABSENT
|Tourism: Michael Bekker
The following non-voting members were present as indicated:
- Channel Islands NMS: Chris Mobley - ABSENT
- Gulf of the Farallones NMS: Brian Johnson
- Cordell Bank NMS: Dan Howard - ABSENT
- Elkhorn Slough NERR: Becky Christensen - ABSENT
- Monterey Bay NMS: William Douros
- U.S. Coast Guard: LT Todd Moe - ABSENT
Alternates present in audience:
- Gary Pezzi - Recreation
- Randy Herz - Diving
- Steve Scheiblauer - Harbors
I. CALL TO ORDER, ROLL CALL, APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Matt Bissel, President of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, welcomed the Advisory Council to the Codiga Center and Museum in Watsonville.
SWEAR IN OF NEW MEMBERS
Bill Douros, Superintendent, swore in new members Tracey Weiss, Education primary, and Cynthia Walter, At-large alternate. Cynthia and Tracey both spoke about their backgrounds and interests in serving on the Advisory Council.
APPROVAL OF 9/5/05 DRAFT MEETING NOTES
MOTION: (Passed) The Advisory Council adopted the minutes from the August 5, 2005 Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting with no changes.
Motion introduced by Brian Foss, seconded by Dan Haifley (Vote: 14 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 abstentions)
II. PUBLIC COMMENT FOR ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Bonnie Van Hise, District scheduler for Congressman Sam Farr, provided a brief update on items that Congressman Farr is currently working on. She handed out a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the proposal to terminate the southern sea otter translocation program. He is continuing to work on the Oceans 21 bill. The Clean Cruise Ship act is moving forward with 45 cosigners. Congressman Farr recently stated that he is not pleased with the administration’s work on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management legislation. He feels that it did not go far enough to ensure sustainable fisheries. The Congressman is asking everyone to provide comments on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Sea Otter report before January.
Mike Sotello, California Department of Boating and Waterways, stated that his agency is responsible for providing public access to boaters. They produce education materials for kindergarten through high school students. He commented that someone from his agency will be attending future advisory council meetings because they have an interest in management of sanctuaries with regard to boating activities.
III. PRESENTATION OF AGRICULTURAL HISTORY PROJECT
Pat Johns, Agricultural History Project, provided a brief presentation on the Agricultural History Project (AHP). The AHP is a non-profit organization started in 1987 as part of the Pajaro Valley Historical Association. They are a volunteer organization, which focuses on agriculture on the central coast of California. The Codiga Center and Museum, located in Watsonville, houses exhibits that tell the history of agriculture on the central coast.
IV. 2006 MEETING PLANNING
2006 Meeting Schedule
The Advisory Council accepted, by consensus, the 2006 meeting schedule proposed by Deborah Streeter, Chair. They also agreed to have a retreat at the October meeting. The 2006 meeting schedule is as follows:
- February 3 – Monterey
- April 7 – Salinas
- June 2 – Santa Cruz
- August 4 – Carmel/Carmel Valley
- October 5 & 6 – Cambria
- December 1 – San Mateo County
Educational Briefings on Sanctuary Users
Bill Douros, Superintendent, explained that he also sits on the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. He has observed that they set up educational briefings from certain Advisory Council members at each meeting. He has already spoken with Tom Canale, Commercial Fishing primary, to give a presentation to the MBNMS Advisory Council on the different gear types and fisheries of the commercial fishing industry. Bill explained that these presentations would be educational only. They would not be used to advocate anything. After much discussion, the Advisory Council set up a schedule of educational briefings for the next two years. The schedule is as follows:
- February, April and June 2006 – Commercial Fishing
- August 2006 – Diving
- October 2006, February and April 2007– Recreation
- June and August 2007 – Research
- October 2007 - Agriculture
John Ugoretz, Department of Fish and Game alternate, volunteered Paul Reilly, Department of Fish and Game primary, to give a presentation on the Department of Fish and Game at some point. Tracey Weiss, Education primary, also stated that she would like to give a presentation on education in the future. It was also commented that a field trip should be associated with the presentations where possible.
The Advisory Council decided to discuss this item at the joint meeting in December with the Gulf of the Farallones Advisory Council.
V. NORTHERN MANAGEMENT AREA (NMA) UPDATE
Brian Johnson, GFNMS Assistant Manager, gave an update on the following items related to the NMA: the CA signage plan, SIMoN hiring a GIS coordinator, and determining issues for the joint December meeting where both Advisory Councils could benefit.
After some discussion, the Advisory Council developed a list of four main topics for Bill to discuss with Maria Brown, GFNMS Manager, as potential agenda items for the joint December meeting. The Advisory Council suggested only choosing one or two of these topics. The four main topics are: oil and gas development/proposals, donut hole closure, status of MLPA effort and the decision tool, and the GFNMS seabird colony protection program.
VI. CALIFORNIA SIGNAGE PLAN
Seaberry Nachbar, National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) Education Coordinator, provided a presentation on the California signage plan. The signs that will be going in at various outlook and vista points will educate the public on various topics such as: natural history of the area, information on the particular sanctuary in that area, etc. She showed the locations along the California coastline for the upcoming signs and how many signs will be going in through 2009.
Randy Herz, Diving alternate, stated that he would like to be involved in this process. He would like to assist with signs being installed at popular dive sites. He would potentially like to see some language related to diving on these signs. Seaberry commented that she will contact the Advisory Council to see if anyone is interested in providing input on development of the signs.
She announced that there will be focus group studies once the signs are in place to see if they are effective. These surveys can hopefully be done by one of the NMSP partners.
John Ugoretz, CA Dept. Fish & Game alternate, stated his concerns about the amount of signs going in south of Pt. Mugu. He stated some areas are inappropriate for signs. CDFG would like to work with National Marine Sanctuaries staff to piggy back onto this effort to get their messages out.
Michael Bekker, Tourism primary, suggested contacting business to provide money for these signs and in return put their logo on the sign.
VII. SUPERINTENDENT BRIEFINGS
Bill Douros provided an update on the regionalization of the National Marine Sanctuary Program. He commented that the West Coast regional office would be opening January 1st. He announced that he would be shifting full time to in the role of the acting regional superintendent and would no longer be attending Advisory Council meetings as the MBNMS superintendent. Bill said that one or more senior in house staff would serve as MBNMS acting superintendent while he concentrated on the regional duties. At some point, a recruitment will be held to fill the regional superintendent position. If Bill applies for and gets the regional superintendent job, a recruitment to back fill him at the MBNMS would be initiated. Bill said an Advisory Council representative would be on an interview panel for an MBNMS vacancy.
Bill Douros gave a presentation on the National Marine Sanctuary Program’s partnership with Italy. He announced that he went to Italy in September 2005 along with Dan Basta, NMSP Director, and Elizabeth Moore, National Program Branch Chief, to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with Italy’s Ministry of Environment and Land Protection. Under the agreement, the U.S. and Italy will focus on building marine protected area management capacity for both nations and planning the next steps in the partnership. Future projects include developing “sister sanctuaries,” and learning how Italians involve recreational users and businesses in site activities. A priority will be a sister sanctuary between the MBNMS and Isole Egadi MPA in Sicily, where hundreds of Monterey fishing families call home. Italy has one of the largest marine protected area networks in Europe. The new partnership is similar to ones already in place with Australia and South Korea.
VIII. SANCTUARY CURRENTS SYMPOSIUM
Dawn Hayes, MBNMS Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Chris Harrold, Research primary, provided information on the upcoming Sanctuary Currents Symposium on March 4, 2006. The goal of this symposium is to hear about what marine protected areas (MPA) are telling us. The hope of this symposium is to help build bridges between researchers and fishermen and not be advocacy minded. There will be case studies on what has worked and what hasn’t. There will be discussion panels on specific topics related to MPAs. There was some discussion of holding an underwater photography exhibit. John Ugoretz commented that the definition of MPAs needs to be discussed before going out to the public because the federal and state definitions are different.
There will be a reception the night before the symposium at the Center for the Future of the Oceans. Bill expressed his fears of less people attending the awards ceremony if it is held the night before the symposium. He said he would review this suggestion with staff, the planning team and AMBAG to best structure the awards event.
The next planning meeting will be held on October 24th and the committee would like the diving representatives to attend so they could help with the underwater photo contest.
IX. ASSOCIATION OF MONTEREY BAY AREA GOVERNMENTS (AMBAG) AND MONTEREY CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Libby Downey, AMBAG alternate, expressed concerns of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) and the Monterey City Council.
AMBAG Discussion on Fishing Issue
She explained that AMBAG had been approached by fishermen regarding the “promise” that had been made before the designation of the MBNMS. They were told that fishermen would work with the sanctuary if the promise was upheld. Now, with the talk of adding the Davidson Seamount to the MBNMS, it seemed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was going back on their “promise”. She read a motion taken by the AMBAG Board of Directors at their September 14th meeting, expressing their support for the original promise made to the fishing community as found in the 1992 designation document. The 1992 designation document states that fishing regulations will be made by the appropriate state and fishery management agencies.
Bill Douros explained that things are governed by what was written down in black and white. It is not possible to rely on what people remember hearing orally. What some fishermen believe was said is different from what is written down in the designation documents. He used the Davidson Seamount as an example to show how the process works. The MBNMS does not want corals, sponges and other species to be destroyed at the seamount and fishermen do not want the sanctuary to control fishing. If the Pacific Fishery Management Council can address the MBNMS concerns, that should satisfy both parties, if it cannot or will not protect the seamount, then NOAA can make the decision to adopt regulations under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act or not. Bill stated that all Advisory Council members have a duty to report back to their constituents on what is really going on here. This is what should be reported on this issue.
Monterey City Council Study Session on MBNMS
Bill Douros and Steve Scheiblauer, Harbor alternate, provided presentations to the Monterey City Council on October 4th regarding several topics, but discussion focused primarily on the “promise” to fishermen and the Advisory Council member recruitment process. The Monterey City Council did not make a motion on these issues, but they possibly will at a subsequent meeting.
After continued discussion regarding the “promise” to the fishermen, it was asked if the Advisory Council could receive a copy of the presentations given to the Monterey City Council and if meeting agendas for the city could be provided to the Advisory Council in advance of the meetings. It was suggested that information regarding the Monterey City Council meetings be given to Nicole Capps, Sanctuary Advisory Council Coordinator, who would forward the information on to the Advisory Council.
X. BRIEF UPDATES ON MARINE PROTECTED AREA PROCESSES-MARINE LIFE PROTECTION ACT AND MBNMS
John Ugoretz provided a brief update on the most recent MLPA regional stakeholder group meeting. They used the MBNMS electronic mapping tool to put lines on maps and had a full day of mapping activities. The MLPA process is in a rapid phase with this regional stakeholder group meeting in November in Cambria and in December in Monterey. A limited range of options for proposed marine protected area packages will be forwarded to the Blue Ribbon Task Force, who will then pass their recommendations on to the Department. The Department will then select a preferred alternative and forward it to the Commission. John suggested going to the CA Department of Fish and Game’s website to view MLPA information. There are plans to make the website more accessible and useful to the public.
Holly Price, MBNMS Resource Protection Coordinator, commented that she felt everyone left the meeting on a great note. She congratulated the MLPA team and everyone participating on the good work. The MBNMS MPA working group just convened again in September and will meet again in October.
Several members involved in the MPA working group commented on how the meeting ended on a good note.
XI. ELKHORN SLOUGH TIDAL WETLAND PLAN
Barb Peichel, Tidal Wetland Plan Coordinator, provided a presentation on the Elkhorn Slough Tidal Wetland Plan. She explained the purpose of this plan was to develop strategies to address hydrological management issues and to conserve, enhance, and restore tidal habitats in the Elkhorn Slough. She covered the many participants in the process on both the Strategic Planning Team and the Science Panel. It was mentioned that the Advisory Council has many voices on these two committees through several MBNMS staff and Advisory Council members. She also described the three review groups for this document: community, agency and peer review. For more information on the Elkhorn Slough Tidal Wetland Plan, you can visit the website at http://elkhornslough.org/tidalwetlandplan.htm or contact Barb Peichel.
XII. STANDING WORKING GROUP/ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS
Tracey Weiss, Education primary, announced that the Sanctuary Education Panel (SEP) would have their next meeting on November 14th, 3:30-5:30 at Elkhorn Slough. They will be covering issues proposed in the management plan and the MERITO program.
Deborah Streeter announced that the Watershed Festival of Life will be held at the Community Church of Life this coming weekend from 10:30-4. Events will be held all day.
Kaitilin Gaffney, Conservation primary, on behalf of her alternate, Steve Shimek, announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released their SEIS on the Sea Otter Translocation Plan. The plan recommends terminating the no-otter zone and translocation activities. She commented that the sea otter population is dependent on range expansion and translocation activities interefere with natural range expansion. Sea otters were trapped and relocated in a stressed and weakened state. There will be a hearing on November 3rd at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Chris Harrold, Research primary, announced that the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be hosting an event to assist with Hurricane Katrina efforts.
Robert Frischmuth, At-large alternate, announced that the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum will be having a lecture on sea caves in the Channel Islands on October 22nd at 2 p.m.
Brian Johnson announced that the Gulf of the Farallones NMS Oceanfest, highlighting sustainable seafood, will be October 8th from 11-4 p.m. at west Crissy Field in San Francisco.
Randy Herz announced that the October Scuba Diving magazine listed Monterey as one of the top 10 dive destinations in the nation.
NEXT MEETING: December 9, 2005, Half Moon Bay
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.
Sanctuary Advisory Council Coordinator