SAC Meeting Minutes June 2nd, 2006
MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
June 2nd, 2006
University Inn and Conference Center
Santa Cruz, CA
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on Friday, June 2, 2006, in Santa Cruz, California. Public categories and government agencies were present as indicated:
|Agriculture: Kirk Schmidt
||CA State Parks: Dave Vincent
|AMBAG: Stephanie Harlan
||Conservation: Kaitilin Gaffney
|At-Large: PJ Webb
||Commercial Fishing: Thomas Canale
|At-Large: Mike Laffen
||Diving: Randy Hertz
|At-Large: Deborah Streeter
||Education: Steve Clark - ABSENT (Tracy W)
|Business and Industry: Anjanette Adams - ABSENT
||Ports and Harbors: Steve Sheiblauer
|CA Coastal Commission: Tami Grove - ABSENT
||Recreation: Dan Haifley - ABSENT
|CA Dept. of Fish and Game: Paul Reilly
||Recreation Fishing: Howard Egan
|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: Michael Murray - ABSENT
- Gulf of the Farallones NMS: Brian Johnson
- Cordell Bank NMS: Dan Howard - ABSENT
- Elkhorn Slough NERR: Becky Christensen - ABSENT
- Monterey Bay NMS: Karen Grimmer
- U.S. Coast Guard: LT Todd Moe - ABSENT
Alternates present in audience:
- Robert Frischmuth - At-Large
- Harriet Middledorf - At-Large
- Linda McIntyre - Ports and Harbors
- Steve Shimek - Conservation
I. CALL TO ORDER, ROLL CALL, APPROVAL OF MINUTES, WELCOME
Mayor Cynthia Mathews welcomed the Advisory Council to the Santa Cruz University Inn and Conference Center.
APPROVAL OF 4/7/06 DRAFT MEETING NOTES
The Advisory Council adopted the minutes from the April 7, 2006 Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting with the following changes:
Change in minutes on page 5, requested by Chris Harrold: In the paragraph the line which reads “…the process…” what does it mean/ please clarify?
Motion introduced by Chris Harrold, seconded by Russ Jeffries
(Vote: 16 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention)
Award of Appreciation presented to Harbor Seat Brian Foss
Introduction of new Santa Cruz office staff member Gary Conley
II. PUBLIC COMMENT FOR ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Bonnie Van Hise (Sam Farr representative) gave an update. Congressman Sam Farr’s bill regarding the Magnuson-Stevens Act has not yet been addressed. However, Pombo’s bill (HR 5018) is preparing for vote. Farr opposes the bill as it is now written and hopes for changes.
Congressman Farr testified in April on behalf of NOAA for funding.
On June 5 the Ocean Literacy Conference is coming to Washington DC
On June 13 Joint Ocean Commission Initiative will release a report on the Top 10 ocean priorities for Congress to consider for funding.
On June 14 Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW) will host a panel to discuss the state of the oceans.
June 15 is Clean Beaches Week.
Sean Van Sommeran from the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF) spoke. Sean helped establish the group to advocate and educate the public on sharks. He said they have championed shark protection policy in Monterey. PSRF maintains a dedicated straining unit to collect sharks or rescue them from storm drains. They also provide tissue samples to USFW. Sean said he came under Federal investigation 2001-2002 and wishes to clear his name of allegations. Hotline: 831.459.9346/ www.pelagic.org / EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Saunders introduced the new MBNMS publication: Field Guide to the Monterey Bay. It contains a large colorful map, which is the centerpiece. The map points out key places of interest regarding the MBNMS. There are limited copies at the moment. Please come by the office to get one. The map will be posted on the MBNMS website as a .pdf file. Please email Rachel with any comments to incorporate into the next printing (email@example.com).
III. EDUCATIONAL BRIEFINGS
Dennis Long presenting for Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation (see PowerPoint)
How has partnering increased or decreased re: GFNMS?
We are now collaborating with them on a number of projects (seafloor mapping project for instance). MBSF is looking to collaborate with other new donors (the same holds true for the National Foundation).
Regarding discharge exceptions, there have been many meetings to try to work together on a research program to monitor point-source dischargers. Does MBSF have a role in this?
MBSF does not get involved or decide as to what gets monitored. Instead, MBSF manages monitoring once facilitated.
Andrew DeVogelaere presenting for SIMoN (see PowerPoint)
Is there any chance of misidentification on SIMoN Photo site?
It is possible and has happened, but we could look into it.
Are you sharing info with Regional State Boards and other water quality groups as this is extremely valuable information)?
SIMoN will likely have information available for use and interpretation.
Does SIMoN still go out and do a “How-To” use SIMoN presentation?
In the past this was a popular way to educate the public. This has not been done lately but would be a good thing to do more of due in part to budget constraints.
In terms of getting SIMoN down to the level of school systems – has this been pushed down to the Elementary School level?
Not lately, but a note is made to look into it.
Is historical archive information important to SIMoN’s work (like old photos of fish catch to use as a comparison to current times)?
SIMoN would like to but does not have the time. In terms of historical fishing photos, we don’t really have a way of dealing with images in our program here but there are people at the national level who this could be directed to.
Has the Sanctuary discussed with other local agencies the possibility of overlapping monitoring and research work or the establishment of marine reserves?
We are interested in working with them
IV. VISITOR’S CENTER UPDATE
Stacia Fletcher presenting (see PowerPoint)
Is a coastal commission review required?
A small piece of the property must undergo Coastal Commission review
What is the rationale behind putting all exhibits on the second floor as there is a lot of ambient lighting and typically exhibit designer’s dislike any ambient light?
The design is to allow for a feel of the entire space and there is new light dimming technology. This issue will be addressed during future planning sessions.
Is it open and free to the public?
There is no charge for admission and gift shops sales will offset costs and keep admission free.
How do you physically plan to get people from the boardwalk across traffic to access the building? This seems to be a difficult prospect with traffic, trains, etc.
This will be incorporated into the parking study. Directional signage will be used as well.
Cost per square foot seems extremely high - is this going to be contracted locally?
City of Santa Cruz will be in charge of this. There is a cost escalation in the time lapse between planning and construction. Also, soft costs are considerable despite their name.
Bathrooms should be put at the very back on the second floor in order to keep the Visitor Center from becoming just a local bathroom.
Building in a maintenance budget for upkeep of exhibits is an important consideration for future years and upkeep after the exhibits begin to age.
V. NOAA SAFE SEAS DRILL IN GFNMS AND MBNMS (Aug. 7-11)
Holly Price presenting.
Regarding the drill scenario, refer to the handout:
A tabletop drill will follow on July 10-12. The filed drill will take place August 9 and 10. Afterward an analysis will take place to look at what can be improved, weaknesses, strengths, etc.
A lot of agency involvement. Is there any NGO involvement?
Regarding spill response, there is a more militaristic approach to the structure (with Coast Guard, etc.) lending it more to a regimented agency response. There is also the possibility for trained members of the public to assist with response.
Even minimal cooperation with local organizations would help with groups like Marine Mammal Center, Otter Project, etc. At least a communication component would be valuable. Also there is a valuable community outreach possibility with this exercise (including the media).
Is this an all-inclusive drill – coordinating with other agencies as a jointly planned exercise and not just NOAA?
A meeting with 45 individuals representing a number of different agencies convened to coordinate on the drill.
Some years ago there was a response plan to utilize fisherman’s boats to assist with transport of response crew, supplies, etc. Is this a part of the exercise?
It is not presently a part of this plan but opening a conversation about how fishermen might be linked would be worth looking into.
Dispersants need to be used quickly to be effective. Who decides about their use?
An integrated command system looks at that scenario and communicates with the Sanctuary. This is the kind of thing that will be addressed during the drill.
Is there a chain of command (who decides on what action to take)?
It falls on the Site Superintendent and in this case it covers multiple Sanctuaries. The Regional Superintendent as a result, will make the decisions.
Will there be some kind of lessons-learned report?
Yes, staff will meet afterwards to compile lessons learned.
The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary alerted local fisherman about the upcoming drill to not interrupt their operation. This cooperation aided in designating the actual drill location.
VII. ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIRS AND COORDINATORS CONFERENCE REPORT
Deborah Streeter discussed the trip to Washington DC in April. It began with meeting Senator Feinstein’s representatives and Congressional Staffers to discuss Advisory Council interests and concerns.The Chair’s were hopeful but did not feel like much was accomplished.
Dan Basta’s welcome speech offered a positive view of the direction the sanctuaries program is following. He discussed the upcoming designation of the world’s largest reserve in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Basta also discussed the success of his meeting with the President along with Jean- Michel Cousteau to show a film about the oceans. The film was well received by the President and part of the reason for the upcoming reserve designation.
With regionalization at hand, Deborah indicated that the five west coast chairs decided to have a “Regional Chairs” meeting comprised of the five west coast sanctuaries’ Executive Committees to discuss issues each Sanctuary faces in terms of similarities and differences, and different methods used by each to solve problems. Also there was discussion of the problems that were perhaps too big for an individual Sanctuary, which might be better resolved through an organized effort by all five Sanctuaries.
University of Michigan Graduate students did a research study on the effectiveness of the Sanctuary Advisory Council. They presented their findings at the conference. The MBNMS Advisory council members did a good job of responding to their surveys (31 out of 40 members). The students discussed the main challenges associated with the Advisory Council (lack of staff support from NOAA and conflicts). The Advisory Council works best when there is a spirit of cooperation and solidarity.
Admiral Lautenbacher was present at a VIP reception where all the Chairs had an opportunity to meet him. The Admiral’s liaison to the National Ocean Service, Sean Morton (former MBNMS Management Plan Coordinator) commented on the value of the Sanctuary Advisory Council being “… their broad base and collaborative efforts and work towards consensus making it a successful endeavor.”
VIII. MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATE
Karen Grimmer presenting. Karen wanted to thank the Advisory Council for the opportunity to serve as Acting Superintendent for the last 3 meetings. With the new Regional structure, there is a monthly meeting by phone including the west coast Superintendents.
The Management Plan is coming to fruition. At present, staff is preparing to fully implement and integrate the action plans. The management plan is currently being reviewed at the Headquarters level with a possible release in late August, depending on comments and adjustments from General Council (clarifying language).
There is a 60-day public comment period. Informational workshops (open houses) are planned. These are brief overviews of what is contained in the Management Plan. These evening meetings will break down into roundtable discussions discussing in greater depth, issues covered in the management plan. There would be seven of these meetings in the fall. There is the possibility of the need to change times and locations of upcoming Advisory Council meetings regarding these comments (this does not need to be decided right now since actual management plan release dates are subject to change).
The Advisory Council shouldn’t necessarily need to synchronize a meeting with the public meetings as each Advisory Council member could attend the public meetings if they wanted to.
This is the one opportunity to get your constituencies to pay attention and represent their points of view. This allows for having one’s voice formally recorded and shouldn’t be made light of.
It would be better to get as many Advisory Council members to attend and for each individual give their own “three minutes” at the public hearings.
Regarding the four and a half years it took to write a five-year management plan, the process was pathetic and unacceptable and hopefully the Admiral was aware of this.
It is our management plan and I think it is important for us to comment on it as a Sanctuary Advisory Council. We wrote it, we all for the most part are in agreement as to its substance, so we should comment on behalf of it.
What is the possibility of an extra 30 days for review so we might avoid a scheduling issue with upcoming SAC meetings? The SAC would prefer 90 days to 60 days for review for three reasons:
- it includes 3 different plans
- MLPA has simultaneous plans
- This is during a the normal vacation season where people might be away and not have the chance to comment.
Motion: Dave Vincent
Second: Steve Schieblauer
(All in favor; 0 opposed, 0 abstentions)
IX. MLPA PROCESS UPDATE
Paul Reilly presenting.
Since our last SAC meeting, there has been one meeting of the Science Advisory Team in May and a joint meeting of the Blue Ribbon Task Force and Fish and Game Commission last week in Sacramento.
In March, the Task Force approved forwarding 3 packages of MPA proposals for the central coast to the Department. These are called 1, 2R, and 3R, with the “R” signifying revision by the Task Force. The Task Force also recommended to the Department Package 3R as its preferred alternative. Further info: www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa
Packages were analyzed by our science Advisory Team and by Ecotrust, and the results of these analyses were reported to the Task Force last week.
The Department will forward Packages 1, 2R, and 3R unchanged to the Commission along with its own preferred alternative.
We are developing our preferred alternative primarily by addressing enforcement concerns with proposed boundaries and restrictions, fully meeting the mandate of MLPA and scientific guidelines, and by trying to reduce some socio-economic impacts.
We have conducted about 35 small group meetings with constituent representatives. In early May we requested and received via email concerns that the stakeholder working group members had with each of the three packages.
Before the next Commission meeting, the Department’s preferred alternative will be analyzed by the Science Advisory Team and Ecotrust.
On June 22 at Mammoth Lakes, the Commission will receive Packages 1, 2R, 3R, and the Department’s preferred alternative. The latter will include a rationale for changes made from Package 3R to develop this alternative and an explanation of why we consider it the preferred alternative. On that date the Department’s preferred alternative will be available for review on our web site. There will be no opportunity for public comment at the June 22 meeting. This will occur at a special Commission MLPA meeting August 2 in Sacramento, a day before the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting August 3 in Sacramento.
X. FIELD TRIP UPDATE AND PLANS FOR FUTURE FIELD TRIPS
- Point Sur July 21 Field Trip (RSVP to Robert Frischmuth by July 1)
*Option to continue to Cambria for a preview of the opening of the new San Simeon Visitor Center grand opening on July 22nd*
- Fulmar September 15 Field Trip – Cancelled
- Elkhorn Slough November 17 Field Trip
XI. WORKING GROUP UPDATES:
Education: upcoming meeting September 18 at CSUMB
Conservation: focus on MLPA for last several months, waiting for management plan
Research: no updates
XII. NORTHERN MANAGEMENT AREA UPDATE
Steve Shimek presenting
Budget cuts for the NMA: The Sustainable Fisheries program was cut by 100%, jet ski buoy maintenance 100%, SIMoN project implementation 100%, seabird surveys 100%, GFNMS vessel is for sale, IT support cut 50 %, Beach Watch cut 50%, SAC support 100%.
The Half Moon Bay office had to let their lease go and staff currently has to drive to the San Francisco office until further arrangements are made. (Note: A lease has subsequently been singed and the office remains open while Sanctuary Advisory Council support continues.)
It seems that Dan Basta was a bit disingenuous by creating the Northern Management Area and then making such budget cuts that would put GFNMS in such a position.
Brian Johnson commented that the cuts were level and just that GFNMS had less room to make due with.
This seems like an issue for the Regional Superintendent to handle and it doesn’t seem to be an MBNMS issue.
At the August meeting we should have a discussion about the budget and potential upcoming budget cuts.
The Advisory Council should write a letter showing dismay at the possible loss of an Advisory Council Coordinator, send a copy to GFNMS and carbon copy Dan Basta.
Fisherman’s wharf whale fest – haven’t had good participation. They need help or ideas. Nancy felt it would be nice for the Sanctuary or Aquarium to participate 3 times a year for 2 days. Something to give businesses on the wharf a greater role in the conservation effort might be to suggest something other than Styrofoam cup alternatives.
Sea Otters are now rafting in the jet ski zone so be careful.
Tim Reed has helped to resolve boundary issues and develop a prototype map of the three Sanctuaries. Regarding the Devil’s Slide issue - clean up has been coordinated with CalTrans. GFNMS 25th Anniversary Gala was celebrated last Wednesday night. The event generated money and support.
- Final EFH rule published May 11.
- Specific gear types June 12 Bottom Contact gear to 50K depth on Cordell Bank
- Recently awarded a grant to experiment with gear removal from Cordell Bank
Watsonville has a nature center at Ramsey Park. You can walk, jog or bike for seven miles on trails around the sloughs. They are having their annual bird festival this fall. This is a good eco-tourism opportunity.
We have been getting a lot of good press coverage lately for collaborating the new visitors center in San Simeon (including the new phytoplankton testing). All are encouraged to attend the grand opening July 22nd.
NEXT MEETING: AUGUST 18, 2006, Carmel
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.
Sanctuary Advisory Council Coordinator