SAC Meeting Minutes June 15th, 2007
MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
University of California Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday, June 15th, 2007
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on Friday, June 15, 2007, in Santa Cruz, California. Public categories and government agencies were present as indicated:
Council & Staff
|Agriculture: Kirk Schmidt
||CA State Parks: Dave Vincent
|AMBAG: Libby Downey
||Commercial Fishing: Thomas Canale
|At-Large: Margaret Webb
||Conservation: Kaitilin Gaffney
|At-Large: Mike Laffen
||Diving: Randy Herz
|At-Large: Deborah Streeter
||Education: Steve Clark
|Business and Industry: VACANT
||Ports and Harbors: Steve Sheiblauer
|CA Coastal Commission: Charles Lester
||Recreation: Gary Pezzi
|CA Dept. of Fish and Game: Paul Reilly
||Recreation Fishing: Howard Egan - ABSENT
|CA EPA: Russ Jeffries - ABSENT
||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: Maria Brown - ABSENT
- Cordell Bank NMS: Dan Howard - ABSENT
- Elkhorn Slough NERR: Becky Christensen - ABSENT
- Monterey Bay NMS: Karen Grimmer (Acting Superintendent)
- U.S. Coast Guard: Capt. David Swatland
Alternates present in audience:
- Lawrence Breaker - Research
- Tim Frahm - Agriculture
- Robert Frischmuth - At-Large
- Matt Fuzie - CA State Parks
- Rexford Keyes - Recreation
- Henry Leinen - At-Large
- Emily Reilly - AMBAG
- Steve Shimek - Conservation
- Cindy Walter – At-Large
I. CALL TO ORDER, ROLL CALL, APPROVAL OF MINUTES, WELCOME
APPROVAL OF 04/20/07 DRAFT MEETING NOTES
The Advisory Council adopted the minutes from the April 20, 2007 Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting, accepting changes as submitted by Paul Reilly.
Motion introduced by Kaitlin Gaffney, seconded by PJ Webb
(Vote: 16 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention)
II. SWEAR IN OF NEW MEMBERS
MBNMS Superintendent Paul Michel swore in new and reappointed Advisory Council members. New members gave brief introductions and backgrounds on their connection to the Sanctuary.
III. UPDATE ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER RECRUITMENT
Nicole Capps, Management Support Specialist, discussed the need to re-recruitment for the alternate Recreational Fishing seat and the Business and Industry seat. The Advisory Council agreed to use the same selection subcommittee with two exceptions: Paul Reilly will be added to the recruitment selection subcommittee and Cindy Walter will not be on the subcommittee for this round.
IV. INTRODUCTION OF NEW MBNMS SUPERINTENDENT AND NEW MBNMS STAFF MEMBER ANNA HOLDEN
Paul Michel, Sanctuary Superintendent, wanted to thank the MBNMS staff, Karen Grimmer and Holly Price for their exceptional leadership during the acting period. Prior to coming to the MBNMS, Paul worked in San Francisco at the EPA as a regional manager and on the Mexican border states on many different issues.
Paul has a Masters in Public Administration from Georgia State University and grew up in Tennessee. He developed a deep-rooted concern and love for the ocean by spending summers on the beach in North Carolina.
He will look to the Advisory Council to help him make decisions and for good advice. The priority for the immediate future is to get the Management Plan to the finish line and then to prioritize what happens next. Also, we need to reinvigorate our staff and partnerships. Paul expressed he is looking forward to working with everyone.
Paul introduced new MBNMS staff member, Anna Holden, who will be working on water quality as the Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network Coordinator. Anna just finished her master’s degree in Montana on water quality studies.
V. PUBLIC COMMENT FOR ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Skip Griffen, representing Water Standard Company (WSC), is a proponent of ship-based desalination treatment plants off California. Mr. Griffen feels the water supply problem can be solved in an environmentally responsible way by using WSC’s idea of desalination via ship. It will be a 60,000 ton ship, 500-600 feet long. General Electric will be used for fuel and biofuels will be used when possible for cleaner emissions. The PALL Corporation will build water treatment/ desalination equipment on the ships. The vessels will use different technology to minimize impingement, get cleaner water offshore meaning less treatment, brine disposal can be diluted with ambient seawater in the ship and discharged at the surface to continue diluting while settling.
Solar panels can be used to offset the fuel needed by the crew. Mr. Griffen states the carbon footprint of such an undertaking is smaller than a land-based plant. The boat can remain positioned offshore by use of moorings or a dynamic positioning system.
Bonnie Van Hise, representative to Sam Farr, provided updates on recent congressional activities. Last week was Capital Hill Oceans Week. The HR1834 National Undersea Research Program Act hearing went very well. Congressman Farr briefly met the MBNMS volunteer of the year, Hunter Kirkpatrick. Congressman Farr still plans to introduce the Cruise Ship Bill by the end of July. The HR 2337 Energy Bill just passed out of the resources committee – cosponsoring ocean-observing systems.
Steve Shimek, Executive Director of the Otter Project/ Monterey Coast Keeper Representative, announced that he will be hiring in the next few months for several positions in regards to Coast Keeper. He also noted that the Sea Otter count has broken the 3 thousand number for the first time in many years.
Paul Michel welcomed two representatives from the Department of Commerce Inspector General’s office.
VI. EDUCATIONAL BRIEFING: ADVISORY COUNCIL WORK PLAN
Michael Murray, CINMS Advisory Council Coordinator, provided handouts to assist with how the CINMS Advisory Council establishes their annual work plan.
The Annual Work Plan is created beginning with a staff meeting to determine what issues and priorities should be brought before the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council weighs in and likewise prioritizes issues, which are worked on through the course of the year.
Mr. Murray stated that the work plan is a valuable tool to work with leaders of the community to solve problems and generate better understanding between the public and the Sanctuary Program. Working groups have championed issues that staff felt were important but were not able to address. This kind of proactive approach makes volunteers very important to the success of the program.
Mr. Murray commented that developing this kind of document would be really useful for the MBNMS Advisory Council. Due to the budget, restraint must be exercised and perhaps only a few issues are worked on during any given year.
MBNMS FY08 Priority Activities
Karen Grimmer, MBNMS Program Operations Coordinator, provided a handout outlining the MBNMS priorities for fiscal year 2008.
Karen informed the Advisory Council that the idea of a work plan was to better utilize the Advisory Council’s time and input. Karen explained that the worksheet established which priorities were of high, medium, and low priority. Although, most items are of high priority and some projects have already begun, where others have not yet been implemented.
She suggested using the retreat, scheduled for October 18-19, to discuss which priority issues the Advisory Council would like to address. She also stated, in looking at the reduced activities column, there are opportunities for the Advisory Council to step in and help find solutions.
Emily Reilly welcomed the Advisory Council to Santa Cruz. She spoke in support of the Visitors Center, as Santa Cruz has over 3 million visitors who could learn more about the Sanctuary with this strategically located center.
MBNMS Advisory Council Workplan
After some discussion, the Advisory Council established a subcommittee to develop a workplan. They will use the FY08 priority worksheet as a start and could potentially create a worksheet that closely resembles that of the CINMS Advisory Council.
The subcommittee members are:
- Kaitilin Gaffney
- Gary Pezzi
- Chris Harrold
- Steve Scheiblauer
- Deborah Streeter
Mike Murray will also work with the subcommittee to offer guidance. Other CINMS staff or Advisory Council members may also be invited to take part in the process in the future.
VII. REPORTS ON UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS:
- There is the potential for an educational outing with the Surf Perch group. Paul Reilly will be sending information regarding the group and possible outing.
- Possible field trip that addresses litter on our beaches.
Farm Tour: It was suggested that we consider some of the farmers in San Mateo county (Ano Nuevo). This area is different as the farms are smaller, utilize different practices, and have more of a natural landscape. The Salinas Valley farmers the Advisory Council has typically worked with are very busy right now with new food safety issues.
Whichever location is selected, the food safety issue is an important one and should likely be the focus of a farm tour. It will be compelling to see what Salinas Valley farmers have done in regards to water quality and now with food safety. Runoff is also an important aspect of farming. It would be useful to invite the agriculture community from the south end of the Sanctuary. Saltwater intrusion is another important point that could be addressed in the course of the field trip.
The Farm tour can be moved to September 21st if need be.
iMBARI Tour: Potential to do MBARI trip earlier.
The Advisory Council would like to invite the staff to consider another Advisory Council field trip (for those who missed the last one) on the Fulmar after the very dramatic whale watch trip taken last month.
VIII. MARINE LIFE PROTECTION ACT UPDATE
Paul Reilly, CA Department of Fish and Game, provided an update on the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).
North Central Coast
The next phase of the MLPA process is continuing, in what is being called the North Central Coast Region, which extends from Pigeon Point north to Alder Creek (about 3.5 miles north of Pt. Arena) and excludes the San Francisco Bay Estuarine complex.
The five member Blue Ribbon Task Force (Susan Golding (Chair), Meg Caldwell, William Anderson, Kathy Reheis-Boyd, and Don Benninghoven) will hold their second meeting June 19 in Palo Alto.
The North Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (NCCRSG) has been appointed, and consists of 23 primaries and 13 alternates representing a broad range of interests in the area. All have knowledge of marine issues in the study region and of the MLPA itself. The first meeting was held May 22 & 23, 2007 in San Rafael. A key outcome from the meeting was the adoption of ground rules for the NCCRSG process. Presentations were made by the MLPA Initiative team on the NCCRSG’s roles, charge, and work plan, and on the draft regional profile for the north central coast study region. The web site link to the draft regional profile.
This was also the first opportunity for members to meet with one another and discuss their interests and concerns with the MLPA process in their region. One of the first tasks the NCCRSG will be working on is a review of the draft regional profile and a joint fact finding collaboration to fill in any missing data and make suggestions on necessary changes to the draft regional profile. The next meeting will be held July 10 and 11, 2007 at a location to be determined.
Nominations have been received for the Science Advisory Team, another key component of this process, and appointments will be announced soon. The first meeting likely will occur June 26 at a location to be determined.
EcoTrust will again be contracted to obtain location-specific fishing information on the North Central Coast commercial fisheries, similar to the study they conducted for the Central Coast. The new study will be an enhanced version of the Central Coast process, based on lessons learned.
In late May, proposals for baseline monitoring data collection in the MLPA central coast study region were reviewed by a science panel in San Diego and awarded projects were announced. Five projects will be awarded Ocean Protection Council funds, administered by Sea Grant, to conduct studies and collect baseline data inside and outside of the adopted MPA areas throughout the central coast study region, ranging from intertidal surveys to deepwater submersible surveys, with one project focusing on socioeconomic user data in the region. These projects are funded for one year and will begin June 2007.
The exact date for which the new central coast MPAs will become effective is not known, but it will not be any earlier than early July and it is dependent upon the Office of Administrative Law completing their review of the regulations.
CDFG has submitted an ambitious proposal for funds to fund three full-time staff to work on education and outreach for the Sanctuaries.
Steve Scheiblauer asked if the Advisory Council was only interested in hearing from scientists about the idea that MLPAs are only an appearance and not really effective. This might be a good idea for the agenda as it is too large to discuss quickly here. It could be a potential item to add to the Advisory Council workplan. We need to stick to our task as an Advisory Council and take a look at where we are with MPAs and stay up to speed on federal water apportionment.
Welcome from Steve McCabe who runs the UCSC Arboretum. The Arboretum is home to many rare species of plants found around the world. The Arboretum holds one of the largest collections of Australian plants outside of Australia and is said to contain the world’s largest collection of plants native to New Zealand.
X. EDUCATIONAL BRIEFING: SANTA CRUZ VISITOR CENTER CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
Lisa Uttal, MBNMS Education Specialist, provided an update on the status of the MBNMS Visitor Center in Santa Cruz. She explained that the images of the facility provided in the powerpoint were pared back architecturally from the last images the Advisory Council had see. Over half of the area will be dedicated to exhibitory and the building will be LEEDS compliant. The facility will be free admission, but if more than 50% of the funding comes from other than federal sources, there might be an option to charge admission. Annual operating costs are estimated to be between $500,000 – 1 million. The name of the visitor center is soon to come. Congressman Sam Farr has done a great deal to acquire grant funding and earmarks for construction of the facility.
XI. LIVING OCEAN INITITATIVE PROJECT
Deborah Streeter, MBNMS Advisory Council Chair, provided a presentation on the Living Ocean Initiative conference that took place at the Monterey Bay Aquarium earlier this year.
There is a religious community that is in support of the Sanctuary program and goals, however it is not organized. The religious community and ocean conservation community are brought together through the Living Ocean Initiative. The group put together a planning committee supported by Sanctuary staff. Fifty congregations were invited that would represent the religious landscape. They were invited to send three people each to this meeting. After the meeting the participants went back to their congregations to share what they learned. Classes, education, clean-ups, etc. have occurred as a result of this conference and it is roughly estimated that about 6,000, in their place of worship, have heard about Sanctuaries and the role they play. It was a successful first effort and it will continue.
XII. UPDATES: WORKING GROUP PROJECT REPORTS
RAP (Chris Harrold): The California Ocean Protection Council has released their 5-year strategic plan. Developing a water quality database. The RAP is seeking the highest research priorities for the RAP and they will share with Paul Michel on July 13.
CWG (Kaitilin Gaffney): Talked with CINMS and considered taking action on off shore oil drilling platform as offshore aquaculture areas. Thinking about this approach and will check in to it and let MBNMS know what it finds.
SEP (Steve Clark): Announced that the Education primary has been selected (who could not attend the Advisory Council meeting) her name is Shauna Potocky. Check out this website
Maria Brown, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) Superintendent, provided an update on the GFNMS.
The GFNMS has issued four permits since the last Advisory Council meeting. GFNMS is in the process of addressing low overflight seabird disturbance incidents. They will be hosting the education and outreach program for seabirds on Alcatraz Island. Also, they will be hosting a seabird-nesting cruise to take different agency representatives (CDFG Commissioners) and show them first-hand what they do.
They recently completed a McArthur II research cruise doing marine mammal and seabird surveys, as well as acoustics monitoring. An R/V Fulmar cruise is coming up to do more of the same. GFNMS SIMoN site will be coming out in the fall.
A summer camp program will begin soon. It is a latchkey program that helps inner-city families. Parents that might not otherwise be able to afford summer camp for their children can enroll them in this program, which affords underprivileged kids the chance to learn about the ocean and visit new places.
XIII. EDUCATIONAL BRIEFING: SANCTUARY-WIDE MONITORING (SWiM) CONDITION REPORT
Jennifer Brown, MBNMS Research Aide, provided a presentation on an upcoming report requested by NMSP headquarters.
The report is a report card of how a sanctuary site is doing in regards to monitoring. It seems the implications of a poor report card for a specific site could be damaging. These reports are to be completed every five years. It is felt that five years is too long, considering systems change very quickly. Perhaps every six months would be more appropriate.
The Advisory Council commented without judging the source of the document, it would make it more credible if there were more scientific data and studies referenced to corroborate the results of the report.
Also, this is a good start/work in progress and it would be wise to invite some stakeholders to be involved in the dialog and should have limited weight in the policy making process.
XIV. UPDATE: JOINT MANAGEMENT PLAN REVIEW (JMPR) STATUS
Karen Grimmer provided an update on the status of the JMPR.
She commented that the NMSP has been working with the State to address Cruise Ships, as they want the Sanctuary to adopt state regulations and not federal regulations. This is also the case for Introduced Species.
The Advisory Council advised the MBNMS to stand firm on its introduced species policy. There isn’t enough understanding of the subject for the Advisory Council to take action today, but it is an emerging issue that is taking on new interest and should be reintroduced. It was commented that the Advisory Council could send letters to state and federal representatives reiterating the position they have already taken on the position.
Karen commented that staff was wrapping up responses to comments for all three contiguous sanctuaries. We are still hoping to make an October deadline for release of the final management plan.
XV. MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS
Charles Lester, CA Coastal Commission, announced that desalination standards are being considered down in Cambria.
Michael Murray announced that the CINMS Marine Reserves Zoning Process is in late stages. It was a three-phase process creating 22% marine conservation areas. Small state water gaps might also be closed up near end of August to complete all designations between a complex network of agencies.
Laura Kasa, Executive Director for Save Our Shores (SOS), announced that SOS would like to do an anniversary celebration for the MBNMS 15-year anniversary. They would like to tie it in with Coastal Cleanup Day. She commented that they would like any help possible, as SOS has little knowledge of the previous celebrations.
PJ Webb, Citizen At-large primary, announce that the Coastal Discovery Center just graduated the second group of docents. The Snapshot Day participation in the southern region was very healthy.
Randy Herz, Diving alternate, announced that photos on the back table of the room would be on loan to MBNMS to hang in lobby.
NEXT MEETING: August 17, 2007, in Salinas
The meeting adjourned at 3:45 pm
Sanctuary Advisory Council Coordinator