SAC Meeting Minutes October 20th, 2011
MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Advisory Council met on Thursday, October 20th, 2011, in Cambria, California. Public categories and government agencies were present as indicated:
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
October 20th, 2011
Santa Rosa Church
Council & Staff
|Agriculture: Kirk Schmidt
||CA State Parks: Mat Fuzie - ABSENT
|AMBAG: Jane Parker - ABSENT
||Commercial Fishing: Kathy Fosmark
|At-Large: Margaret Webb
||Conservation: Geoff Shester
|At-Large: Cynthia Mathews
||Diving: Brian Nelson
|At-Large: Richard Ely
||Education: Simona Bartl
|Business and Industry: Cindy Walter - ABSENT
||Ports and Harbors: Steve Scheiblauer
|CA Coastal Commission: Tami Grove - ABSENT
||Recreation: Gary Pezzi
|CA Dept. of Fish and Game: Paul Reilly - ABSENT
||Recreation Fishing: Richard Hughett
|CA EPA: Russ Jeffries
||Research: Chris Harrold - ABSENT
|CA Resources Agency: Amy Vierra - ABSENT
||Tourism: Michael Bekker
The following non-voting members were present as indicated:
I. CALL TO ORDER, ROLL CALL AND MEETING MINUTES
- Monterey Bay NMS: Paul Michel
- National Marine Fisheries Service: Steve Ralston
- United States Coast Guard: LCDR Elisa Garrity
APPROVAL OF 8/18/11 DRAFT MEETING NOTES
II. PUBLIC COMMENT FOR ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
The advisory council approved the August 18, 2011 meeting minutes with the following substantive changes:
- Page 1, Roll Call – adjust members for AMBAG
- Page 2, Public Comments - change comments on motorized personal watercraft (MPWC) to more accurately reflect concerns from big wave surfers over the MBNMS MPWC regulation.
- Page 2, Public Comments – add a sentence to the second paragraph describing the urgency expressed by council members over resolving the safety issues with the MBNMS MPWC regulation and urged the creation of a expert committee to make a recommendation.
- Page 4, Member Announcements – adjust Paul Reilly's comment to better reflect what had been said.
- Page 6, Sanctuary Advisory Council Calendar – add a sentence stating council members requested the MPWC issue be agendized for the October meeting.
Motion introduced by Russ Jeffries, seconded by Gary Pezzi.
(Vote: 8 in favor, 1 opposed, 4 abstentions)
The advisory council had a lengthy discussion regarding how to reflect public comment in future meeting minutes. It was decided that the advisory council would discuss this issue later in the day.
Mary Webb, Cambria resident, expressed support for expansion of the MBNMS. She provided a letter signed by many community members in support of sanctuary expansion. Webb also expressed concerns about a recent proposed project at Santa Rosa Creek and invited council members to visit the site.
III. SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT
Andrea Lueker, City Manager for Morro Bay, provided an April 2003 resolution from the City of Morro Bay in opposition of the creation of a national marine sanctuary in San Luis Obispo County coastal area and opposition of expanding a national marine sanctuary in that area. Lueker requested that if staff is coming to San Luis Obispo County the City of Morro Bay should be invited to the meeting.
Mahala Burton, Cambria resident, voiced in support of the letter provided by Mary Webb. Burton provided a personal story that ties her to the ocean. Burton supports expansion of the MBNMS or creation of a new national marine sanctuary. Burton also stated that the drilling project by the Army Corps of Engineers (at Santa Rosa Creek) is near the meeting venue and asked council members to please visit the site.
Andrew Christie, Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo chapter of Sierra Club, stated the Sierra Club chapter made national marine sanctuary status on the central coast a priority. Christie also stated they have an enthusiastic resolution from San Luis Obispo County in support of a sanctuary. Christie also commented that a local superintendent, local sanctuary advisory council and a local management plan could happen with an expansion.
Steve McGrath, Harbor Manager for Port San Luis harbor, stated the National Marine Sanctuaries Act was first authorized in 1972 and has not been reauthorized since1990. The current reauthorization proposed is significantly different. He is not in support of national marine sanctuary expansion. It would seem premature to support or encourage expansion until the reauthorization is complete. McGrath supports the commercial fishing industry and is concerned over the impacts on that industry if there is an expansion south in already regulated waters. McGrath echoes Andrea Lueker's comments regarding discussions related to expansion or a new sanctuary and ask that Port San Luis be brought in early in the discussions.
Harvey Echon pointed out two items from the San Luis Obispo County General Plan. One section states, "Make every effort to secure permanent protection of counties resources of NMS, ESNERR, for vehicles of management." A second section states, "Establish NMS to protect and manage significant marine resources".
Steve Scheiblauer, City of Monterey Harbormaster, urged the advisory council and MBNMS to form an expert committee on MPWCs. He reminded MBNMS that the Ecosystem Based Management Initiative and founding initiatives are adaptive management.
Tina Dickason provided comment on public comment and minutes. She suggested that the public comment from the August meeting minutes were not very informative. Dickason also stated she is in support of the letter submitted earlier by Mary Webb. She wants the coastal and marine environment to be protected from any harmful activity. She also urged everyone to go to Santa Rosa Creek.
Carol Georgi, Surfrider Foundation San Luis Obispo Chapter, thanked the advisory council for all the work they are doing with MBNMS. She commented that San Luis Obispo sits between two sanctuaries and is one of the most important parts of the ocean that feeds marine mammals and is important to the economy. It is important to expand the sanctuary for many reasons and work together for better water quality and in support of fishing.
Scott Jarrett identified himself as a surfer and stated that he has concerns with MBNMS and NOAA and what NOAA has done by banning MPWCs. Jarrett read a quote from a letter written by Congressman Farr, "to MBNMS it is vitally important that management create flexibility in the management plan review to work closely with user groups."
David Georgi, a resident of Shell Beach, is in support of national marine sanctuary protection for the area between the MBNMS and Channel Islands national marine sanctuary. He expressed the need to protect heritage sites.
Jeanine Jacobs expressed her support for the letter from Mary Webb. Jacobs suggested MBNMS support the limitation of desalination on the whole coast of California. Jacobs would like to see a regional desalination project, perhaps enhancing the Morro Bay desalination plant. Jacobs also stated that anything this group could do to discourage any permits by the Army Corps of Engineers would be appreciated.
Jeff Martin identified himself as a surfer and thinks a permit process would be a good answer to the MPWC issue. Martin would appreciate it if this group (the advisory council) would talk about it and support him and Jarrett.
Judith Bernstein was selected by Sierra Club to go to the Blue Visions Conference in Washington, DC. One thing she was looking for was advice as to what it would take to expand a national marine sanctuary in our area and satisfy conflicting interests.
Bonnie Van Hise, representative of Congressman Farr's office, announced there are two letters currently circulating from Congressman Farr. One letter is a comment letter regarding the proposed rule to end the sea otter translocation program. Congressman Farr does support alternative 3c, which declares the program a failure. The second letter, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is about the national marine sanctuary budget. The letter asks that the Senate numbers be accepted. Congressman Farr recently defended the National Ocean Policy at the Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing. Congressman Farr's testimony can be read on the Natural Resources Committee website.
The advisory council discussed several of the topics brought up during public comment and decided to discuss the issue of MPWCs, desalination at Santa Rosa Creek, and sanctuary expansion later in the day.
Paul Michel, MBNMS Superintendent, provided several important updates on what MBNMS staff have been working on over the last two months.
IV. COLLABORATIVE FISHING EFFORTS BY SLOSEA
Dr. Dean Wendt, San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance (SLOSEA), provided a powerpoint presentation, which can be viewed here.
V. SOUTHERN REGION UPDATE
Carolyn Skinder, MBNMS Education Specialist, PJ Webb, MBNMS Advisory Council At-large member, and Elizabeth Bettenhausen provided a presentation on recent activities in the southern region of the MBNMS and covered various policy issues from the southern region as well. Their powerpoint presentation maybe viewed here.
Some advisory council members visited Santa Rosa Creek to see firsthand the proposed desalination site mentioned during public comment.
VII. ECOSYSTEM BASED MANAEGEMENT INITIATIVE
John Hunt, MBNMS Deputy Superintendent, provided a powerpoint presentation on the Ecosystem Based Management Initiative (EBMI). His powerpoint presentation can be viewed here.
VIII. MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cynthia Mathews, At-large, announced that the City of Santa Cruz received another check from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for $430,000 for exhibitry at the Sanctuary Exploration Center. Mathews also announced a few items from Laura Kasa at Save Our Shores (SOS). SOS just convinced the City of Marina to ban styrofoam takeout containers. The City of Santa Cruz has passed a ban on the city purchasing plastic water bottles for city business/buildings. The City of Capitola expanded their ban on styrofoam to include retail sales of foam products such as plates, cups, and bowls from any store. SOS prevents over 17,000 pounds of trash from entering the ocean on Coastal Cleanup Day. Mathews announced that the City of Santa Cruz is being sued over the plastic bag ban by the plastic bag industry. Dan Haifley, O'Neill Sea Odyssey, provided an update to Mathews regarding a long-term impact study of their program. The two-year report should be complete and published in the Spring of 2012. Mathews also announced that a local business, SloAdventure, offered a "Walk the Bay" that they do. The walk is a five-day walk around the Monterey Bay.
IX. DEEP WATER CHARACTERIZATION OF THE MBNMS
Steve Ralston, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announced that Churchill Grimes retired in August. Ralston was at the meeting as Acting Director of the Santa Cruz Ecology Division. NMFS has gone through a recruitment and they are in the process of making a decision on the replacement for Grimes.
Simona Bartl, Education, announced that Moss Landing Marine Laboratories is searching for a new director. The job description is available on the front page of their website. Bartl announced that the Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET) program funded many education programs within MBNMS. The BWET program in Monterey Bay was funded through a congressional earmark and has since been cut. BWET could be reinstated through the America Competes Act. Bartl suggested the advisory council send a letter stating BWET is an important funding program for educational programs in the MBNMS. The topic of writing a letter regarding BWET was tabled for later in the day.
Brian Nelson, Diving, announced that he and Phil Sammet have developed an electronic newsletter that has gone out to about 1,585 diving constituents. Almost 40 percent of those recipients opened the newsletter. Nelson received a lot of questions from divers as a result of the newsletter and will have a Q&A section in future newsletters. Nelson stated he will work with Nicole Capps to provide information to divers about the MBNMS.
Geoff Shester, Conservation, announced that Oceana has worked with scientists to do an expedition with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in Monterey at several sites. This expedition received a lot of publicity. Shester is looking forward to presenting some of that footage and data in the future. Oceana has been working through the Pacific Fishery Management Council process on important forage species in the California current. He is requesting those species be added to a federal fishery management plan. Governor Brown recently signed the ban on shark fins and the oil spill prevention response act.
Dr. Andrew DeVogelaere, MBNMS Research Coordinator, walked the advisory council through the report, "Characterizing the Deep: Surveys in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2007-2010". The report can be found here.
X. "RECONNECTING WITH YOUR SANCTUARY" – NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEALS
Dr. Brandt Kehoe, Friends of the Elephant Seal, provided a powerpoint presentation on Northern Elephant Seals. His powerpoint presentation can be viewed here.
XI. WORKING GROUP UPDATES
Conservation Working Group – Geoff Shester
XII. SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL CALENDAR
Geoff Shester read the Conservation Working Group (CWG) statement that he provided to advisory council members, which highlighted what the CWG has worked on during their last two meetings. One advisory council member asked that CWG meeting announcements be sent to the advisory council so other members could attend.
Rich Hughett, Recreational Fishing, asked Paul Michel what it would take to add a fishing working group to this list. Commercial Fishing representative Kathy Fosmark voiced concerns about having a SAC fishing working group. Paul Michel stated the advisory council would have to discuss the idea and vote on establishing a fishing working group. This idea was discussed and Paul offered to develop an option paper to discuss at the next advisory council meeting.
Sanctuary Education Panel – Simona Bartl
Simona Bartl announced that the Sanctuary Education Panel (SEP) was on a break because the Education seat was vacant for a while. The SEP started with three meetings and have revisited their goals, drafted a brief outline for their website since the MBNMS is revamping their webpage, set a date/time/place so we meet a month after the advisory council meets and will meet at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. The SEP is having trouble changing the day/time of meetings to accommodate more members. The SEP is also working on increasing membership, trying to include more formal educators. The SEP wants to get information on how they can be a better resource to formal educators. They are in the process of drafting a survey to give to formal educators.
Research Activities Panel – Andrew DeVogelaere
Dr. Andrew DeVogelaere commented that the Research Activities Panel (RAP) was active before the MBNMS and is still active. The RAP meets every other month and is at a different research institution around MBNMS. The host site gives an update as to what is happening at their institution and then presentations requested by RAP members are given. Meetings usually include a request to the RAP from MBNMS staff on various topics. RAP meetings also include an advisory council update from Chris Harrold and Andrew gives a report on what the MBNMS Research team has been doing. The RAP does utilize a website that is available from the MBNMS website. The RAP recently heard about ocean acidification projects going on in our area as there are national and regional plans and the MBMMS is not showing up on them. The RAP has taken on finding ways to get BeachCombers going again. The EBMI is another focus area in particular on sentinel sites and what that means. The RAP is active in the Currents Symposium. At the last meeting Paul Michel gave a presentation on the Access Monterey Peninsula (AMP) program and gave input on potential topics.
Business and Tourism Activity Panel – Michael Bekker
Michael Bekker stated the Business and Tourism Activities Panel (BTAP) got turned inside out from moving the group between Santa Cruz, Moss Landing and Monterey. The new group of advisory council members serving Business and Tourism interests got together six months ago and started talking about revitalizing the BTAP. The group had some good foundation but then summer came and they haven't gotten much further. The group did talk about Whalefest and the BLUE Ocean Film Festival.
The advisory council discussed several possible agenda items that had come up earlier in the day.
- Procedure of minutes: the advisory council decided that the Executive Committee will develop a recommendation for meeting minutes and will bring that back at the December meeting.
- Sanctuary Expansion: after some discussion Paul Michel agreed to provide a presentation at the December meeting on the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' Site Evaluation List.
- MPWCs: Questions were raised by SAC members as to the degree to which the existing PWC regulation already accommodate the safety needs of big wave surfers. After much discussion the advisory council agreed to have Paul Michel write a one pager on the regulations of MPWCs in the sanctuary that will be emailed to the advisory council.
- Establish a Fishing Working Group: the advisory council decided that Paul Michel should talk to individuals about putting together a fishing working group and put together an options paper that would be agendized for the December meeting.
- Desalination at Santa Rosa Creek: the advisory council decided that this item does not need to be agendized at this time.
- BWET letter: the advisory council decided to agendize this topic for the December meeting. Simona Bartl will draft a letter for review by the advisory council and will provide pertinent background information about the topic to inform the advisory council.
The advisory council requested this topic to be agendized for December to receive more information and a draft letter of support in advance of the meeting.
Motion introduced by Steve Scheiblauer, seconded by Richard Hughett.
(Vote: 9 in favor, 0 opposed)
Geoff Shester mentioned that there was interest in the advisory council receiving the presentation forage species that the CWG has received.
NEXT MEETING: December 8th, 2011 in Pacific Grove
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.
Sanctuary Advisory Council Coordinator