MBNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was established by Federal law to assure continued public participation in the management of the Sanctuary. Since its establishment in March 1994, the Advisory Council has played a vital role in the decisions affecting the Sanctuary along the central California Coast. The Advisory Council's twenty voting members represent the following user groups: Agriculture, At-Large, Business/Industry, Commercial Fishing, Conservation, Diving, Education, Recreation, Recreational Fishing, Research and Tourism, plus seven local and state governmental jurisdictions. In addition, the respective managers for the four California National Marine Sanctuaries (Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones, and Monterey Bay), the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the U.S. Coast Guard sit as non-voting members. Members are appointed competitively by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and serve three-year terms. The Advisory Council meets bi-monthly in open sessions located throughout the almost 300-mile boundary of the Sanctuary.
The following list includes some of the major issues the Advisory Council has addressed:
- Joint Management Plan Review
- Oil & Gas Exploration
- Cruise Ship Discharges
- NOAA Coordination on Fishing Issues
- Fiber Optic Cables
- Kelp Harvesting & Management
- Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program
- Vessel Traffic Safety
- Coast Highway 1 Management Plan
- Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP)
- Assessment of the National Marine Sanctuary Program
- Collection of Jade at Jade Cove
- Prohibition of Chumming for Great White Sharks
- Moving ATOC (Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate) Project Outside Sanctuary Boundaries
- Decommission of Select National Weather Buoys
- National and the World Ocean's Conference
- Advisory Council Charter and Protocols
- State Mussel Watch Program
The Advisory Council is supported by three working groups: the Research Activity Panel (RAP), the Sanctuary Education Panel (SEP), and the Conservation Working Group (CWG). The working groups are composed of experts from the appropriate fields of interest and meet monthly or bimonthly, to serve as invaluable advisors to the Advisory Council and the Sanctuary Superintendent.
Dedicated Advisory Council members have laid a strong foundation for the Sanctuary's structure, policies, and procedures. Sanctuary goals to promote research, education and resource protection are a major focus for the Advisory Council, and members work diligently to promote public stewardship. The Advisory Council has proven to be a powerful voice for the general public, responding to citizen concerns, ideas and needs. The Advisory Council provides a public forum for its constituents, working to enhance communications and provide a conduit for bringing the concerns of user groups and stakeholders to the attention of Sanctuary Superintendents and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Advisory Council maintains a firm commitment to the goals and objectives of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The council is a community- based body that provides a public forum for consultation on resource management issues. The Advisory Council appreciates the efforts of volunteers, non-profit organizations, businesses, and citizens, without whose support the mission of the Sanctuary would be difficult to realize.
Thank you for your interest in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. If you have questions, or wish to join the advisory council, feel free to contact the Santuary Advisory Council Coordinator.