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MBNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council Charter and Protocols

ESTABLISHMENT AND AUTHORITY

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Section 315 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA or Act; 16 U.S.C. § 1431 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to establish sanctuary advisory councils to provide advice and make recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce regarding the designation and management of National Marine Sanctuaries. This authority has been delegated to the Director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (director). The director hereby establishes the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council).

This Charter provides a background on the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), and describes the objectives and roles of the council's activities, description of duties for which the council is responsible, procedural requirements on the appointment of council members and officers, requirements for the conduct of council members and meetings, and other requirements. All council activities must be conducted pursuant to this Charter and the protocols attached to and incorporated as part of this Charter.

SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL POLICY STATEMENT


The ONMS regards the involvement of communities and the development of a stewardship ethic as vitally important to successfully protect sanctuary resources. One key way to achieve this involvement is the formation of sanctuary advisory councils. Sanctuary advisory councils bring members of a diverse community together to provide advice to the sanctuary superintendent on the management and protection of the sanctuary, or to assist the ONMS in guiding a proposed sanctuary site through the designation process. The ONMS is committed to the full support, utilization, and enhancement of councils at all sanctuaries. In order for councils to achieve their full potential, the ONMS within the limits of available resources will:
  • At each site, provide sufficient support to allow councils to operate efficiently and effectively;
  • Provide support and guidance from the national office to help councils operate efficiently and at a basic level of consistency across the system;
  • Promote coordination and communication among councils and among sanctuary staff that work closely with councils;
  • Develop training programs appropriate to council officers and members, and sanctuary superintendents and staff; and
  • Conduct an annual meeting for council chairs, council coordinators and other appropriate ONMS staff to promote information exchange, networking and cross-pollination between councils.

OFFICE OF NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES


A marine sanctuary is an area of the marine or Great Lakes environment of special national, and sometimes international, significance warranting protection and management under the NMSA. As stewards of coastal and ocean resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) protects and manages sanctuaries through the ONMS. The mission of the ONMS is to comprehensively protect and manage marine areas of special national significance to protect their ecological and cultural integrity for the benefit of current and future generations. In order to meet the goals of its programs, NOAA employs ecologically sound principles of resource conservation, develops and promotes stewardship, upholds education and research programs that foster public understanding, support and participation, and promotes the ecologically sustainable use of the nation's natural and cultural marine resources. The ONMS provides necessary leadership and strives to link the assets of government and non-government organizations to focus attention on the importance of managing and protecting marine resources.

Goals of the ONMS are:
  • Identify, designate, and manage sanctuaries to maintain the natural biological communities in sanctuaries and to protect and, where appropriate, restore and enhance natural habitats, populations, and ecological processes, through innovative, coordinated, and community-based measures and techniques.
  • Build and strengthen the nation-wide system of marine sanctuaries, maintain and enhance the role of the system in larger marine protected area networks, and help provide both national and international leadership for marine protected area management and marine resource stewardship.
  • Enhance nation-wide public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of marine and Great Lakes ecosystems and maritime heritage resources through outreach, education, and interpretation efforts.
  • Investigate and enhance the understanding of ecosystem processes through continued scientific research, monitoring, and characterization to support ecosystem-based management in sanctuaries and throughout U.S. waters.
  • Facilitate human, including sustainable fishing, use in sanctuaries to the extent such uses are compatible with the primary mandate of resource protection, through innovative public participation and interagency cooperation.
  • Work with the international community to strengthen global protection of marine resources, investigate and employ appropriate new management approaches, and disseminate ONMS experience and techniques.
  • Build, maintain, and enhance an operational capability and infrastructure that efficiently and effectively support the attainment of the ONMS mission and goals.

MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY


In September 1992, the MBNMS was designated as the nation's largest marine protected area. The MBNMS lies along 276 miles of California coastline and encompasses a 4,601 square nautical miles area of coastal and ocean resources. It supports an exceptionally productive ecosystems and highly diverse habitats.

As of March 2004, the area within the MBNMS north of the San Mateo/Santa Cruz county boundary is administered by the Superintendent of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS). The legal boundaries of each sanctuary remain as is. Specifically, the GFNMS is responsible for developing and managing most sanctuary programs within the area; the MBNMS is responsible for the Water Quality Protection Program. Other issues (e.g. action plans in the revised management plan) that overlap will be worked on collaboratively between the GFNMS and MBNMS.

Goals of the MBNMS are:
  • To enhance resource protection through comprehensive and coordinated conservation and management tailored to the specific resources that complements existing regulatory authorities;
  • To support, promote, and coordinate scientific research on, and monitoring of, Sanctuary resources to improve management decision-making in the Sanctuary;
  • To enhance public awareness, understanding, and ecologically sound use of the marine environment; and
  • To facilitate to the extent compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, multiple uses of the Sanctuary not prohibited pursuant to other authorities.

ROLES

  1. The council, in accordance with the Act, shall provide advice to the sanctuary superintendent, ONMS, and the Secretary of Commerce and other agencies and individuals within the Department of Commerce regarding the management of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
  2. Nothing in this charter constitutes authority to perform operational or management functions, or to represent or make decisions on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce.
  3. The council shall draw on the expertise of its members and other sources in order to provide advice and should assist the Secretary of Commerce and Designees in coordinating Sanctuary Programs with other agencies and organizations.
  4. The council may serve as a forum for consultation and deliberation among its members and as a source of advice and assistance to the Sanctuary Superintendent. Such advice shall fairly represent the collective and individual views of the council members. In formulating such advice, the council members shall recall that the primary objective of the sanctuary and the Act is resource protection.
  5. The council shall provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce or Designees on Sanctuary management priorities, programs, and activities, giving full consideration to the multiple-use character of the Sanctuary to the extent compatible with the primary purpose to protect its vital resources for current and future generations;
  6. The council shall review Sanctuary-related issues and, following public input and formal council action, transmit council recommendations and concerns to the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee. Written comments and recommendations may be forwarded to other entities by the council with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  7. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on how to link existing programs that have shared responsibilities for the protection and management of resources inside and adjacent to the Sanctuary;
  8. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on ways that sanctuary mandates may be carried out through a comprehensive and cooperative management strategy;
  9. The council shall encourage participation by interested agencies and organizations in the development of strategies and procedures to address specific management concerns (e.g., WQPP, enforcement plans);
  10. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on priority research and monitoring needs, proposals, reports, permits, and project coordination;
  11. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on priority education and monitoring needs, proposals, reports, permits, and project coordination;
  12. The council shall assist the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, in obtaining available expertise of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary community to promote the gathering of information and the design and application of research that will support informed decision-making;
  13. The council shall provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on the development and implementation of broad-based public relations, outreach and education programs which inform and educate the public about the Sanctuary;
  14. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on general administration and revenue enhancement opportunities for the Sanctuary;
  15. The council shall fully represent the specific constituency groups for which each member was selected;
  16. The council shall act as liaison between the Sanctuary and various public and private groups and interests;
  17. The council shall promote effective communication at all levels regarding Sanctuary matters;
  18. The council shall serve as unofficial, good will ambassadors of the Sanctuary and make every effort to educate their respective constituencies;
  19. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, on ways to support long-term continuance and effective implementation of the ONMS;
  20. The council shall advise the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the Designee, on ways to seek creative and cooperative inter-agency management solutions to issues affecting the MBNMS; and,
  21. Council members shall serve as liaisons between their constituents, communities and/or government agencies and the sanctuary, keeping the sanctuary staff informed of issues and concerns, as well as performing outreach to their respective communities on sanctuary issues.
  22. The council shall develop an annual work plan, in consultation with and approved by the sanctuary superintendent, to establish an agenda for specific issues and projects the council intends to address.

MEMBERS AND OFFICERS


  1. The council consists of no more than twenty (20) voting members, who shall be appointed by the Director from among persons employed by Federal, State, or local agencies with expertise in management of natural resources, representatives of local user groups, such as conservation and other public interest organizations, scientific and educational organizations, and members of the public interested in the protection and multiple use management of Sanctuary resources. The membership is designed to be balanced in terms of points of view represented, geographic diversity, and advisory functions the council will perform.
  2. The Sanctuary Superintendent sits on the council as a non-voting member and concurs with the scheduling of each meeting and the agenda to ensure that topics of discussion are relevant to the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary Superintendent shall also concur to other matters as indicated elsewhere in this Charter. Council meetings may not be conducted in the absence of the Sanctuary Superintendent or his/her designee.
  3. To ensure relevant information exchange and consistent management among California's National Marine Sanctuaries, and other relevant NOAA agencies, representatives of the Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Research Reserve, National Marine Fisheries Service, the Channel Islands, Gulf of the Farallones, and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries, sit on the Council as non-voting members. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard will sit as a non-voting member.
  4. There are two categories of seats for which voting members are appointed. The following procedures govern the application, nomination and appointment of Council voting members.

    (a)
    • Government (seven members): By virtue of the shared functional responsibilities of Federal, State, and local jurisdictions in the implementation of Sanctuary-related management, each of the following government entities shall be requested to designate one individual to serve on the council. (Of the numerous responsibilities encompassed within each entity, the specific functional area of expertise needing representation is identified in parentheses):
      1. California Department of the Fish And Game;
      2. California Department of Parks and Recreation
      3. California Coastal Commission (coastal coordination and planning);
      4. California EPA (water quality);
      5. California Resources Agency (State natural resources trustee);
      6. Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments in consultation with, and representing, the adjacent contiguous local government jurisdictions; and
      7. harbor and port operating entities that border the Sanctuary.
    • Governmental members are appointed by their agencies and are not subject to term limitations or the competitive application process.
    • If a government entity decides no longer to participate as a member of the council or fails to attend four consecutive council meetings and is formally removed by the Director, the Sanctuary Superintendent shall invite another appropriate government entity to replace that agency on the council, with the Director's concurrence. A government seat shall not be converted to a non-government seat.
    • If it is found that a governmental member of the council has violated one or more of the conditions of this Charter, the Sanctuary Superintendent, in consultation with the Director, may notify the appropriate agency and request replacement of the designee. The Sanctuary Superintendent shall consult with the council prior to taking such action.

    (b)
    • Non-governmental (thirteen members): A representative of each of the following activities, which are integrally affected by the management goals of the Sanctuary, shall be selected: research (1), education (1), conservation (1), commercial fishing (1), recreational fishing (1), diving (1), agriculture (1), business and industry (1), tourism (1), and non-extractive recreational users (1). In addition, there shall be three (3) citizen at-large representatives whose selection is based on geographic diversity, breadth of experience and knowledge regarding marine issues, policies and practices.

      The twelve non-governmental members are expected to serve for a term of three years, serve at the discretion of the Director of ONMS, and may compete for re-appointment. If necessary, terms of appointment may be changed to provide for balanced (staggered) expiration dates. Should a non-governmental seat become vacant, the vacated position shall be advertised and a replacement appointed as specified below. The newly appointed member is expected to serve for a full three-year term beginning on the date of his/her swearing-in by the Sanctuary Superintendent, unless the term is adjusted to provide for balanced expiration dates and program efficiencies.
    • Members serve at the discretion of the Director. The Sanctuary Superintendent may recommend to the Director the removal of a non-governmental member of the council on any of the following grounds if that member:
      • Is convicted of any felony offense;
      • Is found to have violated any of the following laws or regulations promulgated thereunder: the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or another environmental law for which NOAA or another federal agency has jurisdictional responsibility;
      • Is found to have violated state environmental laws or regulations promulgated thereunder in the state in which a Sanctuary is located;
      • Is found to have violated national or state laws or regulations (in the state in which the sanctuary is located) protecting cultural resources;
      • Is determined to have abused his or her position as a member of the council (including but not limited to use of council information for personal gain; use of council position to advance a personal agenda or harm another member of the council or of the community; misrepresentation of, or spreading misinformation about the council or the Sanctuary; and refusal to recuse himself or herself if so requested by the Sanctuary Superintendent and/or Chair in a matter in which the member has a conflict of interest);
      • Has a change to the professional affiliation(s) and/or personal circumstances that comprise a significant portion of that member's qualifications for being a member of the council;
      • Misses four consecutive meetings without reasonable justification;
      • Disrupts on more than one occasion council meetings in a manner that interferes with the council conducting its business; or
      • Violates any term of this Charter.

      The Sanctuary Superintendent may consult with the council prior to taking such an action.

    • An alternate (from the same government entity) of a governmental council member may attend a council meeting on occasion if the chair and sanctuary superintendent are notified in advance of any meeting at which an alternate will represent the council member, including the name and position of the individual designated. An alternate may not name another alternate.
    • As each non-government seat becomes vacant and the process for selection of a new member (described under Appointments) is conducted, the Sanctuary Superintendent will select the member and an alternate from among the top three candidates resulting from the reviewing process or among other candidates or nominees. The alternate will have all the rights of the member at such times the alternate is officially substituting for the member. The Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent must be notified before an alternate officially attends a meeting.
    • If a primary council member resigns, the alternate will be asked to fill in on a regular basis, until a recruitment for both the primary and alternate seats can be conducted. The alternate may choose to remain the alternate, if he/she applies for the primary seat or not. The term for the alternate will be adjusted to match the term of the primary representative.

  5. The individuals selected to fill the conservation, education, and research, and business and tourism seats on the council must also serve as the Chair of each respective working group. The alternate selected for those seats is expected to serve as the Vice-Chair of each working group and will have full voting privileges in the event that the Chair cannot attend a regular council meeting. The Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent must be notified in advance of any meeting at which an alternate will represent the council member.

    • Council Officer Elections and Terms The council shall elect one member to serve as Chair, one member to serve as Vice-Chair, and one member to serve as Secretary. The Vice-Chair shall act as Chair in the absence of the Chair. The term of the Secretary is two years. The Secretary may serve consecutive terms if reelected. Terms of the Chair and Vice-Chair are two years. The Chair and Vice-Chair may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms (four years) if reelected. A Chair or Vice-Chair may leave his/her term to run for another council officer position if desired. If the Chair or Vice-Chair is elected to a new position, the council shall nominate and elect a new representative for the vacated position. Election for all positions is by majority vote of all council members, including the non-voting members, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, Channel Islands, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries. Votes shall be made by written ballot. Alternates may nominate and vote during an election only when the alternate is filling the seat in the absence of the primary member. Members who will not be present at the time of the election may submit their vote in writing to the sanctuary superintendent prior to the meeting.
    • Roles of Council Officers:
      • Chair: The Chair schedules and sets agendas for all council meetings with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent, presides over all meetings of the full council, signs all correspondence and documents authorized by the council, and generally represents the council's interests and concerns to the public. The chair also continues to fulfill the general roles that all council members fill, including representing the interests of their constituents.
      • Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair shall serve as Chair in the absence of the Chair and shall assist as necessary in performing executive duties of the council. The vice-chair also continues to fulfill the general roles that all council members fill, including representing the interests of their constituents.
      • Secretary: The Secretary assists Sanctuary staff in maintaining a record of minutes for each regularly scheduled meeting of the Council and ensures that they are accurate and available to the public, writes correspondence directed by the Council, helps to prepare an annual report on council activities, and performs other administrative duties as directed by the Chair or Vice-Chair. The secretary also continues to fulfill the general roles that all council members fill, including representing the interests of their constituents.

APPOINTMENTS


Public notice shall be provided as to the vacancy of constituent group seat(s) and at-large representatives. Applications by individuals for ensuing terms for constituent group seat(s) are submitted to the Sanctuary Superintendent directly and, likewise, nominations from the constituent groups represented are also to be submitted directly to the Sanctuary Superintendent. Applications for ensuing terms for at-large positions likewise are submitted directly to the Sanctuary Superintendent. Copies of all applications and nominations for each seat are submitted by the Sanctuary Superintendent to the council or a council subcommittee, for purposes of reviewing applications and providing recommendations to the Sanctuary Superintendent. Any council member that has a conflict of interest (financial, personal, self nomination, etc.) shall recuse him/herself from making a recommendation for the vacant seat. The Sanctuary Superintendent may conduct interviews with applicants. Selection from among those recommended by the council, or from among other applicants or nominees, is made by the Sanctuary Superintendent with final concurrence by the ONMS Director. The Sanctuary Superintendent may choose to readvertise the vacant seat(s) if adequate candidates are not available. In all cases, submission of written statements of particular interest, qualifications, and experience shall be requested. Guidelines for applying shall be supplied at the appropriate time.

ADMINISTRATION


  1. Members of the council shall serve without pay except that each member may receive travel expenses including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of Title 5, U.S.C., for travel to and from official council meetings. No members of Working Groups may receive travel expenses for Working Group meetings or activities.
  2. The ONMS may make available such staff, information, administrative services, or assistance as the Sanctuary Superintendent determines are reasonably required to enable the council and its subcommittees/working groups/task forces to carry out their functions.
  3. The council has produced a set of protocols, which have been reviewed and concurred to by the ONMS, describing operation and administration of the council and its working groups and subcommittees (see attached).

CONDUCT OF THE COUNCIL


  1. Conduct of the Council as a Body

    • Any correspondence, press releases, informational releases, news articles, or other written documents that are intended to speak for the council as a body shall be coordinated with and concurred to by, the Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent.
    • The council shall not provide recommendations or advice to other than the Secretary of Commerce unless the council has the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent.
    • The following disclaimer shall be placed in all documents originating from the council: “The council is an advisory body to the Sanctuary Superintendent. The opinions and findings of this publication do not necessarily reflect the position of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

  2. Conduct of Individual Members

    Council members are expected to be familiar with the processes and regulations governing the Sanctuary, and to keep themselves informed about Sanctuary related issues and events. Expectations include:

    • Regular attendance at council meetings;
    • Familiarity with the Council Handbook, Charter and Robert's Rules of Order,
    • Council members may not use or allow the use of, for other than official council purposes, information obtained through or in connection with their council affiliation that has not been made available to the general public.
    • When speaking to the public or writing about any matter regarding the Sanctuary in a document for distribution beyond council membership, the Sanctuary Superintendent, or Sanctuary staff, a member shall clearly distinguish those recommendations, opinions, or positions officially adopted by the council as a body from those he or she may have as an individual. In no case shall a member represent individual opinions as those of the council, the Sanctuary Superintendent, Sanctuary staff, or NOAA.
    • Any council member that has an interest (financial, personal or business interest) in any matter before the or a subcommittee or working group shall identify such interest prior to council discussion and voting on such matter. No member shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide a direct financial benefit to that member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under Federal law. An affected member who may not vote on a matter may participate in council deliberations relating to the decision after notifying the council of the voting recusal and identifying the interest that would be affected. These same guidelines apply to members of working groups who are not members of the council.
    • Honoring and upholding the Council's Oath of Office to serve as knowledgeable trustees of the Sanctuary's resources.
    • All council members are expected to conduct themselves in a civil fashion, showing courtesy and respect to other council members, sanctuary staff and any other individuals present at the meeting.

OTHER TERMS OF THIS CHARTER


  1. The council shall operate pursuant to the terms of this Charter.
  2. This Charter shall remain in effect for a period of five years from the date of signature.
  3. Six months prior to the expiration of this charter, the need for the council will be evaluated by the ONMS, with input from council members, to determine whether to renew the charter.
  4. Revisions to this Charter may be made as determined necessary by the ONMS, with concurrence by the Director and with input from the council as appropriate.


_____________________________________________
Daniel J. Basta Date
Director
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries



PROTOCOLS

PROTOCOL A: Scheduling Council Meetings


Section I: Regular Meetings:

Regular meetings are formal council sessions that are scheduled at the call of the Council Chair (Chair) with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent. The council shall meet as frequently as necessary, not to exceed once a month for normal meetings, but at least once every six months. Each meeting shall be open to the public and advance notice of at least five business days prior to each meeting, including the time, place, and agenda of each meeting, shall be provided to the local media and additional notice may be given by such other means as will result in appropriate publicity to interested groups. This requirement shall not apply to workshops scheduled by the council to address strategic planning, administration, or specialized technical issues. The council may not vote at any meeting for which the above public notice has not been issued. The council may not vote on any agenda item for which notice was not provided. Interested persons shall be permitted to present oral or written statements on items on the agenda. There shall be time allotted on each agenda for members of the public to introduce and inform Council members about issues that are not on the agenda. An official public workshop may be scheduled in conjunction with a regular meeting to address situations that require detailed presentations, expert participation, and/or panel discussions (e.g. Vessel Traffic Study Workshop).

The procedure is:

  1. Council members agree to meet at regular intervals at the suggestion of the Chair and with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  2. Council members may choose to approve an annual calendar of regular meeting dates, times, and locations. The calendar, once concurred to by the Sanctuary Superintendent, shall be distributed to all interested persons and available electronically on the Sanctuary's web page;
  3. In accordance with the council's goal to represent the diverse geographic interests within the Sanctuary, regular council meetings shall occur throughout the Sanctuary during any given calendar year;
  4. Council members shall RSVP for meetings to Sanctuary staff; and,
  5. Meeting agendas shall be written by the Sanctuary Superintendent and the Chair in accordance with the applicable procedures outlined in PROTOCOL B: Setting An Agenda.

Section II: Council Work Sessions:

Council Work Sessions are informal meetings to address internal issues such as strategic planning and administrative matters (e.g., the council Retreat, and the Public Relations Workshop).

The procedure is:

  1. Council Work Sessions may be scheduled as recommended by the Chair, the Sanctuary Superintendent, or in response to a request by a council member at a regular meeting. Council Work Sessions must be concurred to by the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  2. Agendas for work sessions shall be written by the persons most responsible for the subject material and shall be concurred to by the Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  3. Sanctuary staff will send relevant material, as needed, in advance of the session so that council members may prepare;
  4. An outside facilitator to moderate the workshop may be recommended; and
  5. Work session results and follow-up will be sent to council members, as appropriate, after the session and a brief report of the event shall be included on the agenda of the next regular Council meeting.
  6. Council Work sessions are not required to be open to the public.

Section III: Emergency Meetings:

Emergency Meetings are formal Council sessions to address special issues that require immediate attention. Emergencies could range from a situation where there is an oil spill and immediate input is needed, to an issue of a significant nature that arises between council meetings but the deadline for input is before the next scheduled meeting.

The procedure is:

  1. Emergency meetings may be held at the call of the Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  2. All regular meeting Protocols shall govern an Emergency Meeting; and
  3. During these exceptional circumstance, it is permissible to provide less than 15 days notice for the meeting provided the reasons for doing so are including in the notice, but reasonable notice under the circumstances must be given.

PROTOCOL B: Setting An Agenda


Meeting agendas shall be prepared by the Chair and concurred to by the Sanctuary Superintendent, and shall include discussion topic items of import to the Sanctuary program; a report from the Sanctuary Superintendent; activity reports from Working Groups, Subcommittees, and Task Forces, and include time for the public to raise Sanctuary related issues not on the agenda.

The procedure is:

  1. The Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent shall meet or otherwise confer prior to a regular meeting to discuss suggested agenda topic items and determine their relevance to the Sanctuary's mission and goals;
  2. Agenda items may come from a number of sources including, but not limited to the Sanctuary Superintendent, Council members, and Council Working Groups, Subcommittees, and Task Forces. Members of the public, or constituency groups, are encouraged to contact a member of the Council to recommend an agenda item;
  3. Topics, time allotments, and order of items within the agenda are at the discretion of the Chair and the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  4. Sanctuary staff shall be responsible for contacting special guests and speakers;
  5. Every effort shall be made to send or post on the Sanctuary's website proposed meeting agendas and pertinent information to Council members at least three business days prior to the meeting and all public information shall be available to interested persons upon request;
  6. Final agendas shall be available at the meeting; and
  7. Past agendas shall be kept on file and be made available, along with the corresponding meeting minutes, at the Sanctuary office and electronically on the Sanctuary's web site.

PROTOCOL C: Conducting A Meeting


Council meetings shall be informative working sessions designed to educate council members, the attending public, and the Sanctuary office about issues affecting the Sanctuary, and to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce, or the Sanctuary Superintendent as the designee, regarding the management and protection of the Sanctuary and its resources. Council members may also use the regular meetings as a vehicle for formally communicating constituency concerns to the Secretary of Commerce and designees to one another to enhance inter-agency cooperative efforts.

The Chair, or Vice-Chair if Chair is absent (hereafter referred to as “Chair"), shall follow Robert's Rules of parliamentary procedure as closely as is appropriate for the situation and people involved.

The procedure is:

  1. The Meeting shall be called to order by the Chair or the presiding officer;
  2. The Council Secretary shall take the roll call and shall inform the Chair, if a quorum (over half of the voting members) is present. Official government alternates shall be introduced at the beginning of the meeting;
  3. Council members and members of the audience shall wait to be called upon by the Chair, before addressing a topic. The Chair, may reserve the right to limit a speaker's time and shall make certain that a speaker's comments and any written handouts are germane to the topic at hand. Council members shall make every effort to submit any agenda relevant written materials three days prior to a council meeting;
  4. There shall be time allotted on each agenda for members of the public to introduce and inform Council members about issues that are not on the agenda. The Chair, shall call on audience participants one at a time. Discussion about specific issues during the public comment period is at the discretion of the Chair;
  5. At any time during the meeting, provided there is a quorum, a Council member may make a motion for action. All motions must be seconded and discussion of the motion is appropriate. A motion may be amended during discussion. When a motion is on the floor, the Chair, shall ensure action is taken on the motion before going on with the business of the meeting. Council members are expected to participate fully on all council actions (e.g. resolutions, motions, and votes);
  6. A quorum must be present before a voting action can be taken. A majority vote of those present is required to pass a motion. The motion and its vote shall be recorded in the meeting minutes;
  7. Meeting minutes shall be recorded by Sanctuary staff with assistance from the Council Secretary or other person specified by the Sanctuary Superintendent and contain a summary of attendees and matters discussed; such minutes shall be available to the public at the Sanctuary office and on the Sanctuary web-site; and
  8. The Chair shall adjourn the meeting when Council business is completed.

PROTOCOL D: Requesting and Providing Advice and Assistance on Sanctuary Related Issues


Section I: Sanctuary Superintendent Request:

The Sanctuary Superintendent may request the Council's advice and/or assistance on a particular topic or question of importance to the Sanctuary. The request may be made at any time in writing, verbally, or during a council meeting.

The procedure is:

  1. The Sanctuary Superintendent shall describe the topic or issue and specify what action the Sanctuary would like from the council;
  2. Sanctuary staff shall distribute pertinent information, if necessary, regarding the issue to council members so that they may prepare for discussions and possible action;
  3. Following a presentation by the Sanctuary Superintendent, the Chair, shall open the floor for review and discussion of the matter;
  4. Council members shall determine how their respective agencies or constituent groups may provide assistance to the Sanctuary in addressing the Manager's request;
  5. The council may request that more information be provided at the next regular meeting or, the council may vote to take action with a simple majority deciding or, the council may decide to provide advice, guidance or input without taking an action by vote. Minority opinions may be included in the final advisory statement;
  6. Council members may determine that the appropriate response is to advance the Sanctuary Superintendent's request and/or the council's recommendations to other pertinent entities. The Sanctuary Superintendent must concur with all such communications;
  7. Subcommittees, Task Forces, or Working Groups may be asked to examine, or be established to examine the issue, determine appropriate responses, and report back to the council and the Sanctuary Superintendent. If the council does not incorporate the information or advice of a Subcommittee or Working Group, it shall inform the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  8. Some circumstances may require the Sanctuary Superintendent to directly request information, advice, and/or assistance from a Working Group, Subcommittee, or Task Force. The Sanctuary Superintendent shall notify the Chair of these direct requests. As appropriate, the council shall be asked to review the recommendations of the Working Group prior to a decision being made by the Superintendent. All correspondence to the Sanctuary Superintendent containing suggested advice shall be copied to the Chair for presentation to the council at a subsequent meeting;
  9. The Sanctuary Superintendent shall consider the Working Groups', Subcommittees', and Task Forces' and the council's advice in making a decision concerning the topic in question. The Sanctuary Superintendent shall inform the council of that decision and proposed action either at a regular meeting and/or in writing to the Chair and relevant Working Groups, Subcommittees, and Task Forces; and
  10. The advice of the council and the subsequent managerial decision will be formally recorded in the council 's meeting minutes.

Section II: Council Member Request.

Council members may request council review of a particular topic or question of importance to the Sanctuary.

The procedure is:

  1. Council members may raise a perceived issue of importance to the council's attention in two ways: a) by contacting the Chair and Sanctuary Superintendent about the issue, either in writing, or verbally, prior to a council meeting so that the matter may be placed on a council meeting agenda; or b) by raising the issue verbally during a council meeting and requesting that it be placed on a future meeting agenda.
  2. Once it has been determined that an item will be placed on the agenda and if that item requires action to be taken by the council, then a resolution, along with an appropriate analysis, shall be furnished along with the agenda in advance of the council meeting. The resolution and analysis will clearly state the nature of the action to be taken, appropriate findings that state the case for the action, and the actions steps that would be made to accomplish the action.
  3. Emergency items may be added, if time does not allow for the development of a resolution and analysis, with the approval of the Chair and Superintendent.

Section III: Working Groups, Subcommittees, and Task Forces Requests:

Working Groups, Subcommittees, and Task Forces may request council review of a particular topic or question of importance to the Sanctuary. Procedures for these groups shall be the same as those outlined in PROTOCOL D: Section II.

PROTOCOL E: Appeal Process


Appeals are situations where the Sanctuary Superintendent or the ONMS choose to make a decision different than the advice provided by the council.

The procedure is:

  1. 1. In the event that the Sanctuary Superintendent or ONMS choose to make a decision different than a recommendation provided by the council, the entity rendering the decision shall inform the council in a timely fashion prior to the decision becoming final.
  2. The council shall work with the Sanctuary Superintendent or the ONMS as appropriate to attempt to resolve the differences of opinion and reach a mutually agreeable position;
  3. If efforts to resolve the issue cannot be achieved, the council may write a letter to the next higher level of decision-making, expressing the council's concerns and requesting that the decision maker re-evaluate the issue, and recommend a course of action.
PROTOCOL F: Working Groups, Subcommittees, And Task Forces


Section I: Existing Working Groups:

Working groups created prior to the establishment of the council (Research, Education, and Conservation) have in the past provided and should continue to provide advice to the council on priorities, program coordination, etc. They may be requested to provide specialized advice to the Sanctuary Superintendent with notice to the Chair. Such working groups shall be requested to provide a general report to the council of the status of requested advice at each council meeting. All working groups must submit their findings or recommendations to the full council. Existing working groups shall make every effort to meet in places that are open and accessible to the public.

Section II: New Adhoc Working Groups:

New Working Groups may be established by the council, with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent, for purposes or topics that need focused attention that cannot be accomplished by a subcommittee. Their work will be limited to functional areas and discrete issues relating to individual sanctuaries.

The procedure is:

  1. Working Groups may be composed of members of the council and/or persons outside the council;
  2. All Working Groups shall be chaired by a member of the council and shall function under the purview of the council;
  3. Working Groups may provide information and technical assistance to the council on Sanctuary related issues;
  4. Working Groups may be asked to respond to specific requests as outlined in PROTOCOL D: Section I and II;
  5. Working Groups shall provide a general activities report in writing to the Chair at each regular meeting of the council;
  6. Working groups established by the council to address specific issues shall disband once the final advice on the particular matter is submitted to the council; and
  7. No members of working groups, including members who are also members of the council, may receive travel expenses for working group meetings or other activities.

Section III: Operation of Existing Working Groups:

The four existing working groups-conservation, education, research and business and tourism-shall operate in close cooperation with Sanctuary staff and under consistent procedures. Meeting of these four working groups may not be conducted in the absence of a Sanctuary staff person. The agendas for these meetings must be produced in consultation with Sanctuary staff. Any written materials, letters or reports, produced by the four working groups may be provided to Sanctuary staff for review and comment prior to finalization and distribution to the full council. All working groups must submit their findings or recommendations to the full council. The working groups may only write to the Sanctuary Advisory Council or Sanctuary Superintendent. Each of the working groups shall have a process for selecting and establishing terms of membership and determining how decisions get made at working group meetings.

Section IV: Subcommittees:

The council and Sanctuary Superintendent may establish such Subcommittees as necessary to fulfill the council's duties. Subcommittees shall be composed solely of members of the council; at the Superintendent's discretion, alternates may also serve on subcommittees. The subcommittees must be chaired by a primary member of the council. Subcommittees shall be recognized as official sub-units of the council and are subject to all requirements of this Charter. Final Reports or advice from a Subcommittee shall be presented to the full council and as appropriate incorporated into the council's recommendation to the Sanctuary Superintendent. No members of subcommittees may receive travel expenses for subcommittee meetings or other activities.

The procedure is:

  1. Subcommittees may appoint their own Chair, or Chairs and are responsible for setting their own meeting schedule;
  2. Subcommittees will follow the procedures outlined in PROTOCOL D: Section I and II; and
  3. Subcommittees may disband once final advice on the particular matter is submitted to the council.
  4. At the discretion of the Council, Subcommittees may be required to be open to the public.

PROTOCOL G: Council Actions


Section I: Correspondence:

The council may direct that correspondence be written pertaining to specific topics and/or issues, provided that such correspondence complies with the terms of this Charter.

The procedure is:

  1. The council shall, with the assistance of the Sanctuary Superintendent, design and use its own letterhead. All correspondence from the council shall be on this letterhead. The council shall not use official NOAA letterhead for any correspondence or other purpose;
  2. Correspondence may be directed as the result of a motion passed during a regular council meeting;
  3. The Chair may request that a council member draft correspondence with assistance from Sanctuary staff;
  4. All correspondence directed by the council and in concurrence with the Sanctuary Superintendent will be signed by the Chair, or Vice Chair acting for the Chair, and copied to the Sanctuary Superintendent;
  5. Copies of council directed correspondence and related material will be made available to council members; and
  6. All council correspondence will be kept at the Sanctuary office and will be made available upon request.

Section II: Council Resolutions:

Resolutions provide formal council recommendations for action on specific issues or state formal council opinions.

The procedure is:

  1. A motion to draft a resolution on any agenda item may be made by any council member during a regular meeting;
  2. Council resolutions will include: a) pre-ambulatory clauses describing the issue in question; and b) the statement “Be it hereby resolved that the Sanctuary Advisory Council," followed by operative clauses. Resolutions may be as long as council members deem necessary;
  3. Council Resolutions will be made available to the Sanctuary Superintendent, in a timely manner, prior to their being made public;
  4. Draft resolutions will be made available to council members prior to formal action;
  5. Formal resolutions will be voted on by council members at regular meetings; and
  6. Council resolutions will be kept on file at the Sanctuary office and will be available upon request.

Section III: Council Annual Report:

The Annual Report highlights the council's major accomplishments, projects, correspondence, and resolutions as well as contains a summary of Working Groups' activities.

The procedure is:

  1. The Report will be drafted by the Council Secretary and appropriate Sanctuary staff;
  2. Draft council Reports will be made available to the Sanctuary Superintendent, in a timely manner, prior to their being made public;
  3. A draft of the Report will be presented to the council for approval at a regular meeting;
  4. The Report will be signed by the Chair and sent to the Sanctuary Superintendent who will forward it to ONMS; and
  5. The final Report will be available to council members and interested members of the public.

Section IV: Council Comments on Special Reports, Proposals, Legislation, and Other Documents:

Written comments on legislation or documents related to legislation may be forwarded by the council to the appropriate parties with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent. The council may provide written comments to the Secretary of Commerce on all other special reports, proposals, and other documents, that may be forwarded to appropriate parties by or with the concurrence of the Sanctuary Superintendent.

The procedure is:

  1. Written comments may be requested at regular meetings by the Chair, the Sanctuary Superintendent, or any council member, and may be placed on subsequent meeting agendas according to PROTOCOL B;
  2. Following discussion, the council will vote on whether or not to provide comments. The council will give guidance on the preparation of the comments;
  3. A draft of the written comments will be made available to council members for review prior to formal action;
  4. Written comments by the council will be made available to the Superintendent, in a timely manner, prior to their approval by the council;
  5. All written comments will be kept on file at the Sanctuary office and will be made available upon request.

PROTOCOL H: Addressing Constituent Concerns


Council members have a responsibility to serve the best interests of the Sanctuary. Council members are also responsible for keeping abreast of the issues and events affecting their constituents and representing constituency interests before the council.

Expectations include:

  1. Frequent communication with constituents;
  2. Reminding their constituents that the council is a vehicle to express concerns, needs, and appreciation for Sanctuary programs;
  3. Bringing constituent concerns to the attention of the Chair and Secretary of Commerce;
  4. Timely reports to constituents on progress made on a specific issue; and
  5. Addressing inaccurate information and mis-conceptions about the Sanctuary and its programs and informing the Chair and Sanctuary Superintendent about such situations.

PROTOCOL I: Addressing the Media:


The council may assist Sanctuary staff in public relations activities that communicate accurate information about Sanctuary programs, special events, and policies.

Expectations include:

  1. Working closely with the Sanctuary's Public Relations Coordinator;
  2. Clearly stating when a personal opinion is being expressed;
  3. Ensuring that information is accurate when speaking before the media;
  4. Taking advantage of opportunities to promote the Sanctuary and its programs; and
  5. Providing the Sanctuary office with copies of articles, interviews, and videos related to Sanctuary and council activities.

 

URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/sac/chartprot.html    Reviewed: March 06, 2014
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