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 Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones & Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuaries

 

Scoping Meeting Summary
Big Sur 6:30 PM

Please note that these are the raw comments extracted from the scoping meeting held at the location listed above. They were edited for the purpose of clarity where necessary. Duplicate comments were not repeted. A synthesis of comments will be available soon.

  • Concerned about cruise ships and similar activities in the Sanctuary that currently are not an issue, but have the potential for impact. Sanctuary should adopt a proactive approach regarding these activities.
  • Oil and gas exploration/Drilling in the Sanctuary should continue to be banned.
  • Over flight regulation should be based on realistic potential for disturbance of marine life. Current regulations often restrict flights that would have no impact on marine mammals or seabirds.
  • Concerned about the significant amount of marine debris (including balloons) washing ashore. More education to various user groups (party boats) is needed.
  • Sources of oil/tar balls on beach should be investigated to determine whether from natural seeps or anthropogenic sources.
  • Sources of sediment material from landslides should be examined; if the landslide is determined to be due to natural processes, then material should be disposed of in the Sanctuary.
  • Regulations should be changed to treat sediment as a nutrient, and not a pollutant, as it is currently considered.
  • More coordination/collaboration and active problem solving among agencies, to address the issue of sediment management.
  • Sanctuary should be involved in the state Coastal Sediment Management Working Group.
  • Sanctuary should articulate why current boundaries are located where they are.
  • Sanctuary resources should be dedicated to resolving conflicts. MBNMS needs a policy to deal with conflicts more efficiently. Should be based on what has and has not worked in the past.
  • Sanctuary should have "objective based" policy, and regulations should have definite goals. Should educate more about why the policy or regulation is in place.
  • MBNMS should evaluate current regulations, and eliminate restrictive policies that are not forwarding the goals of Sanctuary.
  • Fishery management agencies should work more cooperatively together on issues.
  • Concerned because CDFG Sea Otter Game Refuge regulations overlap with Sanctuary regs. Evaluate whether both agencies should be required to regulate or protect this area.
  • In cases where multiple agencies overlap in their jurisdictions, more Memoranda Of Understanding (MOU) are needed. MOU should determine a lead agency to oversee natural resource issues.
  • Sanctuary should develop a method to enforce and monitor vessel traffic for compliance with recommended tracks.
  • GFNMS needs to resolve conflicts between commercial, recreational and research users at the Farallon Islands.
  • Concerned about the vagueness of the GFNMS regulations regarding white sharks.
  • Extend MBNMS and CBNMS regulations regarding white sharks to cover GFNMS, or implement a new rule for limited entry for charter boats.
  • Sanctuaries should potentially implement minimum approach distances and approach speed limitations for white sharks.
  • GFNMS should remove permit requirements for researchers.
  • MBNMS should investigate all forms and sources of contaminants, not just agriculture.
  • Sanctuary should educate public equally on all forms of water pollution.
  • Sanctuary should distinguish between past and current sources of contaminants in describing pollution in outreach materials and programs.
  • Sanctuary is doing a job working with Cal Trans on landslide issues, making good and conscientious progress.
  • Appreciates regional approach to scoping process, to capture local issues.
  • Keep Big Sur wild.
  • Big Sur residents are not currently threatened by MBNMS, things should continue to be this way.
  • Big Sur residents want to preserve the area in its current state. Resist any external forces from changing that.
  • MBNMS must establish a reasonable protocol to clear landslide debris from roadways during sudden closures.
  • Sediment disposal sites must be pre-designated in Big Sur.
  • Sanctuary should take a proactive approach, in implementing emergency protocols during sudden road closures, to insure passage of emergency vehicles.
  • No wholesale side-casting of landslide sediments.
  • MBNMS should continue working as a key participant in the Big Sur multi-agency council and the Coast Hwy Management Plan (CHMP).
  • Concerned about Sanctuary's vulnerability to ship spills, break-ups and collisions. A major event could potentially wipe out sea otter population.
  • Need to clarify which agencies have jurisdiction over tide pools, and life in tide pools. This is currently not clear and there appears to be a lot of overlap between agencies.
  • Concerned about the current status of tide pools. They used to be teeming with life, but are now desolate. Sanctuary should concentrate on more protection of tide pool areas.
  • Concerned about the influx of people who utilize tide pools as a food source at Pfeiffer Beach, Kirk Creek, Pebble Beach.
  • Aerial flights don't seem to disturb marine mammals; over flight regulations should be reevaluated.
  • The Sanctuary should work with the FAA on developing over flight regulations. FAA should make the final call. The FAA is qualified to deal with this issue while the Sanctuary is not.
  • The FAA over flight restrictions of 500 feet are adequate, MBNMS regulations are excessive.
  • Concerned about white shark disturbances in GFNMS, due to people approaching them too closely, and using inappropriate means to attract them.
  • Concerned about military over flights. MBNMS should exert greater influence regarding this issue.
  • Public should apply for access permits the same way researchers do.
  • Must have more regulations/guidelines for public shark viewing, similar to those for whale watching.
  • More education of the public and recreational boat operators regarding etiquette for shark viewing and interaction.
  • Concerned about near-shore water quality. Sanctuary should conduct education and outreach regarding wastewater issues.
  • Sanctuary should increase collaboration with other agencies regarding wastewater treatment and water purification systems. MBNMS should take primary role in this collaboration, and should develop model education and implementation.
  • Programs.
  • In Santa Cruz, storm drain stenciling is effective. Need more of this in other areas.
  • Sanctuary should explore progressive technology for purification of private and municipal wastewater.
  • Sanctuary should conduct more education programs for informing farmers about agricultural runoff and pesticide use. Should encourage coastal farmers to incorporate organic methods.
  • Sanctuary should work with harbors and marinas, on a program promoting alternatives to toxic bottom paints.
  • Sanctuary should prioritize which water quality issues are most important and pursue them.
  • Expand out joint management plan model to other agencies.
  • Sanctuary should work collaboratively with BLM, which is also in planning for its California Coastal National Monument. This is a great opportunity to work collaboratively.
  • More coordination with other agencies in general.
  • Sanctuary should consider economic needs of Big Sur residents regarding highway one closures. Should consider marine disposal from time to time.
  • Sanctuary needs to identify sensitive habitats where landslides must NOT be permitted, and sediments must not be deposited.
  • Sanctuary should identify locations where beach replenishment is necessary to preclude shoreline armoring. Landslide sediment is an obvious source for beach nourishment materials.
  • Dissatisfied with the management style of the Sanctuary: MBNMS does not play well with others, particularly re: coast highway landslide disposal. Does not consider the needs of other stakeholders in many cases.
  • MBNMS needs to be more accommodating of management styles and priorities of other agencies.
  • Sanctuary needs to be more accommodating of the needs of Big Sur residents.
  • Sanctuary should consider ecological trade offs. In some cases terrestrial impacts from alternatives to Sanctuary restrictions are much worse.
  • Sanctuary should conduct research on tide pools, in order to better understand ecosystem dynamics.
  • Sanctuary boundary should be extended south, to protect the "Harmony Coast" between Cambria and Cayucos.
  • Concerned about declining fish populations. Sanctuary should play a role in preserving fish populations, while preserving fishery lifestyles.
  • Concerned with extensive growth in sea lion population. Sanctuary should do something to address this issue.
  • Sanctuary should protect fish populations by controlling fishing as well as natural predators.
  • Concerned because of lack of shells on the beach after storms. There a far fewer than there used to be, which might indicate that these invertebrate species are dying out. Sanctuary should investigate the cause for the decline

 

For more information contact your local sanctuary office at:

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Sean Morton, Management Plan Coordinator
299 Foam Street
Monterey, CA 93940
(831) 647-4217 • Sean.Morton@noaa.gov

Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank
National Marine Sanctuaries
Anne Walton, Management Plan Coordinator
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 561-6622 • Anne.Walton@noaa.gov

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