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Summary of Scoping Meeting Comments

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



Scoping Meeting Summary
Point Reyes Station 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.  A synthesis of comments will be available soon.
 

  • Wants to see santuary protected but in a manner that supports commercial users-fishing, boating, diving.
  • Do not want sanctuary to be over regulated and not allow public uses.  Keep it open and public.
  • Do not want sanctuary closed. Take more measured approach like a season closure if necessary (like salmon and crab).
  • Restricted areas for fishing moved too far offshore.  Small boats can not safely fish that far out.
  • Need balance between no regulations and closure.  Need early monitoring of stock trends.
  • Regulate shark ecotourism before out of control.  Set limits and implement permit process.
  • Consider moving boundaries to reflect socio political, biological factors.
  • Shellfish, lingcod, and other species harder to catch.  Interested in greater resource protection to stop declining populations.
  • Want to see sanctuary limit fishing to methods that do not harm habitat and protect the resources.
  • GFNMS boundary should go down to Ano Nuevo and reflect GGNRA boundary to match oceanic component with watershed component and match federal and state partnerships.
  • Want  sustainable and recovering fishing practices in the sanctuaries. No gillnet, no longlining, no set lines so that there is less bycatch.  Reduce or eliminate bycatch.  Eliminate bottom trawling.
  • Species need help, but too much regulation.
  • Resources should be protected but allow both recreational  & commercial fishing in balance.
  • Look at Alaskan models for balanced fishing regulations.
  • Look at success of eliminating dragging inward of 3 mile line to improve habitat.
  • Apply those successes more broadly throughout ecosystem.
  • Work with locals on water quality programs.  Encourage implementation.
  • Concerned about catch and disposal off of Muir beach to Stinson Beach. 
  • Concerned about vessel maintenance and discharges into sanctuary.  Need monitoring.
  • Make regulations consistent between sanctuaries and make more stringent. Both on water quality and invasive species issues.
  • GFNMS management plan should reflect watershed protection efforts locally.  More support (financial, technical, programmatic, fiscal, staffing).  Support existing watershed protection programs and get actively involved in these programs.  Ie. Water quality protection program in Monterey, but tailored locally.
  • All 3 revised management plans focus on improved coordination among 3 sanctuaries.  Take programs that exist in one sanctuary and expand them to other 2. (Tailor fit to location)  More consistency among regulations for 3 sanctuaries.
  • Water  quality monitoring: MBNMS should prioritize and implement SIMON Program and GFNMS and CBNMS should adopt a similar program.
  • Water  quality monitoring and baseline data is needed as well .  Centralize and improve coordination among water quality monitoring efforts.  Three sanctuaries should play coordinating role.
  • Sanctuaries should facilitate and coordinate individual efforts, and in essence become the lead agency for water quality monitoring.
  • Outright ban in all 3 sanctuaries in the use of white sharks for commercial ventures.  That the GFNMS adopt recommendations put forward by the Pt Reyes Bird observatory for GFNMS.
  • Sanctuaries should pay more attention to non-point sources of pollution.
  • Species at risk should be identified and inventoried.
  • Increase watershed protection.  Better integration among agencies.
  • Increase funding for sanctuaries.
  • Ban MPWs in Tomales Bay.
  • Regulations in GFNMS regarding white sharks are vague, which leads to non researchers (recreational boaters, fishers…) approaching sharks too closely.  GFNMS regs for white sharks need to be revised, MBNMS and Cordell Bank regulations should be considered by GFNMS to decrease disturbances to white sharks.
  • Additional funding for 3 sanctuaries to ensure adequate enforcement of current and future regulations.  Designate critical habitat  areas, develop management plans to manage human activities. Put the sanctuary back in the Sanctuaries.
  • Improve coordination of research efforts.  GFNMS and CBNMS should adopt a program like MBNMS SIMON program.
  • GFNMS and CBNMS should play a coordinating role relating to research activities on sanctuary resources (similar to MBNMS R.A.P.)
  • Lot line adjustments:
  •  All three sanctuaries in a coordinated effort should explore ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their sanctuary activities through the reconfiguration of sanctuary boundaries.  Specifically, CBNMS and GFNMS should consider becoming one sanctuary in that most of CBNMS resource and management issues are identical to GFNMS and that CBNMS existence can be seen as a duplication of administration activities and bureaucratic  structure.  Additionally, the northern boundaries of MBNMS resemble a gerry-mandered congressional district; perhaps redrawing the northern boundary of MBNMS at Pillar Pt. would be a good idea.  Hopefully all sanctuary protections, especially limitations on extractive industries in MBNMS, could be moved and afforded with the jurisdiction territories.
  • Concerned about land based issues such as landfill or anything that may drain into estuaries.  Also changing agriculture practices and increasing demand for better integration of land use planning around the estuaries.  More protection for estero San Antonio and Americano.
  • Support integration of management plans among sanctuaries.
  • Boundaries should reflect natural systems.  Consider closing donut hole in MBNMS (off S.F.)
  • Sanctuary program should be in Department of Interior
  • Mgmt of fishery stocks should reflect biological not just commercial criteria.
  • Expand GFNMS Beach watch program to include water quality monitoring and subsequent beach posting advisories when state water quality standards are exceeded for water contact  recreation.  Apply program to MBNMS and CBNMS.
  • Insure longterm ecological health, address diversity of ecosystem.
  • Ecotourism may conflict with scientific research- (all sanctuaries) in particular GFNMS and sharks.
  •  How is sanctuary addressing oil spill response? Response needs to be more organized (especially between agencies).
  • Concerned about longterm health of ecosystem and wildlife—more education on environment and human uses or (for general public) interactions.
  • Herring fishery well managed, best season in 25 years.  Fish and Game doing good job, NMS leave it alone.
  • Recurring problem at GFNMS with ecotourists that do not have guidelines (surfboards, shark chum, lack of conventions) with white sharks.  White sharks protected in GFNMS need regulations for better protection. Enforce MBNMS regulations in GFNMS.
  • Control speed when approaching sharks, wildlife viewing guidelines.
  • Marine reserves (or limited take) based on good science—look at it as a tool for protecting fish and biological diversity.
  • Sharks- there is a problem between research and commercial exploitation, clarify difference. Permit process of research and ecotourism guidelines (5 boat lengths-approx).  Do not let exploitation take place at expense of research.
  • Education—start with kids and work up from there.
  • Sanctuary is a hollow term, should be comparable to wilderness zone- stricter regulations and enforcement. Reserves should be for science and education; no commercial activity, but low level impact ok (all sanctuaries).
  • Marine reserves- to protect ecosystems, set aside completely—studies to determine what benefits are to sanctuary.
  • Identify where marine life cycle/history takes place and interfacing coasts/land and protect that as well (including birds).
  • Commercial fishing: as long as NO biological reason for closing down, then do not.  If problem, then address it.
  • Enforcement—seems to be lacking at GFNMS for all regulations (state and federal laws).  Need actual sanctuary patrol presence (possibly).
  • Would like to see as much research as possible.  If issue troublesome, should be aggressive about research.
  • Regarding commercial/ sport fishing and management  of it:  sanctuary should be managed biologically, not emotionally.  No place should be out of bounds in perpetuity.
  •  Areas outside of waters should be protected (e.g. private lands). Need education for private land owners to protect wildlife.
  • Build flexibility into Marine Protected areas so can respond to emerging issues in positive way.
  • Monitoring, long term:  need more by neutral body.
  • More public awareness for how to report incidents (grey area around beaches in terms of authority).  Educate people about who has authority in different areas.
  • Document what IS here, so if oil spill we can value what WAS there (natural resource inventory)
  • Ano Nuevo should stay within MBNMS
  • Expansion of volunteer efforts to help better inform the public.
  • Multi-use: manage sanctuary for this, use, enjoy, and explore.
  • Compile data into one place- synthesize document, make accessible.
  • Do not want the 3 NMS to be combined.  Too much bureaucracy, and loss of control.
  • The MBNMS boundary is in the wrong place.
  • Move south boundary of GFNMS south to Half Moon Bay, Pigeon Point, or somewhere in the vicinity so oil spills are managed by one office.
  • Enhance discussions of no take areas.
  • Would like to see maximum dispersal or research results and information (web page- maybe something else need to be considered).
  • Move GFNMS boundary south to San Mateo County area for best oil spill management coordination.  And make sure people are consistent and consistent with ACP.
  • Specific regulations designed to protect specific species- species of special concern get more consideration within the NMS.
  • Need logical no take zones with in the NMS.  Be certain that the fishers can know where they are using range markers, soundings. 
  • GFNMS boundary should be moved to Ano Nuevo because this is where an ecological boundary occurs, political boundary and where coast guard changes jurisdiction.
  • Control of ballast discharges to reduce invasive species through controlling nitrogen purging or dumping far offshore.  This should be enforced through the sanctuary’s no discharge regulation.
  • NMS should create sustainable sanctuary guidelines.
  • Prioritize joint taxa inventory within GFNMS with Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Too much coastal development along the shoreline.  NMS should coordinate with the coastal commission. 
  • Concerned about regulation controlling piers in Tomales Bay- should allow mitigation to change existing pier/ pilings to reduce siltation at Inverness Yacht Club.
  • Need to adjust the hipping lanes in/out of GF need to add tug escorts especially at potato patch.
  • Would like to see kayak companies (outfitters) required to obtain permits to operate within GFNMS so they understand the impacts to the ecosystem.
  • Stress outreach to diverse communities need more than just posting activities on the web site.  Brainstorm with SAC to come up with action plan.
  • Have a positive public relations and outreach for what you can do instead of what you can’t.  ie. Highschools could be involved to make videos, contests, promoting the sanctuary in general.  Keep doing it!
  • Open house events to educate the public on the sanctuary how to live within the sanctuary, it’s free, regulations.
  • Need clearer summary of the regulations.
  • The next management plan should be similar to the MBNMS layout and content; more content less glossy.
  • Need increased enforcement of leaks of diesel from boats.  Extend this into Bodega Harbor because the diesel leaks into the NMS when the boats enter the NMS.
  • Should get funding to find the sunken vessel that is leaking the mystery oil.
  • All two strokes outboards should be banned in all NMS.
  • Should ban underwater sonar experimental testing, that might have deleterious effects on resources in the NMS.
  • Should be some role of the NMS to participate in development of regulations. 
  • Control fishing (commercial and sport) to achieve sustainability.
  • Review the plan more often than every 15 years.
  • Lack of enforcement of regulations particularly with fill in Tomales Bay.  There needs to be incentive to have people comply and education.
  • Better  educational and enforcement activities to minimize boating impacts to protect cultural and natural resources.
  • Need enforcement of the jet ski regulations.
  • Pro active efforts to educate and enforce Clean Water Act.  Assess day use and live-aboards in Tomales Bay.
  • Limit commercial eco tourism including party boats, kayaks, motorboat rental. Limit numbers of people doing these activities.
  • Delineations of sanctuary is arbitrarily based/ defined by people.
  • Check validity of boundaries, make them based on distribution of animals in Sanctuaries.
  • Do not exclude human and historic activities in Sanctuaries.
  • Better define shark eco-tourism around Farallones- regulations and impacts, etc.
  • Resolve conflict between biologists and eco-tourism operators re: Sharks.
  • Encourage public viewing of White Sharks without encroaching upon researchers.
  • Standardize rules regarding white sharks- use MBNMS regulations- specifically the practice of extreme divers (cages on feeding events).
  • Get sanctuary education into public schools- especially elementary schools in areas of sanctuary.
  • Assess problem of barrels dumped in 50s by navy- radioactive waste. Try to understand where they are and the condition that they are in.
  • Make public any Navy and military activities in sanctuaries- especially GFA and Sonar.
  • Place sanctuaries in more regional perspective- figure out the connectivity of the sanctuaries of the populations that inhabit them at any one time.
  • Be aware of shore fishermen- fishing from beach- Do not overlook shore fishermen and their activities. Treat shore fishermen separate from commercial and sport fishermen in regards to management and possible fishing closures.
  • Vessel traffic lanes pushed out to help address oil spill impacts at Farallon islands and impact to sea bird colonies and pinnipeds.
  • Do not change sanctuary boundaries unless regulations are standardized between the sanctuaries- es:  line at Ano Nuevo with white shark regs.
  • Educate the public about regulations and rules in positive way about access and restricted areas- ex: breeding seasons/ why?
  • Work on habitat/ ecological/ fisheries/ kelp forests/ wetlands/ lagoons restoration, long term and involve community (schools) and fishermen so there is a greater understanding by the community.
  • Concerned about ship strikes on cetaceans and noise pollution from large ships- possibly incorporate into better (or change of )zone for vessel traffic lanes- outside SF Bay and Farallon Islands.
  • Better coordination between sanctuaries and Coast Guards/Navy/Commmercial planes during breeding season and Farallon Islands due to the excessive noise pollution.  Educate the agencies about noise pollution effects on the breeding colonies at Farallon Islands.
  • Education over regulations.  Better communication between all agencies along coast and more effective way of communication in emergency response.
  • Create current/wind model to predict where oil would end up in the event of an oil spill—better coverage of current model- extend to cover entire coast.
  • Expand boundaries along coast- north, west, south, to protect continental shelf against oil drilling and gas oil exploration for permanent protection.
  • Create program to prevent invasive species in ballast water from contaminating sanctuary waters- compare ballast waste to water in port of origin regarding temp, salinity, etc.  Refer to practice in Australia and Tasmania. 

  •  
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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