Marine Life Protection Act

Marine Life Protection Act

 

Final issue of the MLPA Initiative North Coast News

Executive Director’s Message
Whether we actually live on the north coast or elsewhere, the recent challenges presented by the tsunami weigh heavily in the hearts and prayers of all involved in this process. I am certain the same spirit of cooperation and determination in our process that produced just one set of geographical boundaries, will also bring the resources for a speedy recovery to those north coast communities affected by this event.

This final issue of North Coast News marks the completion of the marine protected area planning process for the Marine Life Protection Act’s open coast study regions. This tremendous accomplishment would not have been possible without the dedication of each of you – the stakeholders and members of the public who persevered through the trials and tribulations to arrive at this moment of reflection and accomplishment.

As I reflect back on last month’s joint California Fish and Game Commission and MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting, the collective tone of respect and recognition of the unique characteristics of the north coast illustrates the incredible progress we all made together. This journey has led people of various backgrounds and experiences to unite and establish new relationships, paving the way toward building a better understanding of the social fabric that makes California the special place it is. I am extremely honored to have been part of the MLPA Initiative and to have worked closely with all of you to make our stakeholder-based approach a powerful model for other national and worldwide environmental decision-making processes.

I look forward to our paths crossing throughout 2011 and beyond.

~Ken Wiseman, Executive Director
Meeting Highlights header

California Fish and Game Commission Special Meeting with the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force
February 2, 2011 – Meeting Agenda and Materials
The California Fish and Game Commission held a special meeting with the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) on February 2, 2011 in Sacramento. Recently appointed Secretary forNatural Resources John Laird opened the joint meeting by commending the north coast community and the BRTF for their hard work and the regional stakeholders at their success in arriving at a single, unified MPA proposal. Secretary Laird shared that he had requested his staff work with MLPA Initiative staff and others to identify an administrative process that honors and accommodates traditional tribal gathering while reflecting the stakeholders’ intent in the unified proposal.

Throughout the day, commissioners received information from the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team, California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), California State Parks, MLPA Initiative staff, BRTF members, MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group members and members of the public. At the end of the meeting, the commission unanimously supported the guidance provided by Secretary Laird to his staff and directed that a revised MPA proposal be developed that could accommodate traditional, non-commercial tribal gathering. Additionally, staff was requested to address in this MPA proposal, to the extent possible, the shortcomings identified in the DFG feasibility analysis. Progress on these efforts will be reported to the commission at its April meeting, at which time it may choose to identify a ”proposed project” to initiate the regulatory and environmental review processes.

What’s next for the north coast study region?
Since the joint meeting, Secretary Laird’s staff has been working with staff and attorneys from DFG, California State Parks, the California Attorney General’s office, the MLPA Initiative and a number of the north coast tribes to identify a potential administrative solution to allowing traditional tribal gathering within marine protected areas. Those discussions are ongoing and an update is expected at the commission’s April meeting.

Sometime in the coming months, the commission is expected to select a “proposed project” from one of the MPA proposals under consideration. This will allow staff to initiate the regulatory process under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

As required by the APA, the commission will hold at least two hearings to receive public comment on the proposed MPA regulations in the north coast to help inform a final decision; these hearings are anticipated to take place in 2011. Members of the public are also invited to provide general comments via the following:

Email: fgc@fgc.ca.gov

Fax: (916) 653-5040

Mail: California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to comment on the draft environmental impact report developed under CEQA that is expected to be released for public review in 2011. For more information about participating in the rulemaking process, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/public/information/participate.asp. Information about the commission meeting schedule, draft agendas and proposed regulations can be found on the commission website at www.fgc.ca.gov.

What’s next for the MLPA Initiative?
The north coast study region marks the completion of the MPA planning processes for the MLPA’s open coast study regions. Members of the I-Team have repeatedly commented on the strong sense of community they experienced in the north coast study region and how much they will miss working with everyone; sincere thanks to the regional stakeholders and members of the public who actively contributed to the MPA planning process. The San Francisco Bay Study Region (waters within San Francisco Bay, from the Golden Gate Bridge northeast to the Carquinez Bridge) is the fifth and final study region for consideration under MLPA. Currently, an options report is being developed that will consider the study region setting for a potential MPA planning process, including the socioeconomic and jurisdictional settings, existing planning and restoration efforts, overlap with current projects, informational needs of the community and anticipated resources needed for implementing a planning process. The options report will be submitted to the secretary for natural resources and the director of DFG in spring 2011. The report will also be shared with other policy makers, members of the public and potential funders who may have an interest in implementing the MLPA in the San Francisco Bay Study Region.

In the coming months, the MLPA website and list server will continue to provide the public with information about MLPA activities, including commission announcements of dates or documents for the north coast regulatory and environmental review processes.

Marine Life Protection Act Initiative
c/o California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814
916.654.1885 office
916.653.8102 fax
MLPAComments@resources.ca.gov
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa

For more information about the MLPA Initiative, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa.

 

Maps photos and descriptions of the MPAs and Special Closures are available at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/recommendations_nc.asp

 

See map below.


Marine Life Protection Act – Meetings

Marine Life Protection Act

From Brandi:

Please read through the THREE messages below – and note the following:

1. The BRTF is having an additional meeting on December 9th at 10:00 am.

2. To help people understand the reasoning behind the additional BRTF meeting, MLPAI staff are holding office hours Nov. 30th and Dec. 2nd

3. The SAT meeting planned for December 6th is now postponed until January 2010.

Safe diving,
Brandi

California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Announcement

Who: MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force

What: Ninth meeting (draft agenda and two briefing documents attached)

When: Thursday, December 9 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Via teleconference and webinar (details in the attached draft agenda)

and on the day of the meeting for viewing or listening only via

simultaneous webcast at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/meetings_n.asp

Note that there will be three public access locations for the public to join staff, and potentially NCRSG and BRTF members, to view the meeting and participate in public comment:

Flynn Center

981 H Street

Crescent City, CA  95531

Red Lion Hotel

1929 Fourth Street

Eureka, CA  95501

C.V. Starr Community Center

300 South Lincoln Street

Fort Bragg, CA  95437

DFG announcement posted 11-18-2010

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/recommendations_nc.asp

MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force Recommendations for the North Coast Study Region

At its meeting on October 25-26, 2010, the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) adopted seven motions with recommendations related to marine protected areas (MPAs) and special closures in the MLPA North Coast Study Region.

* News release: Task Force Approves Recommendations to Complete California’s Open Coast Marine Protected Areas

The BRTF recommendations are specific to the work of the California Fish and Game Commission, California Department of Fish and Game, and California Department of Parks and Recreation, or more generally to the State of California. An attachment to the document summarizes the actions resulting from the motions adopted by the BRTF, including which proposed MPAs or special closures are affected, the source of their design, and any modifications to the design.

* Motions Adopted by the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force on October 26, 2010 Regarding Recommendations for the MLPA North Coast Study Region (November 16, 2010)

As a result of these recommendations, two MPA proposals and a special closures recommendation are being forwarded to the California Fish and Game Commission for consideration:

* The “Revised Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal”, which is the MPA proposal developed by the MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (NCRSG), revised to incorporate the recommendation by the NCRSG to rename the Ten Mile MPAs after Skip Wollenberg and the staff recommended updates to the recreational take intended to accommodate tribal uses.
* The “North Coast Enhanced Compliance Alternative MPA Proposal”, which builds off the Revised Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal, and includes modifications to improve compliance with science guidelines and California Department of Fish and Game feasibility criteria.
* The “North Coast Special Closures Recommendation”, which was developed by the NCRSG and supported by the BRTF.

The BRTF recommendations come after extensive science evaluation, and stakeholder and public input over 16 months. The MLPA North Coast Study Region extends from the California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County.

The MPA proposals and special closures will be analyzed by the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT), California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), California Department of Parks and Recreation (California State Parks), and MLPA Initiative staff. The proposals, special closures and associated evaluations will be transmitted to the California Fish and Game Commission.

For more information about the MLPA Initiative, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa.

Maps photos and descriptions of the MPAs and Special Closures are available at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/recommendations_nc.asp

See map below.

Marine Life Protection Act

Marine Life Protection Act Map (Click To View Larger Image)

Marine Life Protection Act – Map And Info

Marine Life Protection Act

From Brandi:

The North Coast UNIFIED proposal (Round 3 NCRSG MPA proposal) and Round 3 NCRSG Special Closures Recommendations are now available to view on Marine Map. (see map below).

http://northcoast.marinemap.org/# OR http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/mpaproposals_nc.asp#proposals

I and all of the North Coast Stakeholders need your help.  Time is of the essence.  Please join others and support the North Coast Unified Proposal with your written comments (see below).  It can be as simple as

“Ms. Cindy Gustafson, Chair
MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force
Marine Life Protection Act Initiative
c/o California Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311 Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Chair Gustafson,

I strongly urge the Blue Ribbon Task Force to accept the NCRSG unified proposal without changes. Any alterations to the proposal could undermine community support and the significant efforts made to reach consensus and compromise by the NCRSG.

Thank you,
Name
City, State”

Please feel free to elaborate your thoughts too. However you choose to write your letter of support, I encourage you to use your own words.

Thank you in advance!!
Safe diving, Brandi

Written comments are encouraged to be submitted by October 18, 2010 so that BRTF members can receive and review them prior to the October 25-26 meeting. Written comments received between October 19 and 21 will be provided to the BRTF at the October meeting; after October 21, written comments must be submitted at the BRTF meeting in Fortuna. Written comments can be submitted via:

Online:             http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/round3comments_nc.asp (through October 18 only)
Email:              MLPAComments@resources.ca.gov
Mail:                 Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

c/o California Natural Resources Agency
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax:                 916.653.8102, Attn: MLPA Initiative

For those who have been appointed stakeholders in this process, you know first hand this is NOT an easy task!  I don’t think anyone could have forewarned me the magnitude of how political and time consumptive this process is. You get to a point where you don’t know where the politics stop and the truth begins. You are inundated with mounds of written and verbal information, emails, meetings, sub-meetings, homework groups, public outreach, phone conferences, webinars, etc. It is a blend of new friendships, old friendships being strengthened, old friendships being tested, your diving activity being compromised, personal and professional lives being compromised, all while embracing the most complex balancing act of politics, socio-economic impacts and the MLPA-Initiative. Even with all of the NCRSG coming to agreement with one unified proposal recommendation, it is still an unknown what the BRTF will recommend to the DFG Commission come January 2011.

The NCRSG will join the Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) meeting October 27-29 in Fortuna to present our proposal. I encourage all to watch via webcast or attend. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/meetings_n.asp#brtf

I very much appreciate everyone’s support and input through out this process.  Without all of you, I don’t think I could have done it alone. THANK YOU!

Safe diving everyone,

Brandi

Marine Life Protection Act

Marine Life Protection Act Map (Click To View Larger Image)

For additional information from CDF&G go to:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/mpaproposals_nc.asp#proposals

For a description of the MPAs, go to:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/northcoastproposals/round3_description.pdf

For a description of the special closures go to:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/pdfs/northcoastproposals/round3_closures.pdf

What did you think of the MLPA process on the North Coast ?

An important survey is being conducted to measure your opinions of the process used to implement the Marine Life Protection Act in the North Coast Region.

The survey is done by academic researchers from the Social and Environmental Research Institute in Massachusetts and Temple University in Philadelphia .  It is paid for by a research grant from the National Science Foundation.  The survey is confidential and voluntary.

Go to http://NorthCoastSurvey.org to learn more. At that site you can take the survey on-line or find out how to get a paper copy.

Make sure your voice is heard!

Other web sites:

Social and Environmental Research Institute www.seri-us.org

SERI Project webpage http://seri-us.org/projects/fairprocess.html

The two lead researchers are Tom Webler and Tom Jacobson.

Tom Webler at SERI http://www.seri-us.org/bios/webler.html

Tom Jacobson at Temple University https://sctportal.temple.edu/sctweb/directory.asp?Detail=441

Marine Life Protection Act

Marine Life Protection Act

From Brandi:

For those who have been appointed stakeholders in this process, you know first hand this is NOT an easy task!  I don’t think anyone could have forewarned me the magnitude of how political and time consumptive this process is. You get to a point where you don’t know where the politics stop and the truth begins. You are inundated with mounds of written and verbal information, emails, meetings, sub-meetings, homework groups, public outreach, phone conferences, webinars, etc. It is a blend of new friendships, old friendships being strengthened, old friendships being tested, your diving activity being compromised, personal and professional lives being compromised, all while embracing the most complex balancing act of politics, socio-economic impacts and the MLPA-Initiative. Even with all of the NCRSG coming to agreement with one unified proposal recommendation, it is still an unknown what the BRTF will recommend to the DFG Commission come January 2011.

Our proposal will be on marine map http://northcoast.marinemap.org/ for the public to view September 16th.

The NCRSG will join the Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) meeting October 27-29 in Fortuna to present our proposal. I encourage all to watch via webcast or attend. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/meetings_n.asp#brtf

I very much appreciate everyone’s support and input through out this process.  Without all of you, I don’t think I could have done it alone. THANK YOU!

Safe diving everyone,

Brandi

Marine Life Protection Act

Congratulations to Brandi Easter and Charlie Notthoff for their appointment to the MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. President Ron sent a letter from the club supporting their appointment.

The north coast study region (California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County) is the fourth Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) study region to undergo the regional marine protected area (MPA) planning and re-design process. This regional process started June 2009 with a series of introductory workshops and open houses. To learn more about how to get involved with the MPA planning process, visit Opportunities for Public Involvement or to find out more about the MLPA in general, visit Introduction to the MLPA.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/northcoast.asp