Draft Management Plans for Cordell Bank, Farallones, Monterey Bay National Sanctuaries

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Posted by Jennifer Stock on October 06, 2006 at 10:38:33:


  • Rachel Saunders, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, (831) 647-4237
  • Sarah Marquis, National Marine Sanctuaries, (949) 222-2212


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released for public comment the draft management plans and proposed regulations for Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries and a joint draft environmental impact statement. The plans are the result of several years of study, planning and extensive public input.

"The draft management plans for these three of California’s national marine sanctuaries were developed with extensive community involvement and we welcome further public review and comment," said William J. Douros, National Marine Sanctuary Program West Coast regional director. "The new management plans chart a forward-looking course for protecting the rich marine ecosystems of the sanctuaries while continuing to allow for compatible, sustainable human uses."

The draft plans, a major revision of the sanctuaries' original management plans, focus on key issues affecting the sanctuaries including ecosystem protection, wildlife disturbance, vessel traffic, water quality, introduced species and coastal development. They also address important sanctuary programs such as public awareness and education, conservation science, enforcement and maritime heritage. The draft environmental impact statement analyzes the potential environmental and economic impacts from modified and new regulations in the three sanctuaries, as well as impacts from a range of regulatory alternatives. Proposed changes to regulations are intended to clarify and strengthen protections for marine habitats, sensitive species, water quality and submerged cultural and historic resources.

One substantive boundary change is proposed as part of the joint management plan review. NOAA is proposing to add a 585-square nautical mile area around the Davidson Seamount to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Periodic management plan review is required by Congress for each of the 13 national marine sanctuaries to ensure that they continue to conserve, protect and enhance their nationally significant living and cultural resources while allowing compatible commercial and recreational activities.

All comments must be received by Jan. 5, 2007. Written comments should be sent by mail to: Brady Phillips, JMPR Management Plan Coordinator, NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program, 1305 East-West Highway, N/ORM-6, Silver Spring, MD 20910, by email to jointplancomments@noaa.gov, or by fax to (301) 713-0404.

Public hearings will be held at the following dates and times:

  1. Nov. 29, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the Cambria Pines Lodge, 2905 Burton Drive, Cambria, CA
  2. Nov. 29, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, 2099 Westside Road, Bodega Bay, CA
  3. Nov. 30, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA
  4. Nov. 30, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the Dance Palace Community Center, 503 B Street, Pt. Reyes Station, CA
  5. Dec. 5, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the University of California Santa Cruz Inn and Conference Center, 611 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA.
  6. Dec. 5, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Mason Center, Firehouse (NE corner of Center), San Francisco, CA
  7. Dec. 6, 2006, 6:30 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church, 777 Miramontes Street, Half Moon Bay, CA
Copies of the draft management plan, proposed regulations and draft environmental impact statement on CD are available at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary office at 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940, (831) 647-4201, the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary office at 991 Marine Drive, San Francisco Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129, (415) 561-6622, or from the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary office at 1 Bear Valley Road, Pt. Reyes Station, CA, 94956, (415) 663-0314. *The draft plan, proposed regulations, and draft environmental impact statement can also be downloaded from the web site www.sanctuaries.nos.noaa.gov/jointplan/, or requested by e-mail from jmpr.info@noaa.gov.*

The three sanctuaries, part of the National Marine Sanctuary System, are located adjacent to one another along the shores of northern and central California and share many of the same resources and issues. Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 526 square miles of open ocean off Point Reyes, north of San Francisco. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, at 1,255 square miles, is located west of the San Francisco Bay area. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches along 276 miles of the central coast and encompasses 5,328 square miles of coastal and ocean waters.

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program, managed by NOAA's National Ocean Service, seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s marine resources and maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
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On the Internet:
Joint Management Plan
National Marine Sanctuary Program
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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