The long-awaited expansion of the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries northward from Bodega Bay to Pt. Arena, a decision that will add 2700 square miles of protected waters, has been announced, accompanied by the dates and locations of upcoming public hearings in the affected communities and the release of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The Northern California coast between Bodega Bay and Pt. Arena attracts millions of visitors and is the centerpiece of the region’s economy, hosting one of the planet’s four most productive ocean upwelling systems, in which nutrient-rich waters rise from the depths to provide the base of the marine food chain which embraces a globally significant, extraordinarily diverse, and productive marine ecosystem that supports abundant wildlife and valuable fisheries.
It provides breeding and feeding grounds for at least twenty-five endangered or threatened species; thirty-six marine mammal species, including blue, gray, and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and one of the southernmost U.S. populations of threatened Steller sea lions, plus over a quarter-million breeding seabirds.
Pursued for many years in a bipartisan effort by affected local elected officials and our Representatives and Senators in Congress, this is an outcome that will permanently prohibit offshore oil and gas drilling and establish rules for sewage dumping from cruise ships on the entire Sonoma Coast and on the Southern Mendocino Coast.
Upcoming Public Hearings:
May 22, 2014, Sausalito, 6 pm-U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway Blvd., Sausalito, CA 95465
June 16, 2014, Point Arena, 6 pm-Point Arena City Hall, 451 School Street, Point Arena, CA 95468
June 17, 2014, Gualala, 6 pm-Gualala Community Center, 47950 Center Street, Gualala, CA 95445
June 18, 2014, Bodega Bay, 6 pm-Grange Hall, 1370 Bodega Avenue, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
Written comments will be accepted until June 30, 2014, and should be sent to: Maria Brown, Superintendent, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive-The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129.
More details can be found at: http://SanctuaryExpansion.org
Present: Nicole, Mark, Pam, Jackie, Bob, Dave, Walt
Minutes of January 25th meeting approved
Treasurer’s report – Jackie, no change $2907.00 all potential tsunami debris clean up reimbursement complete
Membership – Pam has latest membership info on Excel. Approximately 45 members in good standing
Blue Water Task Force – Walt and Victoria to alternate weekly testing of Virgin Creek starting with Walt on Tues. April 8th, 2014. All water test samples must be to the Mendocino County Environmental Health dept, by 11:00 AM. 2014 paperwork will be at office for volunteers to sign.
Coastal Access and Enhancement –
- Virgin Creek – Bob, No change suggested be taken off agenda until there is evidence of a change in status (sales or development activity) group to monitor for change in status.
- Smugglers Cove – no report
US Navy Weapons testing West Coast – Nicole reviewed the meeting with Navy representatives on March 7, 2014 in Fort Bragg Ca. was well attended. The Navy has extended their comment period to April 15, 2014. Nicole has been soliciting members and friends to contact local elected officials to enlist support opposing Naval weapons testing off the North Pacific West Coast. The group agreed to sign the Mendocino County Chapter on as a supporter of a NRDC letter opposing the Navy’s proposed testing. Nicole looking to educate and enlist as much support as possible regarding this and will formulate a “Making Waves” article for submission.
Website maintenance and updates- Nicole soliciting input for ways to make our website more interactive. Encouraging members and friends to submit relevant photos for posting to our website. Nicole given “carte blanch” to maintain and improve the website.
Sea Star Pacific Coast Mystery Ailment- Dave explained to the group the most current information regarding the recent sea star “die off” is most likely related to water temperature fluctuation not radiation, and this phenomena has been documented as having occurred before.
International Surfing Day June 20th, 2014- Walt, all permits with State Parks are in place, in process of making sure State Parks Insurance requirements are being met. See you there!
Next meeting will be on International Surfing Day, Friday June 20th at Big River Beach
5:00 pm Welcome /Opening Comments
- Announcements and Correspondence
- Agenda additions & changes
Review /Acceptance last meeting minutes
- Treasurer’s report – Jackie, Bob
- Reimbursement Tsunami Clean Up Give away items – Walt – Complete $ rec.
- Membership – Pam
5:10 Committee Reports
- Blue Water Task Force- Water testing resumes April 8, 2014
- Coastal Access and Enhancement
- Virgin Creek – Bob
- Smugglers Cove- John W
5:30 Old Business
5:30 New Business
- US Navy weapons testing West Coast – Nicole
- Website maintenance and updates- Nicole
- Sea Star Pacific Coast mystery ailment –Dave, Walt
- International Surfing Day Fri. June 20th 2014- Walt, All
6:30 Open discussion
6:40 Closing Comment
Schedule next meeting
Potluck to follow…