Resolution 006-12-COE Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Expansion
Policy by Topic
[Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Expansion]
Resolution in support of the expansion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
WHEREAS, The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) was designated in 1992 for the purpose of understanding and protecting the coastal ecosystem and submerged cultural resources of central California; and,
WHEREAS, The MBNMS is home to one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, including 33 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fishes, and numerous invertebrates and plants; and,
WHEREAS, The San Francisco-Pacifica Exclusion Area (commonly known as the doughnut hole), that was left out when the sanctuary was created, is also home to myriad seabirds, mammals and other marine species, including the rare sevengill shark and the local stock of harbor porpoises that inhabits both the doughnut hole and San Francisco Bay; and,
WHEREAS, The omission of the Exclusion Area, the marine region stretching from Pedro Point in Pacifica to the Point Bonita Lighthouse in Marin County, can no longer be justified; and,
WHEREAS, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing to expand the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to include the Exclusion Area; and,
WHEREAS, The expansion of the sanctuary could lead to more financial resources for research, education, outreach and natural resource protection; and,
WHEREAS, While a number of federal and state agencies now have regulatory responsibilities in this area, designating the Exclusion Area as part of the marine sanctuary can provide the long-term coordinated and comprehensive planning and management needed to protect its habitats and ecosystem; and,
WHEREAS, NOAA’s proposal to administratively adjust the MBNMS boundaries to include the Exclusion Area will: protect additional nationally significant seascape, wildlife, shipwrecks and Native American artifacts; honor the seafaring community; and promote ecotourism; and,
WHEREAS, The protection of marine wildlife is consistent with the Biodiversity Policy of the SF Commission on the Environment; and,
WHEREAS, Many species of marine wildlife using the MBNMS are also found within San Francisco Bay; now, therefore be it,
RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Commission on the Environment strongly supports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s proposal to expand the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to include the Exclusion Area; and, be it,
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the San Francisco Commission on the Environment urges NOAA to consider the feasibility and appropriateness of further expanding the Sanctuary into San Francisco Bay to provide needed protection for the harbor porpoise, the sevengill shark, the leatherback sea turtle, and other species of concern that use or may use the marine environment on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge, and, be it,
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Commission does not view the environmental protection goals of this Resolution as inconsistent with the potential development of renewable energy resources accompanied by appropriate environmental review in the future.
I hereby certify that this Resolution was adopted at the Commission on the Environment’s Meeting on September 20, 2012.
Monica Fish, Commission Secretary
VOTE: APPROVED (5-0)
AYES: Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Arce, Stephenson and Wald
ABSENT: Commissioners King and Mok
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