am pleased to announce the north coast marine protected area (MPA)
planning process has recently achieved two significant milestones: the
submission of eight external proposed MPA arrays by community groups
(available online or via MarineMap) and the appointment of the MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (NCRSG).
The tireless efforts of those community groups that developed external
arrays have established a solid foundation for the NCRSG to build upon
in the next two rounds of MPA planning. The ideas put forth in the
external arrays truly represent the personal relationships and
collaborative spirit that have developed between different user groups
in the north coast.
To be successful, it
will be important for the NCRSG to incorporate feedback from the
science advisory team, blue ribbon task force, California Department of
Fish and Game, California State Parks, MLPA Initiative staff, and
members of the public to build off and refine the external MPA arrays.
It will also be important for the NCRSG to continue to cultivate the
working relationships with different user groups, both internally
amongst the stakeholders and externally with the community at
Even with the tremendous progress to date, we still have a long road
ahead. I am confident, however, that the framework provided by the
external arrays, coupled with the expertise of the NCRSG and continued
involvement of the community, will help ensure we successfully fulfill
the goals of the MLPA.
I wish to thank the community groups for their valuable efforts, and
extend a warm welcome to the NCRSG members as they take the helm of the
MPA planning process.
~Ken Wiseman, Executive Director
Blue Ribbon Task Force
January 13-14, 2010 Agenda & Meeting Materials
January 13, the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) participated in a
field trip that began in Orick and traveled through Del Norte County.
This tour was followed by the BRTF’s second meeting in Crescent City on
task force received a number of presentations including an overview on
the evolving nature of living marine resource management and the role
of marine protected areas, as well as the science of marine protected
areas. In an effort to further consider and incorporate Native American
interests in the MLPA Initiative, a panel presentation by more than 10
of northern California’s tribes and tribal communities was provided to
BRTF reviewed policy direction provided in previous study regions and
discussed its applicability to the MLPA North Coast Study Region. The
BRTF is expected to approve this guidance at its March 1-2, 2010
The BRTF will meet again on March 1 in Fort Bragg and then participate in a field trip in the Mendocino County area on March 2.
Science Advisory Team
January 20-21, 2010 Agenda and Meeting Materials
The third meeting of the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT)
took place in Eureka on January 20 and 21, 2010. SAT members were
presented with an update on the 18 external array groups that indicated
their intent to submit an array. The SAT was also presented with the
overview of birds and mammals that occur in the north coast study
region, along with the proposed MPA evaluation methods for this region
and a description of how birds and mammals might benefit from MPAs.
Evaluation methods are similar to those used in the south coast study
region, although proposals will be evaluated in their entirety rather
than by bioregion.
description of north coast water quality and the evaluation methods
that will be used. Evaluation methods for this secondary evaluation are
largely similar to those in the south coast study region, except:
- Bays/estuaries will be evaluated using an area measurement.
- Evaluation will not focus on power plant entrainment.
- Evaluation will consider harbors to be non-point pollution sources.
and unique habitats, including how evaluations will consider limited
eel grass data outside Humboldt Bay. Unique habitats discussed included
drowned river canyons, sea stacks, and dynamic river mouths.
replication thresholds, including minimum size replicate for the
combined soft bottom categories. Background on the development of MPA
size and spacing guidelines and new visual representations of the
consequences of different size and spacing combinations of MPAs.
- Modeling evaluation methods, including the new genetic connectivity analysis.
levels of protection decision tree for coastal pelagic finfish by
dipnet or hand nets (high), salmon by non-troll hook and line in waters
less than 50 meters (moderate), and sea urchin by hand (moderate-low).
SAT also received updates from the modeling, tribal, and species likely
to benefit work groups, and also reviewed draft responses to science
questions. In light of the severe weather that made travel difficult
for both SAT members and members of the public, all proposed actions
were postponed to the February 11, 2010 SAT teleconference/webinar
February 11, 2010 Agenda & Meeting Materials
On February 11, 2010, the fourth meeting of the SAT was held via
teleconference and webinar. Members approved all SAT evaluation methods
presented during the meeting, including those for habitat
representation, habitat replication, bioeconomic modeling, benefits to
marine birds and mammals, MPA size, MPA spacing, potential commercial
and recreational fishery impacts, and water and sediment quality. SAT
members also approved:
of information about three specific habitat types (offshore rocks and
sea stacks, dynamic river mouths, and drowned river canyons) under
existing key habitats
- A recommendation to include at least one replicate of each habitat type in each bioregion
- Continued development of the supplemental genetic connectivity metric by the modeling work group
- Methods used for assigning levels of protection and six newly proposed levels of protection
The next SAT meeting will be in Eureka on March 16-17.
Regional Stakeholder Group
February 8-9, 2010 Agenda & Meeting Materials
On February 8-9, 2010, the MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group
(NCRSG) held its first meeting in Eureka. During this meeting, the
- Received an overview of the goals of the MLPA and MLPA Initiative, including the roles and responsibilities of the NCRSG
- Discussed, revised and adopted ground rules to guide the NCRSG process
- Received presentations on:
- Key findings from the stakeholder assessment memorandum
- BRTF guidance for the north coast project
- Available tools and best readily available information for north coast process
- Process and timeline for developing MPA proposals
- How the NCRSG will coordinate with the SAT
members also shared their key interests, affiliations, and areas of
expertise and had the opportunity to participate in an evening
the meeting, NCRSG members requested more comprehensive and accurate
information about California tribes and tribal communities be added to
the regional profile. MLPA Initiative staff committed to provide
California tribes and tribal communities with extra time (until April
1, 2010) to include additional, unedited information in an appendix to
the regional profile. Additionally, a follow-up NCRSG
teleconference/webinar took place on February 25
to discuss and potentially vote on an NCRSG recommendation regarding
how tribal uses should be addressed in the marine protected area
planning process. The outcomes of the meeting will be presented to the
BRTF at its March 1, 2010 meeting.
The second NCRSG meeting will be held in Crescent City on March 24-25.
Update on the Draft Regional Profile of the North Coast Study Region
The MLPA Regional Profile of the North Coast Study Region,
which provides background information for MPA planning, was released in
December for public review as part of a joint-fact finding effort. More
than 600 specific comments from 34 individuals and groups were received
by the January 15 deadline. A revised version of the regional profile
will be available by early March and includes additional substrate
data, new data layers, expanded information on California tribes, and
additional fisheries statistics. In addition, a special appendix on
California tribes and tribal communities, as well as some outstanding
habitat data will be added in the next few months. The public will be
notified as this new information becomes available.
All meetings are open to the public and are also simultaneously webcast
on the day of the meeting on the MLPA website. Open houses, workshops and work sessions are generally not videotaped or webcast.
March 1-2, 2010
Blue Ribbon Task Force
C.V. Starr Community Center
300 S. Lincoln Boulevard
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
March 16-17, 2010
Science Advisory Team
Red Lion Hotel
1929 Fourth Street
Eureka, CA 95501
March 24-25, 2010
Regional Stakeholder Group
meeting agendas are posted to the MLPA website at least one week in
advance of the meeting. Meeting materials are posted as soon as they
become available. In addition to the simultaneous live webcast of
meetings, the video and audio archives are posted to the Cal-Span website within two days of each meeting.
Events & Activities
Public Informational Presentation
Monday, March 22
Mattole River Community Center
29230 Mattole Rd.
Petrolia, CA 95558
for community events to inform the public on the north coast process
are welcome! A special thank you to those Key Communicators who have
been distributing MLPA Initiative information to a wider public. To
learn how you can become a Key Communicator, contact the MLPA
Initiative Public Outreach and Education Team via email or call (707) 832-4088.
What is the appointment process for regional stakeholders?
A request for nominations to the NCRSG was made this fall and
distributed to more than 3,000 groups and individuals asking for
nominations to be made by November 30, 2009. Nominees were evaluated
against the selection criteria established
in the request for nominations. Staff recommendations to California
Department of Fish and Game Director John McCamman and MLPA Blue Ribbon
Task Force Chair Cindy Gustafson were informed by facilitator
interviews, nomination letters, letters of support, DFG background
checks (including fish and game citations), as well feedback from other
staff who have knowledge of and experience working with the nominees.
director and chair appointed stakeholders who represent a broad
diversity of interests, perspectives, and geographic locations within
the MLPA North Coast Study Region. In instances where staff was unable
to find strong candidates that could represent a certain interest or
perspective, staff was directed by the director and chair to seek
nominees beyond the initial set of nominees (i.e., nominees who
submitted their nomination letters by November 30) to recruit possible
additional nominees. In each of these cases, the nominee submitted the
requested information and was interviewed by the neutral facilitators.
A similar directive has been used in other study regions.
Is there a deadline for commenting on draft MPA arrays and proposals?
While there are no specific deadlines for submitting public comments on
draft MPA arrays and proposals, comments are most effective when timed
to inform the deliberations of the NCRSG. Key dates to be mindful of
Feedback on Round 1 external proposed MPA arrays
public is invited to submit feedback on the Round 1 external MPA arrays
and evaluation results. The Round 1 external MPA arrays may be found on
the MLPA Initiative website as well on MarineMap; the external arrays will inform future MPA proposal development by the NCRSG
- Public feedback on Round 1 arrays
is most helpful to inform NCRSG development of Round 2 draft MPA
proposals if submitted as verbal comment during the March NCRSG 24-25
meeting or in written form by Monday, May 10. This will help inform the
NCRSG work sessions on April 20-21 and May 19. The public will also
have the opportunity to provide verbal comment at the NCRSG meeting on
May 20, just prior to completion of Round 2 MPA proposals.
Feedback on Round 2 NCRSG draft MPA proposals
July 6-8, a series of public open houses will be held throughout the
study region to provide the public the opportunity to review and
comment on the NCRSG’s Round 2 draft proposals
feedback on Round 2 MPA proposals is most helpful if submitted in
written form at the July 6-8 public open houses, as verbal comment
during the July 21-22 BRTF meeting or July 29 NCRSG meeting, or in
written form by Monday, August 23. This will help inform NCRSG work
sessions on July 30 and August 30. The public will also have the
opportunity to provide verbal comment at the NCRSG meeting on August
31, just prior to completion of Round 3 MPA proposals.
Feedback on Round 3 NCRSG final MPA proposals
MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force will review Round 3 proposals during its
October 26-28 meeting. Public input on Round 3 proposals is most
helpful if submitted in written form by Wednesday, October 13 or as
verbal comment during the October 26-28 BRTF meeting.
feedback is one of the most important ways to get involved in the MLPA
Initiative’s MPA planning process. While the time available for verbal
comments at meetings is usually limited, there is no limit on the
length of comments submitted in writing. Also, while the public is
invited to observe the NCRSG work sessions, there are no verbal public
comment opportunities during work sessions, so it is important to
provide written feedback at least one week before each work session is
All written comments should be submitted via email, mail or fax.
All written comments are compiled on a weekly basis and distributed to
the I-Team and MLPA Initiative groups (BRTF, NCRSG and SAT as
success of the MLPA largely depends on the continued involvement of the
public. There are a number of ways that members of the public can
participate in this process:
feedback is one of the most important ways to get involved in the MLPA
Initiative process. Public comment provided at meetings should be
concise and focused on specific ideas or suggestions. While the time
available for verbal comments at meetings is usually limited, there is
no limit on the length of comments submitted in writing. All written
comments should be submitted via email, mail or fax.
comments received (both verbally and in writing) are compiled on a
weekly basis and distributed to the I-Team and MLPA Initiative groups
(BRTF, NCRSG and SAT as appropriate). Please do not send comments to
SAT or BRTF members directly.
Specific opportunities to provide input include:
Spread the word
- Circulate North Coast News
far and wide to help ensure others in your community are aware of the
MLPA Initiative, upcoming meetings and opportunities for public
you are a leader in your community and/or have access to a large number
of constituents, become a "Key Communicator." Contact the Public
Outreach and Education Team via email or call (707) 832-4088 to learn more.