[Coral-List] Channel Islands NMS Marine Reserves Process

Dan Brumbaugh brumba at amnh.org
Thu Jul 17 14:35:28 EDT 2003


Channel Islands NMS Marine Reserves Process: Opportunity for Public Input

NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) is considering the 
establishment of a network of marine reserves within the Channel 
Islands National Marine Sanctuary to maintain the natural biological 
communities, and to protect, and, where appropriate, restore and 
enhance natural habitats, populations, and ecological processes. 
This action is being considered to complement the State of 
California's recent (October 23, 2002) establishment of a network of 
marine reserves and protected areas within the State waters of the 

The NMSP will prepare an environmental impact statement that will 
examine a range of management and regulatory alternatives associated 
with consideration of marine reserves within the Sanctuary.  The NMSP 
is conducting three public scoping meetings during the scoping period 
to gather information and other comments from individuals, 
organizations, and government agencies on the scope, types and 
significance of issues related to consideration of marine reserves in 
the Sanctuary.

The final recommendations made by the CINMS and California Department 
of Fish and Game were the result of a long process involving a 
stakeholder working group, an advisory panel of marine scientists, 
and a socioeconomic advisory group, as well as many meetings where 
public input was welcomed.  The history of the process is outlined at 
the following website: 

An important part of the final recommendations were maps proposing 
specific areas for protection, designed as a network to cover the 
many habitats and three biogeographical regions within the CINMS. 
These proposed areas extended in most cases out to the 6-mile 
boundary of the CINMS, overlapping with California state waters 
within 3 miles and US federal waters from 3-6 miles offshore.  As a 
consequence, consideration and approval of the proposed reserves must 
be a two-step process.  As mentioned above, the California Fish and 
Game Commission approved the establishment of reserves in state 
waters in late 2002.  The federal process is now underway, and would 
benefit from comments from the scientific community, especially 
regarding (1) your perception of the effects of marine reserves, and 
(2) your opinion about reserve locations in federal waters.

Our opinion, as Research representatives to the CINMS Advisory 
Council, is that the best option for location of reserves in federal 
waters is one that completes the originally proposed network design, 
extending the state reserves into habitats further offshore.

We encourage your comments directly to the CINMS. These can be made online at
http://www.cinms.nos.noaa.gov/marineres/enviro_review.html up until 
July 23, 2003.

Many thanks,

Robert Warner (U.C. Santa Barbara, Dept. Ecology, Evolution, and 
Marine Biology)
Daniel Brumbaugh (American Museum of Natural History/Center for 
Biodiversity and Conservation)

Research representatives
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council

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