Stewardship in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has many layers . We easily forget history and allow current day repeats of lessons already learned.
If you have not read “The Death and Life of Monterey: A story of revival ” by Carolyn Sotka and Stephen Palumbi http://deathandlifemontereybay.stanford.edu
Professor Palumbi moved his laboratory from Harvard University to Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station , where he is the Director of the Station.
This provides a thorough understanding of the history of Monterey Bay and the environmental lessons . People from all over the world come to visit this unquie ocean nirvana and in some ways that is part of the problem . This is a fragile environment that creates a natural beacon that draws in marine life from all around the planet and people .
The ever growing escalation of tourism on the Monterey Peninsula adds an ever growing level of pollution and waste to the Monterey Bay . These excerpts below are directly from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s website:
Large cruise ships began visiting Monterey in 2002. These ships can provide local businesses with economic benefits, particularly if they introduce the region to tourists who may return for later visits. However, both the public and businesses have raised concerns about environmental issues associated with these ships.
Due to cruise ship visitation to Monterey Bay, and concern over potential impacts to marine resources from these vessels, this issue has drawn significant attention from the public. At the February 7, 2003 meeting, the MBNMS Advisory Council passed a resolution recommending that MBNMS staff pursue a regulatory prohibition on harmful discharges from cruise ships.
Due to their sheer size and capacity for passengers, cruise ships can cause serious impacts to the marine environment. The main pollutants generated by a cruise ship are: sewage (also referred to as black water); gray water; oily bilge water; hazardous wastes; and solid wastes
Plastic debris can be ingested or cause entanglement to marine life including marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles. Solid wastes generated by cruise ships include large volumes of food waste, cans, glass, wood, cardboard, paper, and plastic. In some cases the wastes are incinerated on the vessel and the ash is discharged at sea; other wastes are disposed of on shore or recycled. The Marine Plastic Pollution and Control Act regulate the disposal of plastics and garbage pursuant to ANNEX V of MARPOL. Under these regulations the disposal of plastics is prohibited in any waters, and floating dunnage and packing materials are prohibited in navigable water within twenty-five nautical miles from land. Other garbage including paper, glass, rags, metal, and similar materials is prohibited within twelve nautical miles from shore (unless macerated, in which case it can be disposed of on land).
Earlier this year I noticed a floating building in the Monterey Bay that anchored for 3 days . I scratched my head , this is a National Marine Sanctuary ? How in the world would a massive cruise ship be allowed to motor into this area ?
I went to the Monterey Harbor Masters office and asked . The Harbor Master was gone , so I emailed my concerns and questions .
This is the email 6/26/2017 :
Hello Brian ,
Hello Brent, Thank you for the questions, here are a few thoughts to help guide your research. The City of Monterey is responsible for the Harbor and roughly out to 10 fathoms in depth except in one distinct area which is deeper. The City of Monterey enters into agreements with each of the cruise ship companies for their visits. Other agencies as well have jurisdiction of this area. The MBNMS is an important partner in oversight and use, however they cannot limit ship traffic if in compliance with USCG rules and regulations and the no discharge policy except power-plant cooling. Many ships transient the MBNMS further out into the designated area. You may have noticed one of the mandates is a spill response program required of the local communities and shipping traffic. There are marine protected areas, MPA’s and MLPA’s managed by the State of California. These relate to fishing along with Fish and Wildlife Management. Cruise ship attendance vary’s as well, 2016 (2), 2015 (6), 2014 (7), 2013 (3). These visits change each year depending on company ships movements from one area to another, this is the main reason for attendance changes and the yearly timing. The vessels are also boarded and inspected by the USCG and the Sanctuary Office of Law Enforcement while visiting.
National marine sanctuaries are our nation’s underwater “crown jewels,” much like our treasured national parks. NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a system of 14 underwater parks ranging from Washington to Florida, and Lake Huron to American Samoa. Within their protected waters, humpback whales breed and calve, coral colonies flourish and shipwrecks tell the stories of our maritime history. Each sanctuary is a unique place—an underwater world so rich in biological and cultural resources that it needs to be protected and managed. Natural classrooms, cherished recreational spots, and valuable commercial industries-marine sanctuaries represent many things to many people.
Our very existence and future depends upon the sea, yet oceans worldwide are being harmed by human activities such as pollution, habitat destruction, over-harvesting and coastal development. The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the earth, but is among the least explored ecosystem. If we are to live on this planet in ways that sustain our needs, we must better understand the world’s ocean, and accord it the protection it deserves. Marine sanctuaries are one way to protect the marine environment, ensuring a healthy future for us all.
On a final update Mr. Scott Kathey with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary addressed many details regarding Cruise Ships .
Mr. Allen,Thank you for sharing your thoughts about cruise ship visits to Monterey Harbor. Your concerns about the immediate environmental impacts to the marine sanctuary, were a spill to occur from one of these large vessels, are valid. Cruise ships carry a considerable array of hazardous substances in substantial volume. For that reason and others, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) enacted special federal regulations in 2008 regarding cruise ship operations within the sanctuary (see 15 CFR 922.132(a)(2)(ii)).Sanctuary regulations prohibit any discharge from cruise ships anywhere within sanctuary boundaries, with the exception of clean engine/generator cooling water, clean anchor wash water, clean bilge water, and vessel engine/generator exhaust. These exceptions are the bare minimum discharges necessary for proper vessel functions. The cruise ship regulations are the most stringent vessel regulations in the sanctuary and exceed requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.Cruise ships must also comply with strict regulations enforced by the state of California and U.S. Coast Guard governing vessel design and integrity, spill response preparedness and capability, safety (human, maritime, environmental), waste and hazardous materials handling, insurance requirements, etc.MBNMS and the Coast Guard perform random, joint unannounced inspections of cruise ships visiting Monterey to verify their compliance with numerous sanctuary and Coast Guard regulations. Inspectors review ship logs, interview crew members, and physically inspect engine room and other work spaces to ensure that prescribed environmental safeguards and practices are in order. After dozens of inspections, we have only encountered one potential violation, and it appeared to be due to human oversight.In addition, cruise ships visiting Monterey must sign a contract with the city that includes several environmental restrictions. In return for landing privileges at Monterey Harbor, visiting cruise lines must agree not to discharge any waste streams – not just at Monterey, but anywhere within MBNMS during their approach or departure through the sanctuary. Many years ago (prior to MBNMS cruise ship regulations), the city banned an entire cruise line from accessing Monterey Harbor due to the failure of one of its ships to report an inadvertent discharge that occurred within MBNMS over 100 miles away from the city’s boundaries. That cruise line has not been permitted to return to this day.National marine sanctuaries are not “wilderness areas”. They support multiple uses, including maritime commerce. Our mandate by Congress is “to facilitate to the extent compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, all public and private uses” of the sanctuary. It’s quite a challenge at times to strike that balance, but we have a number of management tools at our disposal to accomplish the task. The items above are part of that suite of management tools.Cruise ships are maneuvered into a designated anchorage off Monterey by an experienced California bar pilot familiar with these waters and local controls here. The ships drop anchor at designated coordinates that have been carefully selected to avoid damage to sensitive seafloor habitat, and the ship’s position is carefully monitored by sophisticated navigation equipment and the deck crew 24 hours a day. The bar pilot remains aboard the cruise ship from arrival to departure. Standard ship operations include provisions for avoiding wildlife, and the sound of the ships’ large engines and propellers readily transmit their position and progress through the water to wildlife in their path. While cruise ships are by far the largest vessels to approach within a mile of the Monterey shoreline, hundreds of much larger ships traverse the sanctuary every year. As with cruise ships, MBNMS and other federal and state authorities have regulations and additional management protocols in place to reduce and minimize environmental risks posed by such vessel operations. Cruise ship visits to Monterey average about 6 per year but can range as high as 12 visits in some years.The sheer size of MBNMS (over 6,000 square miles) – a third of the California coastline – makes it impractical to bar all human activity. Our job is to protect the area, while acknowledging that commerce, tourism, recreation, commercial fisheries, boating, research, education, and other societal pursuits take place here daily. Public vigilance and engagement, such as your inquiry, are a tremendous help to that protection effort. The public frequently alerts us to activities and problems not previously reported or fully understood.If you have any further questions, let me know.ScottScott KatheyFederal Regulatory CoordinatorMonterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationU.S. Department of Commerce99 Pacific Street, 455A
Monterey, California 93940
Photographer: Chris Cleary
Awareness – Education – Action ,
Brent Allen Outside
The necessity to allow complete awareness on this topic is in the best interest of the community at large surrounding the Monterey Bay .
We can not afford to allow the primary reason why people live here and visit from all over the world to be ruined . Protect what you love .