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Monday, November 17, 2008


New Regulations Close Loopholes and Establishes Seasonal Fifth Zone For Personal Watercraft Use

After nearly a decade of work, the Surfrider Foundation is celebrating a twofold success that balances resource protection with recreational access in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

Through a joint management plan review process in which many stakeholders participated, the Surfrider Foundation and its chapters worked with the Sanctuary officials and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to close a loophole in the laws governing usage of motorized personal watercraft (MPWC) in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The original restrictions were established in 1992 and designed to provide enhanced resource protection for marine mammal and seabird concentrations, kelp forests, river mouths, estuaries, lagoons and all near shore areas that numerous studies have shows to be highly vulnerable to disturbance and injury from personal watercraft. However changes in watercraft technology and design resulted in a definition loophole that allowed newer three- and four-seat personal watercraft models to operate outside of the four established zones within the Sanctuary. By changing the definition and closing the loophole, MPWC will be relegated back to the four established zones, restoring the original intent of the law.

Additionally, NOAA has established a seasonal fifth MPWC zone at Mavericks. NOAA chose Mavericks as the seasonal fifth zone due to the break’s close proximity to an existing offshore MPWC zone. NOAA expects to minimize MPWC impacts to the local environment by restricting their use in this new zone, which borders the existing Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The seasonal fifth zone would be open for tow-in surfing and MPWC usages from December through February during National Weather Service-issued high surf warnings.

The inclusion of an additional seasonal fifth MPWC zone at Mavericks for tow-in surfing balances recreational access with maximum protection for Sanctuary resources. The Surfrider Foundation and its local San Mateo County Chapter recognize the value of these objectives and view the seasonal zone as a solution that holds protection of a National Marine Sanctuary in highest regard while allowing recreational use of MPWC.

“From the start, our goal has been maximal protection for the National Marine Sanctuary,” says Edmundo Larenas, Chair of the Surfrider Foundation San Mateo County Chapter. “We are pleased that NOAA’s inclusive approach with all the stakeholders in working to define the governing regulations produced a result that will restore protection to the National Marine Sanctuary.”

While the new regulations seek to protect Sanctuary resources and recreational access, the Sanctuary and stakeholders will have to work together to address issues such as safety, enforcement and environmental protection.

“The addition of a fifth zone will not be without its challenges,” Larenas cautioned. “With the seasonal fifth zone in place, it is important for all stakeholders to continue working together to safeguard the environment around the established fifth zone.”

The new regulations are expected to go in effect February 2009.

Blogger Shawn Alladio said...

This is not a victory, it is a sham(e). When is Surfrider going to address the nuclear dump zones in our Sanctuary waters? A convenient truth completely ignored because of what? This is something that should be demanded from your organization and its board of directors in good faith of water quality and safety. The founding fathers of Surfrider would never stand for this kind of organizational behavior.

Nice to see Surfrider has yet again been duped into NOAA 'personalized' attack against a specific recreational activity that has absolutely nothing to do with management of sanctuary resources! It's too bad Surfrider didn't look at both sides of the issue without prejudice and bias.

Too bad Surfrider didn't study current boating laws and regulations and support our taxpayers in good stewardship and honor in endorsing the boating officers of California who do care about public safety and recreation, regardless of the activity chosen. They are the real deal here, on the frontline with perspective and dedication in service to others, something Surfrider membership could learn from.

It would be nice if Surfrider and NOAA would finally provide their scientific data that has never been presented to the 'stakeholders'. It would also be nice to see the financial report on how much this process from inception to date and into the future management of this review and enforcement will cost taxpayers? How many millions of dollars have been spent from the beginning and in perpetuity to regulate a recreational boating activity, rather than focus on real world environmental concerns, instead of operator behavior of a vessel. And how many PWC's would this include verus surfers?

Perhaps it is time to lobby an ATLAS study against paddle in surfing in sanctuary waters and elsewhere, you never know how much impact is damaging resources from surfboard wax, parking lots, foot trails, urination and surfboard construction materials. Perhaps we could solicit a scientific study from NOAA to research any probability. Claiming one precedent as a victory can affect many other users groups, we are not protected from the water grab that is taking the entire western coastline of the United States. I fear for the future of my children and their access rights to recreational pursuits, if this is a victory, I am ashamed of the weakness in America.

Surfrider members should take it upon themselves to search both sides of the management issues, this is not a victory and it does not shed positive light on membership.

What a disgrace to justice and the right to due process, it is a direct violation of our Constitutional 3rd Amendment. This is not a victory, it is a shameless water grab using environmental concerns as an excuse.

Shawn Alladio
K38 Water Safety

5:23 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

It appears that the nuclear waste issue was addressed in the JMPR Final Environmental Impact Statement, Section 7, "Response to Comments" (and then later in the Farallones Plan itself):

"Radioactive Waste Comment: There is nuclear waste sitting on the ocean floor of GFNMS. Please do something about the nuclear waste."

"Response: The GFNMS Management Plan includes Strategy RP-11 (Radioactive Waste Dump) to evaluate the condition of, and actual impacts on, sanctuary resources and qualities from the Farallon Islands radioactive waste dump site."

"Comment: The GFNMS Resource Protection Action Plan strategy for radioactive waste should begin year one instead of year four. Also this strategy should include a proposal for the designation and demarcation of the approximate area of the dump site on the nautical charts."

"Response: GFNMS Management Plan Strategy RP-11 (Radioactive Waste Dump) has been amended to seek to include an update to the NOAA nautical charts of the known area with radioactive waste containers. The timeline has been modified to implement strategy RP-11 starting in Year 1."

The Plan states: "The area referred to as the "Farallon Islands Radioactive Waste Dump" (FIRWD) is where
approximately 47,800 barrels of low-level radioactive waste were dumped between 1946 and
1970. Although the containers were to be dumped at three designated sites, they are actually
strewn over an area of 540 square miles in depths ranging from 300 to more than 6,000 feet
within GFNMS."
- - - - -
Also, "due process" rights are defined by the 5th and 14th Amendments (not the 3rd, which bans soldiers in private homes).

The Supreme Court has regularly observed that the Due Process Clause specially protects those fundamental rights and liberties which are, objectively, deeply rooted in this nation's history and tradition.

Accordingly, one could objectively venture that the alleged "right" to ride 3 and 4 seat watercraft is not a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause.

Stay Safe.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm... K38 Safety? Would it be safe to assume that operating PWC in the Sanctuary is a business interest Ms. Alladio?

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Shawn, this is such a joke, tow surfing does not have adverse effects on the enviorment.It just lets people enjoy more of the ocean which is unaccessable from land. Bad move Surfrider, you shouldnt drive a car either I guess...rriiiight.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shawn... you and your pro PWC advocates make money by exploiting tow-in surfing. It brings crowds to the coastside. It brings kooks to the coastside. The rest of us pay the price while you profit.

On top of that, Ion Banner and all his buddies use their PWCs from Kelly St. to Montara when the surf is barely 2X overhead. There they are buzzing around in the swim zone. Having fun at everyone else's expense.

Sea otters have returned to pillar point. The kelp is growing back. More kelp equals more glassy days. But why do you care? Your too busy motoring through the line up, creating a wake and running over whatever is in the way.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Robert C said...

Complete CRAP I tell you! It would be safe to say that surfers pollute the waters as much as a PWC does. No longer do you see very many 2 stroke ski's in the ocean, rather modern 4 stroke machines that have to be awarded "Stars" for the environmentally friendly persons. I take it these stars are not good enough. I wish to God that this is not a personal vendetta that one man set out to get another, as it has serious implications to many other parties. If a PWC is not allowed in a certain area I will assume that Boats are not allowed either. WRONG. Everyone these days are talking about tolerance, well, I don’t see the PWC community being tolerated, rather scorned and sent away. I truly applaud Shawn for calling a spade a spade when needed, and I see her point is spot on with this one. If your going to ban PWC's, then ban boats and surfers as well. Matter of fact, I would CHALLENGE anyone that tows surfers into this area to NOT do it! Let the surfers realize for themselves the difficulty of getting out there minus the thing that you wanted banned. Maybe then, and only then will the realize that maybe they are not half as bad as they think.

P.S: Every PWC rider KNOWS damm well NOT to go running over kelp. For your information, it clogs up our pumps! So your statement above about us not caring is completely incorrect. We respect and admire the beauty of the ocean as much as anyone else, we can admire from our ski's, whether that is riding the legal distance from the shore line, or riding 20 miles into the open ocean. We get a glimpse of something the normal person does not get, the freedom of the open ocean, and all its beauty, leaving it untouched just as we entered it. Its not PWC's that disturb, or pollute the ocean, WE should be the least of your worries!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Shawn Alladio said...

My reference to due process was not the right to ride a PWC, but the process initiated for 'stakeholders' to have a voice in the process that was equitable and sustainable for future recreational access. The review process result was decided before the process had even begun, and the stakeholders who attended the meetings, well there was no consensus that was agreed upon in the meetings. There was no tolerance of a PWC being able to access sanctuary waters outside of sensitive MPA zones. And PWC's should not have full access to sensitive zones, nor should any other activity. There was no loophole as stated, so that was given to the public as a 'reason'.

There was not a 'single' scientific study conducted in these waters of question that applied to the issue itself. Outdated comments were applied from other waterways that were out of state or not the same environment. The nuclear waste issue, how come there is not a highly visible program project that we view the science and data on it? How can a 10 top threat PWC sit alongside a nuclear waste zone that surely has these 'scientific' studies and evals applied, but nothing for a PWC..that is not equitable in my opinion, and yes I am not a highly educated person, just asking questions that seem plausible to me. Recreational boating is a privilige, not a liberty,

Tolerance is a strength of character and requires if not demands leadership qualities in any individual to best be able to have 'understanding'.

In terms of anonymity. I put my name to my posts, my reputation and my business. An anonymous post is entertaining but carries no valor or credibility. Like many opponents of truth, these posts are making statements that are once again creating and lending to the myths people who are weak will adopt without asking the 'source'. Creating an 'enemy' is safe because one can project prejudice and feel safe that one is the saviour while the other is the devil. Not true. We are all in the same boat so to say.

FACT: I teach lifesaving boating education courses. FACT these posters have not attended a class. FACT: We teach ecology and respect to marine life and have for years. FACT: Our education helps the same concerns that Surfrider and NOAA have. FACT: K38 and its affiliates are PARTNERS not adversaries with Surfrider and NOAA, however statements that are not truthful, yes I and my affiliates will point the FACTS straight. FACT: K38 has given 160 FREE scholarships to towsurfers and others on behalf of lifesaving and boating safety education in California specific to the towsurfing problem. FACT: K38 is a leader if not the source of trying to educate operators on the behavior, which is exactly what this whole ban is really about, not environmental or user conflict issues, of which we are also concerned about. FACT: If a business such as K38 is impacted whereas it is blocked from trainign/teaching/educating users no matter if they are recreational or occupational, from conducting business, the general safety of our waterways is diminished and yes, liability increases. Who assumes the liability? Anonymous perhaps?

As far as making money, that is pretty funny, do you work so you can give your money away on behalf of others and live a life of sacfrice so others benefit form your dedication? LOL That is the 'have not's take from the haves' mentality that creates a very selfish vein of entitlement. K38 probably has done more for the surfing and boating community singlehandley by a middle aged mother and her children than all these anonymous posters, and if any of these 'anonymous' posters would like a free scholarship to see for yourself how evil our edcuational outreach programs are and the damage they incur to the safety of our public, write me at my private email addy: K38rescue@aol.com

I hope the only time I create a wake for you is when I'm coming on to rescue you and save your life or one of our trained students, so you can come home to your loved ones and enjoy your daily walks and encounters with sea otters in the lineup and enjoy surfing for what it truly is, a free gift of the ocean.

And it is a shame that people are abusing boating safety, agreed. And it is a shame when you run a red light and get away with it, and it is a shame when there are so many surfers in the lineup that the crowds are creating negative vibes and the parking spaces are limited, its all a shame isnt' it? But let's not go there, it's too close to home.

It is also a shame that people such as yourself and Surfrider chapters do not volunteer to make a difference and educate those who truly need the help, such as PWC users. It does not good to throw stones without changing the impact of how that stone hits and whom. My invitation: Come to our classes or our association meetings, or to boating clubs and help get the message of accountability and educational needs to the source of contention. Forcing bans on recreational activities funnels problems, it doesn't cure them at all. Not being able to see the reason of fellowship and kindness is what is tearing America apart and allowing organizations to be used as pawns to create the same ridiculous mudslinging our elected officials adopt and we suffer for it. To change the perception, the behaviors and the human issues that are really the crux of this argument. That is what I am trying to do, both by educating the boating public, and other waterway users, at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters, not enemies.

Thank you for all your postings, I respect and value your opinions and time and I wish you all the best in your lives and livelihoods. Thank you for allowing me to participate. Much appreciated.

Shawn Alladio
K38 Water Safety

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why bother wasting our breath, people who don't understand towing into waves are most likley jelous because they cant get waves like us. Otters and seals and dolfins, always hang out and are interested in anything in the water. They act the same if I was paddle surfing. But like I said, too many ignorant people who have never been out there and experienced the real deal are always the experts, thats why most of the people who voted agains tow surfing have never seen it being done or the impact. Way to go huggers.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Price said...

I am a recipient of one of the 160 K38 tow-in Surfing scholarships, and am damned proud and honored to say I was trained by the best. But what will happen to the surfers when they get into trouble and need to be rescued...and no more access has been allowed to conduct said training thanks to the ignorance and exclusionary tactics of the Huggers?

I gaurantee once someone loses their life they'll change their tune. How sad is that?

1:48 PM  

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