NOAA 2005-R430
Contact: Glenda Powell
NOAA News Releases 2005
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary announced the appointment of nine members and alternates to serve on the sanctuary’s advisory council. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“For more than 10 years, the sanctuary advisory council has provided a vital forum for sharing community ideas on how to best maintain the long-term health of the marine sanctuary,” said Sanctuary Superintendent William J. Douros. “This input and that of the public has significantly shaped the sanctuary’s draft management plan, which will be released for public review later this summer. We look forward to working with returning and new advisory council members to inform their constituencies about the education, research and management actions we are proposing and how they can participate.”

The following individuals were named to fill open primary and/or alternate seats for tourism, diving, education, at-large, research and commercial fishing:

  • Tourism
    Primary member: Michael Bekker, Pacific Grove, Calif. Bekker is vice-president of property management for the Cannery Row Company in Monterey and previously served as the tourism alternate on the advisory council.
    Alternate: Kristopher John Reyes, Santa Cruz, Calif. Reyes is director of community relations for the Santa Cruz Seaside Company.
  • Diving
    Primary member: Frances Joseph Degnan, Monterey, Calif. Degnan is a certified diving instructor and the diving safety officer at California State University at Monterey Bay appointed to a second term on the advisory council.
    Alternate: Randall Hugh Herz, San Jose, Calif. Herz is an area vice-president of the Central California Council of Dive Clubs and an experienced Monterey Bay area diver and underwater photographer.
  • Education
    Primary member: Tracey Weiss, Santa Cruz, Calif. Weiss is currently the program manager for Camp SEA Lab, a marine science education program for youth.
    Alternate: Steve Clark, Pacific Grove, Calif. Clark is a former Monterey High School and Monterey Peninsula College science teacher appointed to a second term as an alternate on the advisory council.
  • At-Large
    Primary member: Michael Laffen, Montara, Calif. Laffen is a small business owner and a long time resident of San Mateo County appointed to a second term on the advisory council.
  • Research
    Alternate member: Steven Moore, Marina, Calif. Moore is an associate professor in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy at the California State University at Monterey Bay.
  • Commercial Fishing
    Alternate member: David M. Crabbe, Carmel, Calif. Crabbe, an active squid, sardine, and anchovy fisherman, has fished the waters of the marine sanctuary since 1977. He is the vice-president of the California Wetfish Producers Association.

The newly appointed members will be sworn in at the advisory council’s 8:30 a.m. April 1 meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Seaside, Calif. Libby Downey, a Monterey City Council member who has been chosen by the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments to serve as their alternate on the Advisory Council, will also be sworn in. The meeting is open to the public.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council was established in March 1994 to assure continued public participation in the management of the sanctuary. Serving in a volunteer capacity, the advisory council’s 20 voting members represent a variety of local user groups, as well as the general public, plus seven local, state and federal government jurisdictions. Since its establishment, the advisory council has played a vital role in advising the sanctuary and NOAA on critical issues and is currently focused on the sanctuary’s development of a new five-year management plan. The advisory council meets bi-monthly in daytime public sessions at locations throughout the 276-mile stretch of coast bordering the sanctuary.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary encompasses more than 5,300 square miles of ocean area along the central California coast. Renowned for its scenic beauty and remarkable productivity, the sanctuary supports one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, including 33 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fishes and thousands of marine invertebrates and plants.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service, which oversees, the National Marine Sanctuary Program balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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