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Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force
December 19, 2003, Meeting Summary
New Bedford Public Library
Task Force Members in Attendance: Sue Tierney, Tom Skinner, Dave Pierce (for Paul Diodati), Jim Hunt, David O'Connor, Robbin Peach, Dale Brown, Tim Smith, John Simpson, Bill Adler, Priscilla Brooks, Jack Clarke, Rip Cunningham, Michael Egan, Vivien Li, Judy McDowell, Greg Watson, Larry Wheatley, Betsy Nicholson, NOAA (ex-officio), Tim Timmermann, EPA (ex-officio)
Staff and Public in Attendance: Vin Malkowski (DMF), Tony Wilbur (CZM), Deerin Babb-Brott (CZM), Susan Snow-Cotter (CZM), Fara Courtney (Good Harbor Consulting), Raphael Herz (Massachusetts Technology Collaborative), Sarah Joor (CZM), Truman Henson, Dave Janik, Rob Nealy, and Arthur Pugsley
10:00 am - 12:00 am- Review Public Meeting Comments
Sue T. provided a summary of the five public meetings that were held over the previous two weeks. Preliminary Recommendations were released on December 5th . The first public meeting was held in Boston on December 10th with 25 members of the public attending. The Worcester meeting that same night attracted 5 members of the public. The next night in Yarmouth, approximately 25 members of the public attended. The Cape Cod Times published an article on the Task Force both before and after the Cape meeting. On December 15th, the Task Force held meetings in Gloucester (20 attendees) and New Bedford (10 attendees). There was one article in the Gloucester paper after the TF public meeting and no press in New Bedford.
The TF public meetings were advertised via press release, two e-mail distribution lists (totally over 1,000 people), advertisement in the MEPA Monitor, the CZM web-site and by Task Force members. Despite, this outreach, attendance was somewhat disappointing. Sue led a discussion of how we could enhance outreach now in an effort to expand public awareness and input into the TF process. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that the TF will advance the following outreach strategy in the new year.
1. Sue T. will draft an OpEd piece on what the OMTF is doing and why (what is the problem we are trying to solve) for distribution to the major coastal papers. TF members with connections to different papers will work with them to encourage publishing of the Op Ed and will assist with any follow-up.
2. CZM staff will draft a short article on the Ocean Management Initiative for placement in various newsletters. TF members will use the article as the basis of articles that they include in their agency/organizations newsletters. TF members are also being encouraged to meet with their boards or their staff to update them on the OMTF.
3. We are extending public comment through the end of January and will publicize the recommendations and the TF process with paid advertisements in regional newspapers. This public comment extension will push back the date of our final report release to mid-March.
In addition to this expanded outreach, it was decided that all written public comment will be added to the CZM web-site. The public meeting summaries were distributed at the meeting and will not be posted on the web-site.
Also, TF members were encouraged to meet with their constituencies to discuss the preliminary recommendations and receive further comments. It was suggested that TF members intending to meet with their constituencies should invite other TF members to balance the meeting.
Sue led a discussion of key issues that TF members heard at the public meetings. These issues include: need to address global climate change, public trust discussion too narrow, need to clarify fee/Chapter 91 issue, need to clarify recommendation 9 (focus should be on habitat and non-commercial species, not commercial/recreational fishery management), need to be more concrete throughout with more detailed justifications, fees should not be a barrier to entry for users, need to ensure that existing laws are being enforced before we recommend new laws, need to prioritize between recommendations, need to align with other relevant plans, need to update CZM memoranda of understandings between agencies, need to clarify recommendation 3 (federal consistency), should consider expanding state's biomapping program to marine waters, don't use the term "streamlining", need to refine our thinking of federal/state management, need to clarify that nothing in the recommendations will affect projects already in the "pipeline", need to acknowledge good work of agencies, need to acknowledge input of land/atmospheric pollution, need strong introduction to set the proper context for report, should support renewable energy, need to respect local communities, need to consider public access and invasive species.
12:00 pm - 12:15 pm - Lunch Break
12:15 pm - 1:00 pm - Next Steps on Recommendations, Working Groups
It was agreed that the Working Groups have considerable work to do in fine tuning recommendations, crafting new recommendations, incorporating public comment into existing recommendations and drafting supporting narrative for the report. The months of January and February will be critical months to finalizing a strong report.
1. Outreach Working Group - Greg Watson and Vivien Li volunteered to join the Outreach Working Group. Robbin will schedule a meeting of this group in early January to discuss enhanced outreach strategy, potential report recommendations and to develop an outreach strategy for the report release.
2. Principles Working Group - David O'Connor will schedule a "final" meeting of the Principles Working Group to consider modifications to Draft Principles based on public comment. (Post meeting note: the meeting will be on January 22nd from 1:30-3:30 at David's office)
3. Policy Frameworks Working Group - Will meet on January 14th ( from 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm at EPA
4. Data Needs and Trends Working Group - Will meet on January 14th from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm at EPA
5. Next Task Force Meeting - January 27th at Division of Marine Fisheries office in Gloucester.
6. Please hold February 18th for Task Force meeting. (Post meeting change - meeting is changed to February 26th in Boston)