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Final Environmental Impact Statement Proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary October 1980 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Coastal Zone Management FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT PREPARED ON THE PROPOSED LOOE KEY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NOAA COASTAL SERVICES CENTER 2234 SOUTH HOBSON AVENUE CHARLESTON, SC 29405-2413 November 1980 U. S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Coastal Zone Management Property of CSC Library TABLE OF CONTENTS COVER NOTE TO READER INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY 1 CHAPTER ONE: PURPOSE AND NEED FOR ACTION 21 CHAPTER TWO: ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING THE PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE 23 I. Introduction 23 II. No Action Alternative: Rely on the Legal Status Quo III. Preferred Alternative 25 A. Goals and Objectives 25 B. Management 26 C. Preferred Boundary Alternative 29 D. Preferred Regulatory Alternatives 30 IV. Regulatory Alternatives Eliminated From Detailed Study 36 V. Summary of Analysis of Alternatives 38 CHAPTER THREE: AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 45 I. Marine Environment 45 11. Socio-Economic Setting 59 III. Historic and Cultural Resources 67 IV. State and Other Federal"Resource Management Provisions in Adjacent and Nearby Areas 69 V. Legal Status Quo 73 CHAPTER FOUR: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 93 I. Introduction 93 I I.' Boundary Alternatives 94- III. Environmental Consequences of the Proposed Regulations 99 A. Coral Collecting 99 B. Commercial Fishing 103 C. Spearfishing 119 D. Historical and Cultural Resources 121 E. Discharges 123 F. Anchoring 125 LIST OF PREPARERS 129 DISTRIBUTION LIST 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY 135 APPENDIX A: DRAFT DESIGNATION DOCUMENT AND DRAFT REGULATIONS APPENDIX B: SITE ANALYSIS RESEARCH METHODS APPENDIX C: LOOE KEY ONSITE SURVEY APPENDIX D: FLORDIA STATE LAWS AND EXISTING STATE AND FEDERAL MARINE RESERVES AND PARKS APPENDIX E: COMMENTS ON THE DEIS AND NOAA RESPONSES L.I.ST OF FIGURES FI'GURE' 1: LOCATION' OF LO.OE KEY 2 FIGURE 2: LOOE KEY BIOLOGICAL ZONES 6 FIGURE'3: BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVES 16 FIGURE 4:@ BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVES 27 FIGURE 5: LOOE KEY BIOLOGICAL ZONES 49 FIGURE 6: HABITAT AREA OF PARTICULAR CONCERN 82 FIGURE 7: BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVES 95 FIGURE 8: LOOE KEY CORE TRAPEZOID AREA 110 LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1: CORAL COLLECTING/ WIRE FISH TRAPPING ANALYSES 39 TABLE 2: TROPICAL SPECIMEN COLLECTING/ SPEARFISHING ANALYSES 40 JABLE 3: LOBSTER TRAPPING ANALYSIS 41 TABLE 4: HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES/ DISCHARGING ANALYSES 42 TABLE 5: ANCHORING ANALYSIS 43 TABLE 6: SUMMARY INCOME AND BUSINESS VOLUME 65 DESIGNATION: Final Environmental Impact Statement TITLE: Proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary ABSTRACT: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed the designation of the waters at Looe Key, a sub- merged section of the Florida Reef Tract, located 12.4 km (6-7 nautical miles) southwest of Big Pine Key in the 'Florida Keys, as a marine sanctuary. The proposed sanctuary consists of 5 square nautical miles of high sea waters under Federal jurisdiction. The designation of a marine sanctuary would establish a program,of comprehensive management, including research, assessment, monitoring, public education, long-term planning, coordination and regulation for this section of the Florida. reef tract. The preferred alternative provides sanctuary management goals and objectives which will serve as a framework around which sanctuary activities will be structured. Specific regulations are proposed which would apply only within the sanctuary boundaries. The proposed regulations allow the following activities only under NOAA permit for scientific and educational purposes: possession and collecting of coral, disturbance of historical and cultural resources and marine specimen collecting. The proposal prohibits: spearfishing and possession of spearfishing gear; the use of lobster traps within a core area on the Fore Reef; use of wire fish traps; anchoring on coral within the core area '. the discharge of substances except cooling waters from vessels, fish or fish parts and chumming materials and discharges from marine sanitation devices. Alternatives to the proposed action include the no action or status quo alternative, modification of the sanctuary boundaries, and more and less stringent regulations. LEAD AGENCY: U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Coastal Zone Management CONTACT: Dr.-Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs Office OCZM 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D. C. 20235 (202)634-4236 INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY 1. BACKGROUND The Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1431-1434) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, after consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, and the affected State, and with Presidential approval, to designate ocean areas having distinctive conservation, recre- ational., ecological, or aesthetic values as marine sanctuaries. In 1977, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce sent out a nationwide letter asking for recommendations of sites 'appropriate for consideration as marine sanctuaries. The response to this request included a recommendation by the Florida. Keys Citizens Coalition (an association of approximately 21 public interest groups) for the designation of Looe Key as a-marine sanctuary "to establish a recreational and aesthetic area managed to protect the coral and coral reef ecosystem" (Nomination letter of November 23, 1977) (see Figure I for location of Looe Key). As part of the process for -scoping out issues early in the designation process, NOAA held a public workshop on the proposal at Big Pine Key in January 1978. At the workshop the Lower Keys Chapter of the Organized Fishermen of Florida (OFF) and many individual fishermen, testified that they were opposed to any designation of Looe Key as a marine sanctuary. OFF members were opposed to: (1) any regulation of fishing activities; (2) any additional presence of the Federal government in the area; and (3) the size of the proposed sanctuary which was rumored to be 20 sq nm.* In addition to these concerns OFF members expressed belief that enough of the Florida Keys and adjacent water areas were in some form of protective status. Other residents opposed a sanctuary on the belie 'f that a sanctuary would only attract more tourists to the area which, in turn, would further deplete and damage renewable resources. On the other hand, a number of individuals and local groups spoke in favor of some type of.a sanctuary at Looe Key. The Florida Audubon Society; Big Pine Key Citizens Association; the Isaak Walton League, Florida Chapter; the Florida Keys Citizens' Coalition; and the Upper Keys Citizens' Association testified on behalf of the proposal. The Newfound Harbor Marine Institute Rumors circulated in the Big Pine Key area that NOAA was proposing a .sanctuary consisting of approximately 20 sq nm. However, at that time NOAA was merely investigating the feasibility of designating the sanctuary and did not have any proposal that discussed size. FIGURE I LOCATION OF LOOE KEY 29 FLORIDA 27 =3* Broward County- Collier County MIAMI. Monroe County Dade County Fo@e@ Ho,mestead Rock@ Biscavne Gulf of 27 Mexico Monument raciiic Reef 14 KEY LARGO CORAL a -REEF NIARINE SANCTUARY SCALE OF MILES 5 10 30 John Pennekamp Coral Reef 0 State Park Alligator Reet Sombrero Key LOOE KEY Sand Key Key West 2 spoke in support of a core area where only non-consumptive uses would be permitted. The majority of those testifying spoke of the importance of the reef, although there.was disagreement as to the best way of protecting its unique and significant value for future generati'ons. Most emphasized that effective coral protection depended upon the onsite presence of enforcement personnel. Following the workshop, the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils requested that NOAA delay further steps until the Councils' coral reef study was completed. NOAA agreed to the delay. Upon later recommendations of the Councils, NOAA resumed the evaluation of Looe Key as a Marine Sanctuary candidate. To determine the desirability and feasibility of proceeding with the designation, NOAA began preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on October 1, 1979. In October 1979, NOAA printed a Not,ice of Intent to Prepare an Environ- mental Impact Statement in the Federal Reqister and held a scoping meeting on the proposal. NOAA gathere analyzed information and consulted with other Federal agencies, State agencies, the Gulf of Mexico (GMFMC) and South Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils (SAFMC), and local interest groups. In May 1980, NOAA issued proposed regulations and the DEIS for public review. NOAA held public hearings on the DEIS in Miami, June 17, and in Key West and Big Pine Key, June 18. The comment period on the DEIS ended July'15 and the comment period on the regulations, July 21. Reaction to the proposed sanctuary has been mixed. In general many local residents, mostly fishermen, opposed the designation; while regional , state, and national civic .and environmental organizations, including the State-of Florida, support the designation. At the public hearings, the majority of those testifying spoke against the proposal. At all three hearings a number of individuals and environmen- tal and civic organizations, such as the Marine Wilderness Society, Tropical Audubon, the Sierra Club, and National Audubon supported the designation. Members of OFF and a number of individual fishermen and private citizens spoke in opposition. At the Big Pine Key hearing members of OFF presented NOAA with a petition of over 500 names opposing the proposal. Othe@ organi- zations such as Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, and the Big Pine Key Civic Association supported a smaller (I sq nm) sanctuary (for a detailed summary of the public hearings see Appendix E). IS. T Over 100 written comments were received in response to the DE In con- trast to the reaction at the public hearings, the written comments were overwhelmingly in support of the NOAA proposal. Approximately 82 comments were received representing membership in national, regional and local conservation organizations, civic groups, recreational diving associations, boating groups, and including Federal agencies and individuals. These commentors either supported the proposal, or suggested an enlarged boundary and/or more restrictive regulations. Approximately 10 written comments were received that advocated a smaller area or opposed the proposal (see Appendix E for a compilation of letters and NOAA responses). 3 The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) summarizes and responds to all of the comments received through July 21, 1980. It proposes the desig- nation of a marine sanctuary in high seas waters at Looe Key and describes the proposed regulations for this sanctuary. The boundary and regulations are summarized in this chapter and discussed more fully in Chapters Two and Four and are presented in full in Appendix A. The major changes to the proposal from the preferred alternative in the DEIS are as follows: 1. The Designation Document (Appendix A) has been changed to acknowledge the importance of Looe Key to commercial fishing in Article 3. Characteristics of the Area That Give It Particular Value. 2. The description of the sanctuary boundary has been inserted in Article Z. of the Designation Document (Appendix A). 3. The regulation on anchoring has been changed to prohibit anchoring on coral within the Fore Reef area as defined by the Loran "c" points 1, 2, 3, 4 of Appendix A (see Chapter Four, 7. Alternatives Regulating Anchoring). Sand anchoring is encouraged, but not required, elsewhere within the sanctuary. 4. The regulation on tropical specimen collecting has been changed to prohibit collecting within the sanctuary except with a permit for scientific and educational purposes (see Chapter Four, 3. Regulations Affecting Tropical Specimen Collecting and Generic Response #4, Appendix E). If NOAA decides to proceed with the designation, the Secretary of Commerce must receive Presidential approval and final regulations for the sanctuary will be issued. II. NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM (NMSP) PURPOSES The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) focuses on comprehensive management of marine ecosystems for the long-term protection of natural resources and the enjoyment and benefit of society. The following program purposes present a framework for the national sanctuary system: ' To provide long-term protection to special marine areas with unique conservation, recreational, ecological or aesthetic values; ' To provide a focus for comprehensive management of these areas; ' To enhance public awareness of special marine areas and emphasize wise use of these natural resources; * To encourage research and exchange of information about marine ecosystems. 4 III. THE RESOURCE General Biology of Coral Reefs The reefs off eastern Florida begin at Fawrey Rock near Miami and extend all the way to the Dry Tortugas. There is little coral growth along the Florida west coast due to the limiting nature of the colder water and sediment content of the Gulf of Mexico. Looe Key Reef is a submerged section of this east coast Florida reef tract located 6.7 nautical miles southwest of Big Pine Key in the Lower.Florida Keys. The proposed sanctuary area includes a Fore Reef, Reef Flat, Patch Reef, Deep Reef and Deep Ridge. Coral reefs such as Looe Key are among the most biologically produc- tive of all natural communities. Looe Key supports a wide variety of, life: fish, sponges, molluscs, crabs, octopi, starfish, shrimp, feather duster worms and octocorals. The octocorals--fanlike, fernlike--are among the most decorative creatures on the reefs. The rich colors of the reefal organisms also provide,an attraction to swimmers. Looe Key, because of its wide range in depth, is accessible to both the beginning swimmer and the experienced diver * In addition to contributing to aesthetic experiences, colors are used by organisms for identification, camouflage, and signals, and to establish territoriality and attract mates. The solid substrate formed by the corals at Looe Key provides for this tremendous.diversity of life, all directly or indirectly dependent upon the corals and coral rock for shelter, food or for a place to attach and grow. On the seaward slope, the reef flat 'and on the sandy bottom around the reef, one finds animal communities or assemblages different from those on the reef itself. In the soft bottom areas, grasses and algae cover the sediment and they in turn support still different communities. Many fish and invertebrates leave the safety of the Fore Reef at night to search the nearby Reef Flat and Patch Reefs for prey. These areas are also used as nursery grounds for juvenile fish. On the other hand, sessile reef species often feed on planktonic stages of animals found away from the Fore Reef in other habitats. The Reef Flat zone consists of rock and rubble areas which serve as excellent habitat for small invertebrates. The Fore Reef and surrounding communities form a complex and intricate ecosystem which owes its evolution primarily to the corals' unusual ability to extract dissolved salts from the ocean and convert them into the limestone reef formations. General Ecological Relationships Reefs depend upon two basic factors: solar energy and chemical nutrients. Sunlight and nutrients in combination are utilized by plants in the process called primary productivity. The majority of the plants at Looe Key engaged in primary productivity are algae, microscopic in size and sheltered within the tissues of soft and hard corals, sea anemones and sponges. This is a form of symbiosis (mutual aid) in which algae produce the, food and in return receive shelter and sustenance from the corals. 5 FIGURE 2 PATCH REEF ZONE REEF FLAT ZONE HAWK CHANNEL FORE REEF ZONE DEEP REEF ZONE DEEP RIDGE ZONE (NOT SHOWN) F-1 FV7 LL@j SAND SEA GRASS CORAL LOOE KEY BIOLOGICAL ZONES 940 FEET NY. MAGNETIC Nv CORAL SPURS mvi STRAITS OF FLORIDA DEEP RIDGE 6 Cnidarians, sponges, echinoderms and molluscs all contribute to reef building in that they can remove dissolved material from the water and deposit it as hard mineral compounds. Calcium carbonate (CaCO@), the building material of reefs, comprises much of this material. Stony cora s and molluscs contri- bute with their hard skeletal remains; gorgonians and certain sponges, by secretions of microscopic rods of CaC03 released with the death of the animals; echinoderms, through skeletal remains composed of carbonate plates. The Looe Key Reef System All major taxa of coral reef-dwelling organisms are represented at Looe Key. A report, based on a resource inventory conducted by Antonious et al, in 1978, indicates the existence of several hundred species of marinE7 - organisms, co-existing in the intricate functional web of the reef ecosystem. The inventory divides the Looe Key Reef area, from an ecological/topo- graphical point of view, into five zones: (1) a Patch Reef area between Hawk Channel and the Looe Key reef flat, (2) the Reef Flat, triangular in shape, with the Looe Key marker in the southeast corner, (3) the Fore Reef, facing Florida Straits to the south, consisting of a spur and groove system, and the reef crest (4) a Deep Reef area with a drop-off, southwest of the Fore Reef and (5) a Deep Ridge, separated from the Deep Reef by an estimated 1 km of sand bottom (Figure 2). The proposed sanctuary boundary was selected to insure inclusion of portions of all five zones. Patch Reef A flat and relatively shallow area of about 8 m in depth stretches from Hawk Channel south to the Looe Key Flat. The area is dominated by a mixed association of seagrasses, such as turtle grass and manatee grass, and green algae and octocorals. Continued survival of the seagrass beds is critical for maintenance of the habitat utilized by numerous fishes and the spiny lobster. Utilization of the patch reefs for shelter from predators allows both juveniles and adults to exploit an enormous and nearby source of energy, the biomass of seagrass association. Due north of the Looe Key Reef Flat are numerous patch reefs scattered throughout the seagrass community. Most of these reefs have little profile and generally project up less than 2 m from the shallow bottom. Among the faunal components in all the Patch Reefs, octocorals are by far the most dominant. They not only grow densely enough to give certain Patch Reefs the appearance of a heavily vegetated landscape, but also attain unusual sizes. Octocoral species diversity is greater in the Patch Reefs than on the more spectacular Fore Reef. Among giant sea feathers and sea whips, the largest specimens are close to 2 m in height. 7 Reef Flat The Looe Key Reef Flat is roughly the shape of an isosceles triangle, its base facing south towards the Straits of Florida and the apex pointing landward to the north. On this landward side there is a very gradual transition from the seagrass coral association of the Patch Reef area into the Reef Flat, marked mainly by the beginning of extensive sand flats and an elevation of the bottom to about 2 m in depth. The bottom consists primarily of calcareous sand, rubble, coarse sediments and extensive sea- grass beds, a mixture of turtle grass, manatee grass and algae. The rock and rubble grass beds of the Reef Flat provide excellent habitat for small invertebrates. Abundant populations of other organisms, such as brittle stars, small crustaceans, small gastropods, pelecypod mollusks, and echinoderms abound in this area. The Reef Flat together with the Patch Reef serve as nursery areas for juvenile fish and the sea- grass beds of both zones are feeding grounds for deep-water fish migrating to these areas at night. Fore Reef The Fore Reef zone of Looe Key is a well-developed and especially spectacular formation. This zone is the principle diving attraction for both local residents and tourists. Its main portion is a high profile spur and groove system, bordering the Reef Flat in very shallow water and sloping down to a sand bottom in 9-11 m of depth with some of the spurs showing a profile of up to 7 m high, caused mainly by the vigorous construction activity of "mountainous" star coral (Montastraea annularis). Massive growths of fire coral (Eillepora complanata-T are mainly Toun@ in the shallowest part of the spurs, with substantial concentrations of elkhorn coral immediately seaward of the fire coral complex. Almost all of the species of fish encountered in the reef system can be found here, with the exception of some species which prefer deeper water and can only be observed,beyond a depth of 10 m. The whole system, from easternmost to westernmost spur, is about 1500 m long and, at the main center portion, about 350 m wide, (Antonius et. al., 1978). Deep Reef The western half of the Fore Reef is intersected by a deeper reef, which begins here as a finger-like extension of scattered coral outcrops just beyond the terminus of the spur and groove system. From here, a reef flat of 10-12 m depth stretches several hundred meters to the west without showing much profile, representing a comparatively shallow subzone of the Deep Reef. Sponges are fairly common and grow to larger sizes in the Deep Reef than in the Patch Reefs. Octocorals are dominant, but stony corals are more numerous than in the Patch Reefs. Towards the south, the Deep Reef gradually changes into a slope of increasing steepness with considerable profile caused by surgE channels. While species composition of stony corals in the deeper pa rt of this zone remains about the same, the number and size of individual colonies increases, making them the dominant component here. Also with' increasing depth, changes in the octocoral fauna take place. Among Pseudopterogorgia species, P. binnata ,far .outnumbers all others, and two deepwater species occur only here: the rare monofflament F17isella barbadensis, and\the abundant fan-shaped Iciligoria schra,mmi. Although species composition resembles that of shallower parts of the reef, a number of hard or stony corals with branching and flower-like growth forms occur on the Deep Reef, which are either not present or very rare in more accessible areas of Looe Key. Species of the genera Madracis and Oculina grow in clusters of small finger-like branches while colonies of Mussa ingulos and Eusmilia fastigiata resemble bouquets of densely packed flovFe-rs. Disc-like growt rms of striking shape are found among many species of Agariciidae and Mussidae, which only at this depth-occur in appreciable numbers. Deep Ridge This Deep Ridge runs parallel to the margin of the continental shelf in about 45 m depth. It shows very little profile and is only a few meters wide, but, nevertheless, is an outcrop of living coral reef. The reef is formed mainly by plate-like colonies of Montastraea cavernosa and several secies of Agaricidae. Also present are deep water octocorals, such as Iciligoria schrammi and Ellisella barbadensis, with the latter much more abundant here than on the Deep Reef. 0 J Cultural Values Looe Key also offers unique cultural resources including the remains of the H.M.S. Looe. The latter is used for research and as an educational tool by the nearby Rewfound Harbor Institute. In addition to providing marine archeological information, shipwrecks become coral encrusted and offer unique dive experiences. The potential exists for other shipwrecks in the Looe Key area as such resources are common in.the Florida Keys. Commercial Values Fishery resources are an extremely valuable component of the proposal area. Commercial fishermen with home ports adjacent to Looe Key derive about 28 percent of their annual catch from the 5 sq nm area which includes the Fore Reef. This catch primarily includes spiny lobster, snapper and grouper. In addition, Looe Key is widely used by public charter boats, dive boats, recreational divers and fishermen. IV. THE STATUS QQO One alternative to marine sanctuary designation of Looe Key is the no action alternative (see Chapter 2). Under this alternative, existing authorities as described in the Legal Status Quo would 'continue to control activities and 9 protect the environment in and around Looe Key. No comprehensive management programs for research monitoring or education would be instituted. In addition, long range planning focused on ensuring continued ecosystem viability would be lacking- 0 Concerns The close proximity to land of the Florida Reef Tract, including Looe Key Reef, makes these areas accessible to large numbers of people who are able to drive or fly to the Keys. The Overseas Highway and its 44 bridges link the Keys to the mainland, and jet air service connects Key West and Marathon to all major American urban areas. In addition, public charter boat operators, dive boats, recreation divers and fishermen, utilize the reef throughout the year. Monroe Co unty statistics indicate that the Keys are expanding rapidly in. both permanent resident and tourist populations. In the area nearest Looe Key, from Seven Mile Bridge up to and including half of Ramrod Key, the population is expected to grow from 1,833 in 1974 to 5,845 in 1998 (See Black, Crow & Eidsness, pp 3-4). Tourism is increasing. In 1979 the number of visitors to Bahia Honda State Park, in the vicinity of Looe Key, rose from 293,256 to 351,700. Observations from the Looe Key Resource Inventory (Antonius et. al., 1978) and interviews with frequent visitors to Looe Key indicate that souvenir coral collecting is an ongoing practice today, and as such constitutes a serious strain on the reef's coral resources. The lack of certain species in accessible reef areas of suitable habitat provide circumstantial evidence of the removal of the more attractive growth forms. Anchoring by hook and line fishermen, commercial and amateur tropical specimen collectors, recreational fishermen, and divers can also cumulatively damage reef structure. Physical damage to coral species from commercial fishing can occur when wire fish traps and lobster traps are dropped on coral, dragged across the bottom during retrieval or tossed about during rough weather. There is widespread evidence of anchor damage to s,tony corals and octocorals within the area of the proposed sanctuary. Broken pieces of elkhorn and staqhorn coral are easily visible in the Fore Reef and Reef Flat zones where the water is shal low and the more spectacular coral is found. Some of this type of damage may be related to wave damage or other natural factors. The extent to which it is anchor-related is unknown at the present time. Numerous observations have been made of boat anchors lying on li.ving corals and of anchor chains and ropes chafing corals. The use of wire fish traps is a highly controversial issue. The traps are extremely efficient gear. Fishing near the coral reefs with these traps can cause adverse ecological impacts by killing or injuring non-target species and removing too many of the predator species important to the coral reef system. Traps lost by the separation of the buoy line (ghost traps) drift uncontrolled and can continue to trap fish for unknown periods of time. Unregulated use of wire traps can also impair recreatjonal@ value. Both amateur and limited commercial tropical fish and invertebrate collecting occur throughout the Looe Key area. Tropical specimen collectors take a large variety of fish, but concentrate primarily on a small number of the more popular species. The most commonly collected fishes, according to a recent study, are angelfishes, damselfishes, and butterflyfishes. Individually, the most sought after fishes are the queen angelfish, rock beauty and neon goby. Dredging, dredged material disposal and ocean outfalls do not appear to pose a realistic threat to the area at this time. However, due to the increasing num- ber of visitors, disposal and discharge of certain other substances such as trash and litter are sources of concern. Current disposal and discharge activities are generally incidental to recreation and research; i.e., disposal of fish parts from cleaning and dressing fish caught in the area, release of marinetype chumming or bait and materials, discharge of effluents from marine sanitation devices, discharges of cooling waters from normal vessel engine operations and disposal of trash and litter from pleasure and research watercraft and transient vessels. Finally, there is currently no protection for potentially important archaeological resources found in the area, including the shipwreck HMS Looe. Statutory Authorities Looe Key i!j located on the continental shelf seaward of the territorial sea and State jurisdiction. A variety of Federal statues and regulations apply to activities in the area. Those that apply to activites posing significant threats are analyzed in Chapter Three, The Legal Status Quo., The mandates of existing authorities are often too broad to focus adequately on small discrete areas requiring special management measures. Jurisdictions i 'nclude, in some cases, all waters or seabed out to 200 nautical miles off the entire Uni-ted States coastline. In other cases, mandates are often too narrow to provide holistic attention; statutes directed at a particular resource may neglect or exclude components of the entire ecosystem. Finally, decentralized management of multiple use areas can result in policy conflicts, and does not lend itself to integrated management including education, research, recreation and information exchange. Regulation of coral collecting, tropical specimen collecting, spparfishing and anchoring activities does not presently exist. Fishery Management Plans (FMP) are in preparation for some, but not all species of interest. The SAFMC and the GMFMC are jointly preparing a draft Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP as the initial step in the management of all coral species under the jurisdiction of these two Councils. The current plan proposes to approve for harvest l'imited quantities of certain soft.coral species, and to prohibit taking of hard corals except under permit for scientific and educational purposes. This draft FMP ' further proposes to designate Looe Key as a I sq nm Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) with special management measures for additional protection of the Fore Reef area (see Legal Status Quo). In addition to the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP, the SAFMC and the GMFMC are jointly preparing a FMP for Spiny Lobster, and the SAFMC 'is preparing a FMP for Snapper-grouper. Restrictions on fishing for these resources may be proposed pursuant to the plans. In lieu of enough information to warrant .preparation of a FMP for reef resources such as tropical fish and invertebrates, the Councils are considering the preparation of a profile or description of the resource and fishery. The final scope and content of all FMPs is uncertain at this time because they are in draft form and subject to change. None of these FMPs is likely to be implemented until late 1.981. Although a variety of Federal laws, regulations and policies apply to activities occurring in the general area of the proposed sanctuary (see Chap- ter 3, Section V), they do not appear adequate to assure long-term protection of Looe Key. Given these special resources, their particular vulnerability, and the multiple, increasing human pressures on the area, assurance of long-term pre- servation of Looe Key requires (a) a management framework that will monitor, assess and act on information about the cumulative effects of human uses, (b) a mechanism to coordinate and encourage research that will lead to necessary management decisions, and (c) efforts to educate the public about the value and the fragility of the reefal system. The no-action alternative appears to meet none of these requirements. The status quo provides no focal point for comprehensive long-term management, and no programmatic mechanism to promote and coordinate research on coral reef ecology and ecosystem recovery or to provide information to the direct and indirect user public. There are currently no programs to provide education and information aimed at increasing long-term protection of these areas by increasing public awareness of the distinctive resources and their susceptibility to disturbance. The marine sanctuary program proposes to provide a comprehensive mechanism through long-term management to protect this ecosystem and to respond in a timely fashion to marine conservation issues and to the interests of affected user groups as those issues arise. V. THE PROPOSAL The Office of Coastal Zone Management (OCZM), which is responsible for the marine sanctuary program within NOAA, proposes the designation of Looe Key as a marine sanctuary. The sanctuary area consists of 5 sq nm of high sea waters under Federal jurisdiction surrounding Looe Key, a submerged-section of the Florida Reef Tract, located 6.7 nautical miles (12.4 km) southwest of Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys at latitude 24033' north and longitude 81024' west (see figs. 1 and 3). Looe Key is part of a curving reef tract off the Florida Keys containing the .only living coral reefs in the United States (Ginsburg 1974). The Looe Key area includes: Portions of Patch Reefs, a Reef Flat, Fore Reef, Deep Reef and Deep Ridge in a small manageable unit which allows for a focus on public education and research aimed at a better understanding of reef dynamics; 12 0 Shallow water reef areas easily accessible to the public; ideal for recreational uses by both amateur and experienced individuals. The 5 sq nm boundary alternative will provide a reasonable slice of the reef tract which will permit management to achieve the proposed sanctuary objectives as described below and result in minimal economic impact. For these reasons it was selected as the preferred boundary. Proposed Management The management of Looe Key as a marine sanctuary will focus on the attain- ment of several goals and objectives (Chapter Two Preferred Alternative): Goal 1: To maintain, protect and enhance the quality of the natural, bio,logical, aesthetic and cultural resources of Looe Key reef system. Objectives: 0Promulgate protective regulations; 0Provide a framework for onsite management; Provide for adequate enforcement; Utilize research data to assess management needs and priorities, modify regulations and to determine management strategies. Goal 2: To promote and stimulate marine research efforts directed toward identification and analysis of marine ecological interrelationships. Objectives: 0Encourage and cooperate with interested parties in research and study of reef interrelationships; 0To establish,competiti've funding mechanisms encouraging a wide range of scientific expertise to focus attention on reef dynamics; Establish a clearing house for dissemination and,exchange of sanctuary research data; and To facilitate effective management of Looe Key. Goal 3: To enhance public awareness of the need for conservation and protection of the Looe Key coral reef system. Objectives: 0Provide a means for education and information exchange; 0Develop educational programs that will increase awareness and appreciation of Looe Key through a public information effort (including slides, brochures, lectures, etc.); Establish a sanctuary information center; and Develop interpretative services. The Management Plan and Enforcement If the sanctuary designation occurs, development of a formal Management Plan (MP) will be undertaken and completed within the first 9-12 months. NOAA proposes to work with the Florida Department of Natural Resources in the formulation of this plan. The MP development process will emphasize public 13 involvement and review. Alternative means of insuring-user participation in sanctuary management will be explored in the public forum. If advisory committees are desired, they will become a part of the formal management structurei NOAA proposes to contract for day-to-day management of the sanctua Iry, if such an arrangement can be reached under a Cooperative Agreement. The manage- ment staff will consist of trained personnel with experience ih special area planning and management. The manager will be charged among other things with responsibility for coordinating enforcement and surveillance activities within the proposed sanctuary. The manager will be responsible for administering the sanctuary and providing reports to include (but not limited to) the following items: Environmental analysis studies; Visitor use and visitor use capacity studies, user-related impacts, and such other information as necessary; Enforcement analysis, including a summary of activities, notices of violations, case dispositions, including statistical information on number of visitors, points of entry and areas and types of use, and conclusions and recommendations, including ways to improve management. The MP would provide for a visitor information station to distribute information on regulations within the sanctuary and other public information concerning knowledge of the Looe Key Coral Reef system and ongoing research projects in the sanctuary and appropriate uses of the natural resources. NOAA has initiated consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters on the question of the proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary enforcement. The Coast Guard will provide the Looe Key Marine Sanctuary enforcement and surveillance for NOAA and arrangements will be worked out to insure an onsite presence. NOAA believes that the level of enforcement required in the Looe Key Sanctuary cannot be achieved through routine patrols or as an add-on to other duties. Proposed_Designation The Designation Document (Designation) serves as a constitution for the sanctuary (the draft Designation for the proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary is presented in app. A). It establishes the boundary and purpose of the sanc- tuary, identifies the types of activities that may be subject to regulation, and specifies the extent to which other regulatory programs will continue to be effective within the sanctuary. Its content can be altered only after repeating the entire designation process and securing Presidential approval. The draft Designation proposes that the following activities be subject to necessary and reasonable regulation: Anchoring; Coral collecting and damage; 0 Wire trap fishing; *.Lobster trapping; 14 � Tropical specimen collecting; � Spearfishing; � Bottom trawling and specimen-dredging; 0 Discharging or depositing any substance; 0 Tampering with, removing, or otherwise damaging, cultural or historic resources; and 0 Dredging or alteration of or construction on the seabed. Hook and line fishing, net fishing and activities such as snorkeling and SCUBA diving will not be subject to regulation under the current Designation except where regulations relating to the damaging of natural resources apply. Proposed Re5u]alipns The proposed restrictions on activities are set forth in the draft regu- lations (Appendix A). At the present time NOAA is not proposing to regulate alteration of or construction on the seabed or bottom trawling and specimen- dredging. However, by listing these activities in the Designation, restrictions could be proposed in the future should conditions warrant it. NOAA may legally promulgate regulations only in relation to the specific activities listed in the Designation, but the Designation itself does not constitute regulations or impose restrictions. Specific regulations must be proposed, subjected to public review and comment and promulgated if NOAA wishes to control any aspect of the activities listed in the Designation. Specific regulations summarized here and presented in detail in Chapter Two, are proposed for the protection of the natural resources and the safety of the various user groups as part of NOAA's preferred alternative. To the extent possible, the sanctuary managers will coordinate with existing authorities in both the administration and enforcement of the regulations. These regulations will apply only within the sanctuary boundaries. The full text of the proposed regulations as they appear in the Federal Reqister is presented in Appendix A. The proposed regulations would impose the following controls: (1) Prohibit damage to or the collecting of coral except by permit for research and educational purposes; (2) Prohibit the collecting of tropical marine specimens except by permit for scientific and educational purposes; (4) Prohibit the use of wire fish traps; (5) Prohibit lobster trapping on the Fore Reef (consisting of a trapezoid within Loran "C" points 1, 2, 3 and 4 consistent with the'Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) proposed by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils); 15 AT 21' ZI- ozw wJ 04 lloor .0- -el i 4 X. W LORIDA 0 -,no -ILI 21, FIGURE 3 UNffED LiGEND TRANsmsE ilF:ItCA-rok Piton moN 0,4iL 1-1 DIGITIZED POINT ON BOUNDARY ALMNATIVE I FLORIDA STATE PLANE COORDINATE SYSTEM - EAST zoNc a-I DIC11PIZED POINT ON BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVS 2 FI 3-1 DIGITIZED POINT ON BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVE 3 NORT11 AMERICAN IP27 DATUM SCALE 120.0m PROPOSE HOUNDA (6) Prohibit anchoring on coral on the Fore Reef (consisting of a trapezoid within Loran "C" points 1, 2, 3, 4, and encourage sand anchoring elsewhere within the.sanctuary; (7) Prohibit tampering with, damaging or removal of natural histor- ical and,cultural resources except by permit for scientific and educational purposes; and (8) Prohibit all discharges except vessel cooling waters, fish parts, chumming materials and effluents from marine sanitation devices. VI. SUMMARY OF @NVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 0 F THE PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE Sanctuary designation will provide long-term protection for a representa- tive section of the Florida reef tract from Patch Reefs out to the Deep Ridge. Comprehensive management of this area will include emphasis on increasing the level of public awareness of resource values and of.the potential for harm through a public education program and research on reef biology and system interactions. Management of a section of the reef tract will allow for appro- priate distribution of visitor uses and consequent control of certain harmful effects. Minimal economic impacts will result from proposed restrictions within the preferred boundary alternative (See Chapter Four Environmental Consequences). Boundary The preferred alternative for the boundary (5.32 sq nm) will protect the entire Fore Reef and Reef Flat and portions of the adjacent Patch Reef, Deep Reef, and Deep Ridge. A sanctuary of this size will result in the protection and management of a system, rather than simply individual components (see Figure 3). It will help insure accomplishment of all sanctuary goals (See p. 4) by encompassing a "slice of the ecological pie", affording opportunity for focus on education and research. The preferred alternative emphasizes the maintenance of the biological i'@nterrelatfonships of the reef system components in.order to maximize public benefits and minimize resource threats. The 5 sq nm sanctuary will also maximize the enforcement capability for sanctuary regulations.. In addition, the 5 sq nm will have minimal adverse economic impact on commercial fishing as compared to larger boundary options. *.Anchoring The proposed regulation would prohibit anchoring on coral on the Fore Reef. The regulation will help protect the Fore Reef coral assemblages from snagging, breaking.and other anchor damage. Sand anchoring will be encouraged outside the Fore Reef. This will not provide maximum protection for coral growths in this area but will have minimal impact on sanctuary users. An educational program to advise users on anchoring procedures and frequent site inspections will be utilized in order to ensure the success of this regulation. A mooring buoy design and feasibility study will be initiated upon designation, and if such a system seems desirable the proposed regulation would be modified at the time buoys are installed. 17 CorLl Collecting and-Damage The proposed regulation would prohibit the collection or possession of all corals, living or dead, within the proposed sanctuary (except as permitted for scientific and education purposes). The regulation will protect the coral assemblages from stress and physical damage. This will maintain the reef habitat for fish and preserve aesthetic qualities. Wire Fish Traps The proposed regulation would prohibit the use of wire fish traps within the entire preferred sanctuary boundary. This regulation would prevent both the physical and ecological damage to the coral reef system from wire fish traps. The re&eational and aesthetic values of the sanctuary will also thereby be maintained and enhanced. The requlation would not prohibit the setting of traps beyond the sanctuary boundaries. The regulation will, however, adversely affect those fishermen who presently use wire fish traps within the 5 sq nm area and therefore will be forced to move elsewhere to trap. 0 Lobster Trapping The banning of lobster traps from the Fore Reef will prevent the physical damage that frequently occurs when lobster traps contact the coral due to improper placement or stonn surge. However, because the prohibition is limited to a small geographic area, the regulation will result in minimal, if any, economic loss to the fishing community. The proposed regulation is the same as the special management measure for Looe Key under consideration in the draft Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP. 0 Tropical Marine Specimen Collecting A prohibition on tropical specimen collecti'ng (except by permit for scien- tific and educational purposes) would protect and enhance the tropica'l fish population at Looe Key, prevent the depletion of ecologically important species, add to the aesthetics of the sanctuary, and maintain and enhance the long term productivity of the Looe Key coral reef for future generations. Many suitable areas. for tropical specimen collectors to catch tropical fish and invertebrates exist in the south Florida area including shallow inshore areas, inshore coral heads, mid-channel reefs (in the middle of Hawk's Channel), and the entire outer reef. This alternative would cause limited economic loss to present commercial collectors. The total economic loss of revenue per year estimated in the socio- economic analysis for Boundary Alternative 2 would be $25,000 to $43,000 or $80,075 to $137,729 using regional multi-pliers. At least some of this loss could be made up by collecting elsewhere and by commercial collecting under permit for sale to public aquaria and educatJon research institutions. 18 Spe@arfishing The,proposed regulation would prohibit spearfishing within the entire preferred sanctuary boundary. One of the primary impacts of prohibiting the spearing of fish will be to create better conditions for observing, studying and photographing fish. This prohibition will also benefit th@ ecological system by ameliorating the continued disturbance and removal of territorial reef predators such as grouper, eliminating physical damage to coral from inexperienced spearfishmen, reducing the inadvertent kill of non-edible tropical reef fish species, and eliminating the potential for human injury. 0 Discharges The prohibition of discharges will help insure a high degree of water quality by preventing the discharge or deposit of most material within the sanct- uary. The regulation allows the discharge of chumming materials and fish parts, cooling waters, and effluents from marine sanitation devices. The regulation will not impact fishing activities. The economic impact on sanctuary users i,s minimal, although they will be required to retain their trash for disposal in proper sites. *.Historical or cultural@resources Tampering with, removing or damaging historical or cultural resources is prohibited. The regulation will protect the HMS Looe from possible tampering or removal . VII. ACTIVITIES LISTED IN T4E DESIGNATIQN DOCUMENT FOR WHICH REGULATIONS ARE NOT-CURRENTLY BEING PROPOSED 0 Alteration of or construction on'the seabed. 0 Bottom trawling and specimen-dredging. The Army Corps of Engineers (COE) exercises authority over construction and the dumping of dredged materials but not the actual dredging. The Bureau of Land Management --- (BLM) has jurisdiction over dredging activities related to mineral leasing such as sand and gravel mining. However, no other existing Federal regulatory authority has jurisdictio-n-over other activities that might alter the seabed such as dredging. -Exploratory trawling for reef fish on live bottoms in the South Atlantic has proven economically and technically feasible. It is possible that some time in the future modified gear such as roller trawls would be contemplated for use--i-n areas such as Looe Key. While adverse impacts of both of.the above activities are well documented, NOAA has no evidence to indicate that they pose realistic threats to the resour- ces at this time. For this reason NOAA is not _promulgating regulations but is listing theseactivities in.'the Designation Document, and may issue regulations at a future date if the need arises. VIII. MARINE SANCTUARY PERMITS Marine sanctuary permits, issued by NOAA, will be required for an activity which would otherwise violate the regulations. The permit procedure is specified in the regulations (app. A). IX. CERTIFICATION OF OTHER PERMITS The regulations propose to certify in advance any permit, license, or other authorization issued pursuant to any other authority within the sanctu- ary as long as the activity does not violate marine sanctuary regulations. This notice of validity.avoids duplicating permit delays and costs where there is no violation. 20 CHAPTER ONE PURPOSE AND NEED FOR THE ACTION The Office of Coastal Zone Management (OCZM) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified the Looe Key Reef as a special marine area with important conservation, recreational, ecological and aesthetic resources, threatened by existing and potential human use and deserving of marine sanctuary designation. The goals of this proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary are as follows (for a more detailed discussion see Chapter Two): To maintain, protect and enhance the quality of the natural biological aesthetic and cultural resources of the Looe Key Reef system; 0 To promote research and study of sanctuary resources; .0 To enhance public awareness of,the functioning of the Looe Key coral reef system and to provide a means for education and information exchange. The Looe Key area offers an opportunity to focus management attention on a small, highly used cross section of the Florida Reef tract. Looe Key manage- ment will concentrate on encouraging coral reef research within the sanctury, ensuring a coordinated approach to data exchange and availability, and developing effective public education programs, and long-term plans for the preservation of the resources. Each of these programs will contribute to increased knowledge and understanding necessary to ensure wise use of our marine ecosystems. The accessibility of Looe Key to commercial, recreational and educational users, its high productivity, and superior scenic beauty have led to frequent and increasing use of the area, with resulting physical and ecological damage to the reef system. Monroe County socio-economic studies indicate that both permanent and tourists populations, in the area nearest Looe Key, are increasing; corresponding increases in the use of Looe Key have potential for long-term adverse environmental consequences. Sanctuary designation will provide the long term integrated management necessary to protect and use wisely these resources. As a part of the proposed management system certain additional regulations appear necessary. Most significantly, in a recent legal opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, ruled that the Bureau of Land Management's jurisdic- tion to regulate the taking of coral and other activities damaging to coral reefs is restricted to offshore activities associated with.mineral exploration and development by lessees and their agents, leaving coral reefs such as Looe Key unprotected from damage due to coral collecting, improper anchoring, and certain potentially harmful fishing techniques. OCZM, therefore, proposed to design ate Looe Key as a National Marine Sanctuary under Title III of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. Such an action will allow for long term protection of a valuable section of the Florida reef tract and comprehensive management which will include both research and educational components (See Chapter Four, Environmental Consequences). 21 CHAPTER TWO ALTERNATIVES INCLUDING THE PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE I. INTRODUCTION NOAA proposes to designate Looe Key as a marine sanctuary to protect and enhance its natural features and to promote scientific understanding, public appreciation and wise use of its resources. Various management, boundary and regulatory alternatives have been considered in the evaluation of the proposed action. This section presents a,brief analysis of all reasonable alternatives, including a no action alternative (status quo) and the preferred alterna- tive, and a brief discussion of the physical, biological, ecological and socioeconomic impacts resulting from the proposed action. A detailed impact analysis is presented in Chapter Four, Environmental Consequences. Il. NO ACTION ALT@RNATIVE: RELY ON THE STATUS QUO Looe Key is located on the high seas just seaward of State jurisdic- tion. A variety of Federal laws, regulations, policies and procedures apply to activities occuring in the general area of the proposed sanctuary (for a detailed description please see Chapter Three, Section V The Legal Status Quo). An alternative to the proposed action is the "no action alternative" (status quo), meaning that Looe Key would not be designated as a marine sanctuary. Under this alternative, the existing authorities as described in the Legal Status Quo would continue to control activities and protect the environmemt in and around Looe Key. No comprehensive management program for research, monitoring or education would be instituted. In addition, long range planning focused on insuring continued ecosystem viability would be lacking. As discussed below under the Preferred Alternative and in more detail in Chapter IV, Looe Key is a special marine area; a complex, fragile eco- system containing valuable natural resources. Part of it's uniqueness lies in the fact that it is readily accessible to all user groups and it offers a range of water depths which will accommodate novice to expert swimmers, snorklers and divers4 These factors in combination with its spectacular beauty have resulted in increasing levels in human uses (Please see Chapter One - Purpose and Need for Action). Human activities that either singularly -or in combination may place stress on the reef system include anchoring, wire trap fishing, spearfishing, tropical specimen collecting, and damage to or removal of historical and cultural resources. The current literature suggests that coral reef resources, are unusually susceptible to some forms of environmental perturbation. In addition, when a reef system is seriously damaged the ecological conditions that follow cannot he expected to coincide with those preceeding so that it cannot be taken for granted that the reef will ever replace itself. 23 Given these unique resources, their particular vulnerability, and the multiple, 4-,-,creasing human pressures on the area, assurance of long term preservation for Looe Key requires (a) a management framework that will monitor, assess and act on information about the cumulative effects of human uses, (b) a mechanism to coordinate and encourage research that will lead to necessary management decisions, and (c) efforts to educate the public about the value and the fragility of the reefal system. The no action alternative appears to meet none of these requirements. Existing statutes, including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, are directed either at the accomplishment of a single purpose or the regulation of a single activity, such as the extraction of oil and gas resources, the preservation of water quality, and the conservation of marine mammals. These authorities do not provide-a comprehensive management mechanism. These statutes also do not address all aspects of human threats to the area. To take one example, the regulations controlling ocean discharge and dumping do not consider all shipboard wastes. For example, Federal regulation of sewage wastes from marine sanitation devices does not extend beyond State waters (see the January 30, 1980 amendment to the Clean Water Act in Section IV F). The discharge of oil beyond the ter- ritorial sea (3 nm) from tankers under 150 gross tons and other vessels under 500 gross-tons is unregulated, and regulations pertaining to dis- charges from machinery space bilges require that the activity must take place as far as practical from nearest land, while in route, and must not exceed 60 liters per mile or have oil content exceeding 100 parts per million. Finally-, there are no regulations to control the d.isposal of trash and litter in high seas areas. In addition, the status quo-,provides no programmatic mechanism to promote and coordinate research on coral reef ecology and ecosystem re- covery or to provide information to the direct and indirect user public. There are currently no programs to provide education and information aimed at increasing long-term protection of these areas by increasing public awareness of the distinctive resources and their susceptibility to distur- bance. The regulatory regime closest in purpose and scope to the marine sanctuary program is that provided by the Fishery Conservation and Man- agement Act of 1976 (FCMA). Even that regime, however, does not satisfy all of the management requirements described above. ---Under the FCMA, Regional Fishery Management Councils propose and implement necessary regulations for the management of selected commercial and recreational fisheries which are in need of management pursuant to Fishery Management Plans (FMP). These FMP's will provide for some protection of selected fi-shery resources at Looe Key but will not likely focus on the site spe- cific ecosystem management. FMP's do.not necessarily consider elements of the ecosystem which are not- @tarvested, nor do they address the entire range of threats to-which arf ecosystem may be subject. Moreover, none of the FMPs is final and projected-time schedules are uncertain. 24 The_.FMP most relevant to Looe Key is the Coral and Coral Reef Resour- ces Plan. This FMP proposes to create a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) consisting of 1 sq nm which emphasizes protection of the actual spur and groove Fore Reef from physical damage. However, the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP will not necessarily provide protection to components of the system which are not exploitable fishery resources. In addition, the long-term biological productivity of a system is by no means assured by such protection efforts. Finally, the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP does not focus on management, particularly as it relates to environmental monitoring, visitor uses, public education, research aimed at assessing the effectiveness of protective measures and the health of the total system. Thus, the management protections offered by the FCMA are at best uncertain. Nor does the FCMA assure the site-specific research, moni- toring and education elements that long tern preservation of the area requires. A marine sanctuary wou,ld provide a useful complement to the FMP process. In conclusion, available information indicates that perpetuation of the status quo will not adequately protect the Looe Key area from present or future impacts on fhe physical , biological , and ecological environment nor enhance scientific, educational, recreational and aesthetic values of the ecosystem. The marine sanctuary program proposes to provide a compre- hensive mechanism through long-term management to protect this ecosystem and to respond in a timely fashion to marine conservation issues and to the interests of affected user groups as those issues arise. III. PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE A. Goals and Objectives To determine the preferred alternative boundary and regulations that adequately address the issues and problems of Looe Key, a set of management goals and objectives has been developed and out of this management frame- work appropriate controls wil.1 be determined. The goals and objectives are as follows: Goal 1: To maintain, protect and enhance the quality of the natural, biological, aesthetic and cultural resources of the Looe Key system. Objectives: 0 Promulgate protective regulations to provide a frame- work for onsite management. 0 Provide for adequate enforcement. 0 Utilize data to modify regulati-ons and to det-ermi-ne management strategies; assess management needs and priorities. Goal 2: To promote and stimulate marine research efforts directed toward identification and analysis of marine ecological interrelationships. 25 Objectives: 0 Encourage and cooperate with interested parties in research and study of reef interrelationships. � Establish competitive funding mechanisms encour- aging a wide range of scientific expertise to focus attention on reef dynamics. � Establish a clearing house for dissemination and exchange of sanctuary research data. Goal 3: To enhance public awareness of the functioning of the Looe Key coral reef system. Objectives: Provide a means for education and information exchange. 0 Develop educational programs that will increase aware- ness and appreciation of Looe Key through a public information effort (including slides, brochures, lectures, etc.) 0 Establish a sanctuary inforination center. 0 Develop interpretive services. B. Management Plan If the sanctuary designation occurs, development of a formal Management Plan (MP) will be undertaken and completed within the first 9-12 months. NOAA proposes to work with the Florida Department of Natural Resources in the formulation of this plan. The MP development process will emphasize public involvement and review. Alternative means of insuring user partici- pation in sanctuary management will be explored in the public forum. If advisory committees are desired they will become a part of the formal managment structure. The MP will be periodically reviewed and management measures including regulations, evaluated for effectiveness in achieving sanctuary goals and objectives. This periodic'review will also involve a high degree of public participation. In order to provide an efficient system for the management of the proposed Looe Key sanctuary, the following basic strategies are proposed: Sanctuary Manager NOAA proposes to contract with the State Department of Natural Resour- ces for day to day management of the sanctuary. The management staff will consist of objective personnel with experience in special area planning and management. The manager will be charged among other things with respon- sibility-for coordinating enforcement and surveillance activities within the proposed sanctuary. The manager will be responsible for administering the sanctuary and providing reports to include (but not limited to) the following items: 9 environmental analysis studies; 0 visitor use and visitor use capacity studies, user-related impacts, and such other information as necessary; 26 2Er 2W 2T F,17 - - - -------- C, -NA t4 K Looo. ie 0 I, pv--Weao 4 j SMAIT9, ---PLORIDA A T ftuo m 150 01, 2,w 2r FIGURE 4 LEGEND TRANSVERSE 61ERCATOR PROJECTION -1 DIGITIZED POINT ON BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVE i FLORIDA STATE PLANE COORDINATE SYSTEM - EAST ZONE .-I DIGITIZED POINT 014 BOUNDARY ALTERNATIVE 2 T 1-1 DIGITIZED POINT ON BOUNDARY AL ERNATI VE 3 NORTH AMFRICAx tq,-)7 IJATUM SCALE I:M.Om PR enforcement analysis, including a summary of activities, work that will entail survey, inventory and assessment of submerged cultural resources. Attention will be given to the interrelationship between cultural resources and bio- logical processes. The MP would provide for a visitor information station to distribute information on regulations within the sanctuary and other public information concerning knowledge of the Looe Key Coral reef system and ongoin,g research projects in the sanctuary. Enforcement NOAA has initiated consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters on the question of enforcement for the proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary. The Coast Guard will provide the Looe Key Marine Sanctuary enforcement and surveillance for NOAA. Arrangements will be worked out to insure an on-site presence. NOAA believes that the level of enforcement required in the Looe Key Marine Sanctuary can not be achieved through routine patrols or as an add-on to other duties. Anchoring Study To explore methods of lessening the effects of improper anchoring, NOAA will undertake a study to determine the feasibility and design of a mooring buoy system for Looe Key or a suitable alternative. The study will include a discussion of the impacts of placement of mooring buoys on the physical environ- ment and resources. Proper anchoring information will be disseminated to users. Public Education and Information The "living laboratory" aspects of Looe Key can be fully utilized to provide learning opportunities for the public to view the interrelationship between man and the environment, and the implications of marine management. This educational aspect will be developed through field activities, media materials, lectures and brochures. A sanctuary user's guide will better enable the public and educators to understand and safely utilize the resources. Research In an effort to provide scientific data upon which future change can be evaluated and management decisions based, NOAA will give priority to completing a biological inventory, reef health assessment, and water quality assessment. Research at Looe Key will not duplicate but rather will compliment research efforts at the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary/John Pennekemp State Park, and the national marine parks in the Florida Keys. 28 Cultural Resources The proposed sanctuary has a diversity of cultural resources (such as the HMS Looe). To understand more fully their history and to provide a mechanism that will ensure their survival, NOAA will competitively fund work that will entail survey, inventory and assessment of submerged cultural resources. Attention will be given to the interrelationship between cultural resources and biological processes. C. Preferred Boundary Alternative Three boundary alternatives were considered for the proposed marine sanctuary (see fig. 4, Boundary Alternatives). 1. Alternative I - an area 1 sq nm containing only the Fore Reef and Reef Flat; 2. Alternative 2 - an area consisting of 5 sq nm containing the Fore Reef, Deep Reef and Deep Ridge; 3. Alternative 3 - an area consisting of 10 square nautical miles including the resources contained within the 5 sq nm alternative plus more extensive portions of the Patch Reef area. The 5 square nautical mile boun-dary alternative was chosen as the preferred alternative (See Chapter Four - Environmental Consequences for a detailed analysis of the various alternatives, including the preferred). The 5 sq nm alternative encompasses representative portions of all five ecological zones found at Looe Key: Patch Reef; Reef Flat; Fore Reef; Deep Reef and Deep Ridge. It also covers an extension of the Fore Reef to the east discovered only recently as part of the survey work for this EIS. The Patch Reef zone is a relatively shallow flat bottom area, covered with extensive turtle grass and manatee grass. Interspersed among the sea- grass beds are numerous patch reefs with very-little profile. The patch reefs within this zone are usually dominated by densely growing, large octo- corals. The species diversity of octocorals on the Patch Reef is greater than that of the Fore Reef and certain octocorals exist only on the Patch Reef. The scattered stony corals reach only moderate size, but never- theless give the patch reefs enough structure to provide shelter for fishes and invertebrates. In addition, the naturally rare pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus); is more likely to be found in the Patch Reef area than at the Fore Reef (Antonus, 1979). The significance of the Patch Reef zone as a shelter for a variety of finfish and shellfish has been pointed out in a number of publicatTons -(e.g., Zieman & Roblee, 1979). Without the protection of the interspersed patch reefs these animals would be unable to use the surrounding seagrass beds as feeding grounds. This zone, together with the even shallower Reef Flat, are Looe Key's nursery for juvenile fish. In addition, the extensive seagrass beds of.both zones constitute the feeding ground for many deep-water fishes migrating to.these areas at night. The Fore Reef provides the deep sheltered channels for these migrations from the Deep Reef to the shallow reef zones, while the much wider channels on either side of the Fore Reef provide access for pelagic species. 29 The Deep Reef today stil 1 harbors territorial f i shes such as groupers which, given protection and time, may repopulate the apparently overfished Fore Reef zone. This could also be the case for conspicuously missing corals which might, in time, repopulate the Fore Reef from the stocks that live on the Deep Reef. Other fish found on the Fore Reef but occurring in greater abundance on the Deep Reef are butterflyfishes, and hamlets, blue chromis and creole wrasses which prefer depths greater than 30-46 feet. Fish found only on the Deep Reef by the Looe Key Resource Inventory are purple reef fish, sun- shine fish, spotfin, and hogfish which naturally range between 55 and 120 feet (Noyes, 1980, public hearing testimony). The main part of the Deep Reef exhibits a coral community of intermediate to deepwater species, with some coral species growing abundantly here but which no longer occur on the Fore Reef.. The Deep Reef, on the seaward side, is a slope of increasing steepness, ending in a small dropoff to about 25 to 35m depth. Since the 5 sq nm alternative contains portions of the Deep Ridge as well as the main four reef!zones of Looe Key, it forms a representative "slice of the ecological pie" through the reef tract in this area. This is one of the basic reasons for its selection as the preferred boundary. The 5 sq nm boundary alternative would create a sanctuary containing representa- tive components of each reef zone and would establish a sanctuary that protects a piece of the reef tract system rather than one component as is the case in boundary alternative #1. This approach is consistent with the goals and objectives developed for a possible sanctuary at Looe Key. The 5 nm area will pose less of an economic hardship to local fishermen than would be the case in th 'e 10 nm proposed sanctuary and yet will meet the goals desired for the sanctuary. A sanctuary with this boundary would repre- sent all of the reefal zones and be "systematic" in scope providing for the maintenance and enhancement of long-@erm productivity of the entire Looe Key ecological unit. This boundary alternative would provide a geographic basis for achieving the sanctuary goals. D. Preferred Regulatory Alternative 1. Coral Collecting The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating coral collecting: a. Unregulated collecting (status quo); b. Prohibiting collection or possession of all coral (living or dead) except-by permit for scientific and educational purposes; and c. Prohibiting the collection or possession of all coral (living or dead) within'the sanctuary. 30 o NOAA has chosen alternative b as the preferred alternative. This alternative would protect present and future coral resources while permit- ting coral specimen collecting for educational and,scientific purposes under permit from NOAA. Since the current level of commercial coral col- lecting is insignificant in the proposal area, the economic impact of this alternative will be negligible. The proposed restriction is more stringent than that being considered in the Coral and Coral Reef Resources Fishery Management Plan (FMP) in that the latter permits limited harvest of soft coral outside the 1 sq nm Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) at Looe Key. OCZM will work closely with the Fishery Management Councils to insure as nearly as possible compatible non-duplicative permitting proced- ures. A regulation similar to the preferred alternative is presently in force in John Pennekamp State Park and in the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary. As discussed in Chapter Three, the inclusion of a provision for prohibi- tion of possession of coral, living or dead, within the proposed boundaries has resulted in fewer enforcement difficulties within these two protected areas On the other hand Florida State Law, applicable in the territorial sea, @oes not prohibit possession of cleaned or cured sea fans, hard and soft corals and fire coral, and enforcement difficulty has arisen in State waters because these organisms can be quickly killed and bleached on board ship before enforcement agents can board for inspection (Tingley, personal communication, 1979). 2. Wire Trap Fishing The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating wire trap fishing within the proposed sanctuary: a. Unrestricted use of wire traps (status quo); b. Prohibiting wire fish traps on the Fore Reef and Reef Flat areas of the sanctuary and allowing wire fish traps else- where; and c. Prohibiting wire fish traps. NOAA has chosen alternative c as the preferred alternative. This alternative would prevent both physical and ecological damage to the coral formations and resident fish species. Fishermen, although prohibited from laying traps within the 5 sq nm area, could continue to utilize the area seaward of the reef beyond approximately 140 ft and those areas adjacent to Looe Key, along the outer reef tract. This proposed regulation is slightly more restrictive than that presently under consideration in the draft Snapper-Grouper FMP. This FMP includes a proposed prohibition out to the 100 ft contour. The sanctuary prohibition would extend to the proposed sanctuary boundary at approximately the 140 ft contour. 31 3. Lobste Trappi g The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating lobster trapping within the proposed sanctuary: a. Unrestricted trapping for spiny lobster; b. Prohibiting trapping on the Fore Reef only; and c. Prohibiting lobster trapping. NOAA has chosen al ternative b as the preferred alternative. This option would prohibit the setting of traps on the Fore Reef consistent with the HAPC special management measure currently proposed by the South Atlantic and Gulf Fishery Management Councils (see Chapter Three). No lobster trapping would be allowed within the core trapezoid area (Loran C Readings points 1, 2, 3, and 4 see map Chapter Three). Lobster trapping would be allowed within the sanctuary on the Reef Flat, Patch Reefs, the Deep Reef and Deep Ridge. This preferred alternative would protect the most spectacular coral assemblages from lobster trap damage and contribute to protection of spiny lobster as a major predator in the reef system. Restricting this part of the reef system from further human activity would protect a significant habi tat for spi ny I obster i n the area which wi I I , i n the I ong term, bene- fit the fisheries interest. Completion of the spiny lobster FMP will also contribute to sustaining a viable lobster fishing industry over the long term, but the degree of protection cannot be determined at this time. An estimated 232,000 lbs. of spiny lobster were caught in the 5 sq nm area in 1978. Personal communication with local residents and fishermen revealed that, most of this catch was taken from outside the Fore Reef and Reef Flat zones. According to interviews with.local people, lobster boats avoid shallow coral reef -areas, preferring sites with greater maneuverability and open sandy areas on which to place traps. This alternative would mini- mize the economic losses to the commercial lobster fishermen and regional businesses in the-area by permitting fishing to continue in the major portion of the reef area. It would afford site specific protection now to the Fore Reef which will be enhanced by the Spiny Lobster FMP when it is final. NOAA's Office-of Coastal Zone Management (OCZM) and the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils (GMFMC) will continue to work cooperatively under their Memoranda of Understanding in their efforts to protect and enhance the Looe Key coral reef habitat and the spiny lobster fishery. Continued monitoring of the area by the NMFS and the Councils would aid in maintaining the stock of a valuable renewable resource, both in the restricted area and in the area adjacent to the sanctuary. 4.. Tropical Marine Specimen Collecting The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating tropical specimen collecting within the proposed sanctuary: 32 a. Unrestricted collecting (status quo); b. Restricting tropical specimen collecting to collectors with pen-nits and prohibiting the use of chemicals; and c. Prohibiting tropical specimen collecting except by permit for scientific and educational purposes. NOAA has chosen alternative C. as the preferred alternative based on information and written comments subsequent to the DEIS. Prohibiting tropical specimen collecting would protect and enhance the tropical fish population at Looe Key, prevent the depletion of ecologically important species, add to the aesthetics of the sanctuary, and maintain and enhance the long ten-n productivity of the Looe Key coral reef for future genera- tions. The Key Largo Marine Sanctuary and the Biscayne National Park prohibit such taking. I The many suitable areas for tropical specimen collectors to catch tropical fish and invertebrates in the south Florida area include shallow inshore areas, inshore coral heads, mid-channel reefs (in the middle of Hawk's Channel), and the entire outer reef. This alternative would thus cause limited economic loss to present commercial collectors. The total economic loss of revenue per year estimated in the socioeconomic analysis for Boundary Alternative #2, would be $25,000 to $43,000 or $80,075 to $137,729 using regional multipliers. At least some of this could be made up by collecting elsewhere. This restriction would not prohibit commercial collecting for scientific and educational purposes with a NOAA permit. Prohibiting tropical specimen collecting rather than allowing collec- ting by permit as proposed in the DEIS, would not require the establishment of an administratively burdensome permit system of questionable value and utility. 5. Spearfishing. The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating spearfishing within the proposed sanctuary: a. Unrestricted spearfishing (status-quo); b. Restricting spearfishing to devices such as pole spears and Hawaiian slings; and c. Prohibiting spearfishing and possession of spearfishing equipment. NOAA has chosen alternative C as the preferred alternative. A primary basis for this alternative is to enhance the quality of recreation.experi- ences by divers, snorklers and observers. Since spearfishing is believed to contribute to wariness in reef fish and to the absence of large predators, this alternative should enhance the return of larger grouper, snapper and other predators to the reef and may, in time, lead to fish becomingles.s. cautious. In addition, it-would lessen the human injury potential, the 33 inadvertent killing of non-edible tropical reef fish species found within the sanctuary, and physical damage to the coral from divers in pursuit of fish. All of the above would help ensure high quality recreational experi- ences by divers and snorklers. Although local residents and visitors will no longer have the oppor- tunity to spearfish in the Looe Key 5 mile area, there are many other areas nearby suitable for spearfishing. This prohibition will cause some revenue loss to dive and charter boat companies who are hired to take spearfishermen to Looe Key. It is difficult to estimate this loss. However, a portion of their revenue also comes from hook and line recreational fishermen and snorkelers/SCUBA divers who only wish to view the underwater coral formations. 6. Historic and Cultural Resourceso The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating the taking or disturbance of cultural and, historic resources within the proposed sanctuary: a. Unrestricted tampering with, damage to, or removal of cultural and historic resources (status quo); b. Prohibiting tampering with, damage to, or removal, except with a NOAA permit for educational and scientific purposes; and c. Prohibiting tampering with, damage to or removal. NOAA has chosen alternative b as the preferred alternative. This alter- native would protect the submerged historical and cultural resources of the sanctuary. Shipwrecks of interest in and adjacent to the area, particularly the HMS Looe, could be explored and artifacts could be recovered under a NOAA permit. T e permit would be based on the educational and research value of the proposed actions. This alternative, however, would not completely pre- clude reef damage and other disruptions to the marine resources from salvage and recovery operations. The marine sanctuary program is the only vehicle for designation and preservation of such resources. Under a recent court decision, the Antiqui- ties Act, which provides that the Department of the Interior may designate and protect certain historically important sites, does not authorize such action in relation to antiquities located on the OCS. In addition, neither the Abandoned Property Act nor the National Historic Preservation Act offer protection for valuable marine artifacts. 7. Discharges The following alternatives were analyzed for regulation of discharges within the proposed sanctuary: a. Relying on existing Federal regulation (status quo): b. Prohibiting all discharges; and 34 c. Prohibiting the discharge of substances except cooling waters from vessels, fish or parts and chumming material, and discharges from marine sanitation devices. NOAA has chosen alternative c as the preferred alternative. This alternative would prohibit littering and discharge of solid waste from vessels. It would prohibit the disAarge of raw, untreated sewage into the sanctuary. The large number of people using Looe Key has led to a high incidence of litter and trash being discharged overboard. The proposed regulation prohibiting discharging and littering will maintain the areas'.over- all recreational and aesthetic appeal. It would prevent floating or submerged waste debri-s such as platic and metal objects. The Coast Guard regulations prohibit the discharge of untreated wastes within the territorial sea for public health reasons - the presence of swimmers and relatively shallow water. Because Looe Key is heavily used for water contact acti'vities such as swimming and diving and portions have relatively shallow water depths, NOAA has proposed regulations for the sanctuary. Impacts of the regulation will be minor. Sanctuary users will have to retain trash for disposal at proper facilities. Vessel operators will have to utilize their MSD or holding tanks and will be unable to empty the latter. Fishermen.will be allowed to discharge fish or parts and use chumming materials. By not restricting the discharge of cooling waters, this alternative will allow the use of motorized vessels. 8. Anchoring The following alternatives were analyzed for regulating anchoring within the proposed sanctuary: 1. Unrestricted anchoring (,status quo); 2. Prohibiting anchoring on the Fore Reef and encourage anchoring in sand areas elsewhere; 3. Instituting a mooring buoy system; and 4. Requiring the use of sand anchors. NOAA has chosen alternative b as the preferred alternative. This proposed management measure is consistent with that being proposed for the HAPC in the Coral Reef Resources FMP. Anchor abraision of corals is common in the Fore Reef zone of Looe Key. It is here that anchor chains and lines, primarily from the smaller draft boats anchored in the sand bottom between the coral spurs chafe the adjacent corals. Raising anchors snagged on the coral spurs also has resulted in significant damage. The preferred alternative would protect the Fore Reef by preventing this type of anchor damage. This regulation would result in boats anchoring on the Reef Flat and seaward of the Fore Reef. Recreationists and hook and line fishermen would have to anchor off the Fore Reef and drift into the area of troll or anchor in sand channels of the Fore Reef. 35 IV. REGULATORY ALTERNATIVES ELIMINATED FROM DETAILED STUDY A. Regulations for Snorkeling and SCUBA Diving Snorkeling and SCUBA diving for the purposes of observation, under- water photography, nature study, non-collecting scientific research and educational training were not j@udged to have the potential for causing significant damage to the reef. Therefore, alternative regulations for these activities were reviewed but not proposed. All sanctuary users are regulated to the extent that they must abide by regulations aimed at protecting the natural system. B. Regulations for Commercial Fishing Beyond the 5 Square Nautical Mile Boundary Alternative but Inside the 10 Square Nautical Mile Boundary Alternative Although the northern portion of this area contains extensions of the patch reefs found in the 5 sq nm boundary, the southern portions do not contain any reef comparable to the center portion of the 5 sq nm proposed sanctuary. There is also low probability that the deepest parts of this area include coral communities similar to the Deep Reef within the 5 mile area. It therefore seemed unnecessary to include this area in the proposed sanctuary since the five ecological zones were included in the smaller boundary alternative. In addition, the Looe Key Onsite Survey indicates that local fishermen depend on the 5 sq nm sanctuary proposal area for approximately one-third of their catch and the area beyond the 5 sq nm boundary for@approximately two-thirds of their catch. Regulating commercial fishing within a 10 sq nm area would thus cause considerable economic hardship on local long-term commercial fishermen. It was therefore determined that the environmental benefits of regu- lating commercial fishermen to protect the natural resources in this area were not substantial enough to propose regulations. C. Regulations for Net Fishing Only 12 percent of the fishermen use nets to catch fish at Lope Key. Netting does not require anchoring and cannot be undertaken close to the coral reefs. For these reasons, alternative regulations for netting were not considered. D. Regulations for Hook and Line Fishing Commercial hook and line fishing for yellowtail snapper, mangrove., mutton snapper, grouper, mackerel, some dolphin, pompano and lane snapper occurs primarily along the outer reef track between and including American Shoal and Big Pine Shoal with approximately 24.9 percent of the total catch (671,880 lbs.) coming from the Boundary Alternative 2 area (Onsite Survey). Ecological damage from commercial hook and line fishing does not seem to be a major problem. 36 The Reef Flat bottom consists primarily of sand, coral fragments, seagrass, algae, and occasional colonies of living coral. As a result, this area can withstand much greater anchoring pressure than the Fore Zone with its well developed coral structure. Because of the substrate and protected location of the Reef Flat, small sand anchors, e.g., Danforth are capable of holding all but the largest boats with a shallow enough draft to enter this zone. Divers and snorklers entering the water can swim through this shallow (less than two meters) area and pass through one of the surge channels of the reef crest and dive on the Fore Reef. Only in rough weather is passage through the reef crest somewhat hazardous. The area seaward of the Fore Reef is less protected but convenient to the Fore Reef and would also be suitable as an anchoring area. E. Activities Listed In The Designation Document For Which Regula- tions Are Not Currently Being Proposed 0 Alteration or construction of the seabed. The Army Corps of Engineers (COE) exercises authority over construc- tion and dumping of dredged materials but not the actual dredging. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has jurisdiction over dredging activities related to mineral leasing such as sand and gravel mining. However, no other existing Federal regulatory authority has jurisdiction over other activities that might alter the seabed such as dredging. While dredging or alteration of the seabed could lead to damage and destruction of the coral reefs and other habitat within the sanctuary, the likelihood of such activities does not pose a realistic threat to the resources at this time. For this reason NOAA is not promulgating regulations, but listing altera- tion of the seabed as an activity in the Designation Document, and may issue regulations at a future date if the need arises. 0 Bottom trawling and specimen dredging. Trawling for reef fish at live bottoms in the South Atlantic (off the Carolinas) has proven economically and technically feasible, and it is pos- sible that certain types of commercial bottom trawling may occur off Florida, in areas such as Looe Key, in the future. Gear modifications include rollers, runners or skids which elevate trawls and sleds above the irregular ocean bottom. Even when elevated above the surface, however, various parts of the gear (e.g., rollers, runners, skids,'bottom guard-chains, nets and specimen bags) still come into contact wi-th the bottom and benthic organisms. Various impacts on the environment are associated with bottom trawling and specii-nen dredging. These include suspension of sediments dislodgfng or breaking coral and generally degrading the physical benthic environment. As with alteration or construction on the seabed, the likelihood of bottom trawling and specimen dredging does not pose a realistic threat at this time. Accordingly, NOAA is not promulgating regulations, but listing the activity in the Designation and may issue regulations at a future date if the need arises. 37 Hook and line fishing requires anchoring and sometimes fishing at night when it can be difficult to set anchors away from coral. However, it appears from personal interviews with fishermen that most boats avoid the Fore Reef to prevent hull damage. V. SUMMARY OF ANALYSIS OF ALTERNATIVES The regulatory alternatives were developed in relation to the loca- tion and size of the boundary alternatives and the environmental, social economic consequences of such regulations. The detailed analyses of the environmental consequences of these boundary and regulatory alternatives are found in Chapter 4. This section summarizes these detailed analyses in tabular form. The various proposed boundary and regulatory alterna- tives are summarized in Tables 1 through The Alternative Matrices. Tables 1 through 5 compare the various regulatory alternatives sum- marizing the impacts of each alternative on the marine resources, and on the human users of Looe Key. Three regulatory alternatives are presented for the control of each of the human activity categories at Looe Key. The regulations representing the status quo or no action are identified by the initials "s-q-" In most cases, the proposed regulations apply to all three boundary alternatives. If the regulation only applies to some but not all three boundary alternatives, then the appropriate boundary alternative is iden- tified at the top of the matrix. "Restricted" regulations indicate a partial but not complete prohibition of the activity (i.e., banning in the one mile area but not in the 5 mile area) or, in the case of anchoring and spearfishing, different ways of approaching regulation of the activity. The preferred alternative for the regulation of each human activity, outlined atthe top of each matrix, is the result of weighing the environ- mental, social and economic benefits and costs of each proposal as evaluated in each matrix with an X. "Protection" in the context of the matrices means ecological as well as-physical protection. For example, by controlling the removal of living coral, the regulation benefits or partially protects the tropical fish and invertebrates belonging to the same ecological system. By prohibiting the use of wire fish traps in boundary alternatives 1 and 2, the regulation would partially protect tropical specimens.., In some cases the regulation neither adversely nor positively impacts a marine resource and is therefore rated "Not Applicable." 38 TABLE 1 ACTIVITY: coral collecting ACTIVITY: Wire Fish Trapping Preferred Alternative: prohibit Preferred alternative:.prohibit the collection of coral, dead or alive within wire fish trapping in the 5 square.. the sanctuary, except by perntit for nautical mile santuary scientific/educational purposes lEnvironmental Factors Regulatory Alternatives Environmental Factor.-; Regulatory -Alternatives Unreg- Restric- Prohib- Unreg-1 Restric-!Prohib- MARINE RESOURCES ulated ted ited MARINE RESOURCES ulatedl ted ited Coral Reef s.q. Coral Reef s.q. #1, not #1,2 Significant Damage X I Significant Damage #2,3 not 3 Mod. Damage X Mod. Damage Low/No Damage X Low/No Damage X Tp-p-licable Not Applicable Not Tropical Specimens Tropical Specimens (Fish, invertebrates) (Fish, Invertebrates) Fully Protected Fully Protected Partially Protected X X Partially Protected X X Unprotected X Unprotected Not Applicable _Vo_t-TP_P_ icable Lobster/Fish Popul. Lobster/Fish Popul. Fully Protected Fully Protected Partially Protected X X Partially- Protected X X Unprotected z Unprotected Not Applicable Not Applicable SOCIOLOGICAL: SOCIOLOGICAL: Controversy To-ntroversy High High Moderate Moderate X X Low X X Low X Not Applicable Not ApplicabFe ECONOMIC: ECONOMIC: ReviFnue Loss Revenue Loss High High Moderate Moderate Low X X X Low X X Not Applicable Not T-Pplicable 39 TAB LF_ Z ACTIVITT: Tz-cpical Specinen ACTIVITY 4.. spearfishing Collecting Preferred Alternative: Prohibit Preferred. alternative:, Ptmhibit troPiqal spec'imen collecting except and possession.of b@ Perm-it f6r-scientific and pearfishin equipwent educat ional purposes. 9 Environmental Factors Regulatory Alternatives Environmental Factors Regula ory Alternativel Unreg- Restric- Prohib- Unreg- Restric- Prohil MARINE RESOURCES ulated ted ited MARINE RESOURCES ulated ted ited Coral Reef s.q. Partial #1,2 Coral Reef s.q. Partial Permit". not 3 Limits Significant Damage. ing ISignificant Damage Mod. Damage IMod. Damage X X low/No Damage X X ILow/No Dama@e X Not Applicable Not Applicable Tropical Specimens Tropical Specimens (Fish,.Invertebrates) TFish, invertebrates) Fully Prot cted Fully Protected X Partially Rotected I X PartiallX Protected X Unprotected Unprotected X Not Applicable Not ApplIcable Lobster/Fish Popul. Lobster/Fish Popul.. @Fully Protected IFully Protected I'Partially Protected X IPartially Protected Unprotected IUnprotected. X Not Applicable Not Applicable SOCIOLOGICAL: SOCIOLOGICAL: Controversy -Controversy High X High Moderate Moderate X Low Low X Not ApplicabTe- Not Applicable, ECONOMIC: ECONOMIC: -Re-y-e-nu-i-Loss Nvenue Loss High IHigh .Moderate Moderate Low Low X Not Applicable Not Applicable 40 TAKZ 3 ACTIVITY: Jobster Trapping Preferred Alternative: prohibit lobster trapping on the Fore Reef Environmental Factors Regulatory Alter atives Unreg- Restric- Prohib- MARINE RESOURCES ulated ted ited Coral Reef s.q. #1, not, #1, 2, Significant Damage #2,3 not #3 Mod. Damage X_ x Low/No Damage x Not Applicable Tropical Specimens (Fish, Invertebrates) Fu y Protected Partially Protected Unpro cted Not Applicable x x x Lobster/Fish Popul. Fu y Protected Partially PFo-tected x x Unprot cted x Not Applicable SOCIOLOGICAL: Controversy High x Moderate _x Low Not Applicable ECONOMIC: Revenue Loss High Moderate Low Not Applicable 41 TABLE 4 ACTIVITY: Historic and Cultural Resources ACTIVITY: Discharging Preferred Alternative: Prohibit tzmpering Preferred alternative: prohibit the with damage-toor removal, except with a discharge of substances except NOAA permit for educational and research cooling waters frcgn vessels, fish or parts purposes and chumming materials and discharges frcm marine sanitation devices Environmental Factors Regulatory Alternatives Environmental Factors Regulatory Alternatives Unreg- Restric- Prohib- Unreg-j Restric- Prohib- MARINE RESOURCES ulated ted ited MARINE RESOURCES ulated ted Iited Coral Reef Coral Rppf Significant Damaqe x Significant Damage Mod. Damage x Mod. Damage X LowTNo Damage x Low/No Damage X x Not Applicable Not Applicable Tropical Specimens Tropical Specimens (Fish, Invertebrates) (Fish, invertebrates) Fully Protected x Fully Protected Partially Protected x Partially Protected Unprotected x Unprotected 91 x Not ApplicaFre- Not Applica _e Lobster/Fish Popul. Lobster/Fish Popul. Fully Protected x I Full@ Protected Partia y Protected x Partially Protected Unprotected x Unprotected Not Applicable Not Applicable SOCIOLOGICAL: SOCIOLOGICAL: Controversy To-ntroversy .Hi!@h High Moderate Moderate Low x x Low Not ApplicabFe - Not Applicable ECONOMIC: ECONOMIC: Te'venue Loss Te-v-enue Loss High x X_ High Moderate Moderate Low x Low Not Applicable Not Applicable TABLE 5 ACTIVITY:- Anchoring Preferred Alternative: Prohibit anchoring on coral within the core trapezoid area (Fore Reef), initiate research on the use of a mooring system. Environmental Factors Unregu- Prohibi- Mooring Require sand MARINE RESOURCES lated tion on _ System anchors Coral Reef s.q. Coral of Fore Reef in #1 & 2 Significant Damage x Mod. Damage Low/No Damage x x x plicable Tropical Specimens (Fish, Invertebrates) Fully Protected Partially Protected x x x Unprotected x Not Applicable Lobster/Fish Popul. Fully Protected Partially Protected x x x Unprotected x Not Applicable SOCIOLOGICAL: Controversy High x x Moderate x Low x Not Applicable ECONOMIC: Revenue Loss High Moderate x x x Low x Not Applicable 43 CHAPTER.THREE AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 1. MARINE ENVIRONMENT A. LOCATION .Looe Key Reef is a submerged section of the Florida Reef Tract located 12.4km (6.7 nm ) southwest of Big Pine.Key in the lower Florida Keys at latitude 24', 33' north and longitude 81', 24' west. It is bounded on the south by the Straits of Florida.and on the north by Hawk Channel. (See Figure 1) The Florida Reef Tract extends from the Miami area southwesterly, paral- leling the Florida Keys and termi'nating in the Dry Tortugas. The most seaward portion, or Outer Reef Tract, lies to the east and south of the emergent Keys at a distance of from 4.8 to 11.3 km (2.6 to 6.1 nm). Beyond the outer reef, the bottom slopes gradually for a few miles and then drops sharply to about 900 meters in the trough of-Florida Straits. Although the reef tract extends for a linear distance of approximately 370 km (200 nm), it is actually composed of a chain of individual living reefs separated from each other by considerable areas which do not contain living coral formations. According to Marszalek, et al (1977), approximately 96 km of outer bank reefs occur between Fowey Rock& Lighthouse near Miami and the Marquesas Keys west of Key West, a distance of 270 km. The existence of these living reefs in this latitude is, to a great extent, a result of the proximity of the Florida Current, which carries warm, clear water of normal salinity northward along the seaward edge of the outer reef. The most extensive living reef areas occur in the northern portion of the tract, while in the southern sector, well developed reefs are generally smaller and are separated from each other by greater distances than those of the northern tract. Between the outer reef and the emergent Florida Keys, there exists a broad, shallow platform with an average water depth less.than ten meters. This area is known as Hawk Channel and contains more than-6,000 patch reefs (Marzalek et al, 1977). B. ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING Coral reefs occur in clear, tropical waters, and tolerate only minor fluctuations of physical and chemicaT oceanographic parameters. Kissling (1975) has measured some of these parameters over a four year period for-the Looe Key Reef area. Maximum and minimum amplitudes for the mixed, semidiurnal tides are 80 cm and 20 cm, respectively. Dissolved oxygen content of surface water varies 45- from 5.2 to 8.4 milligrams per liter, changing with the hour of day and season. Salinity is relatively uniform at 36 to 38 parts per thousand, and pH values vary from 8.1 to 8.55 all of which is well within the optimal range for coral reef development. The area undergoes an annual wet-dry hydrological cycle, with rainfall highest during the summer and fall, and a relatively dry season extending from about December through April. The air temperatures and prevailing wind directions which accompany these weather conditions exert some influence on the reef ecology. In summer, as is usual in tropical marine environments, and with winds mostly from the southeast, air temperatures may climb to 35'C. Surface water temperatures on the outer reefs then measure usually 30 to 31*C, which is close to optimal for reef-corals (Vaughan and Wells, 1943). In-the winter months, winds prevail from the east, northeast, and north, and frost may reach the southern tip of continental Florida, resulting in an air temperature in the Keys only slightly above freezing. These extremes are caused by cold fronts with strong northerly winds. Due to the east-west orientation of the Reef Tract and open passages in the lower Keys, wind-driven winter currents may carry large masses of cold Florida Bay water to the outer reefs and lower water temperature there to less than 20*C. This phenomenon may also be aided by movements of the Loop Current (Marszalek, 1977). Ginsburg and Shinn (1964) observed that reefs occur mainly opposite land where they are less exposed to Florida Bay water. For this reason, reefs are least developed in the widely spaced middle Keys, and the largest reefs are found in the upper Keys, where they are protected from cold Bay water by landbarriers, by their north-south orientation, and close proximity of the Gulf Stream. Measurements of minimum water temperatures made by Vaughan (1918) over a period of 20 years, were 15.6'C. at Fowey Rocks, 18.20C at Carysfort Reef, and 17.90C off Key West. The seasonal drop in water temperature is the most severe natural factor controlling coral reef development in Florida. Although a few species of hermatypic corals endure colder water, most species die at about 160C (Mayer, 1916), while exposure to about 18% will block their growth (Mayer, 1914). Although the situation may be different in certain IndoPacific reefs (Glynn, 1977), fluctuating water temperatures that remain below 24% seem to inhibit prominent coral reef development in the Caribbean Sea (Antonius, 1972). Dr. Antonius, as well as other marine biologists have measured growth-rates of several species of corals in Florida and areas of the Caribbean Sea (Antonius, personal communications). In many cases, coral growth-rates in Florida were found to be only about half or less the values found in central Caribbean reefs. For example, an easily measured growth-rate is that of the staghorn coral, 'Acropora cervicornis. It is about 10 cm per year in the Florida Reef Tract, but in excess of 20 cm in reefs of the Virgin Islands as well as the Barrier Reef of Belize, Central America (Robinson, personal communication, 1974). It appears, therefore, that Florida's coral reefs, including Looe Key, could grow only about half as fast as central Caribbean reefs, and any damage done to the coral framework can take twice as long to heal or regrow. 46 C. GEOLOGY The bedrock of the Florida Keys is of a dual origin. The Keys from Big Pine Key through Key Largo, are underlaid by Key Largo Limestone, an elevated coral reef of Pleistocene age. According to Hofmeister and Multer (1964), the Key Largo Limestone underlies Miami Beach to the north, comes to the ,surface at Soldier Key and is submerged beneath the Miami Oolite from Big Pine Key through Key West. The latter formation is an oolitic limestone composed of many small spherites of calcium carbonate. The oolite covers all of the Lower Keys and is thinnest over their southern borders, increasing in thickness to the north (Hofmeister, 1974). The general consensus regarding the origin of the Florida Keys suggests that about 95 000 years ago, during the last interglacial period (Sangamon), the coral ree@s which make up the Key Largo Limestone were a line of patch reefs in the back reef area of a broad reef platform similar to the Florida Reef Tract of today. Hofmeister and Multer (1968) hypothesize that marine and subaerial erosion following the withdrawal of the sea during the Wisconsin glacial period, possibly accompanied by a structural downward tilting or faulting of the area, or both, resulted in the lowering of the platform to a depth of about 23 meters at its seaward edge and progressively less further inland. With the return of the sea, new reef growth began on the eroded platform and continued to the present. D. FLORIDA REEF TRACT DISTINCTIVE CHARACTERISTICS As reported by Marszalek., et al (1977): "The outer bank reefs are typically elongate features of variable vertical relief which occur at the shallow shelf edge between the 5 meter and 10 meter depth contours. Their long axes form a discontinuous line of reefs oriented parallel to the shelf edge. The northernmost reefs trend N/S and the reefs near Key West E/W reflecting the change in orientation of the arcuate shelf edge. Approximately 56 km of linear bank reefs are located north of Tavernier Creek (at the south end of Key Largo Key), 17 km of reefs in the middle Keys and 23 km in the lower Keys (west of Big Pine Key). A spur and groove system is developed on the seaward face of most of the bank reefs, with the spurs and grooves oriented generally perpendicular to the shelf edge and to the oncoming waves of the Florida Current. Spurs and grooves..,are best developed on outer bank reefs of the upper Keys and lower Keys; the spur and groove pattern on reefs in the middle Keys is generally less developed and exhibits a more random orientation." 47 Although the outer reefs are highly variable in their degree of develop- ment, several distinctive features are held in common by reefs well advanced in the successional sequence leading to the mature, climax seral stage. These characteristics include: � the presence of the elkhorn coral (Acroeora palmata) at shallow depths. According to Shinn (1963), the spur and groove formations result from in situ growth of elkhorn colonies. A significant proportion of these formations is composed of encrusted rubble and skeletal material, derived from this species, which has been incorporated into the spur and groove system; � a vertical coral zonation characterized in the deeper zones of the reef by large, massive heads of brain (Diploria spp.) and star corals (Montastraea spp.) and, in the shallow, more turbulent areas, brancFing colonies of Acropora (A. palmata and A. cervicornis), several types oT T-Ire coraT, 70@- e 6ra ipR.) and extensive colonies of the colonial zoanthids Palythoa and Zoanthus; 0 a benthic macrobiota consisting of large populations of the sea urchin (Diadema antillarum, numerous species of cryptic ophiuroids (brittle stars), a diverse group of octocorals (sea fans and sea whips) and sponges and the calcareous green alga Halimeda opuntia; 0 a highly diverse finfish fauna. Stark (1967) reported a total of 517 fish species from Alligator Reef, of which 389 are coral reef forms. Many of these fish populations are characteristic of particular zones or specific habitats on the reef while others have been found to be nonselective. There is an apparent dependency relationship between the abundant and diverse fish populations of the Florida Reef Tract and the variety of available habitat in the area, not the least of which is the highly productive seagrass community in Hawk Channel. Much of the reef's structure is derived from the mechanical and biogenic breakdown of calcareous material. Kissling's analysis (1975) of reef sediments indicate that coral rubble in cobble and boulder sizes represents the vast bulk of reef sediment. Fine sediments result from further breakdown of the coarse material and from contributions by foraninifera,echinoderms, molluscs and calcareous algae. 48 FIGURE 5 PATCH REEF ZONE REEF FLAT ZONE HAWK CHANNEL FORE REEF ZONE DEEP REEF ZONE DEEP RIDGE ZONE (NOT SHOWN) F-1 V@7 SAND SEA GRASS CORAL LOOE KEY BIOLOGICAL. ZONES 940 FEET MAGNETIC. CORAL SPURS R9 _0 STRAITS OF FLORIDA DEEP RIDGE XX 49 E. LOOE KEY REEF AREA Looe Key Reef has recently been described in the Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory prepared by the Florida Reef Foundation and conducted by Antonius in 1978. (See app. B, Site Analysis Research Methods.) According to a draft fishery management plan for coral and coral reef resources prepared for the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (1979), Looe Key Reef: ". . . is better known scientifically than most others in South Florida" because of the resource inventory. The inventory divides the Looe Key Reef area, from an ecological/topo- graphical point of view into five zones: (See Figure 5) A Patch Reef area between Hawk Channel and the Looe Key Reef Flat; The Reef Flat, triangular in shape, with the Looe Key marker in the southeast corner; The Fore Reef, facing Florida Straits to the south consisting on a spur and groove system; A Deep Reef area with a drop-off, southwest of the Fore Reef; A Deep Ridge, separated from the Deep Reef by an estimated I km of sand bottom; The proposed Looe Key marine sanctuary area encompasses all five zones. All major taxa of reef-dwelling organisms are represented on Looe Key. Inventory data indicate the existence of several hundred species of marine organisms, joined together in the intricate functional web of the reef eco- system. Ecological diversity on Looe Key reef manifests itself in the exis- tence of distinct natural communities or associations within the reef eco- system. It is apparent that exchanges of energy and information occur between the various associations, and between the reef biota proper and the adjacent seagrass beds. Both demersal and pelagic fishes move freely throughout the entire ecosystem, and large invertebrates, such as the spiny lobster, are known to travel considerable distances. 1. Dominant Species of the Looe Key Area* a. Patch Reef A flat and relatively shallow area of about 8 m in depth stretches from Hawk Channel south to the Looe Key Reef Flat. The area is dominated by a mixed association of marine spermatophytes and green algae. The seagrasses include: turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) and manatee grass (Syringoduim See Appendix B for complete list. 50 I filiforme). The algae, which represent a much smaller biomass than that of the grasses, consist primarily of species of the genera Halimeda, Udotea, and Penicillus. Due north of the Looe Key Reef Flat are numerous Patch Reefs scattered throughout the seagrass community. Most of these reefs have little profile and generally project up less than 2 m from the shallow bottom. The algal flora is quite sparse on the Patch Reefs themselves. The coralline red algae Goniolithon sp. and Amphiroa rigida are most abundant.* Scattered clumps of the attached brown alga (Sargassum polyceratium), the red alga (Laurencia intricata), and the green alga (Bryopsis pennata) were Th- observed. is scarcity of algae is a result of grazing pressure by herbi- vorous fish and invertebrates. Among the faunal components in all Patch Reefs, octocorals are by far dominant. They not only grow dense enough to give certain Patch Reefs the appearance of the heavily vegetated landscape, but also attain unusual sizes. Among giant sea feathers and sea whips, the largest specimens, close to 2 m in height, are mainly Plexaurella nutans and Pseudoplexaura flagellosa. Compared with prominent main reef structures, the abundance of stony corals is quite low, while sponges are comparatively well represented. Both stony corals and sponges grow here to small or medium size and comprise about an equal share of the Patch Reefs' biomass. The most important species of stony corals in this zone are the hydrocoral (firecoral)(Millepora com@lanata), the scleractinians (Colpophyllia natans), (Diploria labyrinthiformis), (D. strigosa), (D. clivosa), (Siderastrea siderea), and especially the staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) that occurs here with greater frequency than in any other part of the Looe Key Reef. Elkhorn coral (Acropor palmata) is not found in the Patch Reef association. The pillar coral (DindroqZra cylindrus), is found on several patch reefs. Four colonies df-this rare species were located on one patch. One colony was especially impressive with six large pillars rising 1 m from the base, along with several smaller spires adjacent to it. Frequently observed inhabitants of the patch reefs include: the anemones (Bartholomea annulata), (Condylactis gigantea), and the mat-forming zoanthids (Palythoa mammillosum) and (Zoanthus sociatus); serpulid and sabellid worms, a variety of small crustaceans, especially the arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornisl. In the sandy and grassy areas adjacent to the Patch Reefs, the echinoids-Flagiobrissus grandis, Clypeaster rosaceus, and Diadema antillarum are common. The latter are most'abundant at the interface between the.reef and the surrounding halo. Summarizing all these data, the sand-sea-grass-reef community of the Patch Reef zone appears to be a lagoon-type reef environment, sheltered from violent wave action by the Looe Key Reef Flat, but subject to a considerable sediment load suspended in the water column during rough weather. Numerous'consumers utilize patch reefs as habitat and feed directly on seagrasses, their epiphytes and associated macro-algae (Ogden and Zieman, 1977). *See Appendix B for complete list. 51 Accordi-ag t-e t-h@ authors: "Carnivorous fishes (e.g. grunts, Pomadasyidae) resting on coral reefs by day and feeding on seagrass invertebrates by night are largely responsible for the enhanced fish biomass characteristic of coral reefs near seagrass beds. The proximity of seagrass beds to coral reefs provides food for fishes and invertebrates feeding within the beds, shelter for juveniles, and organic material exported to reefs. The primary limit to further exploitation is lack of shelter within the beds." Thus the patch reef community represents a distinct natural system whose biota is adapted to the envi'ronmental conditions of the back reef zone. Continued survival. of this system is critical for maintenance of the habitat utilized by numerous fishes and the spiny lobster. Utilization of the patch reefs for shelter from predators allows both juveniles and adults to exploit an enormous and nearby source of energy, the biomass of the seagrass association. Much of this energy, in the form of finfish and shellfish biomass is harvested by both the commercial and sport fishing industry of the Florida Keys. b. Reef Flat The Looe Key Reef Flat is roughly in the shape of an isosceles triangle, its base facing south towards the Straits of Florida and the apex pointing land- ward to the north. On this landward side there is a very gradual transition from the seagrass association of the Patch Reef area into the Reef Flat, marked mainly by the beginning of extensive sand flats and an elevation of the bottom to about 2 m in depth. From here toward the south, the Reef Flat becomes gradually shallower with the main part of the area showing a depth of approx- mately 1.5 m. The Reef Flat terminates in a sharply defined rock and rubble zone immediately behind the uppermost rim of the Fore Reef. The water depth in this area is no greater that about 0.5 m. The Reef Flat does not show any profile other than the elevation of seagrass ridges approximately 0.5 m above the sand bottom. The benthos consists primarily of calcareous sand, rubble, coarse sediment and extensive seagrass beds. The latter are vegetated by pure stands of turtle grass, or a mixture of turtle grass, manatee grass, and algae. In some areas without seagrass, the bottom community consists of algae and invertebrates. The algae, in most area of the Reef Flat, include: species of the genera Halimeda, Udotea, Penicillus, Caulerpa, Rhipocephalus, Cladophoropsis, Dasycladus vermicularis, and several other chlorophycean algae, as well as representatives of the red algal genera Laurencia, Goniolithon, Spyridia, and Chondria. Older blades of turtle grass are almost invariably covered with the red algal epiphyte 'Melobesia membranacea, and much of the manatee grass was observed to be densely covered with an epiphytic spectes of Ceramium. Brown algae are represented by species of the genus Dictyota, as well as Padina sanctae-crucis, and Stypopodium zonale. In the rock and rubble sector of the Reef Flat behind the Fore Reef the algal community consists of those species requiring a hard substrate. These include: Goniolithon spp., Lithothamnium incertum, large clumps of Halimeda opuntia, 17-ictyotota spp., Stypopodiu'm zonale. 52 Compared to the seagrass and algal cover, the sessile benthic fauna of the Reef Flat has only minor significance. Occurrence of sponges is negligible and the number of stony corals very limited. Specimens are usually small, encrusting, and rather scattered, with the species Porites astreoides, Diploria clivosa, Millepora squarrosa, M. complanata, and Siderastrea siderea, most noticeable. A number of medium-sized coral colonies, mainly Qf the species Montastrea annularis, Siderastrea siderea, Acropora palmata, and Diploria clivosa, can be found within about a IUO-m tance from the seaward terminus of the Reef Flat. Within this belt, several patches, almost a zone, of octocorals occur. Most noticeable is Pterogorgia citrina, the smallest of all Looe Key octocoral species (about '15 cm in height), which grows only on the Reef Flat but is the most abundant species here. The sea fan, Gorgonia .ventalina, is a close second, while sea whi'Rs are represented by several species of the genera Eunicea and Plexaura and sea feathers by two species of Pseudopterogorgia. Although the number of octocoral species, as well as their.size, remains rather small, they nevertheless represent the only benthic faunal component of some significance on the Reef Flat. Within and adjacent to the seagrass beds of the Reef Flat, the most commonly observed invertebrates include: the queen conch ('Strombus gigas); the pen shell (Atrina rigida); the.holothurians (Holothuria floridana and Actinopygia agassi ii); and the reef squid (SepiCteuthis sepiodea@. The rock and rubble areas of the Reef Flat provide an excellent habitat for small invertebrates. Numerous serpulid and sabellid worms protrude from the surfaces of the eroded rocks, whereas terebellids are commonly found beneath them. Abundant populations of other cryptic organisms, such as brittle stars and small crustaceans abound in this area. Among crabs, the majids (Mithras spp. and Stenorhynchus seticornis), the grapsid (Percnon gibbesi)', the xanthids (L'eptodius floridanus and Glyptoxanthus erosus), and the portunid (Portunus spinimanus) were most frequently observed. Small gastropod and pelecypod molluscs are to be found in this area in considerable abundance. Echinoderms are prolific, especially ophiuroids. A large population of Diadema a.ntillarum reside in this area. Other echinoids and holothurians were observed but are not common. C. Fore Reef The Fore Reef zone of Looe Key is a well developed and especially spec- tacular formation. Its main portion is a high profile spur and groove system, bordering the Reef Flat in very shallow water and sloping down to a sand bottom in 9-11 m of depth. The whole system, from easternmost to westernmost spur, is about 1500 m long and, at the main center portion, about 350 m wide. There are two associations, or subzones, that comprise the Fore Reef complex. The shallowest part of the spurs, just below the surface at low tide, could be called the "reef crest". However, at Looe Key it is so narrow a zone (less than 20 m) that it is treated here simply as the leeward end of the spur and groove system. The benthic community of this subzone consists of a massive growth of firecorals, mainly Millepora complanata, but lacks 53 the elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) component which is usually characteristic of reef crests. Moreover, this shallow Millepora zone does not form a proper barrier but is transected by many valleys. Several of these are extensions of the seaward grooves, others are transverse channels, running perpendicular to the grooves, thus breaking up the Millepora zone into huge, block-like segments. Sections of the walls and bottoms of these channels are lined with the urchin Diadema antillarum. Seaward, some portions of the Millepora zone drop abruptly to the rubble- filled ends of the grooves. The sections in between gradually develop into spurs, the tops of which are not deeper than about 2 m, for the first 20 to 30 m seaward. These platform-like "backs" of the leeward spurs, and their almost vertical walls, are two distinctly different biotopes. On top, large areas are covered by soft mats of colonial zoanthids Palythoa mammillosum and Zoanthus pulchellus. Millepora complanata -is the dominant stony coral here although single colonies or clusters of elkhorn coral, (Acorpora palmata), are irregularly interspersed. The only substantial concentration of Acropora palmata is immediately seaward of the Millepora complex, exactly where one would expect the highest part of the reef crest to be developed. Close inspection of the reef's framework, on the spur's vertical walls, indicates that the main construction element of the spurs has apparently been Acropora palmata, which today does not seem to be that dominant. Discussions of origin and zonation of spur and groove systems are given by Shinn (1963), and Geister (1977). Following the spurs seaward, in depth increasing from 3 to 8 m, (= depth of spur's top), one finds a zone which may well be the most important, certainly the most spectacular part of the Looe Key reef. Some of the spurs show a profile here of up to 7 m high, caused mainly by the vigorous construction activity of the "mountainous" star coral (Montastraea annularis). This species builds buttresses of 2 to 3 m in diameter and 4 to 5 m from bo:Etom to top: the vertical walls of these form most of the spurs' steep sides. On top of the spurs, (Montastraea annualaris) is still represented in boulders of 1.5 to 2 m in diameter, accompanied Sy' similar sized specimens which are primarily brain corals such as Diploria strigosa and Colpophyllia natans. Due to the massive nature of the reef-builders in this subzone, there are few holes in the reef framework, consequently allowing little insight into the history of construction. The last segment of the spurs is a rather flat extension of the proceeding high profile. The spurs' elevation over the sand bottom here is not more than about 1 m, formed mainly by Monta,straea cavernosa, which occurs in cone-shaped colonies 30-40 cm in height. Similarly sized specimens of Sideras- trea siderea, Montastraea annularis, Colpophyllia natans, Diploria strigosa, D. labyrinthiformis, and MeandrinTmeandrites also occur here, but are much less frequent. Among other invertebrates, bivalve molluscs are relatively common in recesses on the surfaces of the spurs, but are almost invariably encrusted and very difficult to distinguish from the background. Gastropods are ubiquitously distributed in this zone. Brittle stars are both numerous and diverse in the Fore Reef; they appear most abundant.in recesses and grooves 54 of the stony corals as well as under and behind rubble. They become quite obvious at night when they expose their arms to feed. At least one species, on Looe Key is bioluminescent and displays pulsating light patterns when disturbed. The dominant vegetation on the Fore Reef are encrusting species of red algae of the genera Goniolithon, Lithothamnium, and Peyssonellia. Widely scattered small clumps of Halimeda opuntia f. minor. Bryopsis pennata, and Dictyota spp. occur on the tops and sides of the spurs. The distinct paucity of the algal flora found here is probably a reflection of grazing pressure from organisms such as sea urchins. The Fore Reef zone has by far the greatest numbers of fish. Almost all of the species encountered in the reef.system can be found here, with the exception of some deeper water species only observed beyond a depth of 10 m. Two of the most abundant species, found in the Fore Reef zone, are tomate grunts, (Haemulon aurolineatum), and yellowtail snappers, (Ocyrus chUsurus). Absent or rarely seen, according to the Inventory, (Antonius et a] 1978) were grey or mangrove snapper, (Lutjanus griseus), and larger serranids, such as black, red and nassau groupers. Black grouper and mangrove snapper, where seen, were usually on the western end of the reef and moving away, out of the range of visibility. di Deep Reef At the seaward edge of the spur and groove system a sandflat begins in about 9-11 m depth, very gradually sloping down with a slight incline. In front of the eastern half of the Fore Reef this sandflat is uninterrupted. At the western half it is intersected by a deep reef, which begins here as a finger-like extension of scattered coral outcrops just beyo-nd the terminus of the spur and groove system. From here a reef flat of 10-12 m depth stretches several hundred meters to the west without showing much profile, representing a comparatively shallow subzone of the Deep Reef. Towards the south, the Deep Reef gradually changes into a second subzone. Here, the reef flat curves into a slope of increasing steepness with a consi- derable profile caused by surge channels. In the deepest portion of this subzone, the slope forms a small but true drop-off which ends on a sandflat in about 30 to 35 m depths. In this deepest sector of the Deep Reef, the sediments are quite fine and silt-like and are easily raised up from the bottom. The shallower, plateau-like part of the Deep Reef is somewhat similar to the previously described Patch Reefs. Octocorals are dominant here, with a very similar species composition to that of the Patch Reefs, but they do not outnumber stony corals here as much as they do in the Patch Reefs. The most frequently encountered octocoral on this part of the Deep Reef is the plexaurid Muriceopsis petila. Sponges are fairly common and grow to larger sizes than in the Patch Reefs. Stony corals do not exceed medium sizes and are scattered in distribution. 55 Although species composition resembles that of shallower parts of the reef, a number of scleractinians with branching and flower-like growth forms occur on the Deep Reef which are either not present or very rare in more accessible areas of Looe Key. Species of the genera Madracis and Oculina grow in clusters of-smiall finger-like branches while colonies of Mussa angulosa and Eusmilia fastigiata resemble bouquets of densely packed flowers. Disk-like growth forms of striking shape are found amongst many species of Agariciidae and Mussidae, which occur in appreciable numbers at this depth only. While species composition of stony corals in the deeper parts of this zone remains about the same, the number and size of individual colonies increases, making them the dominant component here. Also with increasing .depth, an interesting change in the octocoral fauna takes place. Among Pseudopterogorgia species P. bipinnata far outnumbers all others, and two deep water species occur ;nly here: the rare, monofilament.Ellisella barbadensis, and the abundant, fan-shaped Iciligorgia schrammi. Among other invertebrates, serpulid worms (Polychaetes) were noted .to be common in this area. Only one lobster was observed. The plant community on the Deep Reef consists primarily of encrusting red algae, which become less frequent with increasing depth. In the shallower subzone, an association of green algae can be found, mainly attached to the coarse bottom sediments; they include: Caulerpa spp., Udotea sPP., Penicillus spp., Halimeda incrassata, Dasycladus vermicularis, and Rhipocephalus phoenix. Other greens, suc as Valonia ventricosa. Halimeda opuntia f. minor, as well as the brown algae Dictyota dichotoma occur frequently on hard substrates. Fish found only in the Deep Reef zone, according to the Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory (Antonius et al, 1978) were purple reeffish, (Chromis scotti), sunshine fish, (Chromis insolatus), spotfin hogfish, (Bodianus ulchellus), and scamp, (Mycteroperca phenax). Other fish found on the Fore Reef, but more abundant on the Deep Reef were butterflyfishes, hamlets, groupers, blue chromis, and creole wrasse. These distributi'ons appears normal, as many reef species prefer only certain depth zones (Noyes, 1980). On the seaward edge of the coral reef, partially within the proposed sanctuary boundaries extends a blue water environment, characterized by extremely clear transparent water, due to a lack of phytoplankton.' This area.is the home of many commercially and recreationally valuable fishes. Along the Florida coast, high populations of these fishes are at least partially supported by the productivity of the reefs and inshore grass beds. Along the reef tract, the large pelagic (open-ocean) fi,shes feed on bottom fishes and animals which, in turn, have fed on benthic plants and detritus. This short food chain permits more top carnivores to be supported by the extremely high productivity of the reef and inshore environments. Commercially valuable species mostly found in blue water but 'observed within the proposed sanctuary boundaries are amberjack, grouper, hammerhead shark, king mackerel, spanish mackerel, and cero mackerel. Others which depend partially on habitat within the proposed boundary include dolphin, ballyhoo, and pompano. 56 e. Deep Ridge During the summer of 1973, an attempt was made to explore the deep parts of several reefs in the Florida Reef Tract with the "Johnson-Sea-Link" research submersible. At Looe Key, as well as at other reefs, a deeptridge was discovered, separated from the end of the Deep Reef by an estimated distance of at least 1 km of sand bottom (Antonius, 1974). This Deep Ridge runs parallel to the margin of the continental shelf. It shows very little profile and is only a few meters wide, but is, neverthe- less, an outcrop of living coral reef. It lies in about 45 m depth and is formed mainly by plate-like colonies of Montastraea cavernosa and several species of Agariciidae, which show considerable sedimentation damage. Also present are deep water octocorals, such as Iciligorgia schrammi and Ellisella barbadensis, with the latter much more abundant here than on the Deep Reef. .. One major significance of this deep ridge formation may lie in its potential for elucidating the geological past of the area. Its biological importance to the total Looe Key reef ecosystem has not been evaluated. 2. Trophic Relationships Primary production generated by seagrasses and macro-algae on Looe Key occurs mainly in two zones: the Patch Reefs and the Reef Flat. Many of the herbivorous fish p opulations, as well as numerous invertebrates rely on these seagrass beds both as their primary source of food and for protection. The ecological significance of the interrelationships between patch reefs and seagrass associations has been well documented (e.g., Ogden & Zieman, 1977). Numerous consumers utilize patch reefs as habitat, but feed directly on seagrasses and their epiphytes, as well as on associated macro-algae. Thus, the Patch Reef ecosystem provides the two most important requirements for the mobile, herbivorous reef fauna: shelter from predators and an unlimited supply of food. The high productivity of areas like this is harvested in the Florida Keys in the form of finfish, lobster, and other shellfish by both the commercial and sport fishing industry. With regard to feeding relationships, the importance of the coral reef areas proper, (i.e., the reefs in the Patch Reef, the Fore Reef, and the Deep Reef zones), lies mainly intheir production of plankton, and, to an unknown extent, excretion of non-living organic material, i.e, mucous. Transport of planktonic larvae, eggs, spores, and other reproductive entities between the various zones and subzones is probably considerable. .Dissolved organics, exocrines and 6 wide array of other metabolic excretions, originating in any of these natural communities, are distributed throughout the reef by tide and wind-driven currents. In situ primary production fixes a certain percentage of the energy requirement.of the reef ecosystem. However, imports of energy from adjacent seagrass beds and phytoplankton populations are probably of great importance to the reef's consumers. 57 Also, an unknown, but undoubtedly significant, contribution of dissolved organic material and particulate detritus is carried to the reef from man- grove wetlands by outgoing tides. The tremendous superiority of coral reefs over other ecoystems in terms of productivity has been documented by Odum ..(1971). There is no doubt that all four reef zones (and possibly, also the Deep Ridge), identified in this study, are tied together by trophic relationships, just as the total coral reef ecosystem is tied in with the surrounding ocean. The coral reef - open ocean relationship, is illustrated by the frequent visits to the reef by large schools of jacks, mackerel and other pelagic fishes. These fishes use the reef not only as a feeding ground, but also participate in, and benefit from, the cleaning-mutualistic symbiotic relation- ship with reef-dwelling finfish and invertebrates (i.e., "cleaning'stations"). 3. Endangered Species There have been no reported endangered-species in the Looe Key proposal site. Although the Looe Key area is suitable habitat for three marine turtles protected under the Endangered Species Act, no sightings, to date, have been verified. Pillar coral (Dendrogyra cy indrus) found in the patch reefs north of the main section of Looe Key was nominated but did not qualify as a federally designated endangered species. 58 SOCIO-ECONOMIC SETTING A. SOCIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS The proximity of most of the Florida Reef Tract, including Looe Key Reef, to the Florida Keys in Monroe County makes these reefs accessible to the large numbers of people who are able to drive or fly to the archipelago. The Overseas Highway and its 44 bridges link the Keys to the mainland, and jet air service connects Key West and Marathon to all major American urban areas. At the present time, 37 of the existing 44 bridges are being replaced, a major new fresh water aqueduct from the south Florida mainland to the Keys is under construction, and extensive additions to the electrical trans- mission and generation systems for the area are under way. Monroe County statistics indicate that the Keys are expanding rapidly in both permanent, resident population and tourist populations. The unincorporated Monroe County population (outside Key West, Key Colony Beach and Layton) increased by roughly 30 percent, or from 22,803 to 28,435, between 1970 and 1973 (Monroe County Statistics, p.A-2). In the same period, tourism more than doubled, from 460,800 county tourists to 948,500 (Monroe County Statistics, p.E-1). Not only is tourism in Monroe County increasing absolutely but the county is increasing its share of Florida tourists, up in this period from 2.0 to 3.0 percent. The increase in population is expected to continue. From a 1978 county population of 54,793, the permanent resident population is expected to reach 55,600 to 56,400 by 1980, 56,700 to 58,400 by 1985, and between 60,900 to 66,300 by 1990, (Monroe County Statistics, p.A-6)., This last figure implies that in the next decade Monroe County is expected to grow by 10 to 20 percent. In the area nearest Looe Key, from Seven Mile Bridge up to and including half of Ramrod Key, the population is expected to grow from 1,833 in 1974 to 5,845 in 1998 (Black, Crow & Eidsness, P.3-4.). Tourism is increasing. Bahia Honda State Park, in the vicinity of the proposed sanctuary, reported a 20 percent increase in visitors during Fiscal Year (FY) 1978-1979. The number of.visitors rose from 293,256 in 1978 to 351,700 in 1979. (Bahia Honda Tabulation of Daily.Visitors, FY 1978-1979.) The impending construction of the new water aqued uct is predicted to increase population of theFlorida Keys (Black, Crow and Eidsness, Inc., 1976). Construction in the Lower Keys hit an all time high in 1978, as permits for 208 residential units were issued by the county (Monroe County Statistics, p.B-5). The construction industry has clearly recovered from the recession in 1975 and is building as rapidly as before. Overall, the unincorporated Keys saw the housing stock increase by 59 percent in the 1970-1977 period (Monroe County Statistics, p.B-3.). With the new aqueduct, this number should increase. 59 As the number of persons in the Lower Keys increases, it is likely that ,the amount of human activity at Looe Key will increase. In addition, with the increasing popularity of SCUBA diving and snorkeling, it can be assumed that the number of persons diving at Looe Key will increase. B. ECONOMIC CONDITIONS The economic base of Monroe County has four main elements: (1) tourism (2) commercial and sport fishing, (3) retirement and second home communities, and.(4) Federal government operations (military). The remaining segments of the economy center around wholesale and retail trade, services, light industry, trades and government. Of the nearly 19,500 persons (1976) in the civilian labor force, approx- imately 40 percent were employed by businesses servicing the over I million tourists a year that visit the Florida Keys. The majority of this income is seasonal with peak periods from December to May (Monroe County Statistics, 1979). Looe Key is widelylused by commercial fishermen, public charter boat operators, dive boats, recreational divers and fishermen, and educational enterprises in the lower Florida Keys. Recreational skin diving has become a significant commercial industry in the Keys in recent years. According to the Skin Diver Magazine, 1979 Reader Survey, 38.8 percent of skin divers (snorkelers and SCUB vers) traveled to other States to dive. Of that 38.8 percent, 35.6 percent trav- eled to the Florida Keys in Monroe County. The median amount per diver spent in 12 months on diving trips, according to the survey, was $442.00; the average $718.00. Although expenditures of this nature, i.e., travel, equipment purchases, are not entirely spent in the Monroe County region, some, at least, of the income from these trips is realized by the local. economy. In the last fifteen years, pleasure boat regis tration almost quadrupled to 8,121 boats in Monroe County. Commercial boat registration rose by a third in the same fifteen years to 2,749 boats. If these trends continue, future human use of the area and all the Keys is much more likely to have a recreational orientation than a commercial one (Mathis et al, p.7, 1979). The commercial fishing industry is an important source of income and employment. In 1976, Monroe County ranked first in fish and shellfish landings in Florida with fish catch valued at $Z3,605,000. Of that amount, $19,965,000 came from shellfish and $3,640,000 from fish. Over 18 percent, or about 28 million pounds, of the commercial fish landings in Florida in 1978 were brought into County docks. The.1978 value of Monroe County landings was about $38 million, or nearly 42 percent of the total value for commercial fish in Florida (Monroe County Statistics, 1979). The continuously increasing population of retirees is not a major influence on the area's economy because most live on fixed incomes (Monroe County Statistics 1979, p.F-1). However, they, and the growing number of second home owners, are the primary stimulus for the relatively small construction industry.in the Keys. 60 The largest single and least seasonal element@of the Monroe County economy is the military. In 1976, the Naval Air Station provided 34 percent of all. employment and 24 percent of all personal income in Key West, which amounted to almost $49 million. B. LOOE KEY ONSITE SURVEY The contribution of Looe Key to the economy of Monroe County can only be approximated. All income and catch information from commercial fishermen and income-from commercial recreational businesses of Looe Key is only available at the County or Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area level. To obtain a more accurate socio-economic picture of the Looe Key area, NOAA undertook, through a consultant (SGW), a time limited Looe Key Onsite Survey of human activities and the estimated economic benefits to the Looe Key area from these activities. The information from.the survey presented below is a part of the economically affected environment and was used in analyses to determine the preferred alternative. Like the major portion of the Keys, the economy of the area near Looe Key is heavily dependent on fishing and tourism. The Onsite Survey concluded that commercial fishermen with home ports adjacent to Looe Key derive about 28 per- cent of their annual catch from the 5 sq nm area surrounding the main Looe Key reef. I. Commercial Fishing Using average 1978, Monroe County dockside prices computed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Onsite Survey results reported that the 1978 catch within the 5 sq. nm area at Looe Key was worth approximately $755,690 or.$7,556.90 per boat/per year. The average annual income per boat for the overall Looe Key area could thus be expected to be $27,000 in 1978 (see app. C, Table 1,2). Comparing this figure based on actual information from the survey interview schedules with the reported average 1976 income per boat in Monroe.County of $24,872 (Mathis et al 1979, Table 4), the Looe Key Onsite Survey reported income/per boat was Nigher. The average survey reported income for commercial fishermen from the Looe Key area was also higher than the estimated income reported by the Lower Keys Chapter of Organized Fishermen of Florida (OFF) at the public meeti.ngs in Big Pine Key, Florida. OFF testi- fied, in January 1978, that the yearly catch value from the Looe Key area in 1978 ranged between $300,000 and $500,000. Survey information, as mentioned above, reported $755,690 for just the 5 sq nm area or approximately $255,000 more than OFF's higher estimate. The differences between published data on fish catch value for Monroe County, the OFF testimony and the Survey data may result from (1) having overestimated the actual fishing boats at Looe Key, or (2) by inflated catch value estimates on survey interview schedules The Survey results, however, are well within the range of probability and appropriate for general economic analysis. Of the estimated $755,690 earned in the 5 sq nm area or Boundary Alternative #2, 61.7 percent came from lobster trapping, 14.5 percent from wire fish trapping, 17.7 percent from hook and line, 5.6 percent from netting and 5 percent from trapping Stone Crab. 61 To account for income generated by commercial fishing businesses in the Looe Key area other than the direct income earned by the fishermen, a regional multiplier was used. Using the economic value of commercial fishing in Boundary Alternative #2 ($755,690) and the appropriate regional multiplier from the Bureau of Economic Analysis USDC, 1977, the economic effect on the Lower Key economy of the fishing effort was reported to be $1,446,390 in 1978. 2. Commercial Recreational and Educational Businesses Looe Key Coral Reef has come to be recognized as one of the more popular snorkeling and diving sites in the Florida Keys. Businesses have sprung up to serve the divers and others wishing to take advantage of the high recrea- tional potential of the area. Revenue from charter dive boat trips appears to be the major income producing activity outside of commercial fishing directly utilizing Looe Key reef. Other income producing businesses, such as marinas and fishing lodges, rent boats and equipment. The Newfound Harbor Marine Institute on Big Pine Key, a non-profit organization offering one of the most comprehensive marine educational oppor- tunities in the Florida Keys, focuses upon the nearby Looe Key coral reef and other coral assemblages in the general vicinity for year round teaching. Seacamp, a part of the Institute, offers a variety of educational programs to students in the 4th grade through graduate school. Between 5,000 and 6,'000 persons participated in the'3 to 30-day programs in 1978. The Onsite Survey estimated revenue from dive boat trips to be between $150,000 and $250,000 in 1978. This represents income from an estimated 7500 divers who charter dive boats annually, according to the Survey. Divers charter boats, stay in hotels, motels and fishing lodges, visit restaurants, frequent marinas and purchase air ind diving equipment. These economic multiplier effects were taken into account by using a regional service sector multiplier. The multiplier selected for these commercial dive boats was 3,203 (BEA 1977, p. 44). Thus, the total economic value of commercial recreational businesses was estimated to be between $480,450 and $800,750. Almost all of this in@ome was derived from the 5 sq nm B 'oundary Alternative #2 since the most utilized coral areas were found within the 5 sq nm boundary. No attempt was made to estimate the economic value of Seacamp and the activities of the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute although its apparently significant economic value was considered in the development of regulations for the sanctuary. 3. Tropical Specimen Industry A preliminary unpublished draft study of the "Aquarium Reef Fish Industry of Monroe County, Florida" based on 1976 and earlier data (Hess/Stevely) was prepared for the Marine Resource Inventory Monroe County, Marine.Advisory Program of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, and submitted in 1979. 62 This appears to be the best available information on the Florida Keys trop- ical specimen industry to date although admittedly it is not a definitive study. Both the following economic discussion and the Environmental Consequen- ces Chapter 4 analysis of proposed tropical specimen collecting regulations are based largely on this draft study and personal interviews with tropical specimen collectors at Looe Key and in the Florida Keys as part of the Onsite Survey. Areas of heavy boating traffic and dense coral relief of the reef struc- ture, such as the Looe Key Fore Reef area are not generally considered suitable as collecting areas for tropical fish and invertebrates (Causey, personal com- munication, 1979). Boats carrying tourists and local residents can easily foul and disconnect lines leading to submerged collectors and their equipment. Dense coral structures offer multiple hiding places for desirable tropical fish species. The Onsite Survey revealed that some collecting occurred in the Looe Key area. There are six full-time and two part-time collectors in the general area. Their annual income varies considerably, depending on their expertise, the amount and type of work they perform and changeable environmental condi- tions. Full time tropical specimen collectors fall into two categories; those who sell to wholesalers located along the Keys or large wholesale outlets in Miami" and those who not only collect specimens but package and ship the organisms directly to customers. The latter group's income falls within the higher estimated range of income for coll.ectors,(Causey, personal communication, 1979). Income estimates based on best available but very preliminary information set the overall value of tropical fish and invertebrate collecting in the vicinity of Looe Key at between $105,000 and $17@,OOO. Collecting activities inside the 5 sq nm boundary, according to the Onsite Survey, appear to amount to less than 25 percent of the total collecting. There is some reported activity among the rocky ledges of the Patch Reef zone, but minimal commercial activity in the Fore Reef and Reef Flat zones. Occasional amateur collecting, however, has been observed throughout the five mile area. Thus the estimated range of income generated within the 5 sq nm proposed sanctuary area is between $25,000 and $43,000. The regional multiplier would increase these amounts to between $80,045 and $137,729. 4. Private Recreational Users Commercial recreational questionnaires from the Onsite Survey estimated that the average number of daily private boat visits to the proposed Looe Key 5 sq nm sanctuary ranged between a I ow, of 11 and a high of 23 in 1978. If these estimates are correct, then -- assuming 300 days of clear weather -- there were somewhere between 3,564 and 7,008 private boat visits to the reef last year. According to the Onsite Survey, 2,346 to 4,672 of these boats carried an estimated 9,694 to 19,061 divers to Looe Key reef in addition to the 4,500 from commercially chartered dive boats. 63 By attributing an economic value to these commercial, non-quantifiable activities (see app. C), it was possible to estimate the value of these private non-commercial activities at Looe Key. Using the combined commercial costs of snorkeling, and SCUBA diving, the economic value of the 9-,694 to 19,061 private d.ivers in Boundary Option No. 2 was estimated to be between $137,364 and $240,094 in 1978. Using the appropriate regional multiplier, the value of private recreational diving activity to the region was set between $439,976 and $769,021 for the region. Recreational fishing and sightseeing was valued to be between $27,520 and $93,440. The multiplier effect of this activity would raise the total value of this activity to the region to between $152,200 and $299,288. 5. Summary The income from commercial and recreational activities is approximately $1,300,000 per year, which, in turn provides about $3,154,000 in business for the area economy. The economic impacts of human activity in the Looe Key area were consid- ered in the drafting of regulatory alternatives. The approximate income and business volume in dollars is summarized in the followi.ng table: 64 TABLE 6 SUMMARY APPROXIMATE INCOME AND BUSINESS VOLUME Activity 1978 Income 1978 Local 5 nm Area Economy Value Fishing Commercial (Catch Value) 755,690 $1,446,390 1/ Tropical Specimen 43,000 (max) 317,729 2/ (max) Collecting Income (gross) Tourism Dive charter boats (Commercial recreational businesses) 250,000 (max) 800,750 2/ (max) Sport fishing, diving, snorkeling (imputed value) (Private recreational businesses) 240,094 (max) 769,021 2/ (max) value $1,288,784 $3,153, 890 l/ Economic Multiplier 1.914 '(BEA 1977 p.44). 2/ Enonomic Multiplier 3.203 (BEA 1977 p.44). 65 III. HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES IN AND ADJACENT TO THE PROPOSED AREA A. A World War II wreck rumored to be a small U.S. Navy utility vessel is located 150 m north of the current marker post. Visible wreckage includes 6 rectangular steel tanks, much corroded, partially buried in the sand, and partially overgrown with small corals and sponges. Assorted beams, fittings and piping are scattered about the area. B. About 1 km north of the current marker lie the remains of an un- identified wreck, discovered in the 1960's by local salvager, Captain Art Hartmann, who believed it to be the wreckage of the Snow which was in company with the H.M.S. Looe when they both went up on the reef in 1744. The keel and ribs are occasionally visible in the sifting sand at a depth of about 4 m. The British Admiralty records concerning the loss of the H.M.S. Looe state that the Snow was behind the Looe when she went up on the north side of the Reef Flat; it does not appear possible that the remains of the Snow are those discovered by Captain Hartmann. C. An anchor which could very well be from the Snow has been sighted embedded in a ridge of coral in the mid-section of the F-ore Reef spur and groove system. D. In the shallow basins of the rubble sub-zone between the Reef Flat and Fore Reef, there are several scattered piles of the ballast stones commonly used in the 19th century ships. These occur in identifiable concentration at the southeastern end of the Reef Flat. E. The wreckage of the H.M.S. Looe lies to the southwest of the current marker post in 4.5 to 9 m of water, within the proposed boundaries of the sanctuary. Some 14 cast iron ballast blocks, which are triangular in cross section, stair-step sided, and characteristic of British men-of-war of that period, lie only partially buried in the sand. These blocks, along with other scattered remnants of the ship's structure, are heavily coral encrusted and partially buried in the sand. When Ed Davidson, a local dive boat captain, examined this wreck site in the company of a State of Florida underwater archaeologist in the summer of 1977, "hand-fanning" revealed fragments of flint, pieces of the original oak timbers, and corroded iron fastenings in the vicinity of the ballast blocks under only 18 inches of sand. Mendel L. Peterson, curator of naval history for the Smithsonian, and Edward Link (Harbor Branch Foundation) visited, salvaged and identified items from the wreck site in 1950-1951. A variety of recovered ballast blocks, cannons, shots, fasteners, pottery, bottles, and coins were shipped to the Smithsonian Institution. Investigations by Peterson (1955) into:letter correspondence, British Admiralty records, court martial proceedings, etc., reveal the following facts about this ship and her fate. The H.M.S. Looe was a 44 gun British frigate, armed with batteries of 6 and 12 pounders ' launched in 1706 with a complement of 190 men. She saw varied service as a hospital and convoy ship -in mid-career, before being refitted to her original wars-hip configuration and posted to the American Colonies under the command of Captain Utting. She was headquartered at Port Royal in South Carolina and assigned to cruise the Florida Straits in winter. 67 The Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior is preparing a Submerged Cultural Resource Plan to identify shipwreck sites between Key West and Cape Hatteras out to 200 miles. Additional information on shipwrecks in the Looe Key area will become available as these surveys are completed. 68 IV. STATE AND OTHER FEDERAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROVISIONS IN ADJACENT AND NEARBY AREAS Although the proposed sanctuary lies solely within Federal jurisdiction it is adjacent to State waters. There are numerous protected areas adjacent or in relatively close proximity to the proposed boundary. Federal and State management measures for similar resources must be taken into account whe_n-___ planning for sanctuary resource protection and use. Knowledge of related programs will help insure that proposed sanctuary regulations are not dupli- cative and that they are reasonable, necessary, and complement existing protective ffeasures and that sanctuary education and research objectives take advantage of and enhance other research and education efforts. Individual regulations of existing Florida Keys Federal and State marine parks and the marine sanctuary at Key Largo reflect the concern.for the adverse impacts of commercial and recreational marine activities in the Florida Keys area on the marine systerh. Florida State laws protect certain marine species in territorial waters. Most of these same species are also found in waters surrounding Looe.Key. Therefore these laws and protective measures are of interest in the considera- tion of marine sanctuary designation. In some instances, such as the Biscayne National Park, some State marine regulations have been adopted as Federal regulations. Details are found in Appendix D. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary, located in the upper keys, are actually two preserves, consisting of an area extending out three miles from shore administered by the State of Florida (Department of Natural Resources, (DNR), Division of Recreation and Parks) and a Federally operated sanctuary beginning at the edge of State jurisdiction and extending seaward 5 miles, administered by NOAA's Office of Coastal Zone Management (OCZM) The Florida DNR, Division of Recreation and Parks serves as on site manager for the Key Largo Sanctuary. .State law makes it illegal to possess certain species of "fresh, uncleaned, or uncured sea fan, hard or soft coral or.fire coral." The law is considered difficult to enforce because the corals can be quickly killed and bleached on a boat, before a patrolman can inspect the boat (Captain Tingley, Florida Marine Patrol, 1979). The fine of $35.65, set at the present time by a Cir- cuit Court Judge in the Florida Keys, for a misdemeanor of the second degree (prescribed in the statute) is also considered by most as little deterrent to the taking of coral from State voters. The regulation for the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, on the other hand, which states, "It is unlawful to take coral from, or possess it," appears to be the most effective for enforce- ment. 69 Spearfishing is prohibited within the boundaries of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the salt waters in Monroe County from the Dade/ Monroe County line to and including Long Key. The DNR also has the power to establish restricted areas when safety hazards exist or when needs are deter mined by biological findings. The National Park Service at the Everglades National Pa@k, located at the tip of the South Florida Peninsula, has initiated proposed regulations which include restriction of recreational shellfishing and the elimination of com- mercial fishing within the waters of the Park by December 13, 1985. These proposed restrict-ions are highly controversial locally. Biscayne National Park in the northernmost Florida Key is primarily an underwater park although it was designated by Congress, with rules slightly different from a National Park Service park. To establish B.iscayne National Monument, the State of Florida and the Federal government agreed that fishing could continue, in accordance with State laws, unless it was determined to be detrimental to the purposes for which the "monument" was established. If so determined, it would be further regulated following consultation with the State. Commercial fishing and lobster-trapping are legal, as is sport fishing, both by hook-and-line and by spear. Conch and lobster may also be taken by divers, provided they are caught by hand or by hand-held net when in season and provided legal limits are not exceeded. Tropical fish collection is not legal. No fish traps are permitted. The Park management is also currently experimenting with the use of mooring buoys which mark an area for visitors and offer them an opportunity to tie up to a buoy rather than anchoring in an area which might damage the coral reef. The location of the moorings and educational material about certain unique reefs are discussed in a booklet prepared and distributed by the Biscayne Monument staff. The National Park Service at Fort Jefferson National Monument, Dry Tortugas, off Key West, Florida, has prohibited the taking or disturbing of any species of coral, shells, shellfish, sponges, sea anemones.or other forms of marine life, with the exception of the recreational catch of spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) and conch (Strombus gigas) which is limited to 2 per person. The use or possession of spears or gigs is prohibited at all times. With regard to enforcement of these other protected areas varying arrange- ments exist. Through a joint management agreement with the State of Florida, NOAA and the USCG, the Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park are patrolled cooperatively by State Park Rangers, and the U.S. Coast Guard (see Appendix D-9). Persons found to be in violation of NOAA regulations are notified at the scene with the issuance of a Coast Guard Report of Boarding (CG Form 4100). Evidence is seized by USCG personnel and appropriate statements taken. 70 Coral or other materials or organisms mentioned above collected outside of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary cannot be transported into these areas without danger of the pos- sessor being fined. This is also true of the Key Biscayne National Park. The effectiveness of enforcement arrangements at the Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary is of particular interest to the.Looe Key proposal, Although the Key Largo area is larger and immediately adjacent to an estab- lished State Marine Park, its ecological system and the human impacts occurring daily in the sanctuary are very similar to those at Looe Key. Bahia Honda State Park is in the vicinity of the proposed Looe Key Sanctuary and managed by the Florida State DNR, Division of Recreat.ion and Parks, and located on Bahia Honda Key. The Bahia Honda State Park personnel emphasize the protection of State resources by interpretation of the law to those who use the park rather than by enforcement. The park employs 17 staff and 14 rangers, most without law enforcement authority, whose responsi- bilities include search and rescue operations in State waters. The National Key Deer Refuge, Key West National Wildlife Refuge, and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge are administered from the National Key Deer Refuge Headquarters by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, located on Big Pine Key, in the vicinity of the Looe Key area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has no jurisdiction in the State waters surrounding the refuges but must maintain boats in order to inspect and manage 90 percent of their lands. The FWS owns and maintains three boats; a 24'x9' workboat, a 26' aqua sport and a shallow water craft (17'). All resources, both personnel and budget, are fully committed to the purposes of th -e refuge and conversations with the refuge manager indicate that they would not be able to be actively involved in sanctuary management or enforcement. 71 V LEGAL STATUS QUO A. Summary and Analysis Looe Key,is located on the Continental Shelf seaward of the territorial sea and State jurisdiction. A variety of Federal Statutes and regulations apply to activities taking place in the area. Those that apply to activities posing significant threats to the resources at Looe Key identified in the Affected Environment Section are discussed in the present section. Each is examined in terms of its present effectiveness and potential capability in controlling impacts on these resources. In addition, the enforcement responsibility and capabilities of the relevant Federal agencies are examined including their permitting, surveillance and monitoring procedures and the enforcement arrangements among them and with State agencies. Regulations for the most direct threats from man's activities to the coral reefs such as the taking of coral and anchoring do not presently exist. Until recently such activities were regulated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) but a recent decision of the Fifth Circuit held these requlations invalid except in connection with BLM's OCS leasing activities. In addition, currently there is no regulation of the collecting of tropical fish or invertebrates, and little regulation of commercial fishing. Looe Key is located within the geographical jurisdiction of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC). As described in this section, the SAFMC is in the process of preparing a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Snapper-Grouper Resources, and jointly with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), FMPs for Coastal Pelagic Migratory Resources (Mackerel), Spiny Lobster and Coral and Coral Resources. Plans would impose various limitations on, the fishing of these resources as detailed below. It is anticipated that the plans will be completed by late 1981. As drafted, the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP will protect all coral within a 1 nm square HAPC (Habitat Area of Particular Concern encompassing the Looe Key Fore Reef) where proposed management measures would protect the resources against such direct threats as harvesting and anchoring and it would prohibit spearfishing in this area. Beyond the HAPC, the FMP proposes to prohibit the harvest of hard coral except under permit for scientific and educational purposes. A limited harvest of soft coral will be permitted. The Spiny Lobster FMP would impose quite severe limitations on the fishing for this resource, as detailed below. Looe Key is located within the SAFMC's Snapper-Grouper Management Area 111. South of Cape Canaveral (mid-depth and inshore) in which various management measures proposed to control these fisheries would apply, as described below. Under the draft Mackerel FMP, specific management measures are proposed for King and Spanish mackerel and cobia. No FMP's are being prepared for other resources including numerous species of tropical fish with aesthetic but limited commercial value, 73 invertebrates, and other species which are interrelated in the ecosystem. In lieu of sufficient evidence to warrant preparation of a Tropical or "Ornamental" Reef Fish FMP, the SAFMC and the GMFMC are considering preparing a profile or description of the fishery and resource. The effectiveness of the draft plans to mitigate the adverse physical and ecological impacts of commercial and recreational fishing on the Looe Key reef cannot be assessed at the present time. However, it should be noted that there are distinct differences between managing fisheries for optimum yield with special reference to food production and recreational opportunities, and managing an ecological system for the protection and maintenance of a coral reef with emphasis on enhancing public awareness and wise use of reef systems, public education, research and assessment. While the measures adopted for each purpose are likely to be complementary, they may not be identical in this situation. In addition to these more direct threats, the disposal of seviage and,trash, primarily by recreational boaters, could threaten the resources. These threats are not considered in any FMP and regulation under other laws is limited as detailed below. Finally the protection of a shipwreck, the HMS Looe, found in the area is desirable and not currently provided. Pollution from dredging and dredge spoil disposal, ocean outfalls and other point source discharges and from any ocean dumping activities does not appear to pose a realistic threat at least at the present time. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps of Engineers have authority under the Clean Water Act and Ocean Dumping Act to address these activities on a case-by-case basis. Surveillance and enforcement duties for the previously mentioned laws and implementing regulations have been assigned, for the most part, to three government agencies in the Florida region; the U.S. Coast Guard, the NMFS Division of Law Enforcement and the Florida Marine Patrol. This existing enforcement framework patrols the Fishery Conservation Zone, defined as those waters "Seaward of the 3 mile territorial sea boundary to 200 miles." Detailed information on these enforcement agencies is found in Section C--Enforcement (Dennis, 1979). Eighty percent of Coast Guard missions in Florida deal with search and rescue. The Group Key West Coast Guard ranges along the entire coastline of the Florida Keys with their number one enforcement activity, at the present time, being drug interdiction. Distances between stations and the large territory to be covered makes their patrols for all missions intermittent and infrequent (Dennis, 1979). The extent to which the Coast Guard, patrolling the Florida Keys, might be able to assist in the enforcement of the marine sanctuary at Looe Key can be judged by the number of personnel and th6'number and complexity of their present missions. From interviews with Commander Dave Russell, Coast Guard 7th District in Miami, and Lt. Commander Sam Dennis, Commander of Group Key West, it appears that the Coast Guard does not presently have adequate time or personnel to enforce effectively a marine sanctuary at Looe Key. 74 The enforcement responsibilities delegated by the Secretary of Commerce to N0AA/NMFS are currently administered and carried out by an Enforcement Division in the Office of Fisheries Management (a staff function) and by five separate and independent regional law enforcement organizations (line function) operating under the direction and control of the respective Regional The--National Marine Fisheries Service administrative and enforcement resources are currently limited since available funds and personnel must be spread throughout the 200 mile fisheries conservation zone. The Florida Keys are part of the Eastern Enforcement Area of the NOAA/NMFS Southeast Law Enforcement region, extending from North Carolina to Key West and including Florida Bay. NMFS primarily investigates and processes civil/ 6riminal violations of the laws within NOAA jurisdictiori. The Florida Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard patrol the waters under Cooperative Agreements entered into by the Regional Director of the NOAA/NMFS Law Enforcement Office in the Southeastern region. This arrangement alleviates the problem of the lack of ceiling points necessary to hire additional Agents for.patrol work. B. Survey of Authorities Relevant to the Protection of Looe Key Resources I. Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (FCMA) 16 USC 1801 et seq. Authority includes: Managing the 200 mile fishery conservation zone with exclusive U.S. fishery management authority over all fish except highly migratory species. Promoting domestic, commercial and recreational fishing under sound.conservation and management principles. Review, approval and implementation of fishery management plans (FMP's) to achieve and maintain optimum yield from each fishery. The GMFMC (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi Alabama, and Florida) and the SAFMC (Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina) will prepare and submit to the Secretary of Commerce, FMP's for each fishery within their geographical area of authority. The Council's FMP's will be implemented by Commerce, after a determination that the Plans are consistent with the FCMA's National Standards, other provisions of the FCMA and other applicable laws. FMP's being prepared by the GMFMC either unilaterally or jointly with the SAFMC will affect species found and harvested commercially.in the Looe Key reef area. These FMP's are: a. Spiny Lobster Resources Plan: The latest available draft was circulated August 1979. Key Points: While the spiny lobster management zone "encompasses the offshore areas 75 from North Carolina to Texas, in practice the commercial a nd recreational harvest of spiny lobster from U.S. waters is almost exclusively limited to waters off Southern Florida." (DEIS, 1979). The plan strives to protect the spiny lobster population for future use while allowing harvesting at a rate which approaches the maximum sustainable yield and which prov 'ides theoptimum economic and social contribution from the fishery. To accomplish th.is, strict management measures have been recommended including: "a size limit, a closed season, (including a special recreational season), certain gear restrictions, measures to protect 'shorts' and 'egg-bearing' females and prevent poaching, and a measure to encourage a mechanism to minimize conflicts. Limited mandatory statistical reporting will be required by user groups." (Summary Sheet DEIS). The species involved are spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) and associated incidental species as follows: smooth tail lobster (Panulirus laevicauda); and Sparfish lobster (Scyllarides aeguinoctialis, Scyllarides nodifer, Scyllarus americanus, and Scyllarus chacei'). Negligible economic, social or environmental changes are anticipated, according to the DEIS, due to the proposed action. Impacts of the plan are generally the same as those due to existing state regulatory efforts and current practices within the fishery, since the proposed regulations are almost identical to present State regulations. Enforcement duties for the Spiny Lobster'Plan will also be turned over to the State in the event of Plan approval. b. Draft FMP for Snapper-Grouper Resources The latest version of this draft FMP (February 1980) reviews (1) the short- and long-range goals of the FMP; (2) the distribution, abundance and present condition, ecological relationships, estimate of maximum sustainable yield, and probable future condition of fisheries within the snapper --- grouper.complex; (3) the condition of natural and artificial habitats of the stocks.and Federal and State habitat protection programs, laws and policies; (5) the history and present efforts of commercial and recreational 'user groups, vessels and fishing gear; (6) the economic characteristics of the fishery; (7) a description of the business, markets and organizations associated with the snapper-grouper fishery; and (8) a description of the social and cultural framework of domestic snapper-grouper fishermen. Decision Elements for the draft Snapper-Grouper FMP were approved by the Council_ (August 25,__l980).___as_folloWs:. Management Subunits: 1. Rlack sea bass 2. North of Canaveral (mid-depth) Gag grouper Vermillion snapper Scamp Grunts Red porgy Speckled hind Red snapper Triggerfish 76 3. South of Canaveral (mid-depth and inshore) Looe Key Area Mangrove snapper Inshore groupers Yellowtail. snapper Grunts Mutton snapper Porgies Lane snapper 4. Deep Water Complex (throughout range) Snowy grouper Golden tilefish Yellowedge grouper Black tilefish ' Estimates of the Current Catch by Sub-Unit 1. Black sea bass 1,605,914 lbs) to be 2. North of Canavera.1 (mid-depth 4,126,116 lbs) rounded 3. South of Canaveral (mid-depth & inshore 8,933,199 lbs) to nearest 4. Deep water (throughout range) 1,-184,770 lbs) 100,000 lbs Total catch 15,894,999 Ihs. * Estimates of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) MSY is determined to be equal to the best available estimate of the current catch in management subunits 1, 2 and 3 and equal to optimum yield for subunit 4. 0 Management Goals: 1. Long range goal: Maximize the economic and social value of the harvest consistent witT -preventing overfishing of the stocks. Sub-goals: 0 Establish an information system to monitor the status of the snapper-grouper fishery. Encourage continued research on the biology and fishery of significant species. Prevent further overfishing of those stocks which now may be overexploited. 0 Restore, over time, to the optimum level those stocks which now may be overexploited. ' Encourage up to full exploitation those stocks not currently harvested at the optimum yield. 0 Encourage protection of existing habitat and the develop- ment of new habitat by the construction of artificial reefs. Reduce gear and user conflicts. 77 Give priority to specific gear in high use, nearshore waters where growth overfishing is demonstrated. 2. Short term goal: Because of the dearth of information about social and economic values of this fishery and the biological status of the stocks, the short term goal is to stablilize harvest while socio-economic and biological data are being obtained. Optimum Yield Optimum yield (OY) in management subunit 1, 2 and 3 is specified as equal to the current (1979) catch OY for subunit 4 is specified as the amount of fish harvested which results in the average length of the catch being no less than the average length at which females mature averaged with the length at which males mature. Definition of overfishing Harvest from any of the four management subunits in excess of the.stated OY for that subunit is to be considered overfishing and as cause to restrain the fishery, with the following provisions. 1. The fishery is not to be restrained if the data used to determine OY was faulty. .2. The fishery is not to he restrained if up-to-date biological analysis indicates that the stock can safely sustain additional harvest. 3. The fishery is not to he restrained unless the social and economic benefits to be gained in subsequent years are greater than the social and economic costs which will be incurred in the year of restraint. 0 Management measures 1. Special Management 7ones Zones in which special management measures are applicable may be designated. Such designations may be for a stipulated period of time or may be in force until changed by the Council. The following is a broad spectrum of biological, socio- economic and environmental indicators which the Council will employ to iden- tify zones that may require a special management regime. It should be noted that all of these indicators will be applicable in all s'ituations. The indicators that are applicable in a particular area will be balanced against the objectives established for that fishery before the special management zone designation is made. Biological a. Yield per recruit is less than the maximum (the management goals for-the fishery will determine the level that is unacceptable). 78 b. Recruitment is declining (the danger point cannot be precisely quantified). c. Numerical decline in catch per unit of effort (the acceptable level of CPUE is a subjective economic-esthetic judgement). d. A change in target species because of a scarcity of the original target. Socio-Economic a. Conflicts among user groups (may vary seasonally, during the week, etc.). b. The real value of the fishery (i.e., adjusted for inflation) is declining. c. Decline in the level of participation in the fishery (may vary with time of the week or season of the year). d. Change in the proportion of the total harvest taken by various user groups. e. Significant increases in participation which may signal impending overcapitalization. f. Request for special management zones for artificial reefs. Environmental a. Physical degradation of the habitat. b. Biological degradation of the habit (e.g., diseases, predators). c. Chemical degradation of the habitat. d. Decline in species diversity. A. Zoning for Artificial Reefs or Fish Havens Upon request from the permittee (i.e., holder of COE permit) for any artificial reef or other modification of habitat for the purpose of influencing fishing or fishes, the Council may, after due consideration and within the constraints of the National Standards of FCMA and this plan, designate the modified area and an appropriate surrounding area as a special management zone and recommend that the Secretary promulgate regulations which will further the purposes for which the permittee modified the habit. 79 B. Zoning for Fishing by Spe<-ial Gear In highly used nearshore waters when the fishing pressure placed upon the fish population become greater than the reproductive and/or growth potential the fish population is capable of meeting, the Council may designate a special management zone in which priority will be given to users of specific gear. Competition for the limited resources in areas of intense use will be reduced by giving precedence to use of 'specific gear and by restraining or prohibiting use of other kinds-of fishing gear.. Restraints on specific gear for fishing may also be imposed. 1. Catch Limitations a. Total Allowable Level of Foreign Fishing (TALFF) Specified as zero. b. Prevention of Overfishinq The Secretary and the Council will evaluate the desirability of implementing measures to avoid overfishing when the catch from subunits 1, 2 or 3 reaches 60% of OY. In the case of the deep-water subunit, OY is defined on the basis of average length of sexual. maturity, evaluation will occur when the average length in the catch of any of the four species is the length at sex reversal for that species. If after such consultation and evaluation, it is determined that measures are necessary to avoid overfishing, one or more of the following actions may be taken (by plan amendment) to apply for an appropriate period of time. 1) Establish catch limits per vessel per time period. 2) Estab lish catch limits per fisherman per time period. 3), Designate Special Management Zones which will be closed to fishing for designated species in the management unit. A provision may be made for by-catch of prohibited species in fisheries directed at species not in the management unit. 4) Designate Special Management Zones in which certain. designated types of fishing gear may be controlled or prohibited. One or more of the following actions may be taken: a) Preference will be given to the kind of gear employed by the largest number of users. b) Preference will be given to the most efficient kind of gear. c) Preference will be given to recreational users in nearshore waters and to commercial users.in offshore waters. d) Preference will be given to traditional kinds of gear.. 80 5) Establish size limits for designated species. 6) Other actions as may be deemed appropriate. c.. Fishing Year The fishing year will be the calendar year. d. Size Limits Size limits may be implemented (by plan amendment) as a means of attaining the following objectives and may also be appropriate to other objectives. 1) To maximize yield per recruit. 2) 'To provide an adequate number of males in the population of those species in which individuals start life as females and at a later age change to males. 3) To maximize the dollar value, or some other specified value, of the fishery when value varies with size of fish. The following procedure will be used to set an appropriate size limit, provided adequate information is available: 1) Estimate the number of undersized fish or the number of juveniles in the catch of the fishery both as it is now prosecuted and at the size which will attain the objective. If the ohjective is to maximize yield per recruit, the size which will attain the objective will be known in advance. However, the size that will attain the objective of maximizing the value usually will not be known in advance. In.such a case a range of sizes that seems likely to attain the objective must be tested to determine the best fit. 2) Estimate the discounted (i.e., present value) flow of the future dollar yield, or other measure of value, from the undersized catch. 3) Choose the size of fish which the preceding analysis demonstrates will maximize the dollar yield or other value from the fishery, considering whether this will provide a desirable allocation among user groups. 2. Vessel,, Gear and Enforcement Devices a. The following measures shall apply throughout the management area: 1) Fish traps shall have a degradable panel of appropriate size (at least as large as the entry ports.) or degradable door fasteners. 2) Fish traps shall have a mesh size no smaller than lx2 inches or 1.5 inch hexagonal one year after implementation of this plan. 81 FIGuRE 6 LOOE KEY RABITAtARV OF PARTICULAR EA CONCERN SCALE: T' 3000' lit .49 nm- Ill .91km HAWK CHANNEL 44 so 95 20 27 20 24P 2 S'N 27 28 33 14 :28 14 14 o 9 12 it 22 22 38 U 15 24 7 Ark Z5 46 10 14 33 :31 24 53 41 too 94 too 99 94 81024'w Location of the Looe Key HAPC, as measured onto the contours of NOAA National Ocean Survey Chart 11445 Square measures 1.852km (i nm-') on each side ;ith a center at the asterisk. 82 3) An individual shall not fish traps other than his own without the written authorization of the owner. 4) Traps and trap buoys shall be identified with the boat or vessel fishing the traps. b. The following measures shall apply south of Canaveral in waters shallower than 50 fathoms: 1) Pulling fish traps is prohibited between the p@riod one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. 2) Fish traps shall not be larger than 54 cubic feet in volume. 3) The use of fish traps will be prohibited shoreward of the 100 ft. contour. c. The use of poisons, explosives and powerheads for taking fishes of the snapper-grouper complex is prohibited throughout the malnagement area. c. Coral and Coral Reef Resources Plan A Draft Fishery Management Plan for coral and coral reef resources (latest draft March 31, 1980) now under revision is being considered now by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The FMP concentrates on identifying participating user groups, research organizations, public aquaria owners, and recreational and commercial poachers (without permits), analyzing the resource and the human impacts on it and describing the economic and legal factors involved. The recommended specific management objectives are as follows: Develop the scientific information necessary to determine the feasibility and advisability of harvest of the coral resource. Minimize, as appropriate, adverse human impacts on coral and coral reef resources. Provide for special management for coral habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) one of which is identified as a one nmi square area which the plan believes "encompasses nearly all of the significant reef zones and spur and groove formations of Looe Key" as identified by Antonius et al (1978). See Figure 6;. Specific management measures now being proposed for the HAPC are: 0 no coral collecting within the 1 nm sq; 0 within a trapezoidal core no contact with coral or coral reef resources, no collecting of tropical fish, no fixed fishing gear, no spearfishing and no anchoring. 83 In addi-tion, the draft Coral and Cor-al Reef-Resources FMP proposes to accept the protective regulations already in place for designated areas such as Key Largo Marine Sanctuary, Biscayne National Monument and Ft. Jefferson National Monument. It is therefore possible that if the Looe Key marine sanctuary proposal adequately protects the resources the Councils could determine that additional management measures are unnecessary for the Looe Key HAPC.. In addition, the plan proposes to prohipit harvest of hard coral in the FCZ except by permit for scientific and educational purposes and to allow limited commercial harvest of soft coral. d. Draft EIS and FMP for Coastal Pelagic Migratory Resources (Mackerel) The SAFMC and GMFMC have developed and distributed for review and comment a Draft EIS and FMP for Coastal Pelagic and Migratory Resources (Mackerel) (February 1980). Species within the management unit for which management regulations are proposed include the king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla, Spanish mackerel, S. maculatps, and cobia , Rachycention canadum. Species included n Fa- in the ma agement unit but for which regulations ve not been proposed, include the cero mackerel, S. regalis, little tunny Euthynns alletteratus, dolphin Coryphaena.hippurus - and -bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix. Recommended management objectives for king and Spanish mackerel are: Instigate management measures necessary to prevent exceeding maximum sustainable yield (MSY) ["the mathematical estimate for the pounds of resource which can be harvested annually without overfishing the-resource" DEIS, 19801., Establish a mandatory statistical reporting system for monitoring catch. ' Minimize gear and user conflicts. 0 (For Spanish mackerel only) promote the maximum use of the resource up to the optimum yield estimate (the MSY estimate modified by economic, sociological and ecological (biological) characteristics of the fishery and user groups (DEIS, 1980). The recommended management objective for cobia is to instigate management measures necessary to increase yield per recruit and average size and to prevent overfishing. Management measures proposed for public review and comment in the DEIS may be summarized as: If a conflict arises through expansion of a historical king Mackerel or Spanish mackerel fisheries in a traditional fishing area or region, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), after consultation with affected Council and States, may take action to: 84 (a) separate users or gear by area (fishing zone); (b) separate users or gear by time (day or week); (c) assign quotas; or (d) allow unlimited usage of gear or device. If conflict arises through the introduction of king or Spanish mackerel gear or devices into new regions where they have not been historically fished, the Secretary, after consultation with affected Council and States, may take action to: (a) prohibit use of the gear or device in that region; (b) allow only limited use of the gear or device; (c) limit number of units of gear or device; or (d) allow unlimited gear usage. 0 If king mackerel catch exceeds the 37 million pound annual allocation, the Secretary may take action to close the,recreational or commercial fisheries, after considering all relevant data and consulting with affected Councils; 0 Purchase, sale or processing king mackerel under 25 inches fork length will be ill-egal; * All king mackerel nets shall have a 4 3/4 inch minimum mesh size; 0 Use of purse seines shall be prohibited in the king mackerel fishery of the South Atlantic except in conjunction with research programs to determine their effect on the fishery; After consulting with affected Councils, bagand size limits for king mackerel taken by recreational or recreational-for-hire users or trip limits for commercial users will be instituted when supporting data becomes available; I A 12-inch fork length minimum size limit will be set on Spanish mackerel in both commercial and recreational fisheries. Taking undersized fish cannot excel five per cent of total catch by weight; � The Secretary is requested to develop a research program to determine the effect of purse seines on Spanish mackerel; � Bag limits for Spanish mackerel taken by recreational or recreational-for-hire users and/or trip limit for commercial users will be set when supporting data become available; 0 Possession of cobia less than 33 inches fork length shall be prohibited; 85 0 The Councils will "require a reporting system for all user groups and processors based on statistical sampling whereby it would be mandatory for a selected respondant to provide answers to a sample questionnaire .on a recurring basis that is not of great frequency;" I For king mackerel the Councils will require a mandatory trip ticket system for all the for-hire charter and party boats; and 0 For Spanish mackerel, the Councils will require a mandatory trip ticket system for a sample of the "for-hire" charter and party boats. (Draft EIS and FMP for-Coastal Pelagic Migratory FMP, 19RO). E. Preliminary Management Plan (PMP) for Atlantic Billfishes and Sharks The PMP for Atlantic Billfishes.and Sharks currently prohihits the retention of billfishes and other non-target species taken incidental to directed foreign fisheries for tuna and shark within the FCZ. In the PMP, it is being proposed to extend the 1979 procedures to minimize the.capture and subsequent mortality of non-target species in directed foreign shark fisheries by imposing area and gear limitations. This-proposal is designed to limit the bycatch of incidental grouper and snapper and other prohibited species. 2. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) 43 OSC 1331 et seq. Authanj@y: Comprehensively regulate oil and gas leasing, exploration and development activities. Expedite development while protecting the marine environment. Oil and gas development does not appear to be a realistic possibility in the vicinity of Looe Key and, therefore,,does not pose a threat to the resources. More importantly for Looe Key, the OCSLA does not appear to authorize general protection measures except in connection with such activities. The Department of the Interior has promulgated regulations at 43 CFR 6224.1-1, prohibiting activities directly causing damage or injury to valuable coral communities unless a permit for the activity is first obtained. However, in a recent decision, United States v. Alexander, decided September 24, 1979, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, ruled that the authority of the OCSLA is confined to the promulgation of rules and regulations applicable to leasing operations on the OCS and 86 that, in the absence of a mineral lease operation in a given area, the Department of the.Interior is unable to enforce any regulation issued pursuant to it. The case involved attempts to salvage,a sunken vessel (presumably scuttled,while transporting narcotics) on the Looe Key coral 'formation. The salvager damaged coral and was convicted in the District Court. This appeal challenged the authority of the regulation cited above and, as indicated, the Fifth Circuit reversed the conviction, stating "The provision (Section 5(a)) is not, as the Government would have it, an independent source of regulatory authority." This decision is controlling in the Fifth Circuit which, of course, includes Looe Key and the entire Gulf Coast, as well as the Atlantic Coast of Florida and Georgia. A rehearing has been denied and it appears that the Government will not seek review by the Supreme Court. 3. The Clean Water Act 33 U.SaC. 1251 et seq. Authority: Restore and maintain water quality. Section 301 prohibits the discharge of any pollutant into the waters of the contiguous zone orr the ocean from any point source other than a vessel without a permit from EPA. The only such discharge likely to occur at Looe Key,.however, is a vessel discharge. Section 311 of the CWA does apply to vessels and prohibits the discharge of oil and hazardous substances in quantities which may be harmful as defined by EPA. The current list excludes, among other things, many items of trash and litter. Section 1322 regulates the discharge from marine sanitation devices but does not apply beyond the territorial sea (see regulations effective@ June 1, 1980). 4. Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, Title I, 33 U.S.C. 1411 et. seq. (The Ocean Dumping Act) Authority: Prohibit the dumping of,certain toxic materials into ocean waters and regulate the dumping of other materials into such waters. Section 101 prohibits the transportation from the U.S. of any material for the purpose of dumping it into waters without a permit from EPA (or the Corps in the case of dredge spoil disposal). EPA, under Section 1412(c) of this act, pre-selects sites or times at which certain materials may not be dumped and issues permits for the disposal of all materials, with the exception of dredge spoils, which consider the effects of the proposed dumping on marine ecosystems. At the present time, there are no pre-selected dump sites in or adjacent tothe Looe Key area* 87 Permits for disposal of dredged materials are issued by COE, on the basis of EPA criteria for protection of human health and the marine environment. Permits have only been issued in Largo Sound and Key West. While the disposal of trash and.various materi'als from vessels is not subject to EPA and COE authority, the agencies can regulate disposal of other waste materials in the vicinity of Looe Key. 5. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et.. seq. (ESA) Authority: Prohibit the taking of listed endangered and threatened species and ensure that actions "authorized, funded or carried out by Federal agencies do not jeopardize species or critical habitat." The purposes of the act are to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend may be conserved and to provide a program for the conservation of such species. Although no listed endangered/threatened species have been identified yet at Looe Key, the area contains a number of species considered endangered or threatened by Florida. Furthermore, the area has been identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as suitable habitat for the following listed endangered species. Atlantic Green Turtle ---------- Chelonia mydas mydas - All coastal and marine habitats,. Atlantic Hawksbill Turtle ------ Erethmochelys imbricata imbricata Primary reef habitats., Atlantic Ridley Turtle --------- Lepidochelys kempi - All coastal and marine habitats. 6. The Antiquities Act, 16 U,$.C. '1431 et seg. Under a recent court decision, the Antiquities Act, which provides that the Department of the Interior may designate and protect certain historically important sites, does not authorize such action in relation to antiquities located on the OCS. The Abandoned Property Act, 40 U.S.C. 310,.is similarly limited. The National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq., offers protection for marine artifacts once listed but only with-r6spect to Federal or Federally supported activities. The historic shipwreck located at Looe Key is not listed and, even if listed, would not be fully protected from private activities. C. Enforcement Aaencies with Authorit1v in the Federal Waters of the Looe Key Area 1. U.S. Coast Guard The Coast Guard, as established in 1915, is a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the U S. Its overall authority, to enforce or assist in the enforcement of applicable Federal laws on and under the high seas and waters, comes from Title 14, USC 2. 88 Primary Duties: "The Coast Guard shall enforce or assist in the enforcement of all applicable Federal laws on and under the high*seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; shall administer laws and promulgate and enforce regulations for the,promotion of safety of life and property on and under the high seas and waters .subject to the jurisdiction of the United States covering all matters not specifically delegated by law to some other executive department; shall develop, establish, maintain, and operate, with due regard to the requirements of national defense, aids to maritime navigation, icebreaking facilities, and rescue facilities for the -promotion of safety on, under, and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of.the United States; shall, pursuant to international agreements, develop, establish, maintain, and operate icebreaking facilities on, under, and over waters other than the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; shall engage in oceanographic research on the high seas and in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.; and shall maintain a state of readiness to function as a specialized service in the Navy in time of war." The Florida Keys are part of the 7th U. S. Coast Guard District with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Group Key West, based in Key West, Florida, has the enforcement responsibility for the Florida Keys, including the Looe Key reef area. The extent to which the Coast Guard can provide effective enforcement of marine laws on the high seas depends on the number of personnel, boats and other equipment at their disposal and the complexity of the missions assigned to them. There are three Coast Guard Stations on the Keys; Key West, Marathon and Islamorada, with less than 75 personnel. Eighty percent of their missions deal with search and rescue operations. Their law enforcement resources are as follows: Key West: 2 41' boats - 21 personnel Marathon: 2 40' boats - 21 personnel several small boats Islamorada: 2 40' boats - 28 personnel In addition to search and rescue operations, their missions can include: Enforcement of Customs laws with respect to smuggling (primarily drugs); Enforcement of Immigration laws with respect to refugees; Establishing and maintaining aids to navigation in navigable waters and on the high seas; Environmental clean-up of toxic and hazardous substances in accordance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. 89 Without formal agreement and funding, the Coast Guard makes no scheduled patrols except for those undertaken as a part of their regular patrols. Distances between stations and the large territory to be covered makes these patrols intermittent and infrequent. (Lt. Cdr. Dennis, 1979) The Group Key West Coast Guard ranges along the entire coastline, with the number one enforcement activity, at the present time, being drug interdiction. 2. National Marine Fisheries Service, Division of Law Enforcement, Office of Fisheries Conservation and Management The NOAA/NMFS enforcement function originated in 1958 under the old Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, evolving from loosely coordinated regional programs responsible for enforcing international conventions, agreements, Federal wildlife statutes and regulations pertaining to certain species of fish, whales and fur seals. This function expanded in the late 1960.'s to, meet the growing demand to control increased foreign fishing effort off the U. S. coast, including enforcement of the newly established Contiguous Fishery Zone(Bartlett Act). As more treaties, agreements and laws with substantial national consequences were implemented, the NMFS law enforcement program necessarily became more essential. Enforcement responsibility substantially increased with the passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The enforcement responsibilities delegated by the Secretary of Commerce to NOAA/NMFS are currently administered and carried out by an Enforcement Division in the Office of Fisheries Management (a staff function) and by five, separate, and independent regional law enforcement organizations (line function) operating under the direction and control of the respective Regional Directors. The headquarters enforcement organization in Washington, D.C. is responsible for establishing national enforcement-policies and procedures but has no direct control over regional law enforcement organizations. The Florida Keys are part of the Eastern Enforcement Area of the NOAA/NMFS Southeast Law Enforcement region, extending from North Carolina to Key West and including Florida Bay. The Eastern Enforcement Area employs a Senior Resident Agent and one Agent on a temporary appointment in Miami. Their responsibilities include the enforcement of the Fisheries Conservation Manage- ment Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Lacey and Black Bass Acts, (prohibiting the transport of materials/products of fish and wildlife, illegally obtained under other laws in interstate commerce). Their primary mission is to investigate and process civil/criminal vio- lations of the laws mentioned above. The Florida Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard patrol the waters under Cooperative Agreements entered into by the Regional Director of the NOAA/NMFS Law Enforcement Office in the S.E. region. This alleviates the problem of the lack of ceiling points necessary to hire additional Agents for patrol work. There is a Basic Agreement with the State of Florida, in effect since July 1, 1975, signed by the Department of Commerce/NOAA for Law Enforcement 90 Services under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The State law enforcement officers are designated by the Regional Director, NMFS, to act as Federal law enforcement agents in the enforcement of the act within the State's jurisdiction or against its own citizens anywhere. There is a new Cooperative Enforcement Agreement pending between the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA/NMFS, the U.S. Coast Guard and the State Depart- ment of Natural Resources Florida Marine Patrol for law enforcement services under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act, deputizing State Officers as Federal Enforcement Agents to enforce the act within the Fishery Conser- vation Zone adjacent to the State and within the boundaries of the State and providing U.S. Coast Guard assistance to the State, should it be available. In exchange, the Department of Commerce, for $78,000, is to provide the State with enhanced communication and data processing capabilities. The effectiveness of this enforcement arm of the NMFS is limited by lack of staff necessary to patrol the ocean waters within the jurisdiction of the FCMA, Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act and their forced reliance on other agencies (Florida Marine Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard). The only law enforcement responsibility in NOAA outside of NMFS statutory responsibility is that of enforcing Marine Sanctuary regulations. However, the only two designated Marine Sanctuaries are enforced by agencies outside of Commerce under contract to NOAA/Commerce (Monitor and Key Largo), at the present time. 3. Florida Marine Patrol The Florida Marine Patrol, law enforcement arm of the State Department of Natural Resources, has an office and staff (25) at Marathon in Monroe County. The Monroe County Marine Patrol has the responsibility for enforcing all State regulations in State waters on both sides of the Keys; NMFS regu- lations for marine mammals and NMFS/Fish and Wildlife regulations for endan- gered and threatened species in Florida Keys State waters; regulations for endangered and threatened species in Federal waters and regulations for the Marine Mammal Protection Act where its own citizens are involved anywhere. Florida Marine Patrol agents are also uniformed officers of the State of Florida and must enforce all State laws, both on land and in the water. The State waters of the Florida Keys include the 3 mile area on both sides of the Keys. The USCG and the Patrol have verbal agreements to notify one another of possible State/Federal violations. .The extent of Florida Marine Patrol effectiveness in both its statutory and delegated responsibilities depends on adequate staffing and equipment. Informal cooperation between the State enforcement officers and the Coast Guard has increased the effectiveness of both agencies. 91 CHAPTER FOUR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 1. INTRODUCTION In order to discuss the potential environmental, social and economic consequences of various boundary and regulatory alternatives considered by NOAA, human activities were grouped, a*s follows: Coral collecting Commercial fishing Tropical.specimen collecting (tropical fish and invertebrates) Spearfishing Anchoring Snorkeling, SCUBA diving Removal of Historic and Cultural Resources Discharges Regulatory alternatives analyzed for each of these activities range from the legal status quo, i.e. no proposed sanctuary regulations to the banning of the activity within the sanctuary boundary recommended. The discussion of the status quo alternative for each activity contains a description of the existing environmental, economic, and social conditions. Economic analysis of the regulatory alternatives centers on economic impacts associated with the 5 sq nm boundary alternative. Boundary Alternative #2 was selected for detailed analysis as the preferred alternative because it encompasses the five ecological elements at Looe Key and satisfies the Sanctuary Program-objectives. 93 II. Boundary Alternatives (see Figure 7) Boundary Alternative Approx. Area Ecological Zones (See Fig. 4) #1 1 nm sq Fore Reef, portions of the Reef Flat, Deep Reef, Patch Reef #2 (preferred 5 sq nm Fore Reef, Reef Flat, Deep Reef, alternative) Patch Reef, Deep Ridge #3 10 sq nm All 5 above zones plus additional Patch Reef areas east and west of the reef A. Boundary Alternative #1 (1 nmi sq 3.5 sq km) This one nautical mile square alternative corresponds to the Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) at Looe Key being proposed in the FMP for Coral and Coral Reef Resources by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils (for specific aspects of the plan see Chapter 3, Status Quo). The coordinates for this boundary alternative are: a. 240, 33.4' North b. 24', 33.4- N 810, 25' West 810, 24' W d. 24', 32.2- N c. 24% 32.2' N 810, 25'.W 810, 241 W This one*nautical mile square sanctuary with the center approximately in the middle of the Looe Key Reef Flat would encompass two reef zones of the Looe Key ecological system: the Reef Flat and the Fore Reef. At the southern margin it would contain a narrow band of the shallowest part of the Deep Reef and at the northern rim some very small reef outcrops belonging to the .Patch Reef zone. These additions, however, are so limited in area as to be negligible. Boundary alternative #1 would protect the best developed and unique coral formation of the entire Looe Key reef system from physical impact. The Fore Reef is a spur and groove system about 1500 X 350 meters wide, extending from the low tide mark down to a little over 9m depth (Antonius, 1980). 94 2W ? + SA L00i cue c 1. 14 --FLORIDA 0 V 2v FIGURE 7 UNH T Sr. ABRCATok PROJtM,0N Lam fiANSVFW 6N WtV AMMiAll I AmluoA 9TAtP PLAE C009i)MATE gysTEm LrAst mr. DARY AJAUNAT13 2 2', No ME I! 860"UUNIDARY ALTBNNATM S NORM AMMICAN imn vATUIA scAl.9 120mm PROP 00 It contains shallow, as well as intermediate, water-depth coral communities but with the obvious lack of a number of species one might expect to occur here. While the shallow "reef -crest- part" of the Fore Reef shows extensive Millepora-Zoanthara fields, the deeper "reef-fingerpart" is a system of ernating sand valleys and several meter-high coral ridges of massive coral growth forms and is populated by the greatest numbers and species diversity of fish in the five zones. The Reef Flat borders the Fore Reef to the north, a sand-seagrass area about one quarter of a square kilometer in size and an average of 1.5 m deep. it is also an important area offering a large recreational area of sandy reef top, for inexperienced swimmers or families with children. Although the Reef Flat provides little cover and has the lowest species diversity of all the zones, it is an important feeding area for fish of the Fore Reef zone, an integral part of the Looe Key Coral Reef system and very important to a seg- ment of the recreational population. The channels between the fingers of coral on the Fore Reef are very important to fish migrations from one zone to the other (Zieman & Roblee 1979), and provide essential access to the reef for pelagic species, such as mackerel. Although parts of the deeper sandy channels would be covered by the I sq nm alternative, the more distant parts of the channels would not be protected at all to the east and west of the Fore Reef, and Deep Reef Ridge would remain virtually unprotected. Enforcement of 1 nm sq area would be unlikely as the area is too small for accurate boundary detect ion, cons ideri n5 the size boat that would be used (Russell , Coast Guard personal communication, 1979). Citing of violators in this alternative could also be difficult. Due to its limited boundaries, violators would have sufficient time to escape as law enforcement officers approach the sanctuary. In addition there is a question of the wisdom of protecting part but not all of a unit or ecological system such as Looe Key. User activities beyond the 1 nm sq alternative, uncontrolled by the sanctuary manager, could under- mine the careful management within the sanctuary. Finally, though the physical aspects of the spur and groove system could possibly be protected with this boundary, that is only one of the sanctuary program objectives. B. Boundary Alternative #2 - Preferred Alternative This alternative covers a 5 sq nm (17 sq km) area, the coordinates of which are: a. 24% 34.N b. 240, 34.2' N 810, 25.9- W 810, 23.3' W c. 240, 31.6- N d. 240, 32.3' N 810, 25.9' W 810, 23.3' W 96 The 5 sq nm alternative encompasses all five ecological zones: Patch Reef; Reef Flat; Fore Reef; Deep Reef and Deep Ridge. It also covers an extension of the Fore Reef to the east discovered only recently as part of the survey work for this EIS. The Patch Reef zone is a relatively shallow flat bottom area, covered with extensive turtle grass man:atee grass. Interspersed 4mong the sea- grass beds are numerous patch reefs with very little profile. The Patch Reefs within thi's zone are usually dominated by densely growing, large oct- ocorals. The species diversity of octocorals on the Patch Reef is greater than that of the Fore Reef and certain octocorals exist only on the Patch Reef.. The scattered stony corals reach only moderate size, but nevertheless give the Patch Reefs enough structure to provide shelter for fishes and invertebrates. In addit *ion, the naturally rare pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus) is more likely to be found in the Patch Reef area than at the, Fore Reef. The significance of the Patch Reef zone as a shelter for a variety of finfish and shellfish has been pointed out in a number of publications (e.g., Zieman & Roblee, 1979). Without the protection of the interspersed Patch Reefs, these animals would be unable to use the surrounding seagrass beds as feeding grounds. This zone, together with the.even shallower Reef Flat, are Looe Key's nursery forjuvenile fishes. In addition, the extensive seagrass beds of both zones constitute the feeding ground for many deep- water fishes migrating to these areas at night. The Fore Reef provides the deep sheltered channels for these migrations from the Deep Reef to the shallow reef zones, while the much wider channels on either side of the Fore Reef provide access for pelagic species. The Deep Reef today still harbors territorial fishes such as groupers which, given protection and time, may repopulate the apparently over-fished Fore Reef zone. This could also be the case for conspicuously missing corals which might, in time, repopulate the Fore Reef from the stock that live on the Deep Reef. The main part of the Deep Reef exhibits a coral community of intermediate .to deepwater species, with some coral species growing abundantly here that no longer occur on the.Fore Reef. The Deep Reef, on the seaward side, is a slope of increasing steepness, ending in a small dropoff to about 25 to 35 m depth. Numerous surge channels with a profile of up to 1.5 m provide habitat for territorial reef animals such as grouper and lobster. Since the 5 sq nm alternative contains portions,of the Deep Ridge as well as the main four reef zones of Looe Key, it form a representative "slice of the ecological pie" through the reef tract in this area. Though Looe Key alone represents a small segment of the Florida reef tract, it is possible that by focusing intensive management-on smaller di-screte.units such as Biscayne Natio-nal Park, Key Largo National Marine sanctuary, John Pennekamp State Park, Fort Jefferson National Park, and Looe Key, we can protect enough of the reef tract to achieve a measure of success in insuring long-term viability. In addition, these discrete pro- tected areas are tied together by the broader conservation measures afforded 97 under the proposed joint Gulf and Coral Reef Resources Fishery Management Plan. All of these entities, together with heightened awareness of the need for close cooperative management strategies, should provide an in- creased level of protection. The 5 sq nm boundary alternative would create a sanctuary containing representation components of each reef zone and establish a sanctuary that protects a reef tract system rather than one component. This approach is consistent with the goals and objectives for establishing a sanctuary at Looe Key. A sanctuary with this boundary would include all of the reefal zones and be "systematic" in scope providing for the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity of an entire ecological unit. Thi.s boundary alter@ native would provide a geographic basis for achieving the sanctuary goals: � To maintain, protect and enhance the quality of the natural, biological, aesthetic and cultural resources of Looe Key Reef system; � To promote and stimulate marine research efforts directed towards identification and analysis of marine ecological interrelationships. � To enhance public awareness of the functions of the Looe Key coral reef system. C. Boundary Alternative #3 (10 sq nm 34 sq km) This alternative includes an area of 10 sq nm (34 sq km) the coordinates of which are: a. 240, 33.3' N b. 240, 34.3- N c. 240 34.2' N 810, 27.5' W 81', 25.4- W 810, 23.3' W d. 240, 34.7' N e. 24% 31.3' N f. 240, 32.5- N 810, 21.3' W 810, 27.5' W 810, 21.3' W This area contains the entire 5 sq nm boundary alternative as well as considerable portions of territory to the east and west (Fig. 4). Informa- tion from actual field studies on the areas east and west of the Looe Key reef itself was not readily available. The northern part of these additional areas can generally be regarded as extensions of the Patch Reef Zone, a morpho- logical f 'eature that can be found along the entire chain of the Florida Keys in shallow water and at a certain distance offshore. The southern part of these additional areas, however, does not contain any significant reef. Instead it contains a slope that consists mainly of sand bottom. Whether the deepest parts include any type of coral community, such as the Deep Reef, is not known at present, but the probability seems low. Enlarging the sanctuary.area to 10 square nautical miles could increase the effectiveness of enforcement by making it more difficult for-violators to escape undetected before being caught. 98 The Onsite Survey of Looe Key indicates that local fishermen depend on the 5 square nautical mile sanctuary proposal area for approxi- mately one-third of their catch and the area beyond the 5.square nautical mile boundary for approximately two-thirds of their catch. Therefore posing restrictions on commercial fishing within a 10 sq nmi area would likely cause considerable economic hardship on local long-term commercial fishermen and yet not provide that great an increase in the degree of protection of the reef systems. III. Environmental Consequences of Proposed Regulatory Alternatives A. Alternatives Concerning Coral Collecting. 1. Status Quo: Unregulated taking_of coral under all boundary alternatives. The taking of coral in Looe Key is presently unregulated. State regulations do not apply in waters beyond the territorial sea. BLM/Interior regulations previously controlling the harvesting of corals are no longer enforceable in the Looe,Key Reef area (see above). The FMP for Coral and Coral Reef Resources is still in the draft stage and the environmental impact statement has not yet been completed. The final plan will not likely be implemented before January, 1981 (GMFMC). Direct-observations (Davidson, 1979) indicate.that souvenir coral collecting is an ongoing practice today, and probably the most serious drain of the reef's coral resources. The absence of certain species in areas of the reef that provide accessible, suitable habitat provides circumstantial evidence of the harvesting of these attractive growth forms. There is a strong probability that small finger-like growth forms, such as.Madracis, Porites and Oculina species and especially the beautiful flower coral Eusmilia fastigiata, which occur on the Deep Reef but not on the more accessibTe Fore Reef, have been exterminated on the Fore Reef by collectors. A larger type of flower coral, Mussa angulosa, is also abundant on the Deep Reef, but rather rare on the For-e--7e-ef. It does occur somewhat more frequently in the Patch Reef zone, which may reflect a difference in visitor-related collecting pressure. One naturally rare species, the pillar coral Dendrogyra cylindrus, has almost been exterminated by collectors in the entire Florida reef tract, including Looe Key. Without regulatory protection of existing *coral assemblages, remaining populations of these scarce 'corals in the more accessible areas of t 'he reef could be eliminated. Collecting pressures could then shift to other, less desirable species and to those populations which persist on the Deep Reef and less frequented Patch Reefs. Asignificant degree of commercial collecting does not occur here any longer (Causey, personal communication, 1979). The long term consequences of depletion and removal of entire species populations has been insufficiently studied, but is considered by most scientists to be detrimental to the reef ecosystem. The current draft of the FMP for Coral and Coral Reef Resources proposes to approve for harvest by permit limited quantities of certain 99 soft coral species and to issue coral collecting permits for hard and soft coral for scientific and educational purposes. It proposes to prohibit all taking of corals within the suggested I sq nm Habitat Area of Particular Concern. The perpetuation of the status quo would allow all coral collecting to continue unless and until the FMP is approved and implemented. This could result in adverse ecological consequences to the reef system and to those valuable commercial and recreational species depending on it for habitat. 2. Prohibit the collection or possession of all coral, living or ,dead within the sanctuaU under all boundany alternatives but permit the collection of coral for 'scientific and educational purposes: PREFERRED ALTERTT-IVE-. This alternative would protect present and future coral resources while permitting coral specimen collecting for educational and scientific purposes under permit from NOAA. Since the current level of commercial coral collec- ting is insignificant in the proposal area the economic impact orf this alternative will be negligible. The proposed restriction is more stringent than that being considered in the Coral FMP in that the latter permits limited harvest of soft coral outside the I mn sq HAPC. NOAA personnel would be needed to review the permits required by this alternative thereby increasing the staff workload and detracting from other duties. This alternative would also increase the responsibilities of enforce- ment personnel. A regulation similar to this proposed for the sanctuary is presently in force in John Pennekamp State Park and in the Key.Largo Marine Sanctuary. As discussed in Chapter Three, the inclusion of a provision prohibiting posses- sion of coral, dead or alive, within the proposed boundaries has resulted in few enforcement difficulties within these-two protected areas. On the other hand, Florida State law, applicable in the territorial sea, does not prohibit possession of cleaned or cured specimens of sea fans, hard and soft corals or fire coral and enforcement'difficulty has arisen because these organisms can be quickly killed and bleached on board ship before enforcement agents can board for inspection (Tingley, personal communication, 1979). Protecting the Looe Key coral reef system by prohibiting the taking of coral except for scientific and educational purposes will: 0 maintain the coral as an important producer of sand, a renewable resource which comes from dead coral, 0 maintain the high primary productivity which produces oxygen for the support of organisms living in the vicinity; 0 maintain these reefs as genb-pools for future cclonfzati@on of adjacent coral areas; 100 0 preserve a reef, which, if seriously degraded, might not recover since today's environmental conditions may be different from those existing at its inception; 0 provide the structural foundations for future coral growth; � pose limited enforcement difficulties; � maintain the reef habitat thereby maximizing associated recreational benefits such as quality of diving, and fishing. Since insignificant commercial collecting occurs within the boundaries of the sanctuary proposal, this regulation will not have an economic impact. OCZM Will work closely with the Fishery Management Councils to insure as nearly as possible compatible non-duplicative permitting procedures. If Looe Key becomes a sanctuary and if NOAA consultation with the Council takes all its concerns into account, the sanctuary permit could be the only one required. 3. Prohibit the collection or possession within the sanctuary of all coral-,Fl-ving or dead, under all boundary alternatives. This alternative would fully protect the coral reef system at Looe Key from coral collecting and would not place an additional administrative burden on the Sanctuary Programs Office (SPO) staff. However, one of the proposed sanctuary objectives is to promote research and study of the natural resources of Looe Key and a prohibition of this type might discourage valuable studies requiring the taking or study in the field of small numbers of specimens. 101 B. Alternatives Concerning Commercial Fishing Environmental consequences of wire trapping, lobster trapping, net and hook and line fishing were analyzed to determine whether or not proposed restrictions were warranted. Available data do not support controls on net and hook and line fishing at this time (see Chapter 2, The following specific alternatives were considered for wire trap .usage and lobster trapping. 1. Regulatory Alternatives for Wire Trap Fishing a. Status quo: Unrestricted use of wire traps within all boundary alternatives. Recently wire trap fishing has become a highly controversial and emotional issue. Unfortunately very little documented evidence exists regarding actual or potential environmental, sociological and economic impacts of trap usage. Both the draft FMP for snapper-grouper resources and the first quarterly report (November 1979 - January 1980) on the wire trap fishery conducted jointly by the Florida Department of Natural Resources (FDNR) and the National Marine Fisheries Service tNMFS) offer information relating to wire fish trapping in the Florida Keys. The latter report, the most recent information available, represents data from the first 3 months of the 12 month study. At present, no regulations govern the use of wire fish traps in this area. However, several management measures on the use of traps are proposed in the draft FMP for snapper-grouper resources, including: (1) traps will have degradeable panelsof appropriate size (at least as large as the entry ports) or degradeable door fasteners; (2) traps will have mesh no smaller than lx2 inches or 1.5 inch hexagonal; (3) trap and buoys must be identified with the boat of the owner by a color code; (4) a person must not fish traps other than his own without written authorization of the owner; (5) pulling traps is prohibited between the period one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise; (6) traps may not be larger than 54 cubic feet; and (7) the use of fish traps will be prohibited shoreward of the 100 foot contour. Measures 1, 2, 6 and 7 are conservation oriented. The purpose of the degradeable panel is to prevent lost or "ghost" traps from continuing to capture fish. Specification of a minimum mesh size is-intended to provide for escapement of juvenile fish. The draft FMP includes that a reasonable limitation on the size of traps and on the areas where they can be deployed is warranted at this time to lessen user group conflicts and until the biological, social and economic impacts of the gear can be more fully evaluated. Measures 3, 4 and 5 are intended to discourage poaching and theft and will improve the enforceability of the other management measures pertaining to the trap fishery. According to the first quarterly report, wire fish trapping in Monroe (and Collier) Count-ies is a popula-r-fishing method. Al*though it has been used intermittently since the Depression, the use of wire traps for commercial fishing is relatively new. Accordjng to the Florida Sea Grant, their general acceptance in the Florida Keys started in 1976-77. 103 The traps are constructed of vinyl-covered welded wire mesh, usually with openings of 1"x2" or larger. The FDNR report and draft Reef .Fish Plan indicate that traps typically have overall dimensions of 2,x3,x4, (FDNR, 1980) to 3'x6'x3' with a base of 18 square feet. On the other hand, the Marine Wilderness Society in Florida has reported that,wire traps can cover from 25 square feet to as much as 40 square feet of bottom area. Fish traps commercially available in the South F-lorida area can be purchased with as much as 120 cubic feet in volume. The draft Reef Fish FMP propos-es to restrict all fish traps fished within the FCZ to 54 cubic feet or less in volume. The draft snapper-grouper FMP also indicates that traps are typically set at depths of less than 30 to 150 feet (9.14m-45.75m). The first quar- terly report of the Florida DNR substantiates this and indicates baited traps are individually buoyed and normally placed 100'-150' apart in water from 25' to 150' deep. Some of the small, shalloik water operators can visually select the area*to place each trap. Deeper water fishermen rely on fathometers to locate "good bottom" and then deploy their traps in a line adjacent to the relief. Most fishermen in the Lower Keys and Tortugas fish in.depths of 80' to 150'. Others report that the normal fishing depth is between five and 45 m (Sylvester and Dammann, 1972; Monro,*1974) in the shallow reef areas of Florida. The FDNR report observes that the most desirable bottom for setting traps has various ledges with 2'-4' relief with live gorgonians, sponges, and heads of hard coral and which extend in any one direction for 100' or more. A habitat of this type is fished heavily for 2-3 days, and then the traps are moved to some other likely spot. If this ledge area was a good producer, the fishermen will return two weeks later and again fish it'for 2-3 days. There are three areas in the Florida Keys that are supporting fish traps continuously, at least for the first quarter of this study. These areas are: the area immediately surrounding Sombrero Light off Boot Key (Middle Keys), the area adjacent to the whistle buoy south of Loggerhead Light (Dry Tortugas), and the area adjacent to the Big Pine shoals off Big Pine Key (Lower Keys). Conclusive data on the number of fishermen in the area that use traps and the extent of the increasing use of traps is not available. During the first quarterly report period, FDNR reports that the wire trap fishery in Monroe County involves approximately 43 boats, with the c'rew consisting normally of a captain/owner and a single mate. Several small boat, nearshore operations were conducted by a captain-only. Twenty-two of the 43 captain/owners are part-time trappers who also fish lobster or crab traps or engage in other types of fishing activity. Seven of these trappers engage in wire fish trapping only during the summer when the lobster and stone crab seasons are closed. These 43 fishermen utilized an estimated 998 traps (an average of 23/boat). National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) estimates are greater than the figures obtained by FDNR. NMFS estimates that in Monroe County 8,000 traps maximum were.used by fi,shermen in 1978 and that 300 to 350 104 vessels were involved. Data obtained during the Onsite Surv6y revealed that in 1978 nearly 35% of commercial fish landings in the 5 square nautical mile area were from wire traps (see Appendix C, Table 3). According to Florida DNR, fishermen in the Florida Keys trap fishery operate vessels that range from 34 ft. wooden vessels constructed in Cuba of jubilla wood to a modern 75 ft. steel hull with freezers. Most vessels have hydraulic pot haulers, fathometers and either loran or radar, although several of the smaller vessels have neither pot haulers nor any positioning device. Since fish traps are normally placed on or adjacent to the ledges of out croppings of 2'-4' relief, wire trap fishermen come in close contact with other users who are competing for this limited bottom.area. For example, sport trollers' rigs become entangled in trap buoys, and bottom fishermen lose gear by becoming entangled with the traps. Physical damage to coral species has occurred when these traps,have been dropped on corals, dragged across the bottom during retrieval and tossed about during rough weather (personal communication, Davidson, 1979). Sport divers also report that traps on shallow reefs capture and kill excessive amounts of tropical reef fish.-and at the same time destroy living coral. Fish trappers on the other hand, have stated that their traps are not set on the tops of biologically productive reliefs, but adjacent to these formations. These fishermen also reported that the majority of reef tropicals and undersized groupers and snappers are re- turned to the water immediately with little detrimental effect. Traps lost by separation of the buoy line from the trap either by vandals, propellors or storms are called ghost traps and continue fish- ing for unknown periods of time. The number of lost traps per fisherman per year ranges from 30% to as high as 200% of the total of traps being fished (FDNR, 1980). One diver on Big Pine Key reports that on a recent dive a-round Big Pine shoals, several ghost traps were in hi-s-field of vision at any given time as he progressed down the reef in 50 feet of water. Further research needs to be done to determine the numbers of ghost traps, their life span, and their ability to catch and retain fish (FDNR, 1980). The FDNR study, also observed that less than 10% of the total fish caught by wire traps were dead or injured. The most commonly found dead fish were barracudas and large jacks. The most common trap-caused injury was the abrasion of the snout followed by gas embolism which is caused by the rapid ascent through the water column. The report did not measure, however, how many and what species of smaller fish were caught and eaten during the period of captivity. As part of this study captured species were categorized as target or non-target depending on whether or not the fish were landed for human consumption. Primary target species consisted of large (3.0 lb. whole) black, red, Nassau, yellowfin, scamp, gag and hind groupers; button, 105 yellowtail, lane, silk, dog and schoolmaster snappers that were-larger than one pound gutted; hogfish larger than one pound; jolthead and knobby porgies larger than one pound; margate, black margate and sailor's choice grunts larger than one pound. Small groupers and snappers were normally returned to the water during this period of observation. Non-target species were considered.to be tangs, angels, butterflies, parrots, wrasses other than hogfish, triggers, 'files and trunk fish and were discarded by most fishermen. During the three months of this project, the investigators observed the capture of 1568 target fishes of 29 species and 136 spiny lobster. These amount to 61.4% of the total number (2552) and 72.9% of the total weight (5164.6 lbs) of individuals of 48 species and accounted for 38.6% of the total number and 27.1% of the total weight of individuals sampled. The 10 most abundant species (3 groupers, 1 snapper, 2 porgies, 2 grunts, I angel, 1 tang) accounted for 58.7% of the total number of all individuals and 61.02% of the total weight of all individuals. Groupers (358 individuals weighing 2958.23 lbs) account for 14.0% of total number of all individuals sampled and 57.3% of total weight of all individuals sampled. The study by the Florida DNR and the NMFS hopes to help resolve the controversies surrounding wire trap use and facilitate management decisions on the fish trap industry. In the meantime often cited disadvantages include: (1) financial success depends entirely upon unstable market demands, supply, and price; (2) high level of trap efficiency can interfere with the catch per unit effort of recreational and commercial hook and line fishing; (3) intense trapping efforts in isolated reef areas may radically change fish species composition and abundance; (4) trap dimensions (mesh size, entrance funnel size, orientation and location, and trap volume) are not always species specific and are selective for a wide variety of re-ef fish; including juveniles, trash or forage species and non-food tropicals (the draft Reef Fish FMP, however states that "...evidence suggests that traps are generally selective and can be set so they are highly selective"); (5) Coral and coral reef resources can be.physically damaged when traps are dragged across the reef surface during retrieval or when displaced by waves and currents; (6) traps are easily lost due to theft, bad weather and vessel passage severing buoy lines; these traps, popularly known as "ghost" or "drowned" traps, continue fishing indefinitely unless retrieved by divers or destroyed by corrosion or large predators; 106 (7) unnecessary trap-related mortalities occur from cannibalism or starvation in side fished and "ghost" traps and from gas embolisms caused by rapid ascent from depths during retrieval; (8) traps containing large numbers of stressed1fish or in the case of "ghost" traps, mutiliated fish or skeletal remains, are unsightly and detract from a SCUBA diver's aesthetic experience. Specific observations on the use of traps in tropical areas outside Florida include the following: "If the use of fish traps becomes a significant fishing method for harvesting reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico, there is a possibility of seriously overfishing stocks of reef fish, particularly in the nearshore waters unless effort by other gear is reduced" (Draft Reef Fish FMP); "In Jamaica, where the intensity of fishing on the nearshore reefs appears to be higher than any other island in the Caribbean, the abundance of fishes on the reef is remarkably low. We are. working on the hypothesis that the low density of fishes is a direct consequence of exploitation with the small mesh traps" (Munro, Reeson & Graut, 1971). By contrast, often cited advantages of wire trap use include observations that they: (1) are inexpensive, easy to build and repair, and require little maintenance; (2) require a minimum of effort once set, allowing fishermen to pursue other interests; (3) can be used in areas where irregular bottom relief'precludes the use of trawls or nets; (4) are successful for fish not easily taken by other methods; and (5) are an. important and efficient research and resource assessment-tool. In summary, the continued use of wire fish traps within the sanctuary could, according to studies and observations in other areas, seriously deplete reef fish stocks through overfishing and incidental bycatch, thereby reducing species richness and fish populations in the Looe Key coral reef ecological system (Stevenson, 1977; Thompson and Munro, 1974). Furthermore, according to the SAFMC, snapper/grouper resources may be presently overfished unless regulation and management occur for these already stressed reef fish stocks. Unregulated use of wire fish traps within the sanctuary could impair recreational value, depriving visitors of the opportunity to enjoy an area of great species diversity. Underwater visitor sightings of wire traps on the sea floor containing large amounts of fish will also detract from the natural aesthetics of a sanctuary and may discourage visitor use. It will be several months before the snapper-grouper FMP becomes public, and changes in proposed management measures may occur as a result of public review. Close coordination will continue throughout the process between the SAFMC and OCZM. 107 b. Prohibit wire fish traps onthe Fore Reef and Reef Flat (Boundary Alternative # ow them in the Patch-Reef, Deep Reef and Deep Ridge zones alternatives outside 1 sq-nm TBoundary Alternatives #2 & #3) This alternative would protect the Fore Reef spur and groove system from physical damage from traps and would maintain the Reef Flat as a suitable recreational area for snorkelers and inexperienced divers. It would enhance the superior recreati onal value of the 1 sq nm boundary alternative by eliminating wire fish traps from the ocean floor. However, ecological damage to the reef system from overfishing and incidental bycatch of non-commercialspecies would not be prevented. Due to the constant movement, back and forth, of fish between the Deep Reef and Ridge through Fore Reef channels to the Patch Reefs to feed, a 1 sq nm ban of wire traps in the Fore Reef andReef Flat would not effectively protect fish populations at Looe Key from depletion. Similarly this alternative would not protect against damage from traps and anchoring to Deep Reef and Deep Ridge living coral assemblages which consist of a rich variety of stony coral, octocoral, sponges and types of coral no longer found on the Fore Reef. Although the location of wire fish traps va ries and largely depends on where the fish are running, local residents interviewed during the onsite survey stated that most trapping occurs seaward of the Fore Reef and outside of the 1 sq nm alternative. Fishermen avoid the spur and groove system of the Fore Reef and the shallowness of the Reef Flat to avoid hull damage. Therefore, this alternative is not likely to have a substantial adverse economic effect on Looe Key wire trap fishermen. c. Prohibit wire fish traps within the 5 sq nm sanctuary (Boundary Alternative #2 and #3). PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE. This alternative would prevent both physical and ecological damage from traps to the coral formations and resident fish species. Fishermen, although prohibited from laying traps within the 5 sq nm area, could continue to utilize the area seaward of the reef beyond approximately 140 feet and those areas beside Looe Key, along the outer reef tract. This proposed regulation is slightly more restrictive than that presently under consideration in the Draft Snapper-Grouper FMP which includes a proposed prohibition out to the 100 foot contour south of Cape Canaveral; the sanctuary prohibition would extend to the proposed boundary at approximately the 140 foot contour. The prohibition would probably not substantially affect the catch of mackerel normally found in the "blue water" environment seaward of the reef. How much this restriction could reduce the catch of yellow- tail, mangrove and mutton snapper, and grouper by Looe Key fishermen cannot be forecast. On the other hand, it can be stated that they would be denied the value of the catch currently taken from this area which amounts to about $109,000 or $3,900 per boat per year (Appendix C, Table 2). 108 The Looe Key Onsite Survey indicated there were other zones where wire fish traps are used.by Looe Key fishermen. It is not definite that.the-loss of fishing grounds in the five sq nm alternative could not eventually be either-partially'or completely offset by setting more traps in adjacent areas.or mov,i,;ng to ot*her localities to fi'sh. However, learning new a.reas takes time and there would be at least a temporary reduction in fish catch and an accompanyi.ng economic loss whi'le fishermen located and became fami:l'i'ar with new fishing grounds. Use of wire,fish trap@s is prohibited within the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary because they indiscriminately catch and kill large numbers. of tropical fish species (personal communication, Gillen, 1979). Reducing the populati.on of trop4cal. f1sh by the use of wi*re fish traps can diminish its delicate:ba,lance, c,reating unnecessary additional stress to this fragile ecosystem:(.Stevenson, 1978). Most visitors, to the marine sanctuary depend on boundary market buoys and 6ther landmarks to determine their position within the sanctuary. They do@not visua1ly carry sophisticated depth sounding equipment aboard their small pleasure.boats and would have difficulty tracking several differing boundary restrictions. Therefore, for regulations to be realistic and u,nderstandable to the general public, they must be consistent throughout the sanctuary area and unchanging with respect to depth. Therefore, this alternative would extend the prohibition on wire trap use throughout the proposal area to the 140 foot depth and thus beyond the 100 foot depth proposed in the Snapper- Grouper FMP. 109 FIGURE 8 CORE TRAPEZOID AREA SCALE: 1" 3000' 111 = .49 nmi its .91km HA WK CHANNEL 46 45 39 30 23 to to .27 20 20 2? U7 26 24028 N 35 14 14 14 9 12 22 21 24. 9 KF r 26 7 46 14 1 33 20 53 :312 41 46 105 96 105 99 84 81024'W Location of the Looe Key HAPC, as measured onto the contours of NOAA flat.ional Ocean Survey Chart 11445. Square measures 1.852km (1 nmi) on each side with a center at the asterisk. The LORAN-C readings for the four points of the trapezoid are listed below. I NW 7980-W-13973.7, 7980-Y-43532.7 2 SW 7980-H-13973.4, 7980-Y-43532.4@ 3 HE 7980-W-13975.0. 7980-Y-43530.1 4 SE 7980-W-13975.40 7980-Y-43527.7 /3 110 2. Regulatory Alternatives Affecting Lobster Trapping. a. Status quo: Unrestricted fishing for spiny lobster within all boundary alternatives. The survey of fishing activity in Looe Key disclosed that approximately 58,000 lbs. of lobster were caught in the Looe Key 5 square nautical mile sanctuary boundary alternative by 25 fishermen in 1978 (see Appendix C, Table 4.) The catch was primarily in areas other than the Fore Reef. Lobster traps are generally set along the Florida reef tract, according to the season. In early fall, at the beginning of the State allowable harvest season, pots are numerous in the patch reef areas close to shore. According to local fishermen, lobsters begin migrating in October and November to cooler, deeper water. Pots are then placed in and seaward of the reef tra6t (Armitt, 1979). At the present time, there are.no promulgated regulations to control the impacts of trapping spiny lobster in Federal waters. The GMFMC has a Spiny Lobster Plan under consideration because the fishery, both commercially and recreationally, is particularly active in Florida. The plan includes proposed management measures restricting, among other things, size, season and gear. Proposed restrictions are almost identical to State regulations (for details see Chapter Three). In addition the joint SAFMC and GMFMC Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP now in preparation proposes to prohibit potting within the core trapezoidal area of the HAPC (see Chapter Three). There is considerable disagreement among biologists, commercial fishermen and conservationists as to the behavior of the spiny lobster. National Park Service (NPS) scientists-(managers of nearly 100,000 acres of coral reef adult lobster habitat) have found that (1) adult lobsters at Ft. Jefferson National Monument are primarily resident species (lobsters tagged and released did not move outside a 10 km area at Dry Tortugas in 104 weeks); (2) one single 8 months open season for recreational lobster fishing can deplete a large resident population of juvenile and adult lobster by up to 50%, even with an enforced harvest limit of 2 lobsters per person per day; (3) 1 year of complete prohibition of both recreational & commercial fishing can restore an area to approximately 78% of its pre-harvest level and increase the la'ir occupancy rate to 71% after 16 months of post harvest protection; and (4) there are inherent conflicts between fishery interests of promoting harvests and NPS management objectives that emphasize preservation of species diversity. Marine biologist Gary Davis at Ft. Jefferson. points out in "Fishery Harvest fin an Underwater Park": "Community structure, and therefore species richness, is determined by species interactions as well as environmental conditions and will reflect alterations in the abundance of individual species, particularly abundant high-level predators. P. argus is such a predator. The pre-harvest, natural standing crop of P. argus was conservatively estimated from visual sightings at 58.3 I-g-p-e-r7ectare of diurnal lobster habitat at Dry Tortugas. Mark and recapture efforts indicated that this figure may represent on,l,@ 30 to 40 percent of the actual biomass in the massive coral .reef complexes where there were numerous hidden caves and narrow crevasses in which lobsters.were probably undetected during diver surveys* The total standing crop of coral reef carnivores at- Eniwetok was estimated at 470 kg per hectare, and total reef fish standing crop from the Caribbean range from 273 to 1,590 kg per hectare. From this it can be-seen that spiny lobsters are abundant and may represent over 10 percent of the predator biomass even in an extremely complex and diverse coral reef ecosystem. Furthermore, P. argus is asecondary predator, preferring other carnivores as food. Removal of a significant proportion of the spiny lobsters from a reef system could.be expected to cause a shift toward simplicityj with a reduction in species richness." Continued unrestricted lobster fishing in the Looe Key Sanctuary boundary areas could possibly deplete the resident population to a level,that could disrupt the.reef ecosystem by reducing the numbers of those important predators. In addition to the significant changes in the lobster population which could eventually occur within the Looe Key system, lobster traps themselves, weighing about 80 pounds can physically damage coral. Careful setting and retrieving of pots in sa-ndy bottom channels can prevent most damage; however, wave action.from storms can drag pots into and over coral causing damage beyond the control of fishermen. Unrestricted lobster fishing will enable spiny lobster fishermen to continue to take a significant portion of their landings from the Looe Key area. The value of the 1978 catch was about $466,320 or about 62% of the total revenue from commercial fishing (see Table 2). Regulations under the Spiny Lobster and joint Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMPs will not likely be in place for at least 6 to 8 months and as plans are currently only proposed the ultimate level of protection is unpredictable. 112 b. Prohibit lobster trapping on Fore Reef only under-all- boundary alternatives. PREFFERRED ALTERNATIVE. This option would prohibi t the setting of traps in the Fore Reef consistent with the HAPC plan currently proposed by the South Atlantic and Gulf Fishery Management Councils (see Chapter Three). No lobster trapping would be allowed within the core trapezoid area (Loran "C" Readings,points 1, 2, 3, and 4, Appendix A). Lobster trapping would be allowed on the Reef Flat, Patch Reefs, the Deep Reef and Deep Ridge. This preferred alternative would protect the most spectacular coral assemblages from lobster trap damage-and contribute to species richness by partially protecting the spiny lobster as a major predator in the reef system (Figure 8)., Studies on.lobster populations in the Dry Tortugas have shown seasonal relocations between adjacent reef and grass flat areas and that individual,lobsters return to the same general area each year. As a result, individuals of the Looe Key resident population may be trapped as they move between the Fore Reef, Reef Flat and the grass flats of the Patch-Reefs to feed. Studies in Ft. Jefferson National Monument (Dry Tortugas) have also demonstrated that in late summer and early fall -an equal number of males/females concentrated in large lairs in the shallow patch reefs. If this is true of Looe Key, then large numbers of the Looe Key population could be taken at the start of the fishing season in the Patch Reef area, which lies outside the regulated area in Boundary Alternative #1. Finally, studies indicate that in late November and early December, as water temperatures cool, lobsters disperse to smaller scattered lairs on the deeper reefs at depths 12-30 m. It appears that a prohibition against lobster trapping on the Fore Reef might help protect the renewable lobster resources at Looe Key for the time being. Completion of the spiny lobster FMP will also contribute to sustaining the lobster fishing industry over the long-term but the degree of protection cannot be determined at this time. An estimated 232,000 lbs. of spiny lobster were caught in Boundary Option #2 in 1978. Personal communication with local residents and fishermen revealed that most of this catch was taken from outside the Fore Reef and Reef Flat zones. According to interviews with local 'people, lobster boats avoid shallow coral reef areas, preferring sites with greater maneuverability and more open sandy areas on which to place traps. This alternative would protect the Fore Reef from physical damage while resulting in minimal econcinic loss to the lobster fishermen and , @regional businesses in the area by allowing trapping in a major portion of the sanctuary. 113 NOAA's Office of Coastal Zone Management (OCZM; and the appropriate Fishery Management Council will continue to work cooperatively under Memoranda of Understanding in their efforts to protect and enhance the Looe Key coral reef habitat and the spiny lobster fishery. Continued monitoring of the area by the NMFS and the Councils would aid in maintaining the stock of a valuable renewable resource, both in the restricted area and in the- area adjacent to the sanctuary. C. Prohibit lobster trapping within the 5 sq nmi (Boundary Alternative #2, and #3). This alternative would prohibit lobster fishingwithin the 5 sq nmi alternative but would permit trapping outside the five sq nm but within the 10 square nautical mile sanctuary proposal. This.alternative would maintain a healthy, substantial spiny lobster population in the Looe Key the region as increased numbers of juveniles would migrate from the reef and be caught outside the boundaries. Coral damage from pots and incidental bycatch of tropical fish would also be significantly eliminated within the entire Looe Key system. Banning traps from this five square mile area would be hardest on the fishermen in fall and early winter when they mainly depend on lobster fishing for revenue. The annual revenue from this area of Looe Key (Boundary Alternative #2) is estimated at $466,320, as recorded in Appendix C Table 2. This represents about 62 percent of all landings within Boundary Alternative #2. Because of its -@ convenient location and generally productive yield the denial of lobster fishing within Boundary Alternative #2 would impose a significant economic hardship on fishermen and local businessmen who support or rely on the industry. 114 3. Regulatory Alternatives Affecting Tropical Marine Specimen Collecting a. Status quo: Unrestricted tropical specimen collecting( marine life fishing) within all boundary alteFn-atives. The GMFMC and the SAFMC are preliminarily determi 'ning the feasibility and desireability of preparing profile or description of the tropical reef fish fishery. The SAFMC and GMFMIC are proposing to prohibit tropical specimen collecting within the 1 nautical mile square HAPC. At the present time, however, no current or other proposed Federal regulations limit tropical fish and invertebrate collection. The extent to which such activity can be controlled through HAPC regulations in the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP has not been determined judicially or administratively. Current indications are that the Councils' definition of Coral Reef Resources does not include invertebrates or reef fish but rather the dead reef structure 61hly. Furthermore, the final outcome of the Coral FMP is unpredictable until the Plan has completed the NEPA process and becomes final. Both commercial marine life fisheries and amateur tropical fish and invertebrate collecting occurs throughout the Looe Key area. Tropical fish collectors in general take a large variety of fish but concentrate primarily on a small number of the popular species. Collectors harvest mostly juvenile fish from shallow depths. Collected invertebrates include brightly colored and otherwise aesthetically appealing molluscs, small crustaceans, including several shrimp which participate in the "cleaning symbiosis" relationship, and a wide variety of other species for the home aquarist, biological specimen industry, curio trade and municipal aquaria. The most commonly collected families of fishes (Hess and Stevely, 1979) are angelfishes and butterflyfishes, damselfishes, cardinalfishes, jawfishes, drums and croakers, blennies, wrasses and gobies. Neon gobies, small shrimp, juvenile bluehead wrasses, juvenile French angelfish,.and juvenile porkfish to a lesser degree, are particularly known to set up and participate in cleaning stations for finfish which then have an overall beneficial effect on the ecological balance of the reef. Removal of these species in large numbers could.adversely affect the reef system. Most collectors work from small outboard motor boats. Collectors use small hand nets while diving underwater (snorkeling, SCUBA). Some collectors also use a mild anesthetic, quinaldine, to slow temporarily the fishes.while collecting. A few collectors who do not approve the use of chemicals, use only skill to chase fishes into nets. Quinaldine is a derivative of coal tar used in the manufacture of dyes and explosives and was never intended as a fish collecting anesthetic. Quinaldine is only slightly soluble in water and must be dilutpd hPfore use. Diluting agents include ethyl alcohol and seawater, 115 with acetone added by some collectors to draw the fish from protective cover. Studies, however, have indicated that acetone can be harmful to gill membranes and liver. Quinaldine is absorbed primarily through the gills and concentrates initially in the brain (Brandenburger Brown et al, 1972)(Hess Steberg, 1979). Recovery usually occurs rapidly once the fish is removed from the drugged water (1-10 minutes). Concern for possible adverse effects of the widespread use of quinaldine.on the marine environment has led to its regulation by the Florida DNR (since 1973) and a few preliminary studies on its open water use. Jaap and Wheaton of FDNR stated in 1975 that "quinaldine treatment induced no long term damage to octocorals (soft corals) and only slight damage to two scleractinian specimens". The effects of quinaldine on larval fishes and invertebrates are still unknown. There are obvious advantages to the use of quinaldine in difficult terrain and deep water collecting but "collecting with drugs is also very efficient and contributes to the decline of marine tropicals on the reefs" (Moe,.1958). Collecting with drugs may also lowerthe quality/health of fish sold by collectors (personal communication, Bigford, 1980). Bleaches, used also for collecting in the past are now prohibited ,in Florida waters. Although regulating the use of quinaldine should restrict its use to experienced collectors, some unskilled part time collectors use quinaldine improperlythereby resulting in unnecessary mortality to fishes and other marine organisms. Although most of the marine specimens sold in today's U.S. aquarium industry come from the marine environment, tropical fish are successfully raised in captivity and sold commercially as well (Moe, 1980). Raising fish in aquaria for commercial:sale although not now economically competitive with harvesting in the natural environment could eventually be a viable alternative to tropical fish collecting at Looe Key. Unregulated tropical specimen collecting in the marine sanctuary would allow unlimited collecting of Looe Key reef species by commercial and amateur collectors as long as there is a market and fish and invertebrates to harvest. It appears that there is and continues to be considerable growth of the market for marine aquarium hobby products in recent years (Hess and Stevely, 1978). The economic take per year in Boundary Alternative #2 is estimated at $25,000 to $43,000 or $80 '075 to $137,725.using regional multipliers. While this return is probably not great for any one collector, it does contribute limited economic benefit to the region. It is likely, however, that the harvest could betaken from adjacent areas with an equivalent mi'nimal socio-economic impact. b. Restrict tropical specimen collecting (marine life fishing) to those wit AA permitq within all bounFa-rY alternatives and to non- chemical techniques. Restricting tropical specimen collecting to those individuals with permits will limit marine specimen collecting within the sanctuary to only those persons demonstrating a knowledge of tropical marine species and the most accepted and non-damaging techniques for harvesting tropical fishes and invertebrates. Requiring permits would not impose a significant 116 burden on those businesses now in the area, nor would it necessarily preclude others from becoming collectors. However, a permit and monitoring system will have to be established by OCZM that is suitable for processing and monitoring commercial permits. It is not likely that administration and enforcement of such a permit system for effective regulation of trop-icdl specimen collecting could be developed. It would require the undertaking of extensive monitoring of fish stocks to determine when sufficient populations of the species existed and at what point and to what degree taking would be appropriate. Commercial permi*tees could not be monitored given existing resources, to assure that their actions would be consistent with the conditions of the permit. A permit system of this nature would require elaborate surveillance of collectors and specified check points for ingress and egress at the sanctuary. As an example,,it would be virtually impossible to detemine whether a pemitee took only x specimens over a period of y months. The taking of important ecological species such as the neon goby and the depletion of naturally rare species so desirable to a marine sanctuary would continue although permitting the activity would-allow monitoring of activity levels and control whenever necessary. Prohibiting the use of chemicals would limit collecting activities to the more experienced collector. Since the long tem effects of the commonly used quinaldine are not well documented this restriction will eliminate the potential for ham. c. Prohibit tropical specimen collecting (marine life fishing) within all boundary alternatives except for scientific and educational purposes with NOAA permits. PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE. This alternative would protect and enhance the tropical fish population at Looe Key, prevent the depletion of ecologically important .species, add to the aesthetics of the sanctuary, and maintain and enhance the long tem productivity of the Looe Key coral reef for future generations. The Key Largo Marine Sanctuary and the Biscayne National Monument do prohibit such taking thereby providing a precedent for such action. A prohibition on collecting (marine life fishing) would not require the construction of an administratively burdensome permit and monitoring system for commercial collecting. Instead, it would utilize the already existing system designed for issuing a limited number of permits for scientific and educational purposes, that has been established for the Xey Largo Marine Sanctuary., 117 It appears that there are many suitable areas for tropical specimen collectors to catch tropical fish and invertebrates in Florida; including shallow inshore areas, inshore coral heads, mid-channel reefs (in the middle of Hawk's Channel), and the entire outer reef. This alter- native would cause limited economic loss to present commercicil collectors. The total economic loss of revenue per year as estimated in the socio-economic analysis for Boundary Alternative #2, would be $25,000 to $43,000 or $80,075 to $137,729 using regional multipliers. At least some of this loss could be made up by collecting elsewhere. -1-18 C. Regulatory Alternatives for Spearfishing 1. Status quo: Unregulated spearfishing under all boundary options. Commercial spearfishing is no longer feasible because of diminished populations of large specimens, according to the Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory (1978). Individual spearfishing has continued by sport fishermen and local residents who prefer this method of catching edible fish. Although there are no public statistics on the number of spearfishermen at Looe Key, the Looe Key Inventory has stated that spear- fishing activity is widespread in this area. .In Florida, the total catch of spearfishermen is much less than line fishermen due to environmental conditions (Davis, 1980). Spear- fishing is more limited by depth, visibility and seasonal temperatures. A study of recreational boating in Dade County (Austin et. al., 1977) has indicated that in Dade County the average daily catch of s-pear-fish- ermen was not much different from line fishermen in the same areas. However, total spearfishing activity and grouper catch was much less than that of line fishermen in all areas during all seasons except on the south reef in summer. Approximately 58.8 percent of the spearfishermen in the Dade County study used rubberpowered, trigger-activitated guns, 16.5% used Hawaiian slings-and 24.7% used both. A small number used pneumatic or springpowered guns or pole guns. Sixty percent were free diving (snorkel only) and 28.4 % used SCUBA equipment when spearfishing. Of all spearfish- ing in Dade County, none was recorded deeper than 80 feet and 71.5 % was conducted between 11 and 30 feet. Species sought were limited; groupers (35.8%), hogfish (32.4%) and snapper (8.9%). Preference for snapper was misleading; however, since many spearfishermen regard hogfish as snapper. It appears that spearfishing at Looe Key will, but not in comparison to commercial and recreational line fishing, reduce significantly large predators and other fish species impor- tant to the continued health of the reef system. Spearfishing, however, quickly makes grouper and snapper very wary of divers, too wary in fact, to be observed by most nonspearfishermen who lack experienced observation skills (Davis, 1980, DEIS comments). The Looe Key Resource Inventory (1978) stated that the practice of spear- fishing, even when not many fish are taken, creates wariness in the hunted species and effectively causes them to move out of the area." The authors contrast the current situation at Looe Key Reef, where larger groupers are quite rare and exhibit wariness of divers, to that in the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary, where these fish are relatively abundant and can be approached closely. 119 There are no existing spearfishing controls and the final scope of the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP special management measures are unpredictable. The plan hat not been through the EIS public review process and will not likely be implemented until January 1981. The Plan proposes to prohibit spearfishing within the core trapezoid of the 1 nm sq HAPC. 2. Restrict spearfishing within the sanctuar to pole spears and Hawaiian slings under all boundary a ternatives. Restricting spearfishing to certain weapons would tend to re- strict this type of fishing to the more experienced divers and snorkelers and eliminate the use of rubber-powered arbaletes, pneumatic and spring- loaded guns and other types of weapons'often used by novice divers. In addition, it would tend to reduce both the physical damage to the reefs caused by inexperienced spearfishermen and the chances of human injury. This would probably have minimal economic impact on dive and charter boat captains since only an estimated 15 percent of the Looe Key divers now spearfish (personal communication, Davidson,.1979). This alternative would not eliminate the wariness and removal of certain species from the reef, nor would it Prevent experienced spearfish- ermen from contributing to the reduction of stocks of important commercial fish species and key 'ecological species on the reef.system. This option would be difficult to enforce. I Prohibit spearfishin@ and possession of spearfishin@ equiement within the 5 sq nmi (Boundary Alternative #Z and #3) PREFERREU ALTERNATIVE. A primary impact for this alternative is to enhance the quality of resource recreational experiences by divers, snorkelers and observers. This prohibitiQR will also benefit the ecological system by preventing the continued disturbance and removal of territorial reef predators and would promote the return of larger grouper, snapper and other predators to the .reef or perhaps, in time, lead to fish becoming less wary. In addition, it would remove the human injury potential, the inadvertent killing of non- edible tropical reef fish species found within the sanctuary and physical damage to the coral from divers in pursuit of fish. All of the above would help ensure high quality recreational experiences by divers and snorklers. Although local residents and visitors will no longer have the opportunity to spearfish in the Looe Key 5 mile area, there are many other areas suitable for spearfishing. The oceanic side of the Florida Keys is a desirable area for spearfishing with a submarine bank that varies in width-from more than three to nearly seven nautical miles along the length of the Keys. Most of this bank lies in water depths less than 30 feet. The shallow,inshore area'is not attractive to spearfishermen due to the small number of fish to be found there. However, the many patche3 Of corals scattered along the seaward edge are favorite fishing grounds for spearfishermen (Murdock, 1957). It will not discriminate against novice spearfishermen and will conform with the more enforceable regulation at the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary which prohibits the use of spear guns, slings, harpoons or other kinds of weapons potentially harmful to human safety, fish and wildlife, and the reef structure. 120 D. Alternatives Regulating Tampering with, Damage to and Removal of Submerged Historical and Cultural Resources within the Sanctuary. 1. Status quo: Unrestricted activities reqardin@ Submerged historical and cultural resources in all boundary altarnatives. The Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior is preparing a Submerged Cultural Resource Plan to identify shi'Pwreck sites between Key West and Cape Hatteras o 200 miles. A Looe -Key American Shoals survey is being conducted by the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. However, there are no Federal laws at the present time regulating salvage and recovery operations in the high seas. The status quo would allow the continued unregulated investigation and removal of submerged artifacts and could also lead to the tampering and removal of important historical and cultural resources within the sanctuary. These recovery operations can result in damage to those coral communities which have attached themselves to the submerged artifacts. Under a recent court decision, the Antiquities Act which provides that the Department of the Interior may designate and protect certain historically important sites does not authorize such action in relation to antiquities located on the OCS. In addition, neither the Abandoned Property Act nor the National Historic Preservation Act offer protection for valuable marine artifacts. The marine sanctuary program is the only vehicle for designation and preservation of such resources. 2. Prohibit tampering with, damage to and removal of historical and cultural resources in all boundary alternatives exceet with a NOAA permit for scientific and educational purposes. PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE. This alternative would prohibit tampering with, damage to and removal of historical and cultural resources and still allow continued exploration and investigation with minimal damage to coral reef resources. Shipwrecks of interest in and adjacent to the area could be explored and artifacts recovered under a NOAA permit which would be based on the educational and research value of the proposed actions. This alternative, however, would not completely preclude reef damage and other disruptions to the marine resoLrces from salvage and recovery operations. Under this alternative, NOAA could cooperate and assist the Bureau of Land Management in the preparation of the Submerged Cultural Resource Plan which includes the Looe Key Reef area. Historical resources could als ntually be placed on the National Register of the National Historic Preservation Act once the nomination has been made and the resource selected. 121 3. Prohibit tampering with, damage to and removal of historical and cultural resources within 5 sq nm (Boundary Alternatives #Z and #3). This regulation would protect the HMS Looe and other submerged shipwrecks of cultural and historical significance from tampering and removal. It would completely protect coral reef assemblages from further damage from such operations. It appears that there is little salvage and or other disturbing activity in the area at the present time. Therefore this regulation would not impact ongoing salvage and recovery operations, but it would prevent possible research and educational benefits. 122 E. Alternatives for Regulating Di-scharges 1. Status quo: Rely on existing authorities to control discharges in all boundary alteLrnativiE@s. Federal regulation of sewage wastes from marine sanitation devices, effective January 31, 1980, does not extend beyond territorial (State) waters. The disposal of dredge materials and toxic and hazardous substances are regulated by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Title II, Ocean Dumping of the Marine Protection Research and.Sanctuaries Act;,EPA has the authority to develop criteria for dredge disposal and the disposal of toxic and hazardous materials and for the selection of dump sites for dredge disposal in ocean waters. Therefore, vessels are allowed to discharge trash, litter, solid wastes, and sewage. This alternative would not prevent the discharge from vessels of trash, litter, solid waste, or untreated sewage directly into the proposed sanctuary. The status quo would rely on the authority of the CWA, Title II and corresponding regulations. 2. Prohibit the disch arge of all substances in all boundary alternatives. This regulation would prohibit any discharge within the sanc- tuary. Discharge of litter, trash, solid waste and sewage from vessels would be prohibited. A prohibition on the discharging-of vessel cooling waters would prevent motorized vessels from entering the sanctuary. Prohibiting the discharge of fish*parts and chumming materials would inconvenience fishermen and curtail otherwise allowed fishing activities. 3. Prohibit the dischar_qe of substances except cooling waters from vessels, fish or parts, chumming materials and discharges from marine sanitation devices (MSD) within 5 sq nm (Boundary alternatives #2 and #3). PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE. This alternative would prohibit littering and discharge of solid waste from vessels. It would prohibit the discharge of raw, untreated sewage into the sanctuary. However, it would allow fishermen to discharge fish or parts and use chumming materials. By not restricting the discharge of cooling waters,this alternative would allow the use of motorized vessels. The large number of people using Looe Key has lead to a high incidence of litter and trash being discharged overboard. The proposed regulation prohibiting discharging and littering will help maintain the area's overall recreational and aesthetic appeal. It would help to 'prevent floating or submerged waste debris such as plastic and metal objects discarded-from users at Looe Key. 123 The proposed regulation would prevent the discharge of untreated sewage from vessels allowing discharges from a MSD only. This regulation is-consistent with current Coast Guard regulation. The Coast Guard regulations prohibit the discharge of untreated wastes within the territorial sea for public health reasons - the presence of swimmers and relatively shallow water. Because the site of the proposed sanctuary is heavily used for water contact activities such as swimming and diving and portions have relatively shallow water depths, only the discharge from MSDs is allowed. Impacts of the regulation will be minor. Sanctuary users will have to retain trash for disposal at proper facilities. Vessel operators will have to utilize their MSD or holding tanks and will be unable to empty the latter. . The Environmental Protection Agency, Marine Activities Office (responsible for developing the regulations), and the U.S. Coast Guard, Office of.Marine Environment and Systems, Branch Enforcement (responsible for implementing the regulations), have informed NOAA that there are no existing studies on the effects of MSD chemicals on corals. These agencies believe that MSD discharges will not negatively impact the health of the - reef. If the sanctuary is designated, NOAA will monitor closely the effects of the discharges. 124 F. Alternatives Regulating Anchoring 1. Status Quo: Unrestricted anchoring within the three boundary options. At the present time, there are no Federal laws regulating the location or type of anchoring in the Looe Key area. Branching coral growth forms such as elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) in the Fore Reef system are especially susceptibli to anchor damage. Fortunately, however, these species appear to have the greatest potential for regeneration. Recovery of other damaged coral, however,is slow since, as discussed in Chapter Three, growth rates of coral in the Florida Reef Tract are about one-half that of the Central Caribbean. The draft Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP (CNA 1979) states, within'this context, that: "coral growth rates are' so slow in most species that recovery rates after harvest, human impact or natural stress are far slower than observed in most resources". Moreover, as has been pointed out by Antonius (1975 and 1977), even slight mechanical injury to large stony corals can initiate a series of events manifesting in widespread pathology or even death of an entire colony. Evidence of anchor damage to stony corals and octocorals,is widespread within surveyed areas of the proposed sanctuary boundaries. Broken pieces of elkhorn and staghorn coral are easily visible in the Fore Reef and Reef Flat zones where the water is shallow and the more spectacular coral is found. Entire octocorals can be observed lying on the bottom, obviously ripped from their substrate. Much of this damage was fresh during observations in 1976 and 1977 and its occurrence and distribution is likely a result of a combination of anchor damage, wave damage and other natural factors. Numerous observations have been made of boat anchors lying in living coral and of anchor ropes and chains chafing corals. Compar@ible information on cond- it.ions in the Deep Ridge and Deep Reef zones is not available because the depth of water makes these areas less accessible. However, it can be reasonably assumed that the coral and benthic organisms have suffered some damage from boats anchoring in deeper water. Recreational and commercial boat anchoring damage observed at the Looe Key coral reef has been found in other reefs. Damage to the benthos and living coral in the Flower Garden and 28 Fathom Banks has resulted from improper anchoring practices. Sand anchors, properly located in the rubble and sand grooves between the coral spurs, or in deeper sandy ,bottom seaward of the major coral formations, create the least disturbance. Methods of anchoring in reef areas are discussed in the Draft Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP. This report cites a number of specific anchoring problems which can cause damage to corals; anchor fluke span, length of chain relative to water depth, and anchor placement. 125 The Draft Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP further states: that the amount of damage is proportional to the level of use in an area, the method of anchoring, the size of the anchor used, and the composition of the biotic community." The draft FMP goes on to cite accounts from several areas which emphasize the relationship of user levels to anchor damage. It would be reasonable to assume, for the Looe Key Reef, that, in the absence of anchoring regulations, this same relationship would hold. The number of boats presently anchoring in this small area is already quite high and the stress is apparent. Anchor impacts on the Looe Key Fore Reef coral community are projected to become more widespread in the absence of regulation. Unregulated anchoring would give unlimited choice of anchor sites to recreational and commercial boats. Visitors could dive close by their boats. Physical damage to coral would continue unabated. 2. Prohibit anchor' c ral on Fore Reef (delineated as the core trapazoid in the Coral Reef FMP (Figure 8) and encourage anchoring in sand areas elsewhere. PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE. This alternative would help protect the Fore Reef coral. assemblages from snagging, breaking, or other anchor damage. Anchor abrasion of corals is common in the Fore Reef zone of Looe Key. It is here that anchor chains and lines, primarily from the smaller draft boats anchored in the sand bottom between the coral spurs, chafe the adjacent corals. Raising anchors snagged on the coral spurs also has resulted in significant damage. As the popularity of Looe Key and its accessibility becomes more widely known, anchor damage can be expected to-occur more frequently. Indiscriminate anchoring with its potential for damage in a coral reef sanctuary, is incompatible with the purposes for which these areas are considered for designation. 126 T*he Fore Reef is frequented by divers because of the spectacular nature of the coral formations and the size and diversity of reef fish populations. In order to gain access to this area, most boats anchor directly in this zone, which is no deeper than nine meters or in the Reef Flat nearest the Fore Reef, By prohibiting anchoring on coral in this area and encouraging sand anchoring in adjacent areas, anchor damage to the Fore Reef can be substantially reduced. The Reef Flat offers suitable protection from high waves because of its location behind the reef,crest. The bottom consists primarily of sand, coral fragments, seagrass, macro-algae and occasional colonies of living coral. As a result, this area can withstand much greater anchoring pressure than the Fore Reef Zone with its well developed coral structure. Because of the substrate and protected location of the Reef Flat, small sand anchors, e.g. Danforth, are capable of holding all but the largest boats with a shallow enough draft to enter this zone. Divers and snorkelers entering the water can swim through this shallow (less than two meters) area and pass through one of the surge channels of the reef crest and dive on the Fore Reef. Only in rough weather is passage through the reef crest somewhat hazardous. The area seaward of the Fore Reef is less protected but convenient to the Fore Reef and would also be suitable as an anchoring area. With adequate enforcement and management at the sanctuary site, boats can be directed@to sandy areas, suitable for anchoring adjacent to the Fore Reef. This alternative might inconvenience recreational and commercial hook and line fishing in the area of the Fore Reef. Fishermen would have to s pend additional effort to insure sand anchoring within this small core area. Enforcement of this regulation will entail frequent site inspections and the development of an educational program to advise users on anchoring procedures. This regulation would serve as an interim measure until information is gathered to allow evaluation of alternative measures. Research and assessment of the feasibility and possible design of or appropriate mooring system for Looe Key will provide a basis for management decisions which will better insure maximum opportunities for both public use a-nd resource protection. If the sanctuary is designated, such a study will be designed as a part of the management plan. 3. Placement of a mooring buoy system or systems in strategic areas of the Fore Reef zone in all boundary options. This would enable divers, particularly SCUBA divers, with heavy equipment, to dive safely near their boats and it would provide safe *access to the Fore Reef for novice divers. Biscayne National Monument has an optional mooring buoy system which not only guides visitors to certain coral reef areas but offers them the opportunity to tie up to a buoy to prevent anchor damage. 127 A mooring system would have to be stable enough to secure large dive and charter boats in moderately rough seas and designed in a manner to prevent collisions between the moored vessels. This would result in destruction of portions of the sea floor but could reduce anchor damage substantially to the reef. Observations in Biscayne Monument have noted some concentrated damage to adjacent coral areas, as in the case of designated anchoring zones. If the marine sanctuary is not adequately patrolled, this type of regulation could cause conflicts a@ong users. Although not prohibitively expensive, mooring systems are costly and their purchase and installation would have to be budgetedby Sanctuary management. The relatively small Fore Reef area may not be large enough to place enough buoys to. accommodate the number of potential boats and buoy placement itself could be damaging to the coral. Periodic relocation of the anchoring zone of buoys to allow impacted areas to recover could also be used to minimize the concentration of damage in localized areas. This approach however has not been successful at the Buck Island National Monument in' the Virgin Islands. Park Service officials indicate that rotating buoy location is'not viable there. Coral growth is too slow to make reasonable rotating times feasible.' 4. Require the use of sand-anchors under all options. Grapple hooks and other non-sand-bearing anchors are particularly damaging to coral. Prohibition of grapple-type anchors is a consideration because of the damage from such anchors used by divers in the Looe Key area. A change to sand anchor would encourage anchoring in sand areas only but would not solve al "1 anchor associated problems. There is also some doubt if this is a workable regulation due to the type of enforcement it would require. 128 LIST OF PREPARERS Many persons participated in the preparation of this document. A major portion of the environmental analysis was performed under contract by Sager 0 Gardiner 0 Wilcox, 6723 Whittier Ave., McLean, Va. 22101. Sager 0 Gardiner 0 Wilcox Evelyn S. Wilcox Project Manager Willia@ P. Gardiner Environmental Specialist Dr. Martha Sager Ecologist Dr. Arnfried Antonius Marine Biologist Dr. Arthur Weiner Marine Biologist Richard N. Sharood Attorney James A. Cato Fisheries Economist Phillip Webre Economist Office of Coastal Zone Management Dallas Miner Director Dr. Nancy Foster Depty Director Edward Lindelof Gu f and Caribbean Project Officer Annie Hillary Program Analyst John Milholland Attorney 129 LIST OF AGENCIES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND PERSONS RECEIVING COPIES OF THE LOOE KEY FEIS Federal Agencies Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce Department of Defense Department of Energy Department of Health and Human Services Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of the Interior Department of Justice Department of Labor Department of Transportation Environmental Protection Agency Federal Energy Regulatory Commission General Services Administration Marine Mammal Commission Nuclear Regulatory Commission State, Regional and Local Government Florida Department of Environmental Regulation Florida Department of Natural Resources Florida Department of State .Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commiss,ion Florida Office of the Governor Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Monroe County Board of County Commissioners South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Elected Officials Hon. Dante B. Fascell National and Local Interest Groups Active Divers Association Broward County Audubon Society Camp Wesumkee Center for Environmental Education Central Florida Pleasure Divers Dade Marion Institute Defenders of Wildlife Environmental Law Society Everglades Protection Association Florida Audubon Society Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association Florida Reef Foundation 131 Foundation for Pride Friends of the Lower St. Johns Islamorada Charter Boat Association Izaak Walton League, Mangrove Chapter Izaak Walton League, Cypress Chapter Key Biscayne Anglers Lake Region Audubon Society Layton Kiwanis Club Marathon Guides Association Marine Mammal Foundation Marine Wilderness Society Marine Wildlife Foundation National Association of Retired Federal Employees National Audubon Society National Fisheries Institute New York Zoological Society Norine Rouse Scuba Club Periwinkle Alliance Royal Palm Audubon Society Sarasota County Sportsmen's Club Save the Bay Sierra Club, Florida Chapter Sierra Club, Miami Tropical Anglers Club Tropical Audubon Society Underwater Society of America Upper Keys Citizens Association Volusia Flager Sierra.Group Individuals Karen Achor Mr. & Mrs. J.S. Baker Mary Bruce Walter S. Boardman James A. Bohnsack C.M. Buckman Fiona R. Bruns Charles A. Buckel Josephine K. Carter James M. Critaker Paul P. Daley Capt. Ed Davidson J. Connor Davis Alfred R. Dixon William A. Dunson Henry A. Feddern Mr. & Mrs. Ron Galuba Robert N. Ginsburg Dorothy A. Harte Lynn Houaman Mel-vin P. House Anita & Ferdinand Hurricks Nan B. Keefer 132 Hand & Grace Kendall Curtis R. Kruer John R. Maiolo Robert F. Merrick William R. Meyers Gary Milano William T. Mills John C. Noyes J-L,- Pinckney Jr. Frank S. Potts William Ruetel Marcy Schiff John J. Schoendorf Susie Schultz Larry Verdier William M. Warner Lee Wood 133 BIBLIOGRAPHY General Armitt, Al. 1979* Personal communication. State Vice Pres. Organized Fishermen'of Florida (OFF). Austin, C. Bruce, Robert Brugger, J. Conner Davis and Linda Seifert. March 1977. Recreational Boating in Dade County 1975-1976. Prepared for Sea Grant. Ballard, W. R. 1979. Personal communication. Director Lower Keys Chapter of OFF. Brown, Col., Assistant Chief, Florida Marine Patrol, Tallahassee. 1979. Personal communication. Carr, Chuck 1979. Florida Audubon Society. Causey, Bill, Feb. 1, 1980. Personal communication, Florida Marine Davis, Gary E. 1977. Effects of recreational harvest on a spiny lobster, Panulirus argus population. Bulletin of Marine Science, Vol. 27 No. 2. Davis, Gary E. 1976. National Park Service Spiny Lobster Fishery Research in Florida. Key West, Florida. Davis, Gary E. 1977. Anchor Damage to a Coral Reef on the Coast of Florida. Davis, J. Connor, 1980. Personal communication., Marine Biologist. Dennis$ Cdr. Sam. 1979. Personal communication. Commander Group U.S. Coast Guard Key West, Key West, Florida. Feddern, Henry, February 8, 1980. Personal communication, Florida Mari'ne Assoication. Florida Administrative Code. 1979. Rules 17-3, 17-4 and 17-6. Florida Conservation Foundation. 1978. ENFO Newsletter. Florida Division of State Planning. 1974. Final report and recom- mendations for the proposed Florida Keys area of critical State concern. Florida Bureau of Land and Water Management, Tallahassee., Florida. Florida Sea Grant College. 1978. Environmental Impact Statement and Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. 135 Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. 1979. Coastal Management Issue Scoping Paper. Florida Department of Environmental. Regulation. 1978. Florida Coastal Management Program Appendix. Prepared for the 1978 Florida Legislature. Florida Department of Natural Resources Coastal Coordinating Council. 1974. Florida Keys Coastal Zone Management Study. Gillan, Jack. 1979. Personal Communication Superintendant Onsite Manager Key Largo Coral Reef Sanctuary. Hess* Deb and John Stevely, 1979 The Aquarium Reef Fish Collecting Industry Monroe County, Florida Marine Resource Inventory Monroe County Marine Advisory Program. Florida Cooperative Extension Service. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. 1979. Marine Sanctuary Management Workshop. Looe Key Reef. Public meeting concerning the proposed designation of the Looe Key Reef as a National Marine.Sanctuary. Big Pine Key, Florida. January 17, 1978. Memorandum from Terry Leitzell, Director of National Marine Fisheries Services to Marine Wilderness Society. Sept. 20, 1979. Request to have Pillar Coral listed as an Endangered Species. Memorandum of Understanding, Gulf Fishery Management Council and Office of Coastal Zone Management. May 24, 1979. Moe, Martin, February 8, 1980. Personal Communication. Florida Marine Life Association. Monroe County Planning Department. 1978. Monroe County Coastal Zone Protection and Conservation Element. Murdock, James. 1957. A Survey of Spearfishing in the Florida Keys. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Annual Meeting. Murray, Thomas. 1979. Personal Communication, Florida Cooperative Extension Service. National Marine Fisheries Service. 1980. Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan. Prepared for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. St. Petersburg, Florida. National Park Service. 1979. A Review of Fishery Managem ent Options and Proposed Rules for Everglades National Park. 136 O'Kane, Lt. Kevi n. 1979. Comparison between Looe Key Reef and, Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary. Peterson M. L. 1955. The last cruise of the H.M.S. Looe Smithsonian Misc. Coll., 131 (2), 74 pp. Russell, Lt. Cdr. Dave. 1979. Personal communications. Assistant Chief, Intelligence and Law Enforcement Branch, 7th Coast Guard District, Miami, Florida. Samsome, Gerry. 1979. Personal communication. Executive Director, OFF Shinn, Eugene A. 1979. Collecting Biologic and Geologic Specimens in South Florida. Atlantic Reef Committee. Information Circular. 'Stevenson, David K. 1977. Proceedings Gulf and Caribbean Fishery Institute and Conference on small-scale fisheries in the Caribbean. pp. 95-112. Stone, Alexander. 1979. Letter to Sanctuary Programs Office re.wire mesh fish traps. President, Marine Wilderness Society. Taylor, Ronald J. and McMichael, Robert.B., " The first quarterly report on the wire trap fishery in the Florida Keys based on observations during November 1979 - January 1980". Florida Department of Natural Resources, February, 1980. Thomas, Richard. 1979. Personal communication, commercial fisherman. Ti.1mant, Jim. 1979 Personal communication, Research Biologist, Biscayne Monument. Tingley, Ralph. 1979. Personal communication. Chief, Florida Marine Patrol, Florida Keys. 'University of Florida Center for Governmental Responsibility, Holland Law Center. 1976. Prepared for Florida Department of Natur@al Resources, Division of Resource Management, Bureau of Coastal Zone Planning. 137 Scientific Literature Antonlus, A. 1972. Occurrence and distribution of stony corals (Anthozoa and Hydrozoa) In the vicinity of Santa Marta, Colombia. Mitt. Inst. Col-ombo-Aleman Invest. Clent., 6: 89-103. Antonlus, A. 1974. Final report of the coral reef group of the Florida Keys project for the project year 1973. Harbor branch Foundation, Fort Pierce, Florida. 201 pp. Antonlus, A. and G. Griffin. 1974. Turbidity and coral reef health In waters of Pennekamp Park, upper Florida Keys. Florida Scientist, 37: 15. Antonius, A. 1975. Health problems of the Florida coral reefs. Florida Scientists, 38: 21. Antonlus, A. 1977. Coral mortality In reefs: a problem for science and management. Proc. Third Internat. Coral Reef Symp., Univ. Miami, 2: 618-623. Antonlus et al. 1978. Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory Bayer, F.M. 1961. The shallow-water Octocorallia of the West Indian region. Martinus Nijoff, The Hague, Netherlands, 101 fig., 28 pl., 373 pp. Bohlke, J.E. and C.C.G. Chaplin. 197U. Fishes of the Bahamas and adjacent tropical waters. Livingston Publishing Comp., Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. 36 pi., xxill + 771 pp. Chaplin, C.C.G. 1972. FIshwatchers guide to West Atlantic coral reefs. Livingston Publishing Compl, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. 23 pl., 64 pp. Cottam, G. and J. T. Curtis. 1956. The use of distance measure In phytosociological sampling. Ecology, 37: 451-46U. deLaubenfels, M.W. 1953. A guide to the sponges of Eastern North America. Publ. Mar. Lab. Un,iv. Miami, Univ. Miami Press. 32 pp. Florida Coastal Coordinating Council. 1974. Florida Keys Coastal Zone Management Study. Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee, Florida. Gelster, J. 1977. The Influence of wave exposure on the ecological zonation of Caribbean coral reefs. Proc. Third Internat.. Coral Reef Symp., UnIv. Miami, 1: 23-29. 138 Ginsburg, Robert N. 1974. Florida Reef Types. Proceeding Florida Keys Coral Reef Workshop. U. of Miami Ginsburg, R. N. and E. A. Shinn. 1964. Distribution of the reef- building community in Florida and the Bahamas. Bull, Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., 66: 310-318. Glynn, P.W. 1977. Coral growth in upwelling and non-upwelling areas off the Pacific coast of Panama. Journ. of Marine Research, 35: 567-585. 1 Goodson, G. 1976. Fishes of the Atlantic coast. Marquest Color- guide Books, Palos Verdes Estates, California. v + 203 pp. Goreau,- T.F. 1959. The coral reefs of Jamaca: -1. Species composition and zonation. Ecology, 40: 67-90. Goreau, T. F. and J. W. Wells. 1967. The shallow water Scleractinia of Jamaica: revised list of species and their vertical distribution range. Bull. Mar. Sci., 17: 442-453. Greenberg, 1. 1977. Guide to corals and fishes of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Seahawk Press, Miami, Florida. 64 pp. Hoffmeister, J. E. 1974. Land from the Sea. Univ. Miami Press, Coral Gables, Florida. 143 pp. Hoffmeister, J. E, J. I. Jones, D. R. Moore, and H. G. Multer. 1964. Living and fossil reef types of southern Florida. Geol. Soc. Am. Conv.,, Nov. 1964. 2 pl., 28 pp. Hoffmeister, J. E. and H. G. Multer. 1968. Geology and origin of the Florida Keys. Geol. Soc. America Bull., 79: 845-852. Jones, J. A. 1977. Morphology and development of Southern Florida partch reefs. Proc. Third Internat. Coral Reef Symp., Univ. Miami, 2: 231-235. Kaufmann, L. 1977. The three spot damselfish: effects on benthic biota of Caribbean coral reefs. Proc. Third Internat. Coral Reef Symp., Univ. Miami, 1: 559-564. Kissling, D. L. 1975. Coral reefs in the lower Florida Keys: a preliminary report. In: Carbonate Rock Environments, ed. H. G. Multer, Farleigh Dickinson Univ., Madison New Jersy. pp. 102 E-K. Longley, W. H. and S. F. Hildebrand. 1941. Systematic catalogye of the fishes of Tortugas., Florida. PaP- Tort. Lab., Carnegie I nst. Wash. . 34, 34 pl - 9 331 pp. Loya, Y. 1972. Community structure and-species diversity of hermatypic coral at Eilat, Red Sea. Mar. Biol., 13: 100-12 139 Loya, Y. and L. B. Slobodkin. 1971. The coral reef of Ellat (Gulf of Ellat, Red Sea). Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond., 28: 117-139. MacIntyre, G. 1.1 and 0. H. PlIkey. 1969. Tropical coral reefs: tolerance of low temperatures on the North Carolina continental shelf. Science, 16611 374-375. Marszalek, D.S., G. Babashoff, M.R. Noel, and D.R. Worley. 1977. .Reef distribution In South Florida. Proc. Third. InternaT. Coral Reef Symp., Univ. Miami, 2: 223-229. .Mayor, A. G-1914. The effects of temperature upon tropical marine animals. Publ. Carneg.le Inst. Wash.,- 183: 1-24. Mayor, A. G. 1916. The lower temperatures at which reef-corals loose their ability to capture food. Carnegie Inst. Wash., Year-Book, 14, 212. National Park Service. 1977. Draft master p-lan. Draft environmental statement. U. S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C. Udum, Eugene P. Fundamentals of Ecology Third Edition. p. 51. Ogden, J. C. and J. C. Zleman. 1977. Ecological aspects of coral reef - seagrass beds contacts in the Caribbean. Proc. Third Internat. Coral Reef Symo., UnIv. Miami, 1: 377-382. .Plelou, E. C. 1966. T he measurement of species diversity In different types of biological collections. J. Theor. Blol., 13: 145-163 Porter, J. W. 1972. Ecology and species diversity of coral reefs on opposite sides of the Isthmus of Panama. Bull,.81ol. Soc. Wash., 2: 89-116. Randall, J. E. 1968. Caribbean reef. fishes. T.F.H. Publications,. Hong Kong. 324 fig., 318 pp. Shinn, E.A. 1963. Spur and groove formation on the Florida Reef Tract. Jour. Sed. Pet., 33 (2): 291-303. .Shinn, E.A. 1966. Coral growth-rate, an environmental Indicator. Jour. Paleo., 40. (2): 233-240. Stark, W.A. 1968. A list of the fishes of Alligator Reef, Florida, with comments on the-nature of the Florida reef fish fauna. Unly. Miami, Inst. Mar. Scl., 890, 28 pp. 140 Stark, W.A. and W.P. Davis 1967. Night habits of fishes of Alligator Reef, Florida. Ichthyologica, 38 (4): 313-356, 25 fig. Stoddart, D.R. 1963. Effects of hurricane Hattie on the British Honduras reefs and cays, October 30-31, 1961. Atoll Res. Bull., 95: 1-142. Stoddart, D.R. 1969. Distribution of corals in reefs. Proc. Symp. Corals and Coral Reefs, Mandapan, India. pp. 71-80. Vaughan, T.W. 1918. The temperature of the Florida Reef Tract. Pap. Tort. Lab., Carnegie Inst. Wash., 9: 319-339. Vaughan, T.W. and J.W. Wells. 1943. Revision of the suborders, families, and genera of the Scleractinia. Spec. Papers Geol. Soc. Amer., New York, 44: 1-363. Voss. G.L. 1973. Sickness and death in Florida's coral reefs. Nat. Hist. 82 (7): 40-47. Wells, J.W. 1973. New and oldscleractinian corals from Jamaica. Bull. Mar. Sco., 23(l): 16-58. Wiedenmayer, F. 1977. Shallow water sponges. of the western Bahamas. Birkenhauser Verlag, Basel and Struttgart. 180 fig.,, 43 Pl., 336 pp. 141 Economic Analysis Bell, Frederick W. 1979. Recreational versus commercial fishing in Florida: An economic impact analysis. Black, Crow and Eidsness, Inc. 1976. Engineering and Financial Report for the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority. Black, Crow and Eidsness, Inc., Gainesville, Florida. Cato, James C. 1979. Economic impact estimates concerning commercial fishing in Florida. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Marine Advisory Program, Cooperative Extension Service, Marine Advisory Program, Gainesville, Florida. Cato, James C., R. Allan Morris and Fred J. Prochaska. 1978. Production costs and earnings by boat size: Florida Spanish Mackerel Fishery. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Marine Advisory Program, Gainesville, Florida. Cato, James C. and Fred Prochaska. 1978. Socio-economic assessment of fishery management in Everglades National Park. U.S. National Park Service, South florida Research Center, Everglades National Park. Center for Natural Areas. 1979. Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reef Resources. center for Natural Areas, Washington, D.C. Florida Department of Administraton. 1979. Analysis of Florida Keys Economic Sec- tors with Regard to Areas of Critical State Concern Designation. Florida Bureau of Land and Water Management. Florida Department of Commerce. 1977. Monroe County Economic Data. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Florida Department of Natural Resources. 1978. Tabulation of Daily Visitors. Bahia Honda Recreation Area. Florida Statistical Abstract. 1978. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida. Goreau, Thomas F., Nora I. Goreau and Thomas T. Goreau. 1979. Corals and Coral Reefs. Scientific American, Vol. 24, No.2. Korin, Basil P. 1975. Statistical Concepts for the Social Sciences. Winthrop Publishers, Cambridge, Md. Krutilla, John V. and A.C. Fisher. 1975. The Economics of Natural Environments: Studies in the Valuation of Commodity and Amenity Resources. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md. 142 Mathis, Kary, James C. Cato, Robert L. Degner, Paul D. Landrum and Fred J. Prochaska. 1979. Commercial Fishing activity and Facility Needs in Florida: Dade and Monroe Counties. Florida Agricultural Market Market Research Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Monroe'County Statistics. June, 1979. Monroe County Planning Department,* Key West, Florida. Morris, R. Allan, Fred J. Prochaska, and James C. Cato. 1977. An Economic Analysis of King Mackerel Production by Hook and Line on the Florida Atlantic Coast. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Marine Advisory Program, Gainesville, Florida. Morris, R. Allan and Fred Prochaska. 1979. Economic Impact of the Processing and Marketing of Commercial Florida Marine Landings. Marine Advisory Program, Gainesville, Florida. Prochaska, Fred J. 1978. Theoretical and Empirical Consideration for Estimating Capacity and capacity Utilization in Commercial Fisheries. American Journal ofAgricultural Economics. Prochaska, Fred J. and J.R. Baarda. 1975. Florida Fisheries Management Programs: Their development, administration, and current status. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Prochaska, Fred J. and Joel S. Williams. 1978. An Economic Analysis of Spiny Lobster Production by Individual Firms at Optimum Stock Levels. Southern Journal of Economics@ Prochaska, Fred J. and Joel S. Williams. 1976. Economic Analysis of Cost and Returns in the Spiny Lobster Fishery by Boat and Vessel Size. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Marine Advisory Program, Gainesville, Florida. Prochaska, Fred J. and R. Allan Morris. 1978. Primary Economic Impact of the Florida Commercial Fishing Sector. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Skin Diver Magazine. 1979. 1979 Reader Survey. Petersen Publishing Co., Los Angeles, California. Snell, Ernie. 1979. Personal communication.. National Marine Fisheries, Miami, Florida. Tilmant, James, Danny Peters and Renate Skinner. 1979. Biscayne National Monument Fisheries Monitoring Program. Second'Quarter Report. U.S. National'Park Service, Biscayne National Monument, Homestead, Florida. 143 U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysisj Regional Economic Analysic Division. 1977. Industry - Specific Gross Output'Multiplier for BEA Economic Areas. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. U.S. National Park Service, Biscayne National Monument. 1979. Average number of people per boat for each recreational activity for the whole period of record. Homestead, Florida. Williams, Joel S. and Fred J. Prochaska. 1976. The Florida Spiny Lobster Fishery: Landings, Prices and Resource Productivity.. Florida Sea Grant Program', Gainesville, Florida. 144 APPENDIX A DRAFT EESIGNATION DOCUMENT EESIGNATIGN OF MM IDM KEY MARIO SANCTUARY APPENDIX A DRAFT DESIGNATION DOCUMENT DESIGNATION OF THE LOOE KEY MARINE SANCTUARY Preamble Under the authority of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, P.L. 92-532, (the Act) the waters at Looe Key are hereby desig- nated a Marine Sanctuary for the purposes of preserving and protecting this valuable and fragile ecological and recreational resource and of stimulating research activities and public awareness of its value and vulnerability. Article I. Effect of Designation Within the area designated as the Looe Key Marine Sanctuary (the Sanctuary), described in Article 2, the Act authorizes the promulgation of such regulations as are reasonable and necessary to protect the values of the Sanctuary. Article 4 of the Designation lists those activities which may require regulation but the listing of any activity does not by itself prohibit or restrict it. Restrictions or prohibitions may be accomplished only through regulation and additional activities may be regulated only by amending Article 4. Article 2. Description of the Area The Sanctuary consists of a 5.32 square nautical mile (--q nm) area of the waters located off the coast of Florida 6.7 nm (12.5 km) southwest of Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys. The precise boundaries are as follows: Latitude and Longitude are furnished to .001 of a second. LATITUDE LONGITUDE PT NO 0 0 2-1 24 31 37 81 26 00 2-2 24 33 34 81 26 00 2-3 24 34 09 81 23 00 2-4 24 32 12 81 23 00 Article 3. Characteristics of the Area that Give it Particular Value The sanctuary area is a valuable diverse and biologically productive living coral reef community in the Florida Reef Tract, including an array of tropical fish species and a well defined classic "spur and groove" reef system. The site also provides feeding, spawning, and nursery areas valuable for commercial fisheries. The Sanctuary will provide recreational experiences, A-1 scientific research opportunities and generally will have special value as an ecological, recreational, esthetic and educational resource. Article 4. Scope of Regulation section 1. Activities Subject to Regulation. In order to protect the distinctive values of the sanctuary, the following activities may be regulated within the Sanctuary to the extent necessary to ensure the protection and pres- ervation of its marine features and the ecological, recreational, and esthetic value of the area: a. Collecting and damaging coral b. Tropical specimen collecting c. Vessel operations d. Spearfishing e. Wire fish trap fishing f. Lobster potting g. Bottom trawling and specimen dredging h. Discharging or depositing any substance or object i. Dredging or alteration.of or construction on the seabed jo Removing or otherwise harming cultural or historic resources Section 2. Consistency with International Law. The regulations governing the activities li-st-e-d-l"n-Section I of this Art-E-Fe-will apply to foreign flag vessels and persons not citizens of the United States only to the extent consistent with recognized principles of international law including treaties and international agreements to which the United States is a party. Section 3. Emeroency Regulations. Where essential to prevent immediate. serious and irreversible damage to the ecosystem of the area, activities other than those listed in Section 1 may be regulated within the limits of the Act on an emergency basis for an interim period not to exceed 120 days, during which an appropriate amendment of this Article would be proposed in accordance with the procedures specified in Article 6. Article 5. Relation to Other Regulatory Programs Section 1. Fishing. The regulation of fishing is not authorized under Article 4 except wlt-F -respect to the removal or damage of coral (paragraph (a)), the removal of tropical fish and invertebrates, (paragraph (b), and the use of certain techniques including --. @paragraphs #(d)-(g),. in addition, fishing vessels may be regulated with respect to discharges (paragraph (h)) a*nd anchoring (paragraph (c)). All regulatory programs pertaining to fishing, including particularly Fishery Management Plans promulgated under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, 16 U.S.C 1801 et. jse@. shall remain in effect and all permits, licenses and other authorizitions issued pursuant thereto shall be valid within the Sanctuary unless authorizing any activity prohibited by regulation implementing Article 4. Section 2. Defense Activities. The regulation of those activities listed in Article 4 shall not prohibit any activity conducted by the Department of Defense that is essential for national defense or because of,emergency. Such Activities shall be conducted consistently with all regulations to the maximum extent practicable. A-2 Section 3. Other Programs. All applicable regulatory programs shall remain in effect and all permits, licenses and other authorizations issued pursuant thereto shall be valid within the Sanctuary unless authorizing any activity prohibited by any regulation implementing Article 4. The Sanctuary regulations shall set forth any necessary certification procedures. Article 6. Alterations to this Designation This Designation can be altered only in accordance with the same proce- dures by which it hag been made, including public hearings, consultation with interested Federal and State agencies and the appropriate Regional Fishery Management Councils and approval by the President of the United States. DRAFT REGULATIONS PART 937 - THE LOOE KEY MARINE SANCTUARY REGULATIONS 937.1 Authority 937.2 Purpose 937.3 Boundaries 937.4 Definitions 937.5 Allowed Activities 937.6 Prohibited Activities 937.7 Penalties for Commission of,Prohibited Acts 937.8 Certification of Other Permits 937.9 Appeals of Administrative Action 937.1 Authority The sanctuary has been designated by the Secretary of Commerce pursuant to the authority of section 302(a) of Title III of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, 16 U.S.C. 1431-1434 (the Act). The following regulations are issued pursuant to the authorities of sections 302(f), 302(g) and 303 of the Act. 937.2 Purpose The purpose of designating the Sanctuary is to protect and preserve the coral reef ecosystem and other natural resources of the waters at Looe Key and to ensure the continued availability of the area for public educational purposes and as a coniftercial,,ecological, research and recreational resource. This area supports a particularly rich and diverse marine biota. The area is easily accessible to the lower Florida Keys and is widely used by boaters, charter boat operators, dive boats, recreational divers and fishermen. Consequently, both present and potential levels of use may result in harm to Looe Key in the absence of long term planning, research,.monitoring and adequate protection. 937.3 Boundaries The Sanctuary consists of an area of 5.32 square nautical miles of high sea waters off the coast of lower Florida Keys, 6.7 nautical miles (12.5 km) southwest of Big Pine Key. The area includes the waters overlaying a section of the submerged Florida Reef tract at Looe Key. The Precise boundaries are: A-3 Latitude and Longitude are furnished to .001 of a second LATITUDE LONGITUDE PT NO 0 0 2-1 24 31 37 81 26 00 2-2 24 33 34 81 26 00 2-3 24 34 09 81 23 00 2-4 24 32 12 81 23 00 937.4 Definitions a. "Administrator" means the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. b. "Assistant Administrator" means the Assistant Administrator for Coastal Zone Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. c. "Person" means any private individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity; or any officer, employee, agent, department, agency or instrumen- tality of the Federal government, or any State or local unit of the government. d. "Tropical fish" means fish and invertebrates of minimal sport and food value, usually brightly colored, often used for aquaria purposes and which live in a close interrelationship with the coral. e. "The Reef" means the area of the well defined "spur and groove" coral reef as delineated by Loran readings 1, 2, 3, 4 as follows: 1. NW 7980-W-13973.7, 7980-Y-43532.7 2. SW 7980-W-13975.4, 7980-Y-43532.4 3. NE 7980-W-13975.0, 7980-Y-43530.1 4. SE 7980-W-13975.4, 7980-Y-43527.7 937.5 Allowed Activities All activities except those specifically prohibited by section 937.6 may be carried on in the Sanctuary subject to all prohibitions, restrictions and conditions imposed by any other authority. 937.6 Activities Prohibited Without a Permit a. Unless permitted by the Assistant Administrator in accordance with section 937.8, or as may be necessary for the national defense, in accordance with Article 5, section-2 of,the Designation, or to respond to an emergency threatening life, property or the environment, the following activities are prohibited within the Sanctuary. All prohibitions must be applied consistently with international law. A-4 (1) Removing or damaging distinctive natural features (a) No person shall break, cut or similarly damage or take any coral or marine invertebrate except as a result of anchoring outside the Fore Reef as allowed under subsection 2(a) of this section. Divers are prohibited from handling coral or standing on coral formations. .(b) No person shall take except incidentally to allowed fishing activities, any tropical fish or marine invertebrate. (c) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any items listed in this, paragraph found in the possession of a person within the Sanctuary have been collected or removed from within the Sanctuary. (2) Operation of watercraft All watercraft shall be operated in accordance with Federal rules and regulations that would apply if there were no sanctuary. The following con- straints also shall be imposed. (a) No person shall place any anchor on coral within the Fore Reef of the Sanctuary nor allow any chain or rope to enter the Fore Reef in a way that injures any coral. When anchoring dive boats, the first diver down shall inspect the anchor to ensure that it is placed off the corals and will not shift in such a way as to damage corals. No further diving is permitted until the anchor is placed in accordance with these requirements. (b) Watercraft must use mooring buoys, stations or anchoring areas when such facilities and areas have been designated and are available. (c) Watercraft shall not be operated in such a manner as to strike or otherwise cause damage to the natural features of the Sanctuary. (d) All watercraft from which diving operations are being conducted shall fly in a conspicuous manner, the red and white "divers down" flag. (3) Using Harmful Fishi.ng Methods (a) No person shall use or place wire fish traps within the sanctuary. (b) No person shall place lobster traps within the Fore Reef area of the sanIctuary. (c) No person shall use pole spears, Hawaiian slings, rubber-powered arbalets, pneumatic and spring loaded guns or similar devices known as spearguns within the sanctuary. (4) Removing or damaging distinctive'historical or cultural resources No person shall remove, damage or tamper with any historical or cultural resource, including cargo, pertaining to submerged wrecks. A-5 (5) Discharges No person shall deposit or discharge any materials or substances of any kind except: (a) Fish or parts and chummingmaterials (b) Cooling water from vessels (c) Effluents from marine sanitation devices (6) Markers (a) No person shall mark, deface or damage in any way or displace, remove or tamper with any signs, notices, or placards, whether temporary or permanent, or with any monuments, stakes, posts or other boundary markers installed by the managers or markers placed for the purpose of lobster pot fishing. (b) All activities currently carried out by the Department of Defense within the Sanctuary are essential for the national defense and, therefore, not subject to these prohibitions. The exemption of additional activities having significant impacts shall be determined in consultation between the Assistant Administrator and the Department of Defe.nse. (c) The prohibitions in this section are not based on any claim of territoriality and will be applied to foreign persons and vessels only in accordance with principles of international law, including treaties, conventions and other international agreements to which the United States is signatory. 937.7 Penalties for Commission of Prohibited Acts Section 303 of the Act authorizes the assessment of a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 against any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States for each violation of any regulation issued pursuant to the Act, and further authorizes a proceeding in rem against any vessel used in violation of any such regulation. Procedures are outlined in Subpart D of Part 922 (15 CFR Part 922) of this chapter. Subpart D is applicable to any instance of a violation of these regulations. 937.8 Permit Procedures and Criteria (a) Any person in possession of a valid permit issued by the Assistant Administrator in accordance with this section may conduct any activity in the sanctuary specifically prohibited under section 937.6 provided that any permit allowing the damaging, taking or removal of coral, tropical marine specimen collecting (marine life fishing), or historical or cultural resources shall be granted only if the activity involved furthers educational or scientific pur- poses or is related to salvage or recovery operations. (b) Permit applications shall be addressed to the Assistant Administrator for Coastal Zone Management, ATTN: Sanctuary Programs Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. C. 20235. An application shall include a description of all activities A-6 proposed, the equipment, methods, and personnel (particularly describing relevant experience) involved, and a timetable for completion of the proposed activity. Copies of all other required licenses or permits shall be attached. (c) In considering whether to grant a permit the Assistant Administrator shall evaluate such matters as (1) the general professional and financial responsibility of the applicant; (2) the appropriateness of the methods envisioned to the purpose(s) of the activity; (3) the extent to which the conduct of any permitted activity may diminish or enhance the value of the Sanctuary as a source of recreation, educational or scientific information; (4) the end value of the activity and (5) such other matters as deemed appropriate. (d) In considering any application submitted pursuant to this Section, the Assistant Administrator shall seek the view of the Fishery-Management Councils and may seek and consider the views of any person or entity, within or outside of the Federal Government,.and may hold a public hearing, as deemed appropriate. (e) The Assistant Administrator, may, in his or her discretion grant a permit which has been appl.ied for pursuant to this Section, in whole or in part, and subject to such condition(s) as deemed appropriate. The Assistant Administrator or a designated representative may observe any permitted activity and/or require the submission of one or more reports of the status or progress of such activity. Any information obtained shall be made available to the public. (f) The permit granted under paragraph (e) may not be transferred. (g) The Assistant Administrator may amend, suspend or revoke a permit granted pursuant to this Section, in whole or in part, temporarily or indefinitely, if the permit holder (the Holder) has acted in violation of.the terms of the permit or of the applicable regulations. Any such action shall be set forth in writing to the Holder, and shall set forth the reason(s) for the action taken. The Holder may appeal the action as provided for in 937-10. 937.9. Certifiction of Other Perntits All permits, licenses and other authorizations fssued pursuant to any other authority are hereby certified and shall remain valid if they do not authorize any activity prohibited by section 937.6. Any interested person may request that the Assistant Administrator offer an opinion on whether an activity is prohibited by these regulations. 935.10. Appeals for Administrative Action (a) Any interested person (the Appellant) may appeal the granting, denial, or Conditioning of any permit under section 937.8 to the Administrator of NOAA. In order to be considered by the Administrator, such appeal shall be in writing, shall state the action(s) appealed and the reason(s) therefore and must be submitted within 30 days of the action(s) by the Assistant Administrator. The Appellant may request an informal hearing on the appeal. (b) Upon receipt of an appeal authorized by,this Section, the Administrator shall notify the permit applicant, if other than the Appellant, and my request such additional -information and in such form as will,allow action upon the appeal. Upon receipt of sufficient information, the Administrator shall decide the appeal A-7 in accordance with the criteria set in 937.8(c) as appropriate, based upon information relative to the application on file at OCZM and any additional information, the summary record kept of any hearing and the Hearing Officer's recommended decision, if any, as provided in paragraph (c) and such other con- siderations as deemed appropriate. The Administrator shall notify all interested persons of the decision, and the reason(s) therefore, in writing, normally within 30 days of the receipt of sufficient information, unless additional time is needed for hearing. (c) If a hearing is requested or if the Administrator determines one is appropriate, the Administrator may grant an informal hearing before a Hearing Officer designated for that purpose after f.irst giving notice of the time, place, and subject matter of the hearing in the Federal Register. Such hearing shall normally be held no later than 30 days following publication of the notice in the Federal Register unless the Hearing Officer extends the time for reasons deemed equitable. The Appellant, the Applicant (if different) and, at the discretion of the Hearing Officer, other interested persons, may appear personally or by counsel at the 'hearing and submit such material and present such arguments as determined appropriate by the Hearing Officer. Within 30 days of the last day of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall recommend in writing a decision to the Administrator. (d) The Administrator may adopt the Hearing Officer's recommended decision, in whole or in part, or may reject or modify it. In any event, the Administrator shall notify interested persons of the decision, and reason(s) therefore in writing within 30 days of receipt of the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer. The Administrator's action shall constitute final action for the Agency for the purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act. (e) Any time limit prescribed in this Section may be extended for a period not to exceed 30 days by the Administrator for good cause, either upon his or her own motion or upon written request from the Appellant or Applicant stating the'reason(s) therefore. SCALE: 1 3000' 1" .49 nmi I .91km HAWK CHANNEL 46 45 39 so 39 - 30 26 23 to 27 20 240 2 S'N 27 26 35 Q@ 14 :28 14 14 9 12 11 7, 22 Be 21 22 6% 9 5 24 7 KE r 28 14 20 q> 33 53 :312 4 60 46 41 105 99 96 105 04 81024'W FIGURE 6-7. Location of the Looe Key HAPC, as measured onto the contours of NOAA Hat.ional Ocean Survey Chart 11445. Square measures 1.852km (I nmi) on each side with a center at the asterisk. The LORAM-C readings for the four points of the trapezoid are listed below. I NW 7980-W-13973.7, 7930-Y-43532.7 2 SW 7980-1-1-13973.4, 7980-Y-43532.4 3 ME 7930-1-1-13975.0, 7930-Y-43530.1 4 SE 7980-14-13975.4, 7980-Y-43527.7 A-9 APPENDIX B SITE ANALYSIS RESEARCH NETHODS I APPENDIX B SITE ANALYSIS RESEARCH METHODS Next to the ecological complexity of a coral reef, its size poses the most difficult problem for research. Since coral reefs are usjpally much too large to be quantitatively assessed as a whole, a statistically significant number of samples has to be selected for analysis. This number has to be high enough to be truly representative for the entire reef, but small enough to remain manageable. In order to achieve this goal, a variety of field methods have been developed by the scientific community. Diverse as they are, they can easily be divided i-nto two groups, one working with sample-plots, the other with plotless lines. The latest synopsis of sample-plot techniques (Stoddart, 1969) lists over a dozen different methods. They all have in common the establish- ment of fixed-area, permanent sample plots, inside of which all components can be measured, mapped, photographed, etc., and the life-history of their sessile organisms monitored over long periods of time. Dating back to the beginning of this century, these methods have proved useful scientifically, but also extremely time-consuming in terms of fieldwork man-hours. In terrestrial phytosociology, it was finally discovered (Cottam and Curtis, 1956) that sampling along plotless transect lines yields no less valuable data, but saves up to 90% of working time. This discovery was later adopted by some coral reef ecologists, working on similar problems, but constantly hampered by the inherent expense of underwater work. Plotless line techniques have been used successfully for purely scientific purposes by several authors (e.g. Loya and Slobodkin, 1971; Loya, 1972; Porter, 1972). For the somewhat different goals of coral reef resource management, plotless line techniques were recently adapted by Antonius (Antonius, 1974). Using these modified plotless line techniques, sample points are recorded in evenly spaced intervals technique), as opposed to measur- ing continuously under the transect line. Because of underwater operating constraints, and the need to analyze large reef areas with transects in the order of magnitude of kilometers, sample point intervals of one meter were chosen for the Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory (Florida Reef Foundation, 1978), the baseline study used in the Looe Key Affected Environment site analysis. The Looe Key Resource Inventory, used in the EIA, was directed towards identifying the main components of the reef ecosystem in terms of biomass, area coverage, and importance. In the field, this strategy was manifested in an attempt to accurately sight- identify dominant reef components. B-1 Snorkeling and SCUBA divin.g techniques were used to visually assess fish populations at Looe Key. Dives were aimed at covering all four reef zones as thoroughly as possible without creating any disturbance. All species were recorded and their relative abundance noted by direct observation. At the onset of this study, it was decided that fish-collecting techniques in any form would not be used to establish the check list or to confirm the identities of any questionable species. For the scope of this study, the possible deleterious effects of rotenone use (i.e. poisoning the fish in a given area for collection and identification) outweighed the advantages of positive identification of questionable species. Only direct observa- tions or photodocumentation were used to identify the fish. Spawning activity was noted by actual observed spawning or by the presence of demersal egg nests. Coral - fish interactions were photographed and routinely monitored with particular emphasis placed on the damselfishes (family Pomacentrida6) and their selected coral species habitat. The different reef zones were analyzed as to the important species present and comparisons made with similar reefs in the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary. Night dives were conducted to account for the cryptic nocturnal species that may not be seen during the day. Collecting and laboratory identifying techniques for all species were minimized, thereby curtailing negative impacts' on the reef system and allowing the project to proceed within its specific time and funding constraints. Thus, species identffications of some algae, infrequently observed sponges, octocorals difficult to identify in the field (e.g. genus Eunicia), rare scleractinians (e.g. genus Agaricia), a number of small molluscs, as well as some difficult to observe fishes, have to be considered preliminary at the present stage., More extensive collecting and laboratory work in the future would be highly desirable from a scientific point of view. However, since all the species in question probably comprise less than one percent of Looe Key Reef in terms of biomass and organic cover, they should not be considered especially important for purposes of resource management. B-2 Appendix B SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES Thallophyta Chlorophyta (Green Algae) Bryopsis pennata v. leprieurii racemosa v. macrophysa vickersia Caulerpa cupressoidpiz Caulerpa sertularoides f. farlowii Hari'meda -6-55 n t i a Halimeda opuntia f. minor HaTi-m-e-Ta- 'incrassata Halimeda monile ---T-'tuna Ha imeda Halimeda -discoides Penicillui-- .Sa @tatus Te-nicillus lamourouxii 75 -@n Rhipocephalus 2@- us Rhipocephalus phoenix f. brevifolius Udotea flabellum UTo-tea sub-littor lis UUo-tea conglutinata Cladop ora u iginosa Anadyomene stellata Valonia ventricosa Valonia macrophysa Acetabularia crenulata Dasycladus vermicula'ris Cladophor2plis Imacromeres Cladophoropsis membranacea Batophora oerstedii Neomersis annul-ata Dictyosphaeria cavernosa Phaeophyta (Brown Algae) Stypopodium zonale Dictyota dichotoma B-3 Dictyota. bartay resii Dictyota divaricata . Padina sanctae-crucis Sargassum polyceratium Rhodophyta (Red Algae) Liagora ceranoides Liagora. pedicellata Peysonellia spp. Melobesia membranaces Goniolithon spp. Lithothamnium incertum Lithothamnium spp. Amphiroa fragilissima Amphiroa rigida v. antillana Ceramium spp. Spyridia filamentosa Spyridia aculeata v. hypneoides Chondria. cnicophylla Digenia Simplex Lithophyllum spp. laurencia intricata Laurencia obtusa Laurencia corallopsis Laurencia papillosa Wranqelia sp. Polysiphonia spp. Spermatophyta Angiospermae Halophyta (Sea Grasses) Syringodium filiforme (Manatee Grass) Thalassia testudinum (Turtle Grass) Porifera (Sponges) Calcisponges Leucetta. floridana B-4 Demosponges Keratosa Oligoceras hemorrhages Ianthella ardis Ircinia fascicularis (Stjnker Sponge) Ircinia campana (Vase Sponge) ,Ircinia strobilina (Cake Sponge) Dysidea etheria (Heavenly Sponge) APTY--si-Ti -a-s-u-r-fu re a Verongia fistularis. (Candle Sponge) Verongia longissima (Branching Candle Sponge) Hippospongia lachne (Sheepswool Sponge) Spongia obliqua (Cuban Reef Sponge) Hapl oscl eri na Dasychalina cyatthina (Vase Sponge) ongley-i (Sprawling Sponge) Neopetrosia I I * Xestospongia muta (Barrel Sponge) Haliclona rubens (Red Sponge) Hali.clona 7ifridis (Green Sponge) Haliclo, a variabilis Haliclona permollis HaTic ona subtriangularis Callyspongia vanalis (Tube Sponge) Callyspon a pli ife-ra (Tube Sponge) lotrochota birotulata (Purple Bleeding Sponge) Fibulia nolitangere (Do-not-touch-me Sponge) Poecilosclerina Halichondria melandocia Adocia neens inis (Fire Sponge) LissodendoW isodictyalis Utopsues griseus Agelas sparsus B-5 Aulospongus schoenus Mycaleanqulosa Homaxiriella rudis Higginsia strigilata Hadromerina Cliona caribboea Cliona.T@-m--a--Tffo r i n gS po n ge Spheciospongia vesparia (Loggerhead Sponge) Epipolasida Tethya diploderma (Golf Ball Sponge) Choristida Cinachyra cavernosa Geodia g-ibberosa (White Sponge) Carnosa Chondrilla nucula (Chicken Liver Sponge) Coelenterata Hydrozoa Athecata Milleporina (Hydrocorals) Millepora alcicornis Millepora complanata (Fire Coral) Millepora squarrosa B-6 Anthozoa Hexacorallia Actiniaria (Sea Anemones) Actinia bermudensis Condylactis gigantea Bunodosoma cavernata Phymantis crucifer Lebrunia danae Bartholomea annulata Calliactis tricolor- Stoichactis helianthus Zoantharia (Mat Anemones) Zoanthus sociatus Zoanthus pulchellus Palythoa mammillosa Corallimorpharia (False Corals) Ricordia florida Rhodactis sanctithomae Scleractinia (Reef Corals) Stephanocenia intersepta (Blushing Star Coral) Madracis decactis (Cactus Coral) Madracis TT'r-abilis)(Pencil Corals) M T- sperula a racis a Acropora @almata (Elkhorn Coral) Acropora cervicornis (Staghorn Coral) Acropora prolifera TFused Staghorn Coral) Agaricia agaricites f. @!@cites danai carinata- (Leaf Corals) purpurea f. humiTi-s B-7 Agaricia tenuifolia Agaricia undata Agaricia lamarcki (Leaf Corals) Agaric-a 7qFa-Fa-mae Agaricia fragilis Helioseris cucullata (Sancer Corals) Siderastrea siderea Siderastrea radians (Star Corals) Porites astreoides (Mustard Hill oral) Porites porites Porites divaricata (Finger Corals) Porites furcata Favia fragum (Golfball Coral) Dio loria clivosa Diploria labyrinthiformis (Brain Corals) Diplor-a strigosa Manicina areolata (Rose Coral) Colpophyllia natans (Brain Coral) Montastraea annularis Montastraea cavernosa SolenaH-rea NY-a7e-s (Star Corals) Solenastrea bournoni Oculina di.ffusa Oculina varicosa (Ivory Bush Corals) Meandrina meandrites (Brain Coral) Dichocoenia stokesi Dichocoenia stellaris (Star Corals) Dendrogyra cylindru (Pillar Coral) Mussa angulosa (Flower Coral) ScoTy-@ia lacera (Disc Coral) Isophyllia sinuosa (Cactus Coral Isophyllastrea rT-gida (Rough Star Coral@ Mycetophyllia lamarckiana Mycetophyllia danaana Mycetophyllia ferox (Fungus Corals) Mycetophyllia aTi-clae B-8 Eusmilia fastigiata Sphenotrochus auritus (Flower Coral) Tubastrea aurea Octocorallia Scleraxonia (Octocorals), Briareum asbestinum Corky Sea Fingers) T-ciligorgia schrammi (Deepwater Sea Fan) Erythropodium caribaeorum Holaxonia Plexaura homomalla Plexaura TI-exuosa Plexaura wagenaari Tu-nicea asperula Eunicea fusca Eunicea mammosa Eunicea succinea N-nicea Ta-ciniata Eunicea tourneforti (Sea Whips) Eunicea calyculata Tu-rjceo@sis flavida Plexaurella dichotoma Plexaure Tu-tans Plexaurella grisea Plexaurel'A fusifera Muricea muricata Muricea atlantica Muricea elongata Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata Pseudopterogorgia acerosa (Sea Feathers) Pseudopterogorgia americana -T Gorgonia ventalina �e--aF an) Pterogorgia citrina Pterogorgia anceps (Triangular Sea Band) Pterogorgia guadeTupensis (Flat Sea Band) Ellisella barbadensis (Sea Wire) Annelida Polychaeta Amphinomidae Hermodice carunculata (Fire or Bristleworm) Sabellidae B-9 Sabella melanostigma (Banded Feather Duster) Serpulidae Spirobranchus giganteus (Horned Feather Worm) Pomatostegus stellatus (Star Feather WormT Arthropoda Crustacea Decapoda Stenopodidea Stenopus hispidus (Banded Coral Shrimp) Caridea Periclimenes Petersoni Peric7imenes yucatanicus (Cleaning Shrimp) Astacidea Palinurus argus (Spiny Lobster) Palinurus guttatus (Spotted Crawfish) Anomura Ranilia muricata Brachyura (Crabs) Callapa gallus (Yellow Box Crab) Portunus spinimanus (Spiny-Handed PortunTs) Carpilius corallinus (Coral Crab) Gyptoxanthus erosus (Eroded Reef Crab) Leptodius floridanus (Florida Leptodius) Percnon gibbesi (Spray Crab) Stenorhynchus seticornis (Arrow Crab) Mithrax verruc2sus (Granulated Spider Crab) Mithra h* idu Mithrax sculptus (Spider Crab) B-10 Pitho anisodan Macrocoeloma trispinosum Stomatopoda Squillidae Pseudosquilla ciliata (False Mantis .Shrimp) Mollusca Amphineura Chitonida Chaetopleura apiculata (Bee Chiton) Isnochiton floridanus (Slender Chiton) Gastropoda Prosobranchia Archaeogastropoda (Sea Snails) Hemitoma octoradiata (Eight-Ribbed Uli'm'pet Diodora listeri Diodora cayenensis Diodora dysoni (Keyhole Limpets) Diodora minuta Diodora jaumei Lucapinella limatula Lucapina suffusa Lucapina sowerbii Lucapina philippiana Lucapina aegis (Keyhold Limpets) LimuTa-frenulata Limula pycnonema Fissurella barbadensis Fissurella angustata Acmaea pustulata (Spotted Limpet) Tegu a lividomaculata Tegula hotessieriana (Top Shells) Ca-FT-io-stoma javani um Calliostoma jubibum Turbo canaliculatus (Channeled Turban) Astraea caelata Astraea tuber (Star Shells) Astrae pho ebia Astrae tecta Rissoina bryerea Rissoina cancellata (Risso Shells) Caecum floridanum Caecum pulchellum (Caecum Shells) Cerithium biminiense Cerithium guinaiCum (Horn Shells) Seila adamsi (Screw Shell) Triphora turris-thomae Triphora nigrocincta Triphora pulchella (Triphora Shells) Triphora decorata Epitonium lamellosum (Wentletrap) Cheilea equestris7FFalse Limpet) Crepidula plana (Slipper Shell) Strom gigas (Queen Conch) Strombus pugilis (Fighting Conch) Strombus raninus (Hawk Wing Conch) Erata maugeriae (Erata Shell) Trivia pediculus Trivia quadripunctata (Trivia Shells) Trivia suffusa Cyprea zebra Cyprea cinerea Cyprea spurca (Cowries) Cyprea cervus Cyphoma gi osum Cyphoma macgintyi (Flamingo Tongue) Polyneces lacteuS (Moon Shell) Morum oniscus (Wood Louse) Ph'aTum granu atum (Scotch Bonnet) Cassis madagascariensis (Helmit Shell) Cypraecassis testiculus (Baby Bonnet) Charonia variegata (Trumpet Shell) Cymatium nicobaricum Cymatium pileare--7Triton) Cymatium vespaceum B-12 Bursa thomae (Frog Shell) Tonna maculosa (Tun Shell) Neogastropoda Morula nodulosa Favartia cellulosa Favartia alveata Th-aisdelToidea .(Rock Shell) Coralliophila abbreviata Coralliophila caribaea (Coral Snail) Columbella mercatoria Columbella rusticoides (Dove Shells) Nassarinar monilifera Bailya pava Bailya intricata (Baily Shells) ngina tu binella Pisania pusio T17-s-ania auritula (Pisa Shells) Pisania tincta Latirus infundibulum Leucozonia nassa (Latirus Shells) Vasum muricatum (Vase Shell) Jaspidell * id (Dwarf Olive) Mitra nodulosa (Miter Shells) Mitra albocincta Pusia gemmata Marginella aureacincta Marginella lavalleeana (Marginella) Conus _n@i us Conus mus Conus jaspideus (Cone Shells) Conus juliae Daphnella lymei ormis (Turret Shell) Opisthobranchia Tectibranchia Acteocina candei Pleurobranchus aerolatus (Sea Slug) Sacoglossa Tridachia crispata (Sea Slug) Pelecypoda Filibranchia (Sea Shells) B-13 Arca imbricata Barbatia candida Barbatia cancellaria (Ark Shells) Acropsis adamsi Anadara notabilis Modiolus americanus Brachiodontes exustus Lioberus castaneus nigra (Mussels) Lithophaga bisulcata Lithophaga aristata Isogonomon radiatus Pinctada radiata (Oysters) r -----TPen Shel I) Atrina igida s.s@ntis Chlamys imbricata (Scallops) P I i cat Ul-a-i-22-n-cTx-l oi de a(Cat's Paw) Lima scabra Lima pellucida (File Shells) Eulamellibranchia Lucina pectinatus (JamaicaLucine) Codakia orbicularis (White Lucine) Chama congregata Chama sinosa (Jewel Box Shells) Chama florida Pseudochama radians Trachycardium isocardia (Prickly Cockle) Chione intapurpurea (Mottled Chione) Tellina laevigata Arcopagia fausta (Tellin Shells) Corbula swiftiana (Basket Clam) Cephalopoda Octopoda Octopus briareus (Common Reef Octopus) Octopus vulgaris (Common Oct.upus) Teuthoidea Sepioteuthis sepioidea (Reef Squid) B-14 Echinodermata Echinoidea (Sea Urchins) Eucidaris tribuloides (Slat e-pencil UrchinT_ Diadema antillarum (Long-spined UrchinT - Lytechinus variegatus (Variegated Urchin) Tripneustes'ventricosus (Sea Egg) Echinometra lucunter (Rock-boring U r cFi`n@ Echinometra viridis (Green Rock-boring UrchinT Clypeaster rosaceus (Brown Sea Biscuit) Clypeaster subdepressus (Sand Dollar) Encope michelini (Notched Sand Dollar) Echinoneus cyclostomus (Reef Echinonens) Meoma ventricosa (West Indian Sea ff T's -Cu i t ) Plagiobrissus grandis (Long-spined Sea Biscuit) Asteroidea (Starfish) Oreaster reticularis (Cushion Star) Ophidiaster guildin4i (Guilding's Star) Echinaster sentus (Thorny Starfish) Ophiuroidea (Brittle Stars) Ophiomyxa flaccida (Slimy Brittle StarT_ Astrophyton muricatum (Basket Starfish) Ophiothrix oerstedii (Oersted's Brittle Star) Ophiocoma echinata (Spiny Ophiocoma) Ophiocoma -riisei (Common Ophiocoma) Ophiocoma iiendti (Red Brittle Star) Ophioderma appressum (Harlequin. B-15 Brittle Star) Ophioderma brevispinum (Short-spined Brittle Star) Ophiolepis.elegans (Elegant Brittle Star) Holothuroidea (Sea Cucumbers) Holothuria floridana (Florida Sea Cucumber) Actinopy9a agassizi (Agassiz' Sea Cucumber) Euapta lappa (Sticky-skinned Sea Cucumber) Chordata Tunicata - Ascidiacea Didemnumcandium (White Sponge Tunicate) Clavelina picta (Painted Tunicate) AscidiY_ni_qr_aTBlack Tunicate) Bothryllus planus (Flat Tunicate) Amarouciijm stellatum (Starred Tu-nicate) Polycarpa obtecta (Incrusted Tunicate) Vertebrata Pisces Chondrichthyes Ginglymostoma cirratum Carcharhinus leucas Carcharhinus obscurus Sphyrna makarran (Great Hammerhead) Dasyatis americana (Southern St i ng ray Urolophus jamaicensis (Yellow-Spotted Stingray) Aeobatus narinari Osteichthyes B-16 Megalops atlantica (Tarpon) Harengula humeralls (Red-Ear Sardine) Harengula pensacolae Sardinella anchovia Synodus foetens Synodus intermedius (Sand Diver) Enchelycore nigricans (Aliper Moray) Enchelycore sp. Gymnothorax funebris (Green Moray) Gymnothorax moringa (Spotted Moray) Gymnothorax vicinus (Purplemouth Moray) Muraena miliaris (Goldentail Moray) Stronglure notata Tylosurus crocodilus (Houndfish) Hemiramphus balaa Hemiramphus brasiliensis (Ballyhoo) Hyperhamphus unifasciatus Aulostomus maculatus (Trumpetfish) Fistularia fa-bacaria (Cornetfish) Micrognathus crinigerus Micrognathus crinitus Adioryx vexillarius (Dusky Squirrel- fish) __ Holocentrus ascensionis Holocentrus rufus (SquTirrelfish) Myripristis ja obus (Blackbar Soldierfish) Centropomus unidecimalis (Snook) Cephalopholi fulva (Coney) Diplectrum formosum Epinephelus adscensionis (Rock Hind) Epinephelus s (Red Hind) Epinephelus d Grouper) Epinephelus striatus (Nassau Grouper) Hypoplectrus mma Hypoplectrus (Barred Helmet) Hypoplectrus unicolor (Butter Helmet) Mycteroperca bonaci TBlack Grouper) Mycteroperca micro] (Gag) Mycteroperca phenaxUCSS-ciamp) Mycterop rca tigris Mycteroperca venenosa (Yellowfin) Petrometopon cruentatum (Graysby) Serranus tabacarius TT-obacco Fish) B-17 Se4anus tigrinus (Harlequin Bass) Rypticus saponaceus (Soapfish[ Rypticus subbifrenatus Ambiycirrhitus pinos (Red Spotted Hawkfish) Lutjanus analis (Mutton Snapper) .Lutjanus apodus (Schoolmaster) Lut4anus,_ qriseus (Gray Snapper) Lutjanus jocu (Dog Snapper) Lutjanus mahogoni (Mahogany) Lutjanus synagris (Lane) Ocyurus chrysurus (Yellowfish Snapper) Priacanthus cruentatus (Glasseye) Apogon binotatus (Barred Cardinalfish) Apogon maculatus (Flamefish) Apogon planifrons Apogon townsendi Astrapogon punticulatus Malacanthus plumieri (Sand Tilefish) Cranax bartholomaei Cranax fusus Tr a -na xF1 @DVOS Tr-anax latus Cranax ruber @@ati-s-EEinnulatus Seriola dumerili (Greater Amberjack) Trachinotus falcatus (Permit) Eucinostomus argenteus Gerres cinereus (Yellowfish Mojarra) Anisotremus surinamensis (Black Margate) Anisotrems vi .rginicus (Porkfish) Haemulon album (Margate) Haemulon aurolineatum Tomtate) Haemulon carbonarium (Caesar Grunt) Haemulon chrysargyreum Haemulon flavolineatum (French Grunt) Haemulon macrostomum (Spanish Grunt) Haemulon*melanurum Tcottonwick) Haemulon parrai 9-aemulon plumieri (White Grunt) n' - - ru- Haemulo * sc - rus (Bluestriped Grunt) Haemulon. stri"a-tum Equetus icuminatus .(Cubbyu) Equetus punctatus (Spotted Drum) B-18 Odontoscion dentex (Reef Croaker) Mulloidichthys martinicus (Yellow Goatfish) Pseudupeneus maculatus (Spotted Goatfish) Calamus bajonada (Jolthead Porgy) Calamus calamus Saucereye Porgy) Calamus nodosus (Knobbed Porgy) Calamus proridens (Littlehead) Pempheris schomburgki (Copper Sweeper) Kyphiosis incisor (Yellow Chub) Kyphosis sectatrix (Bermuda Chub) Chaetodipterus faber (Spadefish) Chaetodon capistratus (Foureye Butterf lyf is h) Chaetodon ocellatus (Spotfin Butter- flyfish) Chaetodon sedentatius (Reef Butterfly- fish) Chaetodon striatus (Banded Butterfly- fish) Holocanthus ciliaris (Queen Angelfish) Holocanthus isabelita (Blue Angelfish) Holocanthus tricolor (Rock Beauty) Pomacanthus arcuatus (Gray Angelfish) Pomacanthus paru (French Angelfish) Abudefduf saxatilis (Sergeant Major) Chromis cyanea (Blue Chromis) Chromis insolatus Chromis multilineata (Yellow-Edge Chromis) Chromis scotti Eupomacentrus fuscus (Dusky Damselfish) Eupomacentrus leucostictus (Beau Gregory Eupomacentrus mellis Eupomacentrus partitus (Bicolor Damselfish) Eupomacentrus planifrons (Yellow Damselfish) Eupomacentrus variabilis (Cocoa Damselfish) Microspathodon chrysurus (Yellowtail DamseIfish) Bodianus pulchellus (Spotfin Hogfish) Bodianus rufus (Spanish Hogfish) B-19 Clepticus parrai (Creole Wrasse) Doratonotus megalepis Halicoeres bivittatus (Slippery Dick7 Halichoeres cyanocephalus Halichoeres garnoti (Yellowhead Wrasse) Halichoeres maculipinna (Clown Wrasse) Halichoeres pi tus R T--choeres radiatus (Pudding Wife) a i Hemipteronotus martinicensis Hemipteronotus novacula Hemipteronotus splendens (Green Razorfish) Lachnolaimus maximum (Hogfish) Thalas-s--o-m-a-gifasciatum (Bluehead) Nicholsina usta Scarus coelestinus (Midnight Parrot'fi sh) Scarus coeruleus (Blue Parrotfish) Scarus croicensis Scarus guacamaia Scarus taeniopterus (Princess Parrot fish) Scarus.vetula (Queen Parrotfish) Sparisoma aurofrenatum (Redband Parrotfish) Sparisoma chryso terum (Redtail Parrot- fish) Sparisoma radians Sparisoma viride (Stoplight Parrot- fish) Acanthurus bahianus (Ocean Surgeon) Acanthurus (Doctorfish) Acanthurus coeruieus (Blue Tang) '!Tc-omberomorus cav-7aTa Scomberomorus maculatus Scomberomorus regalis (Cero Mackerel) Barbulifer ceuthoecus Coryphopterus eldolon Coryphoterus glaucofraenum Coryphopterus lipernes Coryphopterus personatus Coryphoterus punctipectorphorus ElactiTu-soceanops B-20 Gramannia macrodon Lythrypnus Phorellus Lythrypnus spilus Scorpaena plumieri Opistognathus aurifrons (Yellowhead Jawfish) Opistognathus whitehursti Acanthemblemaria aspera Enneanectes pectoralis Labrisomus kalisherae Malacoctenus macropus Paraclinus fasciatus Entomacrodus textilus Ophioblennius atlanticus (Redlip Blenny) Sphyraena barracuda (Great Barracuda) Echeneis naucrates Alutera schoepfi (Orange Filefish) Alutera scripta (Scrawled Filefish) Balistes capriscus (Gray Triggerfish) Cantherines pullus Canthidermis sufflamen (Ocean Trigger- fish) Acanthostracion quadricornis (Scrawled Cowfish) Lactophrys bicaudalis (Spotted Trunk- fish) Lactophrys triqueter (Smooth Trunkfish) Canthigaster rostata (Sharpnose Puffer) Diodon holocanthus (Spiny Puffer) Diodon hystrix (Porcupinefish) B-21 APPENDIX C LOOE KEY ONSITE SURVEY APPENDIX C LOOE KEY ONSITE SURVEY A. Methodol ogy In order to assess the costs and benefits of the various regulatory and boundary alternatives considered in the DEIS to the major user groups at Looe Key, the following steps were taken to: (1) identify the major user groups, including commercial fishermen, commercial recreational businesses, tropical fish collectors and individual recreational snorkelers, divers, fishermen and others who use the Looe Key coral reef area, (2) review the literature to determine the characteristics of these groups and the likely extent of their activity at Looe Key, (3) measure the annual income directly generated by the users of Looe Key through the use of onsite surveys, (4) measure the indirect effects of the income generated by activity through regional multipliers, (5) examine the existing and predicted socio-economic circumstances of the Lower Keys, a-nd (6) evaluate the results of the surveys and the onsite information in an overall economic and demographic context. All income and catch information from commercial fishermen and income from commercial recreational businesses of Looe Key were only available at the County or Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area level. To obtain a more accurate socio-economic picture of the Looe Key area, it was necessary to go beyond published sources and conduct on onsite survey. Using published literature on the us6r groups and the expertise of Fisheries Economists from the University of Florida, interview schedules were designed for each of the major user groups, with the exception of the individual recreational users who were too numerous and scattered to interview and count. Local organizations and key individuals were contacted in an effort to locate as many of the actual users as possible. Finally, to get'a broad picture of the stream of expenditures of such diverse, and diffuse user groups, regional multipliers were used, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis methodology. The recreational value of the reef was determined by estimating the volume (people) of reef use from information provided by the Survey, and the fair market cost of such activity. These estimates were checked against other data sources and found to be consistent. Although not often used, this method of valuation of recreational activities is well established (Krutilla, 1975). Personal interviews were conducted in mid-October with users most likely to be affected by the designation of Looe Key as a marine sanctuary. C-1 The survey interview schedules were distributed to commercial fishermen, commercial and recreational enterprises, fish houses and tropical specimen collectors who could be expected, judging from other studies and surveys, to depend on Looe Key for part of their livelihood. Commercial fishermen and businesses which provide recreational services, such as dive boat shops and marinas, were the main businesses surveyed. Twenty-five interview schedules dealing with their 1978 catch, were completed by commercial fishing businesses. This number represents 2.6 percent of fishermen/ boats in Monroe County estimated to be commercially active in 1977-1978 (see Mathis et al, 1979 p. 15), and represented an important portion of those active in the area under consideration. One major tropical specimen collector and one fish house responded, as well as two out of six dive shops and charter boats, one marina and a boat rental and camping gear business. The interview schedules were designed to obtain (1) a representative sample from which to derive information on the total population user group in the Looe Key area, (2) information on businesses' total income generated by the Looe Key area, (3) information on other potential sources of income to users, such as fishing or recreational diving areas other than the area directly around Looe Key reef. The sample was derived from meetings arranged with fishing representatives (members of the Organ- ized Fishermen of Florida and marine agents), interviews with members of the community, and the assistance of a local citizen with research and academic experience who was familiar.with the fishing industry. The Looe Key reef itself was part of a 5.32 square mile area in the survey-that contained representative zones of the Looe Key ecological system and coincided with the intermediate size boundary option for the proposed sanctuary (Boundary Option #2). While proposed sanctuary (boundary alternatives range from 1 square mile (#I) to 10 square miles (0), this intermediate size provided a. good basis for analysis. The year 1978 was selected as the sample year. Although new fishermen and dive shops have entered the area since then, county and St'ate data are only available for 1978. Thus, to provide a statistical check, 1978 was used. Bi Looe Key Reef Area Sample Survey Results 1. Commercial Fishermen. Twenty-five commercial fishermen (boats) in the vicinity of Looe Key were surveyed, living between SevenMile Bridge in the north and Saddlebunch Keys in the south. The major keys included in the'survey were Bahia Honda Key, Big Pine Key Summerland Key, Cudjoe and Ramrod Keys. A previous survey by the University of Florida in 1978 indicated that 48 percent of Monroe County fishermen lived within one mile of their fishing ports and roughly 64 percent lived within three miles. (Boat and fisherman tr-avel information, Mathis et al, 1978, p. 19).- C-2 It was expected that the most active fishermen in Looe Key were those closest to it. Using average marine travel data (Mathis et al, 1979) as a base, it was decided that an area with a 15 mile radius would be adequate to obtain an statistical sample for measuring total commerrial fish catch value at Looe Key. In the course of the survey, the choice of the sample survey area seemed validated. At the fringes of the area, some commercial fishermen, dive shops and others reported little or no activity connected with Looe Key. The twenty-five fishermen in the sample survey all owned their own boats, averaging-33 feet in length. The average fisherman had spent 10.32 years in the business and had been fishing in the Looe Key 5 nmi zone for 7.6 years. They employed a total of 36 crew (34 non-family). The average weekly wage for these crewmen was $195-95 per week and they worked an average of 41.5 weeks per year. Total yearly payroll, not including family members, was $276,499,56 or $8,132,34 per employee, which was lower than the county average for private non-farm wage earners. Fish catches vary seasonally in the Looe Key area., From February to late July, before the start of the lobster season, the fishermen depended mostly on yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snapper, and grouper. In the fall and early winter, they caught mainly lobster with little reported snapper or mackerel. Spanish, cero and king mackerel began to plan a major role in the catch in December and continued to March. The most productive fishing areas reported were those between and includ- ing Looe Key Reef and Big Pine Shoal, the area surrounding American Shoal areas in Hawk Channel off Sugar Loaf Key and Cudjoe Key. Most of the boats fished for more than one species, using a combination. of methods, such as hook and line part of the year and trapping during the lobster season. Trapping for lobster, crab and fish amounted to 57.7 percent, 24.9 percent used hook and line, and 17.4 used nets. (Table 2) Based on survey tabulations, commercial fishermen did not all depend on Boundary Option #2 exclusively. Of the 597,356 lbs. caught in the total area in and around Looe Key, 167,970 lbs. were landed in the 5 mile area encompassing Looe Key. Most boats seem to fish the Looe Key 5 nmi zone only part -of the time, since the desired species migrate both seasonally in and adjacent to Looe Key and throughout the entire reef tract. (Table 1) This sample of 25 boats is roughly one-fourth of the estimated boats (100) that could be affected by the Looe Key Sanctuary proposal, according to the consensus of leading fishermen in the area. In order to obtain the total estimated catch value of the Looe Key area, it was necessary to get an average income per boat from the sample survey and multiply it by the total estimated 100 commercial fishing boats. C-3 APPENDIX C TABLE I Outside Boundary Option #2 Total Area Landings Analysis Boundary Option #2 Landings Analysis Landings Analysis (Survey Data - Pounds) (Survey Data - Pounds) (Survey Data -Pounds) Specips Total Species Total Species Total Lobster 3359,526 Lobster 58,000 Lobster 277,526 Crab 9,400 Crab 950 Crab 8,450 Yellowtail Snapper 35,285 Yellowtail Snapper 19,380 Yellowtail Snapper 15,905 Mangrove & Gray Mangrove & Gray Mangrove & Gray Snapper 32,265 Snapper 18,080 Snapper 14,185 Mutton Snapper 33,790 Mutton Snapper 15,550 Mutton Snapper 18,240 Grouper 60,700 Grouper 26,120 Grouper 34,580 Mackerel 83,540 Mackerel 28,690 Mackerel 54,850 Other 6,850 Other 1,200 Other 5,650 TOTAL 597,356 TOTAL 167,970 TOTAL 429,386 Thus, using average 1978 Monroe County dockside prices, computed by the National Marine Fihseries Service, the reported 1978 catch in Boundary Option #2 was 28% and worth $755,690 or $7,556.90 or $7,556.90/ per boat/per year. Based on information on total landings (100%) in the area, boats could be expected to earn approximately $27,000, average annual income. (Table 2) (Table 3) Of the $755,690 earned in Boundary Option #2, 61.7 percent came from lobster trapping, 14.5 percent from wire fish trapping, 17.7 percent from hook and line fishing, 5.6 percent from netting and 5 percent from trapping stone crab4 These fishermen, however, do more than just sell fish. They buy food, gasoline, supplies for their boats. Their activities generate other activities. The income generation process is usually called the multiplier process. Each initial increase in income (in this case, sales of fish) will magnify itself throughout the economy and the final increase will be a number of times greater than the initial increase. The gross output regional multiplier for forestry and fish products in the Miami Economic Area of the Bureau of Economic Analysis is 1.914. (BEA, Regional Economic Analysis Division, USDC, 1977). No forestry occurs in this region so this multiplier should be fairly accurate for fishing. This regional multiplier indicates the "regional" impact of the sales of fish. The impact after the fish have been moved from the area for distribution, etc., is not counted. The total economic impact of the fish at final sale will be greater than 1.914. However, not all this impact is felt in the area of catch, thus the regional multiplier should be appropriate. Using the economic value of the commercial fishing in Boundary Option #2, the economic effect of the fishing effort there, using the regional multiplier. is $1 445,390. b. Commercial Recreational and Educational Businesses The interview schedules to gather information about this group went largely unanswered because of the low response rate, only revenue from the commercial dive boat operations in the commercial business catagory were calculated in the economic study. Revenue from dive charter boats was estimated from the onsite survey to be $250,000 and appears to be the major income, outside of commercial fishing in the Looe Key area. Other income producing businesses were not accounted for in the Survey, such as marinas and fishing lodges rent boats and equipment. C-5 ESTIMATED VALUE OF LANDINGS BOUNDARY OPTION 2 (1978 Dollars) Method Total Value Sgecies Trap Hook & Line Netting (Percent of Total) Spiny Lobster 466,320 NONE NONE $466,320 ($2.01/lb.)a (61.7) Yellowtail Snapper 19,180 57,590 2,300 79,070 ($1.02/lb . ) a. (10.5) Mangrove Snagper M 39,170 6,320 46,220 ($.73/lb.) (6.1) Mutton Sna r 36,410 14,600 NONE 51,010 ($.82/lbp.ra (6.8) Grouper 52,800 18,250 NONE 719050 ($.68/lb.)a (9.4) C-) 84 Mackerel (all types)b NONE 3,440 33,280 36,720 (4.8) Stone Crab 4,100 NONE NONE 4,100 ($I,.08/lb.)a (0.5) Other 300 400 .500 1,200 ($.25/lb.)a (0.2) TOTAL W9,840 133,450 42,400 $755,690 Lobster & Crab Trapping 470,420 Fish Wire Trappln2 TW-.4-f 0- PERCENT 76.1 17.7 5.6 100 ---F- -62-.-2 Lo ster A Crab a: All prices'are the 1978 weighted dockside prices for Monroe Co. Provided by Natonal Marine Fisheries Service, Miami. b: Mackerel species aggregated to protect confidentiality. Prices are King, ($.41/lb.) and Spanish, ($.22/lb.) Appendix. C Table 2 average of seasonal averages compiled from the survey since each season has a different visitation rate.) If these estimates are correct and, assuming 300 days of clear weather, then there were somewhere between 3,564 and 7,008 private boats visits to the Looe Key reef last year. A recent Key Biscayne National Park survey indicates that for all boat use there was an average of 3.8 persons per boat. The Bahia Honda State Recreational Area tabulation of daily visitors for FY 1978-79 showed that over 11,000 visitors arrived by boat to that facility in that period. The Bahia Honda 11,063 visitors should, based on 3.8 per boat have arri,ved in 2,911 boats. If only half of these went to Looe Key Boundary Option #2, then 40 percent of the lower estimated boat traffic (3,564) could be attributed to Bahia Honda alone. There are also, of course, many other places from which boats to Looe Key can be launched. Thus, the Looe Key boat visit estimates seem consistent with other evidence. 0 It was assumed, based on personal interviews and published data that one-third of these boats were used for recreational fishing and sightseeing, and two-thirds of the boats were used by skin and SCUBA divers, of whom two-thirds again were assumbed to be skin divers, not SCUBA divers. The survey at the Biscayne National Park of the average number of people per boat for different recreational activities indicated that between 3.7 and 4 .3 persons ride when engaging in diving activities. The weighted average was 4.08 persons per private diving boat. Using the Biscayne National Monument and multiplying by the number of boats estimated to be carrying divers to Looe Key. It was estimated that the 2,376 to 4,672 boats which was assumed carried divers to Looe Key had 9,694 to 19,061 divers on board. These estimates appear to be consistent with other available sources. Bahia Honda had 351,700 visitors in FY 1978-79. A Florida Department of Natural Resources survey of park visitors indicated that 4 percent of visitors in southern Florida parks go SCUBA diving. Thus, at least 14,068 visitors to Bahia Honda could be expected to go SCUBA diving; probably more, since 4 percent is an average and Bahia Honda is probably above average with regard to its orientation towards water. In addition, of course, there are non-Bahia Honda divers at Looe Key. The yearly estimates of 9,694 to 19,061 private divers in Boundary Option #2 thus seems conservative but consistent with the Bahia Honda data. An accepted method of imputing value to.non-quantifiable activity is to,use th 'e cost of the same or similar activity is paid to a commercial business to arrive at an economic value. The average cost of a private SCUBA dive trip to the Looe Key Reef ranges from $17 to $25, according to survey responses. Using $12 as the value of a snorkel- ing trip, based on the survey and information from the National Dive Center Washington, D. C., the combined value of a dive trip was estimated to be $16.50. C-7 LSFIMAIED BOUNUAKY OPIIUN Z LANUINUS (Pounds) Method Total Pounds Spec jes Hook & Line Trap Hook/Net Netting (Percent of Total) Spiny Lobster NONE 232,000 NONE NONE 232,000 (34.5) Crab NONE 3,800 NONE NONE 3,800 (0.6) Yellowtail Snapper 56,460 18,800 NONE 2,260 77,520 (11.5) Mangrove Snapper 53,660 1,000 NONE 8,660 72,320 (10.8) Mutton Snapper 17,800 44,400 NONE NONE 62,200 (9.3) Grouper 26,840 77,640 NONE NONE 104,120 (15.5) Mackerel 10,760 NONE NONE 104,000 114,760 (17.1) 1,600 1,200 NONE 2,000 4,800 Other (0.7) TOTAL 167,120 387,840 NONE 116,920 671,880 -(P-. 9T - (17.4j- Jum- PERCENT TFF-7 PTR-CENT OF 34.9 Fish TOTAL LANDINGS 7.0 16.3 4.9 28.2 Appendix C Table 3 COMPARISON OF ANNUAL COMMERCIAL FISH LANDINGS LOOE KEY BOUNDARY OPTION 2 AND MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA Survey Results (25 Boats) Estimated Total Fishing Boati Average Landings Reported for2 Estimated Landings in Boundary Option 2 Landings in Boundary Option 2 Monroe County 1974 - 1976 Species Total Pounds Total Pounds Average lbs/boat Total lbs. Ave. lbs/boat Spiny Lobster 58,000 232,000 2,320 1,607,312 1,692 Yellowtail Snapper 16,080 64,320 643 620,664 653 Mangrove Snapper 19, 280 77,120 771 187,615 197 Mutton Snapper 15,950 63,800 638 145,296 153 Grouper 23,610 94,440 944 824,297 868 Mackerel 29,895 119,580 1,196 8,785,758 9,248 Crab 950 3,800 38 812,967 856 Other 1,400 5,600 56 157,454 166 TOTAL 165,165 660,660 6,606 13,141,363 13,833 1) See Text, page 2) Source: Commercial fishing activity and facility needs in Florida, p.31 and Appendix Table 3. Mathis et al Appendix C Table 4 Analysis of Fishing Methods in the Looe Key Area Based on Sample Survey Number % Number of fishing boats 25 1.00 Fish for lobsters only 4 16 Fish for lobsters & crabs 23, 92 Fish for crabs 10 40 Fish only 2 8 Fi shermen using hook &.line 16 64 Fishermen using wire traps 7 28 Fi shermen using nets 3 12 Fish for both lobster & fish 18 72 Fishermen who use only nets 0 0 Appendix C Table 5 C-10 The divers chartering boats also stay in hotels, motels, visit restaurants, and purchase air and other equipment. These economic multi- plier effects were counted by using a regional service sector multiplier. The multiplier selected for these commercial dive boats was 3.203 (BEA 1977, P. 44). Thus, their total economic value for purposes of analysis was estimated at $800i75O. Almost all of this income is derived from the 5 square mile or Boundary Option #2.. The Newfound Harbor Marine Institute on Big Pine Key, a non-profit organization offering one of the most comprehensive marine education opportuni- ties in the Florida Keys, focuses upon the nearby Looe Key coral reef and other coral assemblages in the general vicinity,for year round teaching. Seacamp, a part of the Institute, offers a variety of educational programs to students in the 4th grade through graduate school in college. Between 5,000 and 6,000 persons participate in the 3 to 30 day programs each year. The analysis did not attempt to count income generated to the area from marinas, fishing lodges or educational organizations due to the lack of sufficient information. C. Tropical Specimen Collectors Tropical fish collectors who catch and sell the brightly colored reef fishes of the coral reef for home aquaria and research purposes are one small user group at Looe Key. While areas of extensive coral growth, such as Looe Key, are not generally suitable as collecting areas because of the many hiding places afforded by the reef, interview schedules and information provi-ded'by persons familiar with the tropical-fish industry indicated that there was a limited amount of collecting occurring at Looe Key. Estimates, based on these sources, of the total value of tropical fish collected yearly in the area, ranges from $200,000 to 250,000. Of these figures, roughly $25,400 to $31,750 worth is collected in Boundary Option #2. The regional multiplier effect would increase these estimates to between $582,000 and $782,500 in the entire area. The Boundary Option #2 generated income would lie between $74,000 and $92,500. d. Private Recreational Users Most sources interviewed agreed that the largest user group of the reef combines skin and SCUBA divers and recreational fishermen. It is in the measurement of'this group's contributed economic value to the reef that the greatest number of assumptions have to be made and the most qualifiers have to be placed on any figure. Commercial recreational questionnaires estimated that average daily private boat visits to the proposed Looe Key 4.9 nmi sanctuary ranged between a low of 11 and a high of 23. (Each of these is a weighted C-11 The activity of the 9,694 to 19,061 divers in Boundary Option #2 was worth between $159,951 and $314,506 in 1978. These divers, however, do not merely dive, they stay in hotels and motels, rent boats, buy air and other equipment. The multiplier of the relevant sector selected this region was 2.203 (see BEA, 1977, p.44). The private recreational diving activity in Looe Key was thus considered to be generating between $352,371 and $692,856 for the region in 1978. It was assumed from personal interviews and Survey information that the recreational fishermen and others would occupy one-third of the boats. This means that 1,188 to 2,336 boats would be visiting Looe Key, carrying recreational fishermen, sightseers and others. The figure of $40 per boat, the average rental price, was selected to place a value on the non-quanti- fiable activity of recreational fishing, sightseeing, and other related activities. Recreational non-diving at Looe Key, therefore, was estimated to be between $47,520 and $93,440. The multipl.ier effect of this activity would raise the total value of the activity to (BEA, 1977, p.44) the region to between 104,686 and 206,848. The estimated value to the community and region of the private recrea- tional uses of Looe Key lies thus between $457,057 and $898,704. Combining the 7,500 commercially transported divers with an average of 1.5,000 dive'rs using their own transportation and adding an estimated 5,500 students'-from,N ewfou-.nd Harbor Institute, the total drive/snorkler load for 19.78 woul d 'have @bee`n 28,000 i ndi vidual s. C-12 APPENDIX D FLORIDA STATE LAWS AND EXISTING STATE AND FEDERAL MARINE RESERVES, PARKS AND SANCTUARIES Appendix D FLORIDA STATE LAWS AND EXISTING STATE AND FEDERAL MARINE RESERVES, PARKS AND SANCTUARIES A. Florida State Laws Florida State laws which regulates human activities similar to activities found in Looe Key Waters. Legal Authority: Chapter 370, Florida State Code Enforcement Authority: DNR Division of Law Enforcement (Table D1) Chapter 370. Saltwater Fisheries and Conservation. 370,114 Taking of marine corals and sea fans regulated; penalties. 1. It is unlawful for any person, as defined in s. 1.01: a. To take, attempt to take, or otherwise destroy, or to sell or attempt to sell, any sea fa,n of the species Gorgonia flabellum or of the speci Gorgoni les a ventalina or any hard or stony coral (Scleratti-n-ia-T-or any fire coral (Millepora); or b. To possess any fresh, uncleaned, or uncured sea fan of the species Gorgonia flabellum or of the species Gorgonia ventalina or any fresh, uncleaned, or uncured hard or stony coral (Scleractinia) or any fresh, uncleaned, or uncured fire coral (Millepora). unless it can be probed by certified invoice that the sea fan or coral was imported from a foreign country or unless it can be proven that the sea fan or coral was lawfully taken before July 1, 1976. .2. This section shall not apply to any sea fan or coral taken for scientific or educational purposes when thetaking is approved and permitted by the department. 3. It is unlawful to take coral from, or possess it in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The provisions of s. 592.17 shall be in addition to the provisions of this subsection. 4. A personwho violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or-s. 775.083. The U. S. Coast Guard and the Florida Marine Patrol have verbal agree- ments to notify one another of possible State/Federal violations of the taking of coral in!State/Federal waters. The State law, outside of the John Pennekamp Park, is considered by some law enforcement personnel and administrators as largely unenforce- able because "fresh, uncleaned, or uncured sea fan, hard or stony coral D-1 Florida Department of Natural Resources (Authorized to Establish Aquatic Preserves) Division Division Division Division Division of of of of of Administrative Marine Recreation Resource Law Services Resources and Parks Management Enforcement Licensing and boat Preservation, Preservation Bureau of Coastal Enforcement of State registrations., management, and management and Land Boundaries. law relating to protection and of all parks protection of natural Issuance of sponge regulation of uses and recreation Definition of state resource (fisheries). licenses, non- of marine resources areas held by owned submerged resident fish and to provide basic the State. lands and uplands Education of the public boating licenses. scientific research works with NOS. regarding these laws. information for Development managers. and execution Responsible for lands of a comprehen- other than parks & Bureau of Marine sive multi- recreation areas, Science and purpose recrea- wilderness areas held Technology tion and by the State. (fisheries resource conservation management - program. Develop State plan for issuance of CZM- licenses). Table D 1 or fire coral" can be quickly ki lled and bleached on board a boat, with the use of a bleaching agent, before a patrolman can inspect the boat. The regulation for the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, however, ,which simply states "It is unlawful to take coral from, or possess it", appears the most effective for enforcement purposes. Penalty: Criminal Fine: $35.65 The fine of $35.65, set at the present time by a Circuit Court Judge in the Florida Keys, for a misdemeanor of the second degree (prescribed in the statute), is considered by most as little deterrent in the taking.of coral from State waters. Regulations: The Division of Law Enforcement of the Florida DNR has not, as yet, adopted any regulations to accompany the statute, 370.114, on the taking of marine corals and sea fans. Other applicable state regulations: 370.071 Fishermen and equipment; regulation Crustacea, marine animals, fish regulations; general provisions 370.101 Saltwater fish; regulations 370.11 Fish; regulation 370.113 Queen conchs of the species Stombus gigas; regulation 370.12 Marine Animals 370.13 Stone crabs 370.14 Crawfish 370.17 Sponges; regulation 370.172 Spearfishing definition; limitations Penalty Spearfishing is prohibited within the boundaries of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the salt waters in Monroe County known as the Upper Keys from the Dade/Monroe County line to and including Long Key. The DNR also has the power to establish restricted areas when safety hazards exist or when needs are determined by biological findings. 370.072 State Endangered and threatened species Threatened and endangered species and their h abitat, Monroe County, from inventory of rare & endangered biota of Florida, Florida Audubon Florida Defenders of the Environment. D-4 Endangered Species as defined by the Florida Audubon Society and the Florida Defenders of the Environment Invertebrates found within the proposed sanctuary: Elkhorn Coral Acropora palmata Outer Reef Environme nt Staghorn Coral A. Cervicornis Reef Environment Staghorn Coral A. prolifera Reef Environment Pillar Coral Dendroqyra cylindrus Reef Environment Large Flower Coral -ffu-ssa angulosa Reef Environment Lettuce Coral Aqari ia a ari ites Reef Environment Flower Coral usmilia fastigiata Reef Environment Starlet Coral Siderastrea siderea Reef Environment Brain Coral' -Di-pTo-ria clivosa Reef Environment Brain Coral D. labryinthiformis Reef Environment Small Star Coral To-ntastraea annularis Reef Environment Large Star Coral M. cavernosa Reef Environment Brain Coral Meandri-na meandrites Reef Environment Atlantic Green Turtle Chelonia Mydas mydas All habitats Species whose habitat are found within the proposed sanctuary: Atlantic Green Turtle Chelonia Mydas mydas All habitats Atlantic Hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata imbricata Primary reef Turtle habitats Atlantic Ridley Lepidocheyls kempi A1.1 habitats Turtle All violations of the above State laws, with the exception of 370.12 Marine Animals (a first degree offense) are criminal offenses; misdemeanors of the second degree, with punishment prescribed by a Circuit Judge in Monroe County. Enforcement Agency: Florida Marine Patrol Chapter 258. State Parks and Preserves. 258.41 This provision permits the setting aside of State-owned submerged lands of exceptional biological, aesthetic and scientific value as aquatic preserves. Two of the thirty-one State aquat.ic preserves were established in Monroe County. One of these, the Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve is located directly adjacent to the sanctuary off Big Pine Key. This Preserve, included in the State Coastal Management Program as a Geographic Area of Particular Concern, is a shallow semi-enclosed bay of unique biologic and scientific valued. D-5 B. Existing Federal and.State Marine Parks and the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary in the Florida Keys and Their Existing Regulations 1. Everglades National Park at the tip of the Sourth Florida Peninsula TDepartment of Interior's National Park Ser--v-ic-e-T- Everglades National Park includes a part of Florida Bay. Five regulations have been proposed in 1979 to: Close additional areas of Florida Bay to all public entry to protect crocodile nesting critical habitat. Restrict recreational shellfish harvest (blue crab traps, stone crab traps and spiny lobster). Establish bag limits for fish species. Assimilate State of Florida statutes for commercial stone crabbing. Eliminate commercial fishing by December 31, 1985, within the waters of the park. Permits for all activities except hook-and-line fishing in the Everglades National Park are required and reviewed by the South Florida Research Center, NPS, Homestead, Florida, who also review permits for the Fort Jefferson National Monument, Dry Tortugas. 2. Fort Jefferson National Monument, Dry Tortugas TD-epartment of the Interior's National Park Service) Located 110 km (65 miles) west of Key West, Florida, Fort Jefferson National Monument which was established to protect Ft. Jefferson but also manages 100,000 acres of coral reefs within park boundaries. The taking or disturbing of any species of coral, shells, shellfish, sponges, sea anemones or other forms of marine life is prohibited with the exception of the recreational catch of spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) and conch (Strombus gigas) which is limited to 2/person/day. Commercial fishing is limited to 40 percent of the monument. The use or possession of spears, gigs, or other forms of spearfishing is prohibited at all times. 3. Biscayne National Park in the Northernmost Florida xeys, FD-epartment of the Interior's National Park Service) Biscayne National Park is primarily an underwater park. The "park." is actually a monument, as designated by Congress, with rules sli.ghtly D-6 different from a National Park Service park. To establish Biscayne National Monument, the State of Florida and the Federal government agreed that fishing be allowed to continue in accordance with State laws unless it was determined to be detrimental to the purposes for which the "Park" was established. If so determined, it should be further regulated following consultation with the State. The enabling legislation reads, as follows: Sec. 4 "The Secretary of the Interior shall preserve and administer the Biscayne National Monument in accordance with the pro- visions of the Act of August 25, 1916 (39 Stat.535;16 U.S.C. 1-4), as amended and supplemented. The waters within the Biscayne National Monument shall continue to be open to, fishing in conformity with the laws of the State of Florida except as the Secretary, after consultation with appropriate officials of said State, designates species for which, areas and times within which, and methods by which fishing is prohibited, limited or otherwise regulated in the interest of sound conservation or in order to achieve the purposes for which the national monument is established." Commercial fishing and lobster-trapping are legal, as is sports fishing, both by hook and line and by spear. Conch and lobster may also be taken by divers, provided they are caught by hand or by hand-held net when in season and provided legal limits are not exceeded. Tropical fish collec- tion is not legal. Under the laws.and regulations of the Park, identical to State laws, the Superintendent of the Park grants permits. Four patrol boats survey the area (20' - 28') manned by four Park Rangers with law enforcement authority. The Florida Marine Patrol enforces in State waters. Total park acreage is 104,000. At the present time, the Park management is conducting an extensive fisheries management information program. Fishermen are interviewed in the field out to the 60 ft. contour. Major species caught by commercial fishermen are snapper, grouper, hogfish, grunts, dolphin and sailfish. No fish traps are permitted. Some permits are granted for stone crab and crawfish fishing. Aliens and non-residents must have fishing licenses. 'Sportfishing must only be for edible fish. The Park management is also currently experimenting with the use of mooring buoys which mark an area for visitors and offer them an opportunity to tie up to a buoy rather than.anchoring in an area D-7 which might damage the coral reef. The location of the moorings and educational material about certain unique reefs are discussed in a booklet prepared and distributed by the Biscayne'Park staff. The Biscayne National Park is adjacent to a spiny lobster sanctuary. 4. Bahia Honda State Park in the lower Florida Keys The Bahia Honda State Park, managed by the Florida State DNR, Division of Recreation and Parks, is located on Bahia Honda Key adjacent to the proposed Looe Key Sanctuary. The park offers overnight camping facili- ties; two marinas; one for campers and one leased by a concessionaire; and swimming, picnicking facilities. The marinas are approximately 30 minutes running time by boat from the Looe Key Reef area. Staff for the park includes 17 staff and 14 rangers, most without law enforcement authority whose responsibilities include search and rescue operations in waters immediately adjacent to the park. The Bahia Honda State Park personnel emphasize the protection of State resources by jnterpretation of the law to those who use the park rather than by enforcement. 5. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and U.S. Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary in the upper Florida Keys (State Department of Natural Resources' Division of Recreation and Parks and Department of Commerce's Office of Coastal Zone Management under NOAA) The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and U. S. Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary are actually two preserves, consisting of an area extending out three miles from shore and administered by the State of' Florida (Department of Natural Resources, Division of Recreaton and Parks) and a Federally operated sanctuary beginning at the end of State jurisdiction and-extending seaward, also administered by the DNR, Division of Recreation and Parks. Named after the late John Pennekamp, the com 'bined area of both parks was originally a State Park. The John Pennekamp Park was created in 1961 to protect coral and to prevent spearfishing and tropical fish collection. The State did not limit commercial fishing and lobstering in the State Park. In 1975, when the Supreme Court ruled State jusisdic- tion could only extend three miles, the most luxuriant reefs,, which lie between four and six miles offshore, were without State protection. At that time, the State of Florida nominated the offshore waters for Marine Sanctuary status to insure continued protection of the, resources. The Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary was designated by NOAA in December, 1975, as prescribed in the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. At the time, the existing State regulations were adopted for the Federal waters seaward of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and are still in force today. Through a joint management agreement with the State of Florida and managed by the State, the U.S. Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary is patrolled by State and Park Rangers and the U.S. Coast Guard. Collection or possession of coral, dead or alive, and sand or any other organism, dead or alive, (other than fish or lobster), can cost up to-$5,000. If coral or other materials or organisms mentioned above are collected outside of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and U.S. Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary, they cannot be transported into these areas without danger of the person possessing them being fined. This is also true of Biscayne National Monument. The management and enforcement of the Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary, is of particular interest to the Looe Key @roposal. Although the area is I arger, th the upper Keys, and imnediately .4diace nt to an establishe(i State marine.park, its-ecologinal sy:stem and the.human impacts occurring daily in the sanctuary are very similiar to the area known as Looe Key. a* Memorandum of Agreement At present, there is a memorandum of agreement between NOAA/OCZM and the State DNR, Division of Recreation and Parks, which provides: 0 State on-site management in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by OCZM. 0 State administered regulation. Proposed regulations revising existing interim- final regulations are being considered at the present time. 0 At question appears to be how much should the regulations resemble State regulations in the interest of consistency and how much should they be a reflection of the objectives of the Marine Protection Research Sanctuaries Act. 0 State evaluation of all permits. 0-9 0 State enforcement of the Sanctuary regulations through a cooperative effort with the U. S. Coast Guard. The State reviews all citations issued by the USCG and sends a report of the violation and recommendations to the NOAA/General Counsel, St. Petersburg, Florida. 0 State submissions of semi-annual reports to NOAA and submission of recommendatons for more effective management. b. U.S. Coast Guard Enforcement Agreement Patrol of the sanctuary is accomplished jointly by the Florida Marine Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard personnel. Enforcement authority for State Park rangers is limited to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and does not include Key Largo Coral Reef marine Sanctuary. Persons found to be in violation of NOAA regulations are notified at the scene by the issuance of a Coast Guard Report of Boarding (CG Form 4100). Evidence is seized by USCG personnel and appropriate statements taken. NOAA paid the salaries of two Coast Guard personnel assigned to Key Largo in 1978. In 1979, the Coast Guard continued its allotment of personnel to the sanctuary but refused payment, since enforcement was part of their ongoing responsibility. C. Law Enforcement Procedures Once all officials and the violator have been notified and the State park service has evaluated the information, the NOAA General Counsel draws a Notice of Violation, specifying the precise violation involved, and the proposed penalty (which may be negotiated). The BLM coral regulations have rarely been used since these regulations provide for criminal penalties involving arrest and appearance before a Federal Magistrate. d. Enforcement Results in Key Largo There were six Notices of Yiolation issued in 1977, fifty-nine in 1978 and twenty-three in 1979. The average proposed penalty for the three year period was $86.73, the average compromise penalty agreed upon by the violators was @60.92. D-10 APPENDIX E NOAA RESPONSES TO COMMENTS RECEIVED ON THE. PROPOSED LOOE KEY MARINE SANCTUARY DEIS GENERIC RESPONSE #1 - SUPPORT FOR THE LOOE KEY PROPOSAL Thank you for your comments. NOAA concurs with the view that Looe Key is a valuable and important resource and that Looe Key is a national resource of high ecological value. NOAA also concurs.that marine sanctuary designation ,offers an effective mechanism to protect and conserve this portion of the Florida reef system for the benefit of future generations. E-1 GENERIC RESPONSE #2 Several reviewers voiced the opinion that adequate protection will be afforded Looe Key by the Fishery Management Council pursuant to the Fishery Conservation and Management Act (FtMA) and that sanctuary desig- nation would, therefore, be duplicative and unneccesary. Although the FCMA provides environmental protection, its principal focus is the management of selected commercial and recreational fisheries. Conservation efforts under this statute are by necessity directed toward individual species rather than ecosystems. Accordingly, both in general and in the case of Looe Key the two programs are complementary, not duplicative. In accordance with the FCMA, the Regional Fishery Management Councils (FMC) develop Fishery Management Plans (FMP), that are implemented by the Department of Commerce. These FMP's provide for protection of selected fishery resources but in general do not focus on site-specific ecosystem management. FMP's do not necessarily consider elements of the ecosystem which are not harvested nor do they address the entire range of threats to which an area like Looe Key can be subject. Title III of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act, on the other hand,-authorizes conservation of special or threatened ecosystems per se. Because of the differing focuses of the two statutes the efforts of the FMP's and the Marine Sanctuaries Program should, through cooperative efforts, complement each other. In particular, major differences between the Councils' joint Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP and the NOAA Looo Key marine sanctuary proposal include: (a) the size of the specific area to be protected; (b) the range of organisms toward which management attention is directed; and (c) the emphasis on comprehensive management planning, including interpretive programs and design and implementation of long-term site specific research. First, with regard to size, the Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) proposdd in the draft Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP includes a one sq nm area which will allow the protection of the actual spur and groove system from physical damage. However, the long-term biological productivity of a system is by no means assured by such protection efforts and NOAA believes that the FMP proposed protection of a I sq nm area will not provide that assurance. Comprehensive management emphasis on monitoring, visitor uses, research and public education aimed at assessing the effectiveness of protective measures and health of the total system will form the basis for ensuring future viability of this section of the reef tract. For a discussion of the rationale for the proposed sanctuary 5 sq nm boundary, please see Generic Response #3 and Chapter IV (Environmental-Consequences of the Proposed Action). It should, however, be noted that knowledgable scientists have questioned the likelihood that even the sanctuary program with its emphasis on the latter facets of management can effectively protect this section of the reef tract (Generic Response #2). The basis for this concern @is the small size of the proposed sanctuary. In the marine environment adequate E-2 buffer zones replace the fences used in traditional land management techniques. This approach requires a greater area to protect a given resource than would normally be necessary on land. NOAA believes, however, that after analyses of potential impacts on the total human environment, 5 sq nm represents a reasonable buffer beyond that provided through the HAPC. This in combination with the management oriented facets of the sanctuary program will complement the efforts of the Councils to protect coral species in the fishery conservation zone. Second, the Council's FMP limits the definition of coral reef resources to the actual coral structure. This leaves the majority of invertebrates and lower vertebrates without specific protection. The productivity of coral reefs, equalled only by that of tropical- rain forests, is a result of the organisms forming the reef structure (algal biomass may be three times greater than that of the corals); and light, oxygen and efficient nutrient recycling as a result of the innumerable non-coral reef organisms. It is this entire specialized ecosystem that is the focus of sanctuary integrated research,. education and regulation over the long-term. In conclusion, the major differences between the proposed management measures for the HAPC and the final proposed marine sanctuary regulations are focused on the emphasis placed on comprehensive management, monitoring, research and public education by the sanctuary program which is lacking in the HAPC proposal and which complements the Councils' FMP efforts. A comparison of the two programs was forwarded by the GMFMC and an updated version is presented below. 0 E-3 LOOE KEY PROPOSALS Marine Sanctuary Coral FMP General Area: Five square nautical General Area: One nautical mile miles includes portions of the Patch square. Contains Fore Reef and Reef Flat. Reefs, a Reef Flat, Fore Reef, Deep Reef, and Deep Ridge. "Special Management Area": Trapezoid. "Special Management Area": Trapezoid. Coral Collection: None permitted in Coral Collection: None permitted in the general are@',@regulations also prohibit general area and no contact-with coral damage to coral which would include permitted in trajpezoid area. standing, breaking, etc. Tropical Marine Specimens: Collection Tropical Marine Specimens: Collection of all tropical specimens, including 7 marine tropical fishes prohibited invertebrates, prohibited throughout in trapezoid area. area, except by permit for scientific and educational purposes. Spearfishing: Prohibited in general Spearfishing: Prohibited in trapezoid area. area. Fixed Gear: General area: prohibit Fixed Gear: General area: prohibit 'fish wire fish traps. Trapezoid area: traps within 100-foot contour (Reef Fish prohibit wire fish traps and lobster FMP). Trapezoid area: fixed fishing traps. gear prohibited. Anchoring: Prohibited on coral in Anchoring: Prohibited in trapezoid. trapezoid. Historical and Cultural Resources: Historical and Cultural Resources: Removal, damaging, tampering Not applicable. prohibited. Toxic Materials: Prohibits all Toxic Materials: Prohibits toxic discharges except vessel cooling chemicals in taking1ish and other water, fish parts, chumming materials marine organisms in coral areas; other and effluents from marine sanitation discharges not addressed. devices. Explosives: Not specifically addressed; Ekplosives: Prohibited over live however, this would be included under the coral bottoms when causing coral damage. prohibition of damage to coral. E-4 GENERIC RESPONSE #3 During review of the DEIS and at the public hearings two issues were raised focused on 1) the basis for selection of Looe Key as a sanctuary proposal and 12) the size of the proposal area. With regard to the first issue, certain reviewers stated that in their opinion Looe Key is not a unique area and there- fore sanctuary designation is not justified. The uniqueness of the Looe Key area is indeed not measured in terms of new and different species assemblages. It is true that the species found on Looe Key are also found all along the Florida Reef tract. The special nature of Looe Key is measured, instead, in terms of the spectacular beauty of the spur and groove system, the value of this small area to local biological productivity (see commercial fishing statistics) and the ease of accessibility to the user public. Looe Key is located only 6.7 nm offshore and can be easily located in a relatively short period of time. The shallow Water portions of the reef in combination with the deeper areas make it attractive to both novice and highly experienced swimmers, snorklers and divers. Public charter boat operations, dive boats, recreational divers and fishermen, a major non-profit organization (the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute) and established commercial fishermen utilize the reef. The area is currently experiencing intensive public use which based on population and tourist projections is expected to increase. All of these factors taken together contribute to the special nature of Looe Key. While it is true that it is not the only beautiful section of the reef tract and that it is but one of the several shelf margin reefs in the lower keys, NOAA believes that, without question, the combination of factors discussed above qualify Looe Key for sanctuary status and that given user pressures, this small section of the reef tract must be comprehensively managed if its long-term viability is to be assured. The proposed 5 sq nm boundary was criticized during the review both as being too large and as being much too small. It'was felt by several commentors that the proposed I sq nm HAPC presents an appropriate size for a sanctuary. Protection of an area of this 'size will provide for prohibitions of physical damage to the Fore Reef and associated organisms. It will not likely provide an adequate area for assuring biological integrity of the system. In the marine environment protection of any core area (Fore Reef) requires identification and protection of even large areas (buffers) where essential processes for the stability of the core take place. NOAA does not believe that 1 sq nm offers a reasonable buffer to assure long-term productivity of the Looe Key reef system. The 5 sq nm sanctuary proposal has also been criticized as being too small and vulnerable to outside harmful activities to warrant designation. It is true that marine systems cannot be managed by reliance upon traditional land manage- ment techniques. Essential differences between marine and terrestrial environ- ments include the size of the ecosystems, the mobility of marine.organisms and the three dimensional nature of the hydrosphere, sink, and downstream affects. Because of these characteristics, setting aside limited marine areas such as Looe Key contributes to protection of the large system. Locating these small candidates for protection involves consideration of their location, number, size and linkages. Ideally, management would be able to identify the linkages, protect them and thereby protect the region as a whole while we continue to use and enjoy it. E-5 Though Looe Key alone represents a small segment of the reef system, it is possible that by focusing intensive management on smaller discrete units such as Biscayne Bay National Park, Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary, John Pennekamp State Park, Fort Jefferson National Park, and Looe Key we can protect enough of the reef tract linkages to insure protection of the entire system. In addition, these discrete protected areas are tied together by the broader conservation measures afforded under the Management Councils' Coral and Coral Reef Resources Fishery Management Plan. In the near future other FMP's will be implemented for fisheries under the jurisdiction of the South Atlantic Council. All of these entities, together with heightened awareness of the need for close cooperative management strategies, should provide an increased level of protection. In conclusion, after assessing the potential impacts of larger Looe Key sanctuary boundaries, NOAA continues to propose the 5 sq nm alternative. In a purely biological sense, a sanctuary covering the whole of the Florida Keys might be more desirable; however, the Looe Key proposal offers a workable proposal which will contribute to protection of the integrity of the entire reef tract and at the same time minimize economic impacts to area residents. E-6 GENERIC RESPONSE #4 The preferred alternative (Alternative b) proposed in the DEIS would have required that NOAA establish a permitting system and develop criteria specifying under what conditions commercial collecting permits would be granted. It would also have required the undertaking of extensive monitoring of fish stocks to determine when adequate population levels of target species existed and at what point and to what degree taking would be appropriate. A number of reviewers opposed collection on ecological or philosophical grounds. In response to concerns and arguments presented in the DEIS review, NOAA has reconsidered the preferred alternative for tropical specimen collecting and now proposes instead to prohibit collection of such specimens except by permit for scientific and educational purposes. Several reviewers felt that administration and enforcement of a permit system for effective regulation of commercial tropical specimen collecting could not be developed. Subsequent consultations with existing commercial permitting authorities emphasized the difficulties involved. It is not likely that permittees could be monitored to assure that their actions would be consistent with the conditions of the permit without an elaborate sur- veillance system with specified check points for ingress and egress at the sanctuary boundaries. As an example, it would be virtually impossible to determine whether a perTnittee took only 100 neon gobies over the period of two months. Establishment of a limited permitting system to allow taking of tropical specimens for research and scientific purposes could be accompl-ished without administrative an'd enforcement difficulties. It is anticipated that most research within the sanctuary would be non-consumptive (i.e., observational) and would not require a permit. Limiting the taking of specimens to research and educational purposes only will result in significantly fewer permits than would a system which included commercial taking. Furthermore, the Office of Coastal Zone Management has already developed an administrative process currently employed for the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary that is designed to handle limited permits for these purposes. There are many available easily accessible and suitable areas for tropical specimen collectors to capture tropical fish and invertebrates in south Florida; including shallow inshore areas, inshore coral heads, mid-channel reefs (in the middle of Hawk's Channel), and the entire outer reef. Prohibiting collecting in the Looe Key area would cause limited economic loss to present commercial collectors. When the accessibility of alternative sites, the small size of the proposed sanctuary, and the minimal economic impact, however, are weighed against the administrative cost and burden of establishing a commercial permitting system, commercial permitting does not appear justifiable. From a conservation standpoint, a sanctuary prohibition would protect and enhance the tropical specimen populations at Looe Key, help prevent the depletion of ecologically important species, add to the aesthetics of the sanctuary, and help maintain and enhance the long term E-7 productivity of the Looe Key coral reef for future generations. In addition, the majority of those reviewers who commented on this issue did not support the permitting system for commercial collecting. For ,these reasons NOAA proposes to prohibit all tropical specimen collecting except by permit for scientific and educational purposes. , The proposed regulation, however, does not necessarily exclude all commercial collection. For example, permits could be given for collecting for sale to public aquaria. It is unlikely however that there will be as many applications for this type of permit as there would be for full scale commercial collecting. Section 938.8 of the proposed regulations details the criteria the Assistant Administrator must consider in granting a permit; (1) the general professional and financial responsibility of the applicant, (2) the appropriateness of the methods envisioned to the purpose(s) of the activity, (3) the extent to which the conduct of any permitted activity may diminish or enhance the value of the Sanctuary, (4) the end value of the activity (i.e., if the intended activity is (a) for research related to the resources of the Sanctuary, or (b) to further the educational value of the Sanctuary), and (5) other matters as deemed appropriate. Each permit application will be judged on individual merit. In conclusion, NOAA believes that this regulation will protect the resource, and allow collecting that is consistent with sanctuary goals and limited enough in scope that monitoring and enforcement can be conducted adequately. E-8 PUBLIC HEAR114GS C(M4E%TS PUBLIC HEARING RESPONSES TO COMMENTS Miami, Florida - June 16, 1980 Looe Key Miami, Florida E. A. Shinn, speaking as a private citizen Shinn 1. Is marine sanctuary designation the proper way to achieve coral reef conservation? I. Response: The marine sanctuary program is specifically designed to give maximum attention to relatively small, high quality areas such as Looe Key, 2. Now cost effective is the sanctuary program? which are worthy of conservation. Looe Key reef, as a marine sanctuary, will receive special management and enforcement attention beyond that pos- 3. when the mandate providing ROAA with authority to regulate the coral sible in a general management structure such as that provided, for example, reefs on the continental shelf goes into effect, what additional protection in Fishery Management Plans. The Fishery Management Plans base their juris- will a sanctuary provide if one Is designated at Looe Key? dictional boundaries on the territorial range of fish and coral species, thus covering wide areas such as the entire outer reef tract of the Florida keys. There is little opportunity or necessity under their mandate to provide management and protection or enforcement of any one area such as the Looe Key reef. Also please see Generic Response #2. 2. Title III of the Marine, Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act receives funding on a yearly basis. Funding for fiscal 1980 was 1.75 million dollars for the entire marine sanctuaries program. This money is used for administra- tive costs, costs related to the designation process and management, enforcement, M research and monitoring of existing sites. Looe Key is one of seven sites now under active consideration. Projected management costs per site average $90,000/year. In some cases enforcement costs must also be funded and tW-average planning figure Is $60,000/year. Research and Monitoring costs per site will vary from 0 - 100,000/year depending upon management needs and the existing data base. The actual budget needs for any given site will be derived after forTnulation of the Management Plan. 3. Please see Generic Response 02. Richard Neilson, Commercial Fisherman from Ft. Lauderdale Neilson 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary because business will be taken 1. Response: References, in the text, to wire fish trapping, have been away from fisherman. NOAA and the State of Florida have banned fish traps changeT to-utilize the latest wire fish trap data from the State DNR-NMFS without biological or scientific data. This is unfair. 140AA news up-to- study. The'final sanctuary proposal represents NOAA's best effioratl toonomic date NMFS - State data on wire-fish traps. manage effectively a viable section of the reef tract with mi impact on commercial fishing. When the NMFS - State study is completed NOAA will re-evaluate the prohibition on wire fish traps in light of the final Robert Ginsberg, resident of Coral Gables, Professor University of Miami data. I. Supports the Marine 'Sanctuary Program. Ginsburg 2. A sanctuary must be large enough to control surroundings. A five square 1. Response: Please see written comments of Robert Ginsburg. mile boundary Is small and subject to natural disasters. 3., There are two areas of potential uniqueness to be protected: 1) the coral reef Itself, the organisms, animals and esthetic qualities; and 2) historical and cultural resources. What makes this coral reef different from all other coral reefs? 4. The historical value includes the remains of a shipwreck of the HMS LOOE and THE SNOW, yet these ship remains are almost totally deteri6-rated aR-the o-n7y- ;ia-yto gain knowledge about the wreck is to fan the sand. This is prohibited in the rules and regulations. 5. Coral collecting by tourists will already be prohibited by the 1981 mandate and a sanctuary would be a duplication of work. rrl 6. More consideration should be taken in investigating other possible C:) sanctuary sites in the Lower Keys. Alexander Stone, President, Marine Wilderness Society Stone 1. Supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary should be estab- 1. Response: Please see written comments of.Alex Stone, Marine Wilderness lished as soon as possible. Society. 2., Wants ROAA to include all information sent by Marine Wilderness Society in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. 3. Endorses the five square mile marine sanctuary. The five square mile sanctuary proposed is important to preserve long-term protection for conser- vationi recreation, ecological, educational and esthetic values. 4. The sanctuary must include adequate portions of Patch Reef, Reef Flat, Fore Reef, Deep Reef, and Oeep Ridge, and it must-have a reasonable buffer zone to protect tropical fish and other marine organisms. S. Publicity could destroy the coral reef. 6. Boaters must be careful when and where they anchor. 7. Scientists-should be required to obtain permits for collection of specimens. 8. Divers should *take only memories and leave only bubbles.' 9. Spearfisherven will not be able to fish if the sanctuary is designated. 10. There should be a comprehensive management plan. 11. The Sanctuaries Program protects the area by preventing damage, all other Federal regulations call for clean-up after the damage has been done. 12. Wire fish trapping should be prohibited within the sanctuary. Only 20 percent of the fish caught in wire fish traps are marketable; and 35 percent of the fish taught in wire fish traps are grunts. 13. Regulations-on tropical fish catching are too open ended. 14. The "anchor down" proyision should be made as basic as possible to allow maximum non-damaging use of the sanctuary while protecting the coral reef. 15. A problem with the mooring buoy system is that It can not possibly provide enough buoys in the area. RosemarX Roth, of Directors, Tropical Audubon Sglet u 3y (speaking onTM_it 'oo% Kelly, President, Tropical Aud oc iety) 1. The Audubon Society supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 2. Figures on commercial fishing Are overestimated and the figures on tourism are underestimated. Tourism is more important to the economy than Roth commercial fishing. 1'Response: Please see written comments of Robert L. Kelly, Tropical Mary Terese Delate, Chairperson of Miami Sierra Clut Audubon ociety. 1. The Miami Club supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary. Delate 2. The fishery management program provides stable. uninterrupted income I. Response: Please see Generic Response #1. for area fishermen. Protection of the coral reef would provide habitat for a number of marine species. 2. Response: Please see Generic Response #2. 3. The five square mile boundary is the best alternative. 3. Response: Please see Generic Response #3. 4. Shell collecting should be prohibited except for educational or 4 Response: Please see Generic Response #4 for a discussion of the trop- scientific research by permit only. This would protect hermit crabs. i@.l specimen collecting. Alice igh' N A b"n osi ti Wainwright 'ISO Wa!Rr be o1a; 7 Mg, Xeu n Society. sp, ng , NV? tuduFT I. Response: Please See Generic Response 11. 1. They support the proposed Marine Sanctuary. In the past not enough emphasis has been placed on the recreational value of Looe Key. Looe Key 2. Response: Please see Generic Response 03. has suffered from degradation. The educational objectives are adequate and the preferred regulations proposed by NOAA are adequate. 3. Response: In the FEIS, NOAA proposes to prohibit anchoring on coral on the T-or-e-Ae-ef and to encourage sand anchoring elsewhere. Please see Chapters 2. The boundary is satisfactory, butit could be larger. Two, Preferred Alternative, Four, Environmental Consequences, and Appendix A. 3. Enforcement of anchoring only on the sand is vital to coral reef protection. John C. Noyes, Executive Secretary, Florida Marine Life Association Noyes 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 1. Response: See written comments of John Noyes. 2. Corrections to be made In the EIS! In general, the DEIS is *stretching the point' to justify the sanctuary. 1 4. paragraph 1: Lobe Key is not the only "living* coral reef TUre. Goal 1: Why must this be protected when it is already being proTe-Fed by Gulf Council and South Atlantic Council? Goal 2: A marine sanctuary Is not necessary to achieve this goal. Goal 3: Remove the term "Lobe Key" Page No major hurricane has touched down on the Eowe hy:aRgr. -,"time. The storm surge& severely damage coral r Ton2g: reefs; and anchoring damage is insignificant. Pagj 11. lueen Angel fish and neon goby are of no eco _7 arragr h I . c , ue ercial.fishermen. Commercial fishing in the area is insignificant to renewable resources. tag paragr;@h 1: No marine predator eats sea urchins except pggij@ y tFe 0 snapper and qlant spotted burfish which are not M reef predators. Sea urchins are migratory. There are identical paragraphs on pages 25 and 89 that imply that groupers have inhabited the Fore Reef zone. there might be a .natural" reason why groupers do not inhabit the Fore Reef zone. Butterfly fish inhabit the Fore Reef zone and Deep Reef area. Hamlets, Blue chromis and creole wrasses range in 35-75 foot depths. Purple reef fish, sunsh ine fish, spot fish normally inhabit 80-100 foot depths. Page _, paragraph 4: The distribution of fish in these depths is normaT! Ballard Page $8, paragraph 3: Pillar coral is not an endangered species. 1. Response: No response necessary. Pa3ecl10 plilgrao 1: Lobsters do not need emergency protection, an ral grow back. 2. ResRonse: It is true that one of the major concerns of opponents of the proposed sanctuary is the belief that NOAA will use what is perceived as 3. The DEIS Is a biased document to sway one to believe humans have caused unilateral discretion to enlarge thp boundaries of the sanctuary and modify the ecosystem damage at Looe Key. the operating regulations. However, the constraints posed by the Marine Sanctuaries Program Regulations (CFR vol. 44 no. 148, 7131179) ensure that W. R. Ballard, Director, Lower Keys Chapter of OFF modification of either the Designation Document or regulations Of individual sanctuaries is a lengthy process involving numerous opportunities for rtiblic I., Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. notice and involvement. Management measures will be periodically reviewed for need and effectiveness in light of current information. Such a review 2. They are afraid of future rule changes without public knowledge. will involve public participation. Should the currently proposed regulations prove unnece ssary, appropriate changes will be proposed and will move through 3. No businessman in the area of the proposed sanctuary is in favor of its extensive p"blic review and comment. designation. 3. Res%onse: Most of the written responses (over 100 letters) to the Looe Key r T 4. Pave 6: Hook and line fishing, net fishing. snorkling and SCUBA diving DEIS@were n support of the proposed Marine Sanctuary at Looe Key; however. are not regulated under current designation, yet In Appendix A (page 85) there It is true that the majority of the commercial fishing industry representative, Is mention of regulating the use of rope; chain, and anchor in order to protect oppose designation. the coral. This is paradoxical, for there is no possible way for a fisherman to line a fish if he can not anchor anywhere within the sanctuary. 4.,)Reseonse: The text has been clarified (introduction and Suffm ry Section 11 . Sand anchoring will be requirred only on the Fore Reef (Core area). Richard Thomas, commercial fisherman Thomas 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 1. Response: No response necessary. 2. There is a duplication of effort, for the items regulated, are already 2. Response: Please see Generic Response #2. regulated by another governmental agency. 3. Response: Title III of the Marine, Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act receives funding on a yearly basis. Funding for fiscal 1980 was 1.75 3. There Is no mention of the cost of management of the sanctuary or pro- million dollars for the entire marine sanctuaries program. This money is posed cost of year-to-year maintenance. The public has the right to know used for administrative cost, costs related to the designation process and how m.uch has been spent so far and how much it will cost. management, enforcement, research and monitoring of existing sites. Looe Key is one of seven sites now under active consideration. 4. The boundaries are not defined in the document, only a vague reference to a 5.3 square mile boundary. Rules and regulations can be changed within Projected management costs per site average $90,000 per/year. In some 60-90 days. Exact boundaries should be included In the Designation Document. cases enforcement costs must also be funded and the average planning figure is S60,000/year. Research and Monitoring costs per site will vary from 0 - S. lf.NOAA does not want to restrict trapping except in the Fore Reef zone, $100,000/year depending upon management needs and the existing data base. the regulations should be put in the Designation Document. The actual budget needs for any given site will be derived after formulation 6. Boats running into reef are a larger problem than anchoring. This should of the Management Plan. be mentioned In the draft. 44. Response: Exact boundaries have been placed in the Designation Document. 7. Restriction of commercial line fishing through anchoring restrictions Please see Response #2 for Mr. Ballard. over the total five square miles, hampers connercial and recreational hook 5. Response: The Designation Document serves as a Charter for the sanctuary. and line fisherman. Restriction of Fore Reef area (hard coral), i.e., pro It provides a broader picture of the management framework with the details tecting it from anchoring should be placed in the Designation doc@ent. I; supplied later in the management plan which includes the regulations. Any would be very difficult to fish without anchoring. future changes in regulations would not be made without extensive public notice, involvement, review and comment. If found desirable by the public, advisory 8. A WUAA7_ The monetary fine structure of Key Largo is a model for committees composed of user group representatives will be established as a what wTTT7o for Looe Key. The average fine for three years was $86.73. part of the management structure. This will insure public awareness and Penalty agreed upon is S60.92 and the total penalty for evidence collected is $2,315,000. input into all phases of management of a Looe Key sanctuary. M 6. Response: Reliable information on boats running into the reef is not now available. Following sanctuary designation, a visitor use survey will be initiated to determine the extent of boat damage to the reef. Also having the sanctuary added to NOAA nautical charts should help alleviate this problem. 7. Res nse Please see anchoring regulation changes in the FEIS (Chapter 2 an he Designation Document. Under the final proposal anchoring will be restricted only on the Fore Reef where sand anchoring will be required. 8. Response: $60.92 is the average penalty, but will not necessarily be the exact amount for each of the 90 violations. The entire reference to $2,315,000 has been removed from the Appendix as it was misleading. Jerry S Iamsone. Executive Director of OFF Sansome 1. Commercial fishing Is compatible with a marine sanctuary if it is properly Response: The Preamble and basic articles have been changed to include went are recognition of the commercial value of the area, recognition of commercial regulated. The Preamble and basic articles of the designation doc I. not too comforting to con. rcial fishermen. uses along with recreational, research, etc. 2. Article 3: The marine sanctuary will provide recreational and scientific 2. Response: Article 3 has been changed to acknowledge fishing productivity opporTuMn-es. 200,000 pounds of spiny lobster taken from the five square e Looe Yey a particular value. mile area has a significant impact. Include the compatability of commercial as one of the characteristics which giv fishing and the intent of the marine sanctuary in the Designation Document. 3. Response: The delegation of enforcement authority mentioned on p. 74 refers to the current plan of NMFS with regard to the FMP. NOAA proposes that 3. Rage 74 A 88: Since p. 74 states that enforcement will be turned over to enforcement at a Looe Key Marine Sanctuary be carried out by the Coast Guard the 3Ta_fe_,__w_fi_y__Joes it matter xhat size vessels the Coast Guard will be using? under special arrangements for an onsite presence. 4 Page 94: "date information pertaining to Florida's reefs and fish trap- 4. Res2onse: All references to wire fish trapping in the final document have ping-175-TT-Ral document and current state of the art on fish trapping as dome been updated to include the newest information on fish trapping from the by National Marine Fishery Services and Florida UNR. Florida DNR and NMFS Study. 5. Page 98: The current value of the fish taken from the five mile area in 5. Response: The text has been corrected (Chapter 4, Section 111). fish trapping is S109,001`1 (S109 per boat). This must be a typographical 6. Response: NOAA recognizes the potential adverse impacts of large numbers error. Only 28 percent of all boats use fish traps, so the figure per vessel of people on small areas such as Looe Key. Because of its small size, the hould be 13,9rM not $109. management at Looe Key will stress education and enforcement measures to pro- tect the reef and will de-emphasize management techniques which encnurage 6. If the thrust of your proposal is to protect the Fore Reef how can you visitation. However, without -sanctuary designation it is anticipated that the do It by encouraging visitation? If the Fore Reef is really unique why not Looe Key Reef area will receive an ever increasing number of visitors as the make the core trapezoidal area a 'no touch' rone. population of the nearby Keys continues to grow along with levels of tourism. A sanctuary management framework will provide for monitoring and control of M these increasing uses. 4@b The revised proposed anchoring regulation prohibits anchoring on coral on the Fore Reef within the core trapezoidal area. This in combination with other marine sanctuary proposed restrictions and those proposed for the HAPC in the Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP relieve considerable pressure from the spur and groove system itself. Jack Gill, fisherman Gill 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary and feel the-Fishery Management 1. Response: Please see Generic Response #2. Councils can control any problems. 2 Response: NOAA believes that the Marine Sanctuary Program will offer long- Tourists will destroy these nonrenewable resources. term protection to Looe Key nonrenewable resources by managing and regulating, to the extent necessary, the ever increasing use of the area by tourists and 3. Only a haqdful of people are interested in the sanctuary. other users. Please see response 06, Jerry Sansome above. 4. Opposed to Federal government Involvement, feel it will destroy 3* Response: HOAA has received over 100 letters in response to the Looe Key commercial fishing. prop-o'sa-E.-Tver 80 percent were favorable to the sanctuary designation. Dr. James Bohnsack, Department of Biology, University of Miami 4. Response: The proposed Looe Key 5 sq nm sanctuary area accounts for approx- imateTy -one-third of the catch of commercial fishermen at Looe Key. Of that 1. Chemicals for collecting should be allowed with a perinit from one-third; lobster trapping will still be allowed outside the Fore Reef along NOAA for research and educational purposes. with trawling and hook and line fishing. 2. Why Is hook and line fishing permitted and spearfishing banned? 3. The nomination procedure has been marred by local politics and pressure Bohnsack groups. 4. To minimize further friction, the Sanctuary Manager should be a person 1. Response: Please see written comments of James Bohnsack. totally outside of the region and who has-had no previous involvement with the nomination process, to avoid a conflict of interest. 5. MOAA funds should not be used to widely advertise the sanctuary because It can not handle too many people. Public fundi should be used to teach rjj people how to anchor properly in sand. Use funds to advertise regulations I and educate the public. 5. Five years after sanctuary designation, the rules should be reviewed and possibly revised. There was no mention of mmitdring, management, or enforce- ment. 7. ROAA should make certain that funds are available for research studies. Key West Hearing - June 17, 1980 Key West Hearing June 17, 1980 Harold Hudson, U. S. Geological Survey I .Regulations for the sanctuary have a double standard because spearfish- Hudson ;ny is prohibited yet line fishing is permitted. If spearfishing is killing I the predators, then line fishing Must not be catching any as line 1. Response: Please see the revised sections on spearfishing and hook and fishing helps deplete the predators too. Barracudas are also caught by hook line ffs-Ung. Monitoring after designation will continue to examine the Ind line fishermen. Eliminate any fishing that will take the predators effects of hook and line fishing on the reef system. from the reef. Ballard W. R. Ballard, Director, OFF I. Res.ponse: Please iee response #4 of Mr. Gill, Miami hearing. The proposal 1. npposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary, because of the unfavorable pre sented in the FEIS represents NOAA's best effort to manage effectively the economic impacts on comercial- fishing and business in the Lower Keys. Looe Key area with minimal adverse economic impact. User groups participation in sanctuary management will further insure continuous consideration of this 2 Pale 3. ear qrjqL2: Regulations will be altered or changed regard- issue. I;SS of public 0apinions. One public hearing is not enough to bring forth comit nts on regulati(ms and restrictions. Comments received at the first 2' Response: Following public workshops, public hearings and the opportunity hearing should be evaluated and followed with additional public hearings. for W-itten comments on the DEIS and after sanctuary designation, there will Most line fishermen avoid the coral reef area because of the lack of fish be further opportunities for citizen participation during the management phase in the area. Anchoring restrictions will decrease the amount of commercial of Looe Key. Please see respons@ #2 to your comments at the Miami hearing. and recreational bottom fishing boats. 3. Response: The text has been revised to reflect your comments (Introduc- 3 Page 12, parapr.V� 2: Anchoring in sand, snorkeling and SCUBA diving tion and Summary Section V). Also please see responses to the J. Connor Davis a@e permitted, not to inconvenience hook and line fishermen. According to letter. Anchoring on coral is prohibited only on the Fore Reef. page 85, paragraph 6, hook and line fishing, and net fishing are not requ- your comments (Introduction and lated and yet anchor regulations do regulate hook and line fishing. 4. The text has been corrected to reflect Summary, Spction VI). rrl 4. Page 14, paragraph 5: Any lobster traps dropped on coral are a mistake. I __j Trawl fish traps are not dragged along bottom coral. fishermen do not anchor M while setting wire fish traps. James E. Sharpe, OFF Sharpe 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. Looe Key Is a very 1. Response: Please see Generic Respo nse #2. productive fishing area (50% of his income) particularly for yellow tall snapper. 2.. Response: The exact percentage of Monroe County actually designated as a park or preserve is unknown. It has been stated, however, that some 80% 2. Everglades National Park now has an unfavorable economic Impact on is under one type of management or another. The amount of area in protective commercial fishing and business of the Keys. Can. rcial fishermen can status is not believed to be a legitimate rationale for determining whether not earn a living there. or not the proposed Looe Key site is worthy of marine sanctuary status. HOAA believes that the determination should be made on the merits of the Mr. Sharpe presented a map showing large areas in Monroe County under resource values of Looe Key. protective regulation. Richard Thomas, commercial fisherman Thomas 1. Opposed to the Marine Sanctuary Program as a whole. The restrictions 1. Response: Please see Response #2 above for Mr. Ballard. In the are too flexible and too easy to change; similar to the Everglades National finaT -proposal anchoring on the coral is be prohibited only in*the Park, with open ended rules and regulations. Anchoring should just be trapezoidal area and exact sanctuary boundaries are presented in the prohibited in the trapezoidal area. Boundaries should be set forth in the Designation Document. Please see Response #3, fir. Thomas, Miami hearing, Designation document. Regulations should be more specific. Costs of the with regard to program costs. program should be spelled out. Duncan Matthieson, Newfound Harbor Marine Institute Matthieson 1. The Institute supports a proposed Sanctuary at Looe Key. I. Response: Please see Generic Response fl. 2. The DEIS should look more closely into management. and enhancement as 2. Response- Following designation, the Looe Key Management Plan will well as using the shipwreck for teaching resources. The sanctuary should cl- in u3e -management and enhancement measures for the historic, ctiltural preserve cultural and natural resources. resources at Looe Key. 3. There should be no salvage operations In the 5 mile area since there Response: Such operations are prohibited in the final Proposal without are problems with treasure hunters. a vaTT Fsanctuary permit (Sec 937.8 (a) of Appendix A). 4. Looe Key provides an interesting laboratory. Newfound Harbor Institute 4. Response: No response necessary. is developing a research/development program for its students In the Looe Key area. William H. West ray, resident of Key West for 35 years Westray 1. Supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary. Looe Key is important nationally. If the area is destroyed, it can not be restored, feel I. Response: Please see Generic Responses #1 and 02. rri that Looe Key is the "Jewel" of the 130 miles of reef. Therefore, I FITrida needs to utilize the Marine Sanctuary Program. _J Al Armitt, OFF and local resident for many years Armitt 1. OFF is opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. I. Response: No response necessary. 2. The DEIS should have indicated the number of people that attended the 2* Response: The text has been expanded to reflect your concerns (intro- workshop and had more information about the opposition to the proposed duction and Summary, Section 1). sanctuary In the Designation document. 3 Response: The marine sanctuary management, after designation, will work 3. Fishermen of OFF are not against conservation; everyone wants to preserve with-t-Fe -Fishery Management Councils, organized fisheries groups and indi- the fishery. vidual fishermen, to develop and strengthen measures for the conservation of the resources. Citizen participation in sanctuary management advisory Dennis Keniste groups would ensure continued attention to this issue. 1. Supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary. Keniste 2. Anchoring regulations and the mooring system are a good idea. 1. Response: Please see Generic Response 3. The overturning of the Alexander conviction in the case of injury to 2. Response: No response necessary. coral from salvaging operations heightens concern for the Looe Key reef. 3. Response: Please see Generic Response #2. Ed Little, former Marine Biologist Li ttle 1. Supports the proposed M rine Sanctuary. 1. Response: Please see Generic Response #1. 2. it is important to pres:rve unique habitat areas and'fisheries. 2. Response: No response necessary. Looe Key -- Big Pine Key, Florida Big Pine Key Public Hearing - June 18, 1980 Shawn Ray Ray 1. 11pposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary which will put him out of 1. Response: Please see Response #1 for W.R. Ballard, Key West hearing. a job. The sanctuary will have an adverse effect on commercial fishing, especially trapping. James Moore, lobsterman Moore 1. Opposed to the Sanctuary; fishes with 500 traps. Fears enlargement of boundaries. I@e Reseonse: In the FEIS the exact boundary coordinates are included in t ITesignation Document. James Sharpe, member of OFF Sharpe 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 1. Response: No response necessary. 2. Fears that the boundaries for the Looe Key sanctuary will gradually increase. Eighty percent of Monroe County, now regulates and severely 2. Response: See Response #2, of your testimony, Miami Public Hearing. restricts commercial .fishermen, Key Largo alone, is 150 square miles. Newell Newell. Commercial Fisherman 1. Response: The Lone Key Sanctuary proposal has benefited by public 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary claiming that there was no input at workshops, hearings, and through the opportunity for written public hearing on Key Largo before it was created. Also object to Looe Key comments on the DEIS. Comments will also be accepted after release of hearings being held in Miami and at 1:00 p.m. at Key West. the FEIS. If designation takes place there will be an emphasis on public involvement throughout the management phase. rri Stanley Wade, Lower Keys Chambers of Commerce Public hearings were held in Miami, Key West and'Big Pine Key in I order to afford all interested parties in the Keys an opportunity to 1. Believe the sanctuary will have a beneficial economic impact and 00 endorse Boundary. Alternative 01 (1 mile area). comment. Interest in Looe Key, a national resource, extends beyond the boundaries of Big Pine Key. The sanctuary should prohibit:, Wade - coral collecting, I Response: Please see Generic Response #3 for a discussion of the - hook and line fishing, b@undary issue. - fish and lobster traps, 2 Response: NOAA proposes that the U.S. Coast Guard be the enforcement a@ent for the proposed sanctuary if special arrangements can be made for - specimen collecting, an onsite presence. Adequate enforcement levels cannot be achieved as an add on to existing patrols. Site specific arrangements will be required. - harming or removing cultural or historic resources, - anchoring on coral, and - spearfishing 2. ROAA needs to have a good enforcement plan in that I mile area. Herbert Simons, member of OFF Simons 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary 1. Response: No response necessary. Robert S. Officer Officer 1. Opposed to the proposed'Marine Sanctuary. Looe Key reef has I. Response: No response necessary. survived without controls. 2. Response: Please see Response #2, for Mr. Ballard, Miami hearing. 2. Does not favor the Federal gove-m nt's involvement because they have lied about rules and regulations with the National Park Service. 3. Response: No response necessary. 3. Commercial fishermen are one of the few food producers which is not Federally subsidized. Billy D. Causey, Florida Marine Life Association Causey 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 1. Response: No response necessary. 2. Looe Key Is more protected by the Coral Reef FMP as a Habitat Area of 2* Response: Please see Generic Response #2, for a discussion of the HAPC Particular Concern. Looe Key is protected under the Gulf of Mexico Fishery and t sanctuary proposal. Management Council and South Atlantic Fishery Council. No need to have two govein nt agencies (i.e.. ROAA and Fishery Management Councils) protecting the same resource. Bill Becker, Seacamp and Newfound Harbor Marine Institute Becker 1. The Institute supports the proposed one square mile sanctuary boundary 1. Response; Please see Generic Response #3 for a discussion of the as an area with local support and a reasonable buffer zone, recognizing boundary issue. There is no provision in the Looe Key proposed Desig- the need to preserve Looe Key. nation Document or regulations for closure of any or all of the sanctuary. M The one square mile boundary is sufficient to protect the heavily 2 Response: It is standard procedure that Federal regulations not visited shallow reef. Areas surrounding the one nautical mile are no more prohT Fitactivities necessary for national defense or because of an or less unique. emergency. NOAA retains this language in Article 5, Section 2 of the Designation Document. The Department of Defense will in all other If the five mile area is designated, the Designation document should instances abide by sanctuary regulations. Include a statement that the entire reef top cannot be closed to the public at-any one time. The five mile designation could cause over-spending and 3 Response: Sanctuary management will be comprised of trained personnel, legal objections. Educational purposes can be met as easily in the one &r_ou9_hTy-versed in special area management in the marine environment. square mile as in the five square mile. 4. Response: Please see Generic Response #4 on tropical specimen collect- 2. Exempting the Department of.Defense from regulations should only be in ing. The FETS proposes to prohibit all collecting except by permit for times of declared war. scientific and educational purposes. Allowing spearfishing equipment on board boats within the sanctuary will weaken the effectiveness of enforce- 3. An onsite manager should be someone from outside the area. ment of the spearfishing regulation. The final proposal allows lobster trapping outside the Fore Reef core area. Please see Chapter Four for the 4. In the one square mile zone regulations should prohibit the following: rationale. - coral collecting, - fish and lobster traps, - tropical specimen collecting, - spearfishing, although provisions should be made for spear- fishing equipment found on boats within the Sanctuary, and - disturbance or removal of cultural or historical resources S. Salvaging a shipwreck should only be permitted when leaving the wreck 5 Response: Your suggestions on the regulating of salvaging of shipwrecks there would harm the coral reef more than it would to remove it. This Will be considered in the development of criteria for permits. salvaging should be carefully monitored. 6. Response: NOAA believes that the protection of the ecological system 6. Since the intent of the marine sanctuary is the protection of all organ- does not necessarily mean regulations which deny all consumptive use of the isms, regulations must include hook and line fishing and net fishing. resources. Please see Chapter Four for a discussion of these activities. Also please see the responses to the J. Connor Davis letter. 7. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prevents tourists from taking coral reef pieces. 7 Response: The Council does not yet have the authority to regulate the t;king of coral. This can only be accomplished after the Coral and Coral 8. Public hearings should be held prior to the issuance of new or revised Reef Resources Plan is promulgated and regulations are in place. The rules and regulations. enforcement level at Looe Key with an on0te preience will be enhanced under sanctuary management. 9. There must be cooperation between the fishery management councils and the Sanctuary Programs Office regarding all management. 8 Response: The policy of the Marine Sanctuary Program is to hold public h;arings prior to the issuance of new or revised rules and regulations and 10. The public should be able to request Information from the U. S. Coast to consult with interested parties prior to even proposing such changes. Guard and the Florida State Officials about the management process prior to the final EIS. 9' R@eonse: NOAA intends to consult with the Fishery Management Councils In JT matters within their joint jurisdiction. 10. Response: Detailed management plans will be developed following desig- nation. At the present time, there are no definite arrangements with either the Coast Guard or the State of Florida. NCAA is proposing that the Coast Guard enforce sanctuary regulations and that the State of Florida through a cooperative agreement oversee day-to-day management responsibilities. No final arrangements have been made. The public will be involved during formulation of the Management Plan. M Please see Chapter Two, the Preferred Alternative for further discussion. C) 11. Duties should be established for the onsite manager regarding enforce- memt and education. 11. Response: Duties of the onsite manager will be developed as a part of the Management Plan. 12. The public should have recourse and be able to speak out if they are dissatisfied with the final rule making. 12, Response: NOAA is encouraging public participation in management if th Looe Te-ysanctuary is designated. The greater the level of public 13. Please document the actions Congress will take for the year-to-year involvement the more likely it is that sanctuary management measures will financial support for management, enforcement. research, and education. reflect issues of general concern. NOAA advises that the user groups seek to serve on advisory committees as one avenue of input. Periodically NOAA 14. There must be strong enforcement, and a comprehensive education program. will reevaluate the effectiveness of management strategies, and such evalu- ations will emphasize public review and suggestions. 15. Poor management and wide publicity are worse than no sanctuary at all. Do not use funds to advertise the sanctuary. 13. Response: Title III of the Marine, Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act reviews7unding on a yearly basis. Funding for fiscal 1980 was 1.75 million 16. There should be regulations regarding oil and gas activities within dollars for the entire marine sanctuaries program. rhis money is used for the sanctuary. administrative costs, costs related to the designation process and management, enforcement, research and monitoring of existing sites. Looe Key is one of seven sites now under active consideration. Projected management costs per site average $90,000/year. In some cases enforcement costs must also be funded and the average planning figure is $60,000/year. Research and Monitoring costs per site will vary from 0 - 100,000/year depending upon management needs and the existing data base. The actual budget needs for any given site will be derived after formulation of the Management Plan. 14. Response: Since the release of the DEIS, NOAA has initiated consultation at the headquarters level with the U. S. Coast Guard for arrangements to insurg rri special attention to the Looe Key area should it be desingated as a sanctuary. NOAA believes that adequate Looe Key enforcement and surveillance cannot be achieved as an add-on to existing patrols. An onsite presence will be required and arrangements will be made to that effect. Further, a comprehensive education program will be part of the Sanctuary management. 15. Response: Please see Response #6 for J. Sansome, Miami hearing. 16. Response: Oil and gas exploration at the Looe Key site is highly un- likely. In the event that it does become an issue, NOAA can seek to control the impacts by proposing restrictions on alteration of the seabed. do;aCyj National Audubon S aNd peaking for Alex :,r jgum Paul "clu zens Advtsory Comm Pennekamp Coral t e" .1.5 r ft lott, NN4111 Park) I. Support the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 1. Response: Please see Generic Response 2' Response: NOAA is allowing lobster trapping outside of the core trape- 2. NOAA should designate unregulated portions of the sanctuary for lobster zoidal area of the Fore Reef. Fisherynen have indicated that this is the trapping. area of significant take as opposed to the spur and groove system itself. 3. Oppose a boundary expansion to ten square miles; 5 mile area is better; one mile option too small. 3. Response: Please see Generic Response #3. Don Schumacher, President, Lower Keys Property Owners Association Schumacher 1. Support the one square mile sanctuary boundary. Nothing should be 1. Response: Please see Generic Response j3. taken from the one square mile area. Jim Young, Commercial fisherman 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. Young, Jim 2. The proposal Is unconstitutional and a threat to the constitutional 1. Response: No response necessary. rights of all Americans. The government is'taking away areas used for trawl fishing, which are very important to commercial fishing. 2. Response: NOAA does not propose regulating trawling within any portion Commercial fishermen have lost their rights. Fishing and diving should of the sanctuary at this time. Emphasis will be placed on public involvement not be taken away at any time. in.management of the Looe Key sanctuary should designation occur. This empha- sis on public participation should ensure full consideration of all issues of 3. Opposed to Federal government control. concern to local citizens and at the same time prnvide protective management to a national resource of interest to all Americans. M Oon Young Young, Don 1. He questions the constitutionality of taking away fishing rights. 1. Response: Please see Response 02 for Mr. Jim Young, Big Pine Key hearing. Dr. Marie Landry, Big Pine Key Civic Association Landry 1. Support the proposed one mile sanctuary boundary. Rules and regu- lations should prohibit: 1. Response: Please see responses to Mr. Becker, Big Pine Key hearing. - coral collecting, - fish and lobster trapping, - tropical fish collecting, - spear fishing, although provisions should be made for spear- fishing equipment found on boats within the Sanctuary. - removal of submerged cultural and historical resources, - discharges of any kind, except those of cooling waters and from vessels and marine sanitation devices, and - anchoring on living coral. Additional public hearings should be held if new regulations are adopted or proposed. Henry Feddern, Executive Director, Florida Marine Life Association Feddern 1. Opposed to the proposed marine sanctuary. 1. Response: Please see responses to written comme nts from Henry Feddern. 2. The DEIS does not discuss the consequences of not designating a sanctuary. 3. There are reefs in other places In Florida that could be Protected instead of Looe Key, namely Biscayne Bay. 4. How can OCZM control the bending of rules by user groups? 5. What would stop OCZM from extending the boundaries if they feel it is too small after it is designated and approved? 6. There is a duplication of work, for these regulations are already being enforced by other Federal regulatory agencies. 7. How much money has been spent on present enforcement? Future enforcement?, 8. 'It would be difficult to have an onsite manager 24 hours a day without having a structure built on the seabed which would destroy part of the sanctuary. 9. The public should be able to view the comprehensive management proposal. 10. Why does this marine sanctuary need to be established with regulations that are dissimilar to national parks? Ed I Idoson,plrpident -,FIaoTr!dp.Y1:y, Ald on Chairperson- Davidson In CopTIT n. r, jaent _ Ta F Z:b. Soci:!y 'h 'IMe (A 's C ns Asso atlon rri 1. Response: Please see written comments for Ed Davidson. I. Supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 2. If the sanctuary boundary is only one square mile, it will ruin the surrounding area. Laudicina 3. There is no intention to create a disadvantage to the commercial fishermen. 1. Response: Please see Response #4 for Mr. Gill, Miami hearing. 4. The sanctuary should provide onsite protection. 2"Response: Coral has some ability to regenerate after it has been damaged, but repeated damage to coral reefs from heavy use of the area has 5. Those who are going to lose out are the recreational divers. spearfish- an irreversible effect on coral reefs as evidenced by numerous scientific ermen, and specimen collectors. studies and personal observations of reef damage in populated areas. Mike Laudicina, commercial fisherman 3. Response: See Response #6 for Mr. Sansome, Miami hearing. 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary because it would put 4. Response: See Response #2 for Mr. Ballard, Miami hearing. commercial fishermen out of business. The exact boundary coordinates have been placed in the Designation Document, making it impossible for NOAA to change the boundary without 2. Coral will regrow after it is broken. Presidential approval. 3. The idea of establishing a Looe Key Marine Sanctuary would attract 5*Response: Research relating to the environmental impact analysis of tourists who would take pieces of coral, and anchor on the coral reef. L.Oe--Ke-y-Ti-d not uncover any information which would indicate fish shortages as a result of the present proposed regulations. In fact according to some 4. The Federal government will expand the marine sanctuary. biologists protection of the Loop Key area should enhance fish populations. 5. There will be fish shortages if the sanctuary is established. Mcflusky L. B. McClus 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. C,.,.. rcial fishermen 1. Response: No response necessary. are always at a disadvantage. 2. Response: NOAA cannot speak for the National Park Service nor comment on its budget and programs for Parks such as Riscayne Hational Park. 2.' There are unlimited funds for parks, yet the government has to trim t1owever, funding for Title III of the Marine, Protection Research and Sanctu- the budget and cannot afford to fund other programs. This does not make aries Act is definitely not unlimited. Please see response #13 to Mr. Beckers sense. Biscayne Monument is now being expanded to Dade County. This is testimony, Big Pine Key hearings. proof of continued expansion. W. R. Ballard, Director - OFF Ballard 1. The DEIS doesn't state the number of people at the pub lic workshop In opposition to the sanctuary. Asked for a hand count of those Opposed to I, Response: NOAA has reviewed the original public workshop testimony the @urrent proposal. A show of hands, supporting and opposing the proposed and tFe -Introduction/Summary, Section I has been changed to reflect your sanctuary showed only 20 percent out of about 100 in support of the sanctuary concerns. at the Big Pine Key Hearing. Westray William H. Westray, resident of Key West 1. Response: Olease see Generic Response 01. 1. Supports the proposed Marine Sanctuary because it will be of benefit 2. Response: Please see Generic Response #3. nationally for all U. S. citizens. NOAA is not going to take over Looe Key. the citizens requested sanctuary status for Looe Key. Armitt 2. The Looe Key coral reef is being destroyed. Sanctuary designation will help to protect and replenish the resources. Experts should select the best 1. Response: No response necessary. boundary option. However, by designating Alternative #I, the use pressures will simply move beyond the one mile boundaries. 2. Response: Please see Generic Response #2. Al Armitt, OFF 3. Response: Opposition to the Sanctuary has been included in the FEIS, wherever applicable. Please see Chapter One - Introduction and Summary. 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 4- 0esponse: It is NOAA's understanding that there are sand anchor, used 2. There Is already a public law which protects marine resources, P.L. in a_r_e_aS__0_tTer than coral reefs, which anchor effectively and can be safely 94-265. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Gulf of used by fisherv*n and other boaters at Looe Key. However, you will note Mexico Fishery Management Council already protect the area. (Listed the that the final proposal does not require sand anchoring outside of the Fore seven standards that the fishery councils work under that protect the fish- Reef area. The proposed regulation now prohibits anchoring on coral in eries.) the core trapezoidal area on the Fore Reef and encourages sand anchoring elsewhere within the sanctuary. rT1 3. In the DEIS, there is little mention of the opposition to the Marine r@ Sanctuary. 5 Response: The feasibility and desirability of a mooring buoy system 4@1- will-Ne--e-y-aTuated for the Looe Key area, following designation. If study 4. In the Designation Document, the anchor must be landed in sand, yet results demonstrate the ineffectiveness of a mooring system in this area fishermen cannot anchor in sand. Please clarify this. then such a system will not be used. 5. The mooring buoy system is ineffective because there may be a shortage 6 Response: The draft regulation 917.6 2(d) regulating speed and wake of bouys resulting In competition among the users In the sanctuary. Size-Fa-i-Fe-en deleted and is not included in the final proposal. 6. OCZM should re-evaluate the proposed 5 mph speed limit. 7 Response: In response to your suggestion the exact boundaries for t;e proposed Sanctuary have been presented in the Designation Document. 7. In the Designation Document, there are no boundaries set for the sanctuary. Jer1X Sansom, Executive Director - OFF Sansome 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. I. Pesponse: No response necessary. 2. Promises made by the Federal government in the past have not been kept. 2. Response: Please see Response 02, for Mr. Rallard, Miami hearing. 3. Plans from the Fishery Management Councils are sufficient. Sanctuary If a sanctuary is designated every effort will be made by NOAA to designation is a duplication of effort. It seems that the majority of the ensure user group participation in management. people who live in the affected area support the one mile Sanctuary or none at all. 3. Response: Please see Generic Response 92, and #3. W. R. Moore, commercial fisherman, landowner on Big Pine Key Moore 1. opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 1. Response: No response necessary. 2. Few commercial fishermen use the Fore Reef. 2. Response: The FFIS now points out that few fishermen use the Fore Reef. 3. There is no guarantee that the sanctuary boundaries will not be extended. 3. Response: Please see Response 02 for Mr. Ballard, Miami public hearing. 4. Favor Fishery Management Council regulation. 4. Response: Please see Generic Response #2. Joe Letson. OFF Letson 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. He presented a list of I. Response: The FFIS has made note of the Petitioners against the Sanctuary. 530 residents of the Florida Keys who are opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. William Lemmon, Sea Center M Lernmon 1 1. The Center Is neutral in the subject of proposed Marine Sanctuary. r1) 1. Response: No response necessary. Ln 2. There should be clarification of speed limits and anchoring. One can't anchor in sand without the anchor drifting onto coral. 7' "esponse: Please see Responses #4 and V, for Mr. Armitt, Rig Pine Key P.bI-ic hearing. 3. The information in the Designation Document should be more detailed. 3 R::po?se: The nesignation nocument serves as a charter for the proposed Carl Aufrecht, Manager Sea Center S;nct ry It provides a broad quiding framework under which management details are strtictured. The nesignation lists those activities subject 1. He is also uncertain on the subject of the proposed Marine Sanctuary. to regulation and describes the exact boundary for a proposed Looe Key He can't say that he is for the sanctuary. There are too many unanswered marine sanctuary. questi.ons. Aufrecht 0 Brad Bokhoven. OFF I. Response: No response necessary. 1. Opposed to the proposed Marino Sanctuary. Rockhoven 2. The fishermen will not be able to make a living. 1. Response: Ffo response necessary. Response: Please see Response #4 for Mr. Gill, Miami hearing. Unknown ^owenter - lobster.f i she-an Lobster fisherman Response #4 for Mr. qill, Miami h arinq. 1. Opposed to the proposed marine sanctuary because he will be out 1. Response: Please see e of a job. Fishermen can't catch anythingin the mud. They need to be near t e r h_oral reefs. Zeke Burte, res dent of Bi Pine Ke - fisherman Burke 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. I. Response: NO comment necessary. 2. Fish traps are not placed on the coral reef. If they are,-they will 2. i?esponse: Please see Chapter 4, Section III for an updated discussion be torn up by the coral. Of w-Ir-e-WIST trapping. William Niles,_comme :ial fisherman Niles I. Opposed to the proposed marine sanctuary and against the government I. Response: No comment necessary. putting in another parit. 2. Response: HOAA in no way proposes to exclude commercial fishermen 2. He and his family will not he able to visit the coral reef because from-a--ny-7fe-signated sanctuary. Restrictions are proposed for certain there is a comi, rcial fishing sticker on his boat. types Of activities only. Please see Chapter One, Introdgction and Summary or Chapter Two, the Preferred Alternative, for a description of the proposal. Unknown Commentor - fisherman Yisherman 1. Opposed to the proposed Marine Sanctuary. 2. Looe Key does not need to be preserved for the coral reef. If Looe I. Response: No comment necessary. ley is preserved, then a trend might start and people would want to preserve 2. Response: Please seP Response 46 for Mr. Sansome, Miami Puhlic hearing. 'IIother diving sites. No one would be able to fish there. rri I rlo Advisory Council On Historic Preservation 1322 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 June 2, 1980 Director. Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street NW. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Sir: a have reviewed your draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Loos Key Marine Sanctuary. Florida Keys. and have the following comments for your consideration. Response #1 It appears that the long-term effects of sanctuary designation would The text has been expanded to set fo generally be beneficial to the historic, archeological, and other cultural Executive Order 11593 and the Nation resources In the Loos Key area, particularly the remains of the HMS Loot. However, we wish to remind NOAA of its responsibilities under Executive Please see Chapter Four, the Preferr Order 11593, "Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment." and Regulating Tampering With, Damage To the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. See. 470f, as amended, 90 and Cultural Resources. Stat. 1320) to sore completely identify. evaluate, and protect the resources under Its management and control if the Lome Key National Kerins Sanctuary is approved and designated. As noted on pages 67 and 109, NOAA should work in close cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, as well as.consult with the Florida State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), in identifying and evaluating properties within the proposed sanctuary boundaries which may be eligible for Inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Any results available from the Loos Key/American Shoals cultural resource survey being conducted by the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute (p. 108) should be Included In the final environmental statement. If properties identified as a result of this or other surveys are determined eligible for the National Register, NOAA, in accordance with the Council's regulations (36 CYR Part 800), should sake determinations of affect in consultation with the Florida SUN and request the Councils comments, as appropriate. We would be happy to assist NO" in reviewing any future cultural resource management plans for Loos Key In conjunction with our responsibilities for review and comment under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Please contact Ronald Anzalone or Don Klima of our staff at FTS 254- -3495 if you have my questions or need assistance. Sincerely, its o dan E. Tannenbaum ef. &"tern Division of Project Review DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE REGIONAL CIVIL ENGINEER, EASTERN REGION (HQ/AFESC) 924 TITLE BUILDING, 36 PRYOR STREET, S.W. ATLANTA, GEORGIA 36303 SUBJECT: Review of Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary TO: Director of Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20235 1. We have reviewed subject DEIS, and are satisfied that the "Draft Designation Document", Appendix A, provides for Air Force operations in the proposed sanctuary area. Thus, we have no objection to the proposed marine sanctuary. 2. Thank you for the opportunity to review this DEIS. ROBERT L. Wong Cy to: USDC/Mr. Barrett Chief USAF/LEEV Environmental Planning Division TAC/DEEV 31 CSG/DEEV No Response necessary DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT. CORPS OF ENGINEERS P. 0. Box 4970 JACKSONVILLE, . FLORIDA 32201 SAJEN-EE 10 June 1980 Director, Sa nctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Sir: The Draft Environmental Impact Statement concerning the proposed Looe Key NO response necessary National Marine Sanctuary has been reviewed in this office. The proposed action would not affect existing federal projects. nor permitting consid- erations under Corps of Engineers jurisdiction. Thank you for the pportunity to review and comment on the draft statement. Sincerely, MES L. GARLAND Chief, Engineering Division No response necessary Congress of the United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 June 25, 1980 The Honorable Robert W. Knecht Assistant Administrator for Coastal Zone Management National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Mr. Knecht: Enclosed, for your information and consideration, is a letter I have received from one of my constituents, Mrs. Jerome S. Baker, of Big Pine Key, Florida. Mrs. Baker is opposed to the designation of Looe Key as a National Marine Sanctuary. I would appreciate your including Mrs. Baker's remarks in the official hearing record and giving them every possible consideration prior to making a final determination as to Sanctuary status. Sincerely, Dante B. Fascell Member of Congress DEF:BB Enclosure The letter has been included in the record. Please see the letter of Mrs. Jerome S. Baker, below. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460 JUL I S ISM OFFICE OF THE AOMMISTRATOR Dr- Nancy Foster Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs Office Office of Coastal Zone Management NOAA 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Dr. Foster: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in accordance with its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Response 11 Act and Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, has reviewed the National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office No response necessary. of Coastal Zone Manacement's (OCZM) draft Environmental impact Response 12 Statement for the Proposed Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary and offers the followinq comments. Please see Generic Response il. EPA supports OCZM's proposal to designate a marine sanctuary M in the waters off the middle Florida Keys. We believe the Looe Response #3 2 ' I Key Roof area, which is one of the few living reef areas in the Florida reef tract and which is being threatened by No response necessary- current and increasing pressures from human uses, needs the protection. that can be gained through sanctuary designation. In gen .eral, we believe the alternatives-for regulating Response #4 the sanctuary have been adequately discussed in the DEIS. There are, however, several areas in the DEIS which we believe NOAA believes the discussion of the impacts of Boundary Alternatives #1 and 2 need further discussion. In particular, the discussions of to be adequate for the purposes of this document. However. Generic Response 3 the impacts of the various regulatarv alternatives for the j3 provides additional discussion. FEIS maps and graphics have been revised boundary selection and the analysis of alternatives related to in a way that clarifies the extent to which each of the biological zones is marine discharges, lobster trapping, and marine Specimen included in each boundary option. The discussion of boundary alternative collecting were not dealt wit@a in' sufficient detail to justify #3 and the preferred alternative have been expanded to satisfy your comments - the alternatiTas chosen. Our sugizested changes related to (Chapter Four, Environmental Consequences and Cha Ipter Two, Preferred Alternative). these issues are given below. We suggest that the FEIS expand the discussion of the impacts for each boundary alternative. The maps and graphics in the 4 FEIS should provide more information d-etailing the extent of t1he biological zones encompassed by each boundary option. There should also he an expanded discussion on how and to what degree the preferred boundary will achieve the goals of the sanctuary. -2- The discussion on discharges within the sanctuarY boundaries should he expanded in the FEIS Givea the continuing and increasing use of the area for commercial and recreational activities, allowing the discharge of fish parts, chumming materials, and effluents from marine sanitation devices (MSD) may not adequately protect water quality or maintain and enhance the resources of the woe Key system. The FEIS should provide estimates of current and projected quantities of Response #5 fish parts, chumming materials and MSO effluent to be discharged in the sanctuary, and prevailing and worst case oceanographic conditions, so that the magnitude of these impacts can be Visitor use studies which address use more fully evaluated. following designation. At regular In reviewed with regard to their effectiveness it: was noted in the MIS that lobsters are extremely important and objective%. Among other research faunal components in reefal ecosystems. Yet, the preferred data will provide a basis for such a alternative would allow lobster trapping in all but the Solicited. pore Reef. in addition to removing lobsters from the ecosystem, lobster traps also take fish incidentally and their presence provides the potential for physical damage to the reef. Since Response #6 the DEIS also notes that fishery and marine sanctuary management plans may have different goals, we believe the discussion of alternative regulations concerning lobster trapping needs to Please refer to Dr.E. Gissendanner, Florida Department of Natural Resource let be expanded. As written, it does not provide an adequate Response #7. rationale for the selection of the preferred alternative as beinq consistent with the purposes of the sanctuary, Response finally, although the preferred alternative would restrict tropical specimen collecting to collectors with NOAA permits and to non-chemical techniques, the more experienced collectors -would The final proposal prohibits tropical specimen collecting except by permit continue to take important marine species from the sanctuary. for scientific and educational purposes and the text has been revised to Such "takings" could be significant, thereby Limiting the reflect this change, research opportunities for understanding the complex functioning of this marine ecosystem- Since there are regulations specimen collecting in the Key Largo Marine Response #8 Sanctuary and Biscayne National, Monument, we recommend that additional information be developed in the FEIS to explain the, selection of the preferred alternative. No response necessary. In view of Las comments and concerns discussed above we have assigned the DEIS a Category CO-2, lack of objections, insufficient information. We look forward to continued cooperation with you as you proceed with the designation for the Proposed Looe Key marine Sanctuary. Thank you for the opportunity to comment an this draft statement. sincerelt yours, William M, Sedeman, J Director Office of Environmental. Review (A-104) FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION WASHINGTON 2D426 June 25, 1980 Mr. Michael Glazer Assistant Administrator for Coastal Zone Management National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 3300 Whitehaven Street, N. W. Washington, D. C. 20235 Dear Mr. Glazer: The proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Florida) has been reviewed by No response necessary t@e staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A study of available maps shows that there are no natural gas pipelines.within the 5 square miles of the proposed marine Sanctuary. Examination of information available as.of August. rrl 1979 reveals no recent oil or gas production within the proposed Sanctuary. Additionally, there is no indication of any current W exploratory or developmental drilling within the area. Thank you ior the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary/Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Sincerely, Carl N. ih ter, @Jr- D. Coordinator, Coastal Zone Affairs cc: Mr. Bruce Barrett DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT WASHINGTON, D.C. 20410 JUN 2 6 1980 Mr. Dallas Hiner Director, Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, , D.C 20235 Dear Mr. Miner: An required under the Coastal Zone Management Act, we have No response necessary reviewed the proposals for both Gray's Reef and Morino Sanctuaries. our Central, Regional and Area of ice review indicates no areas of HUD concern. In view of the lack of effect upon HUD programs, we have no objection to the proposed sanctuary plans. Sincerely, Trudy Mcfall Office of Planning and Program Coordination United States Department of the Interior FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE Is SPRING STREET, SW. ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30303 June 6. 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs Office Office of Coastal Zone Management. NOAA 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.V. Washington. D.C. 20235 Dear Dr. Foster: hank you for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed Response #1 Loom Key National Marine Sanctuary. No response necessary. As you know, I have represented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the South Atlantic fishery Management Council and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council the post year and hove been exposed to much Response #2 debate to the two Councils on the subject of Marine Sanctuaries, and, more recently. Loom Key specifically. In addition, I an a member of Please set Generic Response 03 the joint Coral Management Committee of the two Councils which in developing the Fishery Management Plan for Coral. In the Coral Manage- went Plan. Laos Key to addressed (a Habitat of Particular Concern - HAPC). Response 03 My comments will be from the point of view of my assignment with the (a) Alternative #2 on lobster trapping was Fishery Management Councils and my position as the Assistant Regional Fore Reef from physical damage, offer prote Director-Fisheries for the Fish and Wildlife Service for the Atlanta species within the major reef system, is well Region. Formal comment of the fish and Wildlife Service to being impact to the local fishermen. Although the prepared and will be sent to you through normal channels of Service Onsite Survey certainly appears to be high procedure. Monroe County statistics. the results were and appropriate for general economic analysis I concur with the proposal for this action and the goals and objectives. used in the DEIS analysis as reported by th waver, I believe Alternative #3 of your Boundary Alternatives would 2 give a more desired management regime both for protection and management (b) Tropical Specimen Collection. Alternati of the Sanctuary. alternative based on new Information and sul Regarding regulatory alternatives, I concur with all prefferre a alternatives except (1) lobster trapping (I recommend Please set Generic Response #4. alternative 3). and (2) tropical marine specimen collecting (I recommend alternative 3). It Is difficult for me to believe that an estimated 3- 232.000 lbs. of lobster were caught In boundary Option 02 area In 1978 Response #4 (page 101); since In 1973, a total of 2,319,000 was landed in all of Florida In the South Atlantic (Fishery Statistics of the U.S.. 1975 - No response necessary. Department of Commerce publication). 2 In general, I concur with your analyze&. You and those responsible are to be complimented for your Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Sincerely yours. Frank R. Richardson Assistant Regional Director Fisheries United States Department of the Interior OFFICE OF,THE SECRETARY WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240 ER 80/465 July 18, .198c, Dr. Nancy Foster Deputy Director, Sanctuary Programs Office Office of Coastal Zone Management - NOAA 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington$ D.C. 20235 Dear Dr. Foster: We have received and reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, and wish to offer several comments. Response 0 1 We support designation of the area as a national Marine Sanctuary, although we Thank you for your letter. No response necessary. have some concerns with discussion provided in the Draft Envirormental Impact Statement. General Comments rri Wails supporting the Sanctuary, we are concerned about the manner in which the I particular location and size of the proposed sanctuary was chosen, and what, Response # 2 w if any, precedent the designation would set. We do not believe that adequate explanation was given in this DEIS for selecting the proposed boundaries. Looe Key is one segment of the Florida Keys/Reef system; we recommend that the bound- Please see Generic Response 0 3. aries should be chosen in the context of that total resource. For example, the lower Keys, as a whole ecosystem, should be reviewed for consideration of manage- ment needs, and the proposal should consider the relationship of Loos Key within the lower Keys system. Otherwise, it may be difficult to justify appropriate management, education, and enforcement funds for a sanctuary of this small aiize. Further, by directing sanctuary management activities into such a confined space, its benefits may be diminished because of overuse or competiton among users. We therefore would support boundary option 1. (10. 5 square nautical miles). The DEIS seems to focus more on the causes for designation than on the effects of designation. It would be useful to identify the specific effects which would result if the goals and objectives of the proposed sanctuary were all met. We believe this would lead to a clearer identification of the benefit vhicb would result from the sanctuary. In addition, however, it is not clear from the DEIS whetber all of the objectives can be met equally, or whether actions necessary for some will conflict with others. For example, to what extent can recreational use be promoted before it exceeds the carrying capacity of the resource and conflicts u-ith objectives for resource protection and scientific research? What will be the impact of the ranctuary visitor center, physically (i.e., in terms of resources displaced during constructien) and indirectly (e.g., in te-ms of increased visitor usage)? roEs NOAA have any data on the environmental imDacts --adverse or positive-- resulting from the designation of the Key Largo Coral Reef Marine Sanctuary? 2 Although the sanctuary is being proposed for a variety of objectivess it is not clear why this area van selected. The Loos Key Reef is evidently a unique resource offering significant opportunity for preservation of coral and reef ecosystems associated with major research opportunity. Only the brief:st.att ntion to these points is provided by the EIS. Was Looe,Key chose f r rare, exceptional, or unique quantities, or because of its representativeneas7 Because of habitat, productivity, public interest, recreational, or scientific and educational value? We suggest the a&nCtUL*y could be made more understandable and significant to the public by explaining these issues more fully and pointedly. The document does not describe the scoping of the statement, the issues and Response 3 alternatives raised during that process, and the conclusions arrived at by OCM about the significant alternatives and issues deemed worthy of evaluation. A discussion of the scoping process has been Included in the Introduction To understand the design of the EIS (i.e., the irsues and alternatives selected), and Summary section of the FEIS. some relationship to the pre-wEIS scoping dialogue should be provided. The alternatives identified as justifying presentation in the EIS should each be evaluated for those impacts identified during scoping as the important impact Response # 4 issues. The analysis in Chapter Four does not do this and is not related to the scoping which was performed. The only description of the Legal Status Quo in Chapter Two of the DEIS is a summary of the no action alternative. Analysis of this alternative There seems to be no usefulness to the section on the Legal Status Quo (chapter 2, is required by CEQ regulations. The Legal Status Quo per se is described section V) except to provide a lodging place for anticipated legal arguments aboul in Chapter Three of the DEIS as a part or the affected environment. 4 the EIS. In keeping with'the direct intent of the CEQ regulations to cut down on unnecessary material in EIS's, we suggest this section might be usefully trimmed M or eliminated. If it is intended to merely portray the existing managerial Response # 5 pattern in the Reef area, it could be reduced to those essentials and included in Chapter Three as a part of the description of the affected environment. NOAA believes that Chapter Four adequately incorporates the consideration of Section 102(2)(c) concerns into the discussion of the analysis of impacts. The discussions in chapter 4 omit consideration of three topics specifically The discussion of etonornic impacts compares the short term gain resulting from identified by Section 102(2)(C) of ITEPA as essential to an environmental commercial exploitation of the fishery resources versus long term gains from 5 statement: (ii) any adverse effects which cannot be avoided, (iv) the relation- resource conservation. The unavoidable economic and environmental Impacts of ship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance certain regulatory alternatives such as lobster trapping, specimen collecting i and enhancement of long-term productivity, and (v) any irretrievable and and achoring, and the discussion of irretrievable and irreversible commitment irreversible commitments cf resources. of resources is included and Integrated into the body of Chapter Four. It is our understanding that this approach is consistent with the CEQ regulations. The analysis of impact, particularly for the preferred alternative, does not get down to evaluating what will happen to any environmental component such as water quality, coral, fish, etc. For example, the preferred Response # 6 6 1 alternative relative to prohibiting discharges (p.110) covers its analysis in one brief paragraph that is entirely conclusaxy and does not discuss The analysis of impact evaluates the consequences of activities on the effects at all. It merely tells what different regulatory activities Vill resources of the Looe Key Area. For example, the discussion regarding take place. Tnis is a discussicn that provides little useful understandinr anchoring, evaluates the degree of damage to corals from various alterna- i of the environmental consequences of the action. tives. The discussion an tropical specimen collecting and other fishing activities are evaluated in qualitive terms of stock depletion, damage Specific Comments to reef habitat and even the aesthetic component of the dive experience. I. Figures (maps) on pages 8, 23, 50, and 87 do not include scales that permit the reader to determine distances. These should be added. Keys should be Response 0 7 provided for the contours; are these feet, meters, or fathoms? One map should be provided which shows Looe Key to scale. Figures (maps) have been revised in the FEIS to reflect your comment. 3 Response # 8 2. Consideration should be given to regulating the length an line allowed NOAA prefers that the authority for regulation of fishing gear rest with for lobster trappitig, if lobstering is permitted within the sanctuary (pass 7). the Fishery Management Councils and the tIMFS. NVS has the experience and expertise regarding gear design. 3. Some benefits that will he derived from prohibiting spearfishing include 9 better conditions for observing and studying fish and better conditions for Response 1 9 'photographing fish (page 13). 4. Among the concerns that should be listed for the "no action" alternative The text has been revised to incorporate your comments. should be the problem of shipwrecks. If the area is not designated as a Response 0 10 10 marine sanctuary. the area will not be marked properly and the incidents of shipwrecks will continue. Florida's Deportment of natural Resources has The concern over shipwrecks has been incorporated into t1le status quo documented the shipwrecks but has not published any listings (page913 and 14). alternative. The Impacts of sanctuary designation are reflected in Chapter four. 5. Limited permitting of tropical marine specimen collecting will probably "reduce" rather than "prevent" economic impact an tk4a user group (page 13). Response # 11 6. oil and gas exploration and related activities should be included among The tropical specimen collecting regulation has been revised in the FEIS to 12 the activities listed for which regulations are not currently proposed under propose prohibiting except by permit for scientific and educational purpeses. the condition "alteration or construction of the sea bad" (page 16). Please see Generic Response #4. 7. The.statement: "in addition. the naturally rare pillar coral (Dendrogyra Response 0 12 cylindrus) is more likely to be found in the Patch Reef area then at the 13 Fore Reef" needs a reference (page 25). NOAA believes that the unlikelihood of oil and gas exploration and exploita- tion in the Looe Key area and the small size of the proposed sanctuary make 8. What is the ecological environment that is listed in the lost paragraph the listing of oil and gas as activities subject to regulation unnecessary. M 14 on page 407 In the event this threat should materialize, NOAA could promulgate protective regulations because the activity would u?doubtedly result in alteration of 00 9. Section rV entitled 'State and other Federal resource management provisions the seabed. (See Appendix A. Article 4( )(t). in adjlcent and nearby areas" fail& to discuss enforcement of migratory bir4 15 laws (page 67-69). Response # 13 16 10. Table 7 should list coastal and marine birds (page 71). A, reference has been added to the text as you suggested. 11. Should the list of endangered species (pages 80 and D-4) int'lude the Response # 14 17 loggerhead seq turtle (Caretta caretta)? The text has been clarifled at your Suggestion. The ecological environ- 12. We found the division of references into three parts confusing, and ment I% the Looe Key ecological System. 18 suggest they be merged into one, In addition, it would be helpful to list the affiliation or address for individuals, and to distinguish between Response 1 15 references cited and those used as general background. The Looe Key reef area is entirely submerged and not a known habitat area 19 13. Note typographic errors re Krutills and Fisher, 1975, not 1979 (p. 126). for migratory.birds. therefore HOAA has not Included a discussion on enforcement of migratory bird laws. 20 14. "Evenly spaced intervals" are not "random samples." (p. B-1). Response 0 16 15. There appears to be an arithmetic error on p. c-11: 11 to 23 haste per 21 day x 300 clear days does not equal 3564-7008. According to Or. Archie Carr. formerly of the Florida Audubon Society, the Looe Key area Is not a coastal and marine bird foraging or habitat 16. We are concerned about the validity of the assumption that the forestry/ area. 22 fishing multiplier represents the fishery in the area. Cartwright (B E At part. comm.) suggests that a more appropriate multiplier would be one for processing. Response # 17 Section 7 Consultations in accordance with the Endangered Species Act, indicate that this is not habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Response 1 18 17. What Is the time period for the revenue data presented in Appendix C? The division of references as a method of presenting the bibliography 23 Aye these annual or monthly Agures? was selected because it wa-s believed to be helpful. lhe affiliation of 18. References to Biscayne Bay National Monument should all be changed to individuals has been indicated in the FEIS in response to your suggestion. 24 Biscayne RV National Park. Response # 19 19. There is an apparent arithmetic error In the report of enforcement violations: The typographical errors have been corrected. 25 90 violations x $60,92 (average Penalty) does not equal $2,315,000. Response # 20 Thank you for the opportunity,to review and support the proposed Loce Key Sanctuary. The text has been changed at your suggestion. Si cere Response 0 21 Appendix C has been corrected. JAMES D. WEBB Response # 22 M Deput sistant Secretary The regional multiplier was selected for NOAA by fisheries economists, I W for Fi`sh and Wildlife and park. Drs. James Cato and Fred Prochaska of the University of Florida. See complete explanation in Appendix C-5. Response # 23 The text has been changed to incorporate your comments (Appendic C Page Response 0 24 References to Biscayne National Mounment have been changed accordingly. Response 0 25 $60.92 is the average penalty but not necessarily the exact penalty for each of the 90 violations mentioned. The entire refernce to the $2,315.00 has been removed from the Appendix as misleading or Incorrect. @n re, Zee Y 'Ns MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION WS EYE STREET, H. W. WASHINGTON, DC 20W6 20 May 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster Marine Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 2300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Nancy: Thank you for sending the Commission a copy of the Looe Xey National Marine Sanctuary DEIS. Since the proposed action does not appear to involve any marine No response necessary mammal issues, we will not be commenting upon the document. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. rn Sincerely, C:) David W. Laist Special Assistant to the Executive Director DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION- REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF-THE SECRETARY 1710 PEACHTREE ROAD. NORTHWEST SUITE 515 ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30309 July 15, 1980 Director, Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven St., NW Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Sir: In response to your letter of Hay 8, 1980, subject, Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary Draft Environmental Impact No response necessary Statement, enclosed is a copy of our Coast Guard response. Sincerely, J.R. McDaniel Assistant Regional Representative Enclosure copy to* Bruce Barrett, Acting Director Office of Environmental Affairs U.S. Dept. of Commerce Washington, D.C. 20230 OST, P-20 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ADDRESS REPLY TO: UNITED STATES COAST GUARD COMMANDER (DPL) COAST GUARD DIVISION S.W. 1ST AVENUE MIAMI, FLA. 33130 PHONE: (208) 350-5502 16475 JUL 11 1980 Regional Representative of the Secratary U. S. Department of the Transportation Region IV 1720 Peachtree Road NW Atlanta, Ga 30309 Dear Sir: In response to your memorandum of 3 June 1980, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Proposed Looe Key National Marine Sancutary was reviewed. The following comments are provided: a. Pag 5 Section III, Proposed Management, paragraph 6. The state- ment, "Enforcement and surveillance will be an integral part of the man- agement and protection of the Looe Key Sanctuary," is the key to effective management of the resource. The statement fails to identify and discuss the specific responsibilities and authority in "cooperative management" of the proposed sanctuary. The Coast Guard is responsible for law enforcement, safety of life and property at sea, aide to navigation, search and rescue, etc. These responsibilities directly apply to the proposed marine sanc- tuary since it is located in federal waters. It is suggested that the Na- tional Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Coast Guard setting fourth the specific responsibilities and reimbursement for costs of each party for management of the marine sanctuaries program. Coordination is developing the (MOU) should be conducted at the headquarters level. b. Page 11. Section VI, Boundary. The statement, "The 5 sp mi sanc- tuary will also allow for adequate enforcement of sanctuary regulations," fails to identify and discuss how the boundry will be identified. Will the Coast Guard, as part of its aids to navigation responsibility, be re- quired to place and maintain buoys to mark both the 5 sq mi sanctuary and 1 sq mi core area boundaries? This responsibility should be identi- fied and discussed in the (NOA) suggested in paragraph (a) above. c. Page 12, Section IV, Anchoring. The statement, "The proposed reg- ulation would allow anchoring only in the sand channels between the spur system of the Fore Reef, and seaward of the Fore Reef on the sand bottom," fails to discuss how the navigational position of vessels will be deter- mined to insure anchoring occurs in designated areas. Will the Coast Guard be required to place and maintain buoys used to identify designated anchoring areas? This responsibility should be identified and discussed in the (MOU) suggested in paragraph (a), above. J.R. McDaniel Assistant Regional Representative Department of Transportation Response #1 NOAA has initiated consultation at the headquarters level with the U.S. Coast Guard for arrangements to insure special attention to the Looe Key area should it be designated as a sanctuary. NOAA agrees that adequate Looe Key enforcement and surveillance cannot be achieved as an add-on to existing patrols. An onsite presence will be required and arrangements will be made to that effect. Response #2 After consultations with the Coast Guard at the headquarters levels, NOAA has determined that the use of marker buoys is not feasible at the present time. During development of the Management Plan, the feasibility and desirability of marking boundaries, with buoys or by other means, will be explored with the Coast Guard. Response #3 The anchoring regulation has been changed in the final proposal to prohibit anchoring on the coral on the Fore Reef and to encourage sand anchoring elsewhere in the sanctuary. If the sanctuary is designated NOAA will initiate a study of alternative solutions to anchoring questions. 4. 13. Section IV, Discharges. The statement, ... although they will be required to retain their trash for proper disposal elsewhere," Response #4 should be changed to provide for disposal of trash in an approved sanitary landfill onshore, not in the marine environment. NOAA appreciates your concern, but do disposal of trash outside of the sanc a. Page 22, Section 11, paragraph B. Onsite manager. The statement, "A State-Federal cooperative enforcement system is planned utilizing to onsite Response #5 manager." fail* to identify and discus* the lack of authority for state enforcement in federal waters. The Coast Guard is responsible for law Please see Response #1 above. enforcement is the area proposed for the marine sanctuary since it is in federal waters. The paragraph further discusses, "enforcement analysis.` Response #6 which is a Coast Guard responsibility. This responsibility should be 5 identified and discussed in the (MDU) suggested in paragraph (a). above. Please see Response #3 above. Asses buoys will address the concerns expre The concept of an onsite manager is necessary; however, since this proposed sanctuary is entirely within federal waters the manager should be a federal officer. It is suggested that NDAA establish a '%arias Response #7 Sanctuary Mager program similar to that used by the National Park Service for effective management of the resources. An expanded discussion of discharges f. Page 24, Section 11, paragraph 3, A the text has been changed as you sugg Th. proposed not been changed to State waters. Mo study of a mooring buoy system should be a expanded to discuss the effects marine resources delimits jurisdictio :f the placement and maintenance of buoys for boundary and designated Clean Water Act and Ocean Dumping Act 6 - anchoring area identification on marine sanctuary resources. Buoys and associated anchoring systems moving with the tides and currents my damage destroy marine sanctuary resources. . Page 32, section II, paragraph D.7, Discharges. The paragraph. The Coast Guard regulations prohibit the d-ischarge of untreated wastes 7- within the territorial sea..." should be expand d discharges from marine sanitation devices are regulated in state waters. The term, territorial sea" should be changed to state waters. b. Page 39. Section IV, paragraph 1. The statement, "Loa* Kay is located an ths high sea& adjacent to the United States and therefore in 8 subject only Co federal jurisdiction," should be expanded. The tar=, Response #8 "high sees" in the strict sense is international waters. Federal jurisdic- The text has been revised to Incorpo tion in limited. The exact location of the proposed marine sanctuary in ovided. relation to federal, state and international waters should be pr that Loos Key Is not subject to Stat i. Page 40, Section IV, paragraph 3. The paragraph. "Regulation to Response 09 prevent pollution of marine system fro= the shipboard wastes other then sewage and oil wastes does not presently exist..." should be expanded. Please see Chapter Three IV. Legal St 9 The-.term. ..marine systems" should be changed to marine waters. Regulations discussion of these points. The term of marine pollution includes: oil and hazardous chemicals, merino sani- tation devices, ocean dumping, and dredging. The term. "territorial waters" changed. See Response #8. shoould be changed to state waters. - J. Page 69, Section IV, paragraph 1. The paragraph, "With regard to Response #10 enforcement of those other protected areas varying arrangements exist..." is unclear. The responsibilities identified in the joint management We have clarified the document to ref 10 - agreement should be defined for each agency. Enforcement authority for do not have enforcement authority in Park Rangers is listed to John Pnnakamp Coral Roof State Park and The text has been altered to does not include Key Largo Coral Roof Marine Sanctuary. The statement, is also true of Biscayne National Houument. is unclear. The joint management agreement does not apply. The statement, "Persons found to be in violation of NOAA regulations...," applies only to the marine sanctuary, not the state park. k. Page 71, Table 7. The table is intended to summarize the authority of federal agencies on the "high seas" but fails to identify the responsibility of the Coast Guard. The term "high seas" should be changed to international waters. l. Page 72, Section IV, paragraph A.9. The paragraph, "Surveillance and enforcement duties...." is unclear. The Florida Marine Patrol does not patrol the Fishery Conservation Zone. This is a Coast Guard responsibility. m. Page 72, Section IV, paragraph a.10. The paragraph, "Eighty percent of Coast Guard missions..." is unclear. In FY-78, Seventh Coast Guard District, Group Key West responded to 1,509 search and rescue calls. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Stations are located at Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West in this Group's area of responsibility (Encl. 1). The statement, "Distances between stations and the large territory to be covered makes their patrola intermittent and infrequent," is unclear. Does this apply to drug interdiction or marine sanctuary enforcement? n. Page 72, Section IV, paragraph A.11. The statement, "The extent to which the Coast Guard, patrolling the Florida Keys, might be able to assist in the enforcement of the marine sanctuary at Looe Key...," is unclear. The Coast Guard is responsible for federal law enforcement in U.S. waters directly applicable to the proposed marine sanctuary. It is suggested that (NOAA) develop a (NOU) with the Coast Guard as identified in paragraph (a), above, to identify enforcement responsibilities. o. Page 73, Section IV, paragraph A.13, The statement, "The Florida Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard patrol the waters...," is incorrect. The Florida Marine Patrol does not patrol federal waters. It's enforcement authority is limited. p. Page 80, Section IV, paragraph C.1. U.S. Coast Guard., The statement, "The Coast Guard, as established in 1915, is a military service and a branch of the Armed Forces of the U.S." should be expanded. On January 28, 1915 President Wilson signed the Act establishing the modern Coast Guard; however, President Washington signed the Revenue Act of 1789 on August 4, 1790 establishing a "system of Revenue Cutters." On March 21, 1791, the President signed the commissions of the first thirteen officers in this military service. q. Page 81, Section IV, paragraph C.1. U.S. Coast Guard. The statement, "There are three Coast Guard Stations on the Keys: Key West, Marathon and Islmorada, with less than 75 employees." The term "employees" is incorrect. Members of the Armed Forces are not employees in the strict sense of the term, but military members. r. Page 82, Section IV, paragraph C.1. U.S. Coast Guard. The paragraph, "Without formal agreement and funding, the Coast Guard makes no scheduled patrols except for those undertaken as a part of their regular activities," is unclear. Law enforcement is a "regular activity" of the Coast Guard. 3 Response #11 NOAA recognizes the enforcement authority of the Coast Guard. After considering your comment, NOAA believes that the Table in question is confusing and does not serve to enhance the understanding of the text in Chapter Three. Accordingly, the Table does not appear in the FEIS. Response #12 Please see Chapter Three, Section C.2. for a discussion of existing and pending agreements between the State of Florida and the Department of Commerce/NNFS which provide for some degree of State enforcement of Federal regulations in the Fishery Conservation Zone. Response #13 The text has been clarified to satisfy your comment. Response #14 Please see Response #1 of this letter. Response #15 Please see Response #12 above. Response #16 Thank you for the additional historical information. However, the description in the DEIS appears adequate for the analysis required in the final document. Response #17 The text has been changed to incorporate your comment. Response #18 The text has been changed to incorporate your comment. Also please see Response #1 of this letter. and patrols are scheduled for those missions. The MDU suggested in par- graph (4), above would provide effective enforcement for the proposed marine sanctuary program. a. Page 82, Section IV, paragraph C.2. National Marine Fisheries 19 so !ice. . The statement, "The Florida and the U.S. qz6qast Guard patrol the waters..." is incorrect. The Florida Mai Patrol does not patrol the Fishery Conservation Zone. Response 019 t. qfqtgo D-S, Appendix D, paragraph .B.5. The statemont. "Through a Please sq" Response q#12 of thqi joint management agreement with the State of Florida and managed by the State. the U. S. Key Largo Corel Roof Marine Sanctuary in patrolled by 20- State and Park Rangers and the U. S. Coast i,usrd," should be expanded. Response #2 Enforcement action within the sanctuary feimired io the U. S: Coast The Key Largo Coral Roof Mario Guard. The State of Florida has no jurisdiction in federal waters. Park Rangers. Key Largo Marqiqn U. Page 0-9, Appendix D. par graph 3.5. U. S. Coast Guard En- Coast Guard, and John Pannekam for t Agreement. The statemeq:t, "Patrol of the saactuary is q;c-com- Marine Patrol. This is discus ceq!dq2n,- ..tly by the Florida Kerins Patrol-and U. S. Coast Guard Push 21- personnel," should be expanded. Enforcement action with the sanc- Response qfq2ql tuary is limited to the U. S. Coast Guard. The State of Florida has no jurisdiction is federal waters. Pleas* see Responses 012 and Thank you for the opporcunicy to comment on this proposed sanctuary. Pleas* provide this office with a copy of the FEIS. Any coordination required in developing this proposed sanctuary should be directed to this office for consolidated district response. n M. ARBOUR By 4 reation Incl: (1) TCGD Operational Unit Map Copy: Group Key West CONDI (G-VS-1) No rtsponse nqecqe 2qM6q78q7 SZ TRIN TOMAS OFFICE INJILIN NO MR GRAHAM IM MAIN STONS F40AD GOVERNOR VALLAMANUIL FLORMA 3=1 JACOB 0. VANN SECRETARY STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION A July 25, 1980 Mr. Walt Kolb Intergovernmental Coordination State Planning and Development Clearinghouse A-95 Office of the Governor The Capitol rr? Tallahassee. Florida 32301 j Dear Walt- Re: Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Proposed Looe Key National Marino Sanctuary@SAI No. 60-2106 The Department of Environmental Regulation, Division of Environmental Response 01 Permitting has reviewed the referenced document and offers the following convents. The proposed designation is strongly supported since it Is Please see Generic Response #I expected to afford substantial protection to a unique and valuable national marine resource. Our only concern relates to the omission of proposed sanctuary regulations Response 02 for seabed alteration. bottom trawling and specimen dredging. Although While dredging or alternation of the seabed could lead to damage and destruction these activities might not threaten the resources of Loos Key. the of the coral reefs and other habitat within the sanctuary, the likelihood of such omission of even conceptual controlling guidelines would seem to be activities does not pose a realistic threat to the resources at this time. Varlou! Inconsistent with the rather firm stance assumed' for the other activities. Impacts on the environment are also associated with bottom-trawling and specimen 2 ealistically. it is difficult to contemplate permilsibility of these dredging. These include suspension of sediments dislodging and breaking coral :ctivities, considering their high probability for environmental damage. and generally degrading the physical benthic environment. As with alteration Therefore. it would seent appropriate to obviate the fostering of any or construction on the seabed. the likelihood of bottom trawling and specimen potential interest in conducting such operations In the sanctuary. The collecting does not pose a realistic threat at this time. suggestion that commercial bottom trawling may be considered economically feasible at some time In the future seems to have overlooked the stated By listing these activities in the Designation Document, NOAA does however. purposes of the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Economic development retain the right to promulgate regulations concerning alteration of the is not a goal encompassed by these purposes. seabed and bottom-trawling and specimen collecting. should the need arise. orwad typw 100% reqdod P"W Mr. Walt Kolb Palo two July 25, 1980 We appreciate the opportunity to comment on this draft document. We would like to review the final environmental impact statement when it is prepared. Cordially. Lynn F. Griffin Enviromental Specialist I Intergovernmental Programs Review Section LFG/sb cc: Glen Boa. DER, Marathon SONGRAHAM G- GEORGE FIRESTONE S@.@Y ( Sj@ JIM SMITH State of Florida AN-Y 0-1 GERALD A. LEWIS BILLOUNTER DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES T@ . NN Tll! AV' )M COMMONWEALTH SOCIUVARD I TALLAHASSEE SIM it 00. TLION J. CISSENDAKNXR LI T N WO July 8, 1980 Mr. Ron Fahs State Planning and Development Clearinghouse Office of Planning and Budgeting Executive Office of the Governor The Capitol Tallahassee, Florida 32303 Re: SAI 80-2106; Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary Dear Mr. Fahs: IThe department endorses the designation of Looe Key as a National Marine Sanctuary., Response 01 We would like to recommnd a change to the preferred alternative that Please see Generic Response 01 lobster trapping be prohibited in the fore reef area only. Response 02 Our recommendation is that the taking of lobsters by any means (not limited to only a prohibition of taking by trap) be prohibited in the entire Alternative 2 for lobster trapping was selected by the NOW (1) to protect sanctuary. the Fore Reef from physical damage caused by lobster traps; (2) to contribute to species richness and ecological diversity by affording protection to the spiny At present there is no area In the Florida Keys reef tract from which lobster within the major reef system; and (3) to avoid major economic impact to baseline data on lobsters can be obtained, since no area is completely the local fishermen and businesses. The Sanctuary management will work closely protected from the taking of lobsters. with the Fishery Management Council to protect the spiny lobster stocks. NEPA requires consideration of the human environment which includes the socio- Sincerely, economic as well as environmental impacts of the proposed action. Therefore, NOAA believes the present preferred alternative represents the most balanced approach. Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director WHN:js DIVISIONS I R ADMIF"STRATION,-,LAW ENFORCEMENT- MARINI RESOURCES ItCRILA"014ANDIPA ILS*RZSOURCCMAr4AGgMLNToFTATZIAP(DS BOB GRAHAM GOVERNOR GEORGE FIRESTONE SECRETARY OF STATE JIM SMITH State of Florida ATTORNEY GENERAL GERALD A. LEWIS BILL GUNTER DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TREASURER DOYLE CONNER DR. ELTON J. GISSENDANNER COMMONWEALTH BOULEVARD I TALLAHASSEE 32303 RAM D. TURLINGTON July 15, 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Dr. Foster: I "I The Florida Department of Natural Resources has reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement concerning the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. The Department supports Response I I the designation of Looe Key as a Marine Sanctuary, and we feel that the five-square nautical mile preferred size alternative is reasonable and necessary for the protection of a cross section Please see Generic Response #1. of coral reef habitats. The Department also supports the preferred management regulations Response # 2 as listed in the draft EIS, with one exception. The preferred management alternative regarding spiny lobsters would ban the Alternative 2 for lobster trapping was select use of lobster traps within a core area on the fore reef and does the Fore Reef from physical damage caused by not propose to regulate the taking of spiny lobster by hand. to species richness and ecological diversity The Department would prefer the prohibition of lobster fishing lobster within the major reef system; and (3 entirely within the five-square nautical mile boundary - your the local fishermen and businesses. The Sanct alternate number three (3). In support of our position, I am with the Fishery Managmement Council to protec enclosing a copy of the review comments of your document prepared requires consideration of the human environment which includes the by W. G. Lyons of my staff. If alternative three were to be as well as environmental Impacts of the propos adopted, the Looe Key area would then be the only area within believes the present preferred alternative rep the Florida Reef Tract on which the taking of lobster was abso- lutely prohibited. This would provide a small, but vital, area for base-line research on this important species. ADMINISTRATION-LAW ENFORCEMENT-MARINE RESOURCES RECREATION AND PARKS-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - STATE LANDS Dr. Nancy Poster Page Two July 15, 1980 Mr. Lyons' comments also include some suggestions related to your list of species attached in Appendix B in the EIS. Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the proposal to desig- nate Looe Key as a National Marine Sanctuary. I look forward to continuing work on this project with you and your staff. Sincerel. Elton J. Gissendanner Executive Director EJG/cgc Casey Gluckman State of Florida Department of Natural Resources Interoffice Memorandum DATE- 28 May 1980 TO: Karen Steidinger George Henderson THRU: Bill L an, FROM: Walt Jusp Review of the Lane Key National Marine Sanctuary, Draft Environmental Impact Statement The concept of a marine sanctuary at Lane Key Reef appears sound. The document is very poorly organized, with great redundency and repetition of the same information. The 5.32 square nautical miles boundary op- Response # 3 tion seems to be the best option presented; however, an alternative of lesser area, deleting the "deep ridge" might be a better alternative. The GEIS is organized in accordance with the C The deep ridge is separated by a wide expanse of sediments from the regulations for Implementation of the National other reef zones. One possibility is to set the outer boundary at Sanctuary boundaries were drawn to encompass a 1,, 100' (30.5 m). I don't think many sport divers will examine avid en- Ridge so that the Sanctuary might contain all joy the "deep ridge"; in any case, fishing Interests should be allowed the Lone Key Reef area. Also, please see Gene access to this area. The concept of resource exploitation as presented is not equitable. Response #4 The proposal will allow book and line, net, and some lobstering, but will ban spearfishing on the basis of safety and that spearfishing over- The anchoring regulation has been changed to pr harvests larger predators. The safety aspect Is not well substantiated. the Fore Reef, including anchoring by vessels e Spearfishing is allowed in Biscayne National Monument and there have tional hook and line fishing. This will likely been no accidents to my knowledge. In reference to reef damage, I have to the reef and consequently the 'take' of impo :een lesions caused from fish books and wire leaders that appear to be line fishermen in that area except by a more frequent occurrence than damage caused by spears. Dive any reef information exists at the present time to requlate hook and line fishing the Florida Keys and you will find lost tackle embedded in the reef. this, every attempt will be made to work close If we are serious about sanctuary, we should consider removing all forms Management Council to find cooperative means o of fishing within all at part of the sanctuary. The result will be a hook and line fishing In the event that It bec refuge, haven and oasis were heavily exploited stocks tan recover and of spearfishing has been significantly revised form the basis of recruitment for adjacent, heavily fished areas. I reflects your comments and addresses the concerns think denying one user group is not justified. Hook and line and net (please see Chapter Four, Regulatory Alternatives fishing harvest just as many predators and non-edible fish as does spear- fishing. Response #5 Throughout the plan there to the statement that growth rate of corals In Florida are significantly less than rates reported for the "Central These sections of the text have been rewritten Caribbean." This cannot be confidently documented. Tor example. the Please see Chapter Three, Affected Environment. following tables for the two most studied stony corals imply the rate Is very similar for Florida and other Western Atlantic areas. Page 2 Acropora cervicornis (stagborn coral) Locality -Annual Growth Rate(mm) Authority Key Largo Dry Rocks 109-110 Shinn, 1966 Eastern Sambo,near.Key West 115 Jaap, unpublished Buck Island, Virgin Islands 71 Gladfelder et al., 1976 Barbados 146* Lewis et al., 1968 Jamaica 266* " " " " *Values are suspect, have not been duplicated or accepted by many reef workers. Montastraea annularis (star carol) Locality Annual Growth Rate(mm) Authority Carysfort Reef 8.4 Shinn, 1976 10.7 Hoffmeister and Multer, 1974 off Key West 9.0 Agassiz, 1890 Dry Tortugas 7.0 Vaughan, 1914 Eastern Sambo 7.0 Jeep unpublished Florida mean 8.4 + 1.6 mm Suck Island, Virgin Islands -6.6-8.9 Gladfelder et.al., 1978 Curacao 8.0 Bak, 1976 Jamaica 6.7 Dustan, 1973 Jamaica 25.0* Lewis et al., 1968 St. Croix, Virgin Islands 9.2-10.4 Baker and Webster, 1975 Jamaica 6.2-8.8 Aller and Dodge, 1974 Belize 6.6-8.7 HacIntyre and Smith, 1974 non-Florida mean growth 8.0 + 1.4 T-test implies the means are not equal (IC-.05), however, the data is not sufficiently large to reject the hypothesis that growth rates of H. annularis are similar throughout Florida and the Caribbean. Florida populations of reef coral are adapted to their environment, with ex- Response #6 ception of an extreme environmental insult. Growth rates are not documented to be significantly different. Since release Of the DEIS NQAA has initiated level with the U.S. Coast Guard for ar The problem of enforcement is unresolved. The document accurately states that to the Lone Key area should it be designated a sanctuary. NOAA agrees that existing enforcement agencies are unable to enforce management statutes due to adequate Looe Key enforcement and surve add-on to 'existing patrols. An onsite manpower shortages or other reasons. The basic problem of who will enforce the regulations is not detailed. ments will be made to that affect. Specific errors or comments are as follows: Response # 7 Page. 4. line I- I*" Key is not one of the few remaining reefs in the Florida The text has been revised to clarify the Florida reef tract. Response # 8 The text has been corrected wherever Montastraea is mispelled. Page 3 Response # 9 Keys. There are numerous other reefs that could qualify for sanctuary status of for similar reasons, i.e., Sombrero. Eastern and Middle Sambo, and Sand Key Even though it is true that protection programs cannot control impacts reefs. natural-disasters, regulations can minimize the effects of human activities. However, continuous and repeated damage to coral reefs from anchoring, fish 8 Page 10 line 24t Montastraea (spelling) ithrouShout the document the genus traps. lobster traps, divers, coral collecting and other human physical is misa;elled]. impacts does not give coral reefs sufficient time to recover as is the case with Infrequent major hurricanes, judging from studies of heavily Page 12, coral collecting: This regulation will not protect coral from stress visited coral reef areas such as Buck Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 9 and damage, it eliminates collecting. Storm damage, climatic and astronomical phenomenon, vessel accidents can't be mitigated by this regulation. Response 1 10 Page 12, line 6: The most recent Coral-Coral Reef FMP has one special manage- No response necessary. There Is no correlation between your comment and 10 ment measure, "prohibit all human directed or induced activities that contact line 6. page 12, of the DEIS. Please see Generic Response #2 for a di scussion coral... in the Looe Key RAPC." of the relationship between the HAPC and the proposed sanctuary. Page 15, starting at line 13: The scenario that removal of grouper, snapper and hogfish by spearfishing has caused increase in Duiadema Populations which Response # 11 coincidentally have eliminated algae is not documented such that it should ap- pear here. Randall et &1. (1964) and Randall (1967) reported that remains of The text has been revised to reflect additional analyses of this predator- Diadema-were found in tTi-ggerfish, wrasses; jacks, porcupine fish, pudding- prey relationship (Chapter 4, Regulatory Alternatives for Spearfishing). wives, trunkfiab,,margates, grunts, porgies, slippery dicks, and butterflyfish; vresses were suspected of feeding on Diadema after other fish opened the tests. It appears a diverse number of fish actively feed on Diadem&, but many are not Response # 12 culturally acceptable as food; hence, the removal of i-rouper and snapper (not reported to feed an Diadem& , and hogfish probably does not cause increase In The text has been changed to incorporate your comment. Disdema populations-. Page 16, line 19, The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is initiating Response 0 13 71. 12 an FMP for tropical aquarium species (fish and invertebrates). U1 To alleviate confusion, the sentence in question has been removed from the Page 25, lines 29, 30: What are the conspicuously missing corali? FEIS. However, likely habitat for certain species of coral (Chapter Two. C. 13 Preferred Boundary) is now found only on the deeper reefs. Page 27, lines 8-11: Although I respect Capt. Tingley's criticism of Florida's current coral statute, I seriously doubt that there are large scale operations 14 of bleaching coral at sea. Response 0 14 Table 1, economic loss: Status quo; if you don't change anything, It would not No response necessary. 15 cause a change in economics. Also, the values are relative to the user, in that if a user's sole livelihood is prohibited, the hardship would be severe. Response 0 15 16 Page 43, line 20- Change normal salinity to oceanic salinity. Tables I through 5 are intended to swmmrize very generally the impacts of Page 46, line 13.- All the information an the Loop Current was from George Haul; each alternative an the marine resources and on the human users at Looe Key 17 hence, cite Haul. and are not meant to represent a detailed analysis. 18 Page 46, line 26: Mayer (spelling). Response # 16 Page 46, lines-36, 37: As noted, the contention that coral growth rate in 19 Florida is half that of the "Central Caribbean" is not documented and should Normal salinity is considered acceptable terminology since the entire document be deleted. deals with oceanic areas only. Brackish water areas are not discussed. Response 1 17 The Information In question was obtained from Marszalek from the Proceedings of the Third International Coral Reef Symposium In 1977. Response # 18 The text has been corrected to Incorporate your comment. Response # 19 The text has been clarified to meet your objections. Page, 4 Responses # 20 and 21 20 page 31, line 33: mammillosum (spelling). The text has been changed to incorporate your comment. 21 Page 34, line 14: malumillosum (spelling). Response 0 22 Page 72, paragraph 2: The common element in fishery management plans and 22 marine sanctuaries is that both are dependent on other Federal agencies for Please see response 06. enforcement of regulations. I see this as a problem from an efficiency stand- Toint. Page 76, C: The moat recent Coral-Coral Reef Resources FMP is dated 31 March Response # 23 21- 1980. The text has changed to incorporate your comment. Page 78, line 25: The most recent draft allows collection of 9 species of 24 soft coral, not to exceed 5845 colonies. Collectors claim 75% of the soft corals they collect come from state waters. Response 0 24 Page 105, last line: The Okane reference is nebulous; is this &.document or As you note, the text of the DEIS states the Plan proposes to allow 25 personal connunicatlon? I am unaware of any DNR publication dealing vith Lone limited commercial harvest of soft coral.- Key, Key lArgo reefs comparison. 26 Page 113, paragraph 2: Few boats can safely navigate and anchor an the reef Response V25 flat. It is reckless to advocate the reef flat as an anchorage. The O'Kane referen.ce has been removed from the FEIS. 2 7 r ge 114, lines 16, 17: As noted earlier, coral growth in the Caribbean does n:t exhibit a two-fold growth rate increase when compared to Florida. Response # 26 M Appendix B, paragraph 2: In reference to Antonius's methodology and rationale. I Ln There is significant difference between Loya's and Porter's plotless line The only part of Looe Key unsafe for navigating and anchoring is the reef U1 transect technique and that used by Antonius. Antonius censuses one data point crest. As noted in the text (Chapter Three, Affected Environment, E. Looe Key per meter while Loy& and Porter sampled a continuous 10 m strip. The advantage Area), the reef crest is considered part of the Fore Reef, not the Reef Flat. in the latter method is the ability to substantiate adequate sampling and uti- lize statistical analyses (linear density, sire frequency, etc.). One Sample point per meter as utilized by Antonius is insufficient and can't be used to Response 0 27 28 quantitatively compare various reef zones. Each zone should be sampled with a number of continuous transects to be certain of data repeatability and The text has been changed to incorporate your comment. sampling adequacy. While plotless transects are quick and an excellent way to gather information, Response 0 28 they are very difficult to resample for comparison. Even.with good reference markers it Is literally impossible to re-establish the transact in the pame The technique used by Antonius in the "Looe Key Reef Inventory" did not attempt location twice. This is significant if one is Interested in temporal comparison. to quantitatively compare the various reef zones but rather to identify the dominant species in each zone. Further, limited by the scope of the study, the At Biscayne National Monument, Jeep and Wheaton (in progress) used 2x2 meter plotless transects as a technique for field research was selected to identify grids with locator stakes for temporal comparison of population dynamics; the main components of the reef system in terms of biomass area coverage and photography and ground truth are used in sampling. The data are more reliable importance without the intention of using the Information for temporal comparison. than that acquired from 25 m transacts. If your goal Is temporal comparison, plotless transacts are a poor method, Response # 29 29 Appendix B, Systematic list of speciesi Hexacorallia; Hexacorallis is an anti- quated systematic term. Subclass Zoantharia is the accepted taxon. The text has been corrected. Page 5 Stephanocoenia intersepta is not correct. Esper's Madrepora intersepta is an Indo-Pacific Porites, specimen extant, Senkenberg Museum, Frankfurt, West Germany. Madracis asperula; I question the presence of this species. I also question reporting Agaricis tenuifolia and Mycetophyllia danaana, Mustard Hill coral (spelling), Montastraea (spelling), and stokesii (spelling). Appendix D-4, Endangered Species: The list of 13 common scleractinian reef corals is lacking any support from USF & W, the Federal agency charged with enforcing this act. An invertebrate species must be endangered throughout a significant part of its geographic range to qualify as an endangered species. None of these corals qualify under this criteria. They should be deleted as it is false information. Response #30 The text has been changed. The species have been deleted from the list. Response #31 Please refer to the last two paragraphs of Site Analysis Research Methods (Appendix B 2). Response #32 The changes in the text have been made. Response #33 Appendix D-4 Endangered Species is a list drafted by the Florida Audubon and Florida Defenders of the Environment as stated in the text 370.72 and listed as State endangered species under Appendix D Florida State Laws and Existing State and Federal Marine Reserves, Parks, and Sanctuaries. FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE George Firestone Ron Levitt Assistant Secretary of State June 13, 1980 In reply to: Mr. Louis Tesar Historic Sites Specialist (904) 487-2333 Mr.,Ron Fahs, Director Intergovernmental Coordination State Planning and Development Clearinghouse 530 Carlton Building Tallahassee, Florida 32301 Re: SAT 80-2106 Cultural Resource Assessment Request 4 Draft EIS, Proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary Monroe County, Florida Dear Sir: In accordance with the procedures contained In 36 C.F.R., Part 800 ("Procedures for the Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties")., we have reviewed the above referenced project for possible impact to archaeological and historical sites or properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the -National Register of Historic Places. The authorities for these procedures are the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-66S) as amended by P.L. 91-243, P.L. 93-54, P.L. 94-422, and P.L. 94-458, and Presidential Executive Order 11593 ("Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment"). We concur with and fully support the measures which the Response Office of Coastal Zone Management has proposed to manage and Please s protect the cultural resources within the proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary, Florida Keys. It Is our opinion that implementa- Response tion of the proposed measures will serve to rotect and preserve the National Register eligible resources wi tgin the subject tract. No respo 2 you have any questions about our comments, or about federal historic preservation regulations, please feel free to contact us. FL0RIDA-Sqtate of the Arts The Capitol - Tallahassee, Florida 32301 - (904) 488-3680 Mr. Ron Fahs June 13, 1980 Page Two On behalf of the Secretary of State, George Firestone. and 2 the staff of the Bureau of Hi3toric Sites and Properties, I would like to thank you for your interest and cooperation In the preserva- tion of Florida's historic resources. Sincerely, L. Ross o State H stor c reservation Officer LRM:Teh cc: Director, Sanctuaries Program M 1@ 00 FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION A. BERNARD PARRISH JR. GEORGE G. MATTHEWS DONALD G. RHODES. D.D. S. NELSON A. ITALIANO CECIL C. BAILEY Chairman. Tallahassee Vice Chairman, Palm Basch West Eau Gettile Tampa JacksonvIlle ROBERT M. BRANTLY. Executive Director H. E. WALLACE. Assistant Executive Director June 25, 1980 Mr. Ron Fahs, Director Intergovernmental Coordination Office of Planning and Budgeting Executive Office of the Governor The Capitol Tallahassee, Florida 32301 Re: SAI 80-2106, Monroe County I Draft EIS, looe Key Marine Sanctuary Dear Mr. Fahs: and Th Office of Environmental Services of the Florida came Fresh Water Fish Commission has reviewed the referenced draft environmental impact statement and fully supports the designation Response of Looe Key as a marine sanctuary. This designation would serve to preserve a valuable and irreplaceable natural resource. Please se Please call me if we can be of further assistance. Sincerely, H.E. Wallace Assistant Executive Director 249/rs5/1 AG Office of the Governor THE CAPITOL TALLAHASSEE 22301 BOB GRAHAM August 5, 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Sanctuary Program Office Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. .20235 Dear Dr. Foster: This office, functioning as the State planning and development clearinghouse, in accordance with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-95 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, has coordinated a review of your Draft Environmental impact Statement an the Proposed Looe Key National marine Sanctuary. As part of cur review process, we circulated copies of the Draft Environmental. Impact Statement to the following agencies. Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Ommerce, Environmental Regulation, Natural Resources, State, Transportation, and the Game and Fresh water Fish Commission. These agencies were requested to review the statement and comment on possible effects the contemplated actions could have an matters of their concern. Our review of this document and State agency comments concludes that the Response #1 State of Florida, in general, supports the establishment of a marine sanctuary at Looe Key, as it would provide a means for protecting a sensitive environ- Please see Generic Response #I. mental resource. However, a number of comments have been made which we feel merit Your observation and consideration. Response #2 The suggested boundary of five nautical square miles as the recommended alternative may he the minimum practical size for a sanctuary. However, we Please Generic Response #2. believe that consideration should be given to examining the area's circula- tion patterns before determining the final boundaries. Your examination may 2 result in a finding that the boundaries should be changed for the purpose of Response 03 ensuring the future viability of the reefs. Please see response #2 of the letter from L This Office is also concerned that the proposal does not suggest a compre- of Environmental Regulation and response hensive study or management plan for the Florida reefs. Such an overall Harper. Florida Department of Natural Resou effort is important if we are to ensure adequate management and protection of these unique resources. we concur with the attached comments from the Department of Environmental regulation regarding the reed for sanctuary regulations for seabed alteration, bottom trawling and specimen dredging. We also recommend an early promulga- 31 tion of appropriate rules and regulations. In addition, the Department of Natural Resources suggests that the taking of lobsters be prohibited in As Alternative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer Dr. Nancy Foster Page TWO the entire sanctuary. There is a need to acquire baseline data on the lobster population of the Florida Keys area, which can best be obtained from an Arm in which no lobstering is allowed. As one of the sanctuary program's goals Response 14 Is marine research, this suggestion should be given serious consideration. NOAA believes that Chapter Four adequately inc The Impact Statement, unfortunately, fails to address the adverse environ- Section 102(2)(c) concerns Into the discussion mental impacts and irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources asso- The discussion of economic impacts compares th ciated with the project, as required by the NEPA regulations. These should be resource conservation. The unavoidable econom discussed in the final document. Specific concerns which also should be certain regulatory alternatives such as lobster trapping, specimen collecting addressed include increased recreational use of Looe Key after it becomes a and anchoring, and the discussion of irretrievable and irreversible commitment sanctuary and appropriate rules reglating boats and divers. of resources is Included and intergrated into our understanding that this approach is consistent with the CEQ regulations In accordance with the Council an Environmental Quality guidelines and as required by the national Environmental Policy Act of 1969, this letter and the In addition the analysis of Impact evaluates t attachments should be responded to and appended to the final statement prepared the resources of the Looe Key area. For examp for this project. evaluates the degree of damage to corals from on tropical specimen collecting and other fish Thank you for your consideration of them comments. We request that you send qualitative terms of stock depletion, damage t us copies of the final environmental impact statement prepared for.this project. component of the dive experience. Sincerely, Response #5 These letters have been included in the FEIS. Walter 0. Kolb Office of Planning and Budgeting co: Harry Harper John Outland J. Ross Morrell B. E. Wallace Ed McNealy Men Woodburn casey Gluckman GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL Lincoln Center Suite 881 5401 W. Kennedy Blvd Tampa. Florida 33609 Phone: 813/228 2815 00JUL.80* 001195 July 14, 1980 Mr. Dallas Miner Director, Sanctuaries Program office of Coastal Zone management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.V. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Mr. Miner: This Council has reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Laos Key National marine Sanctuary. The following comments are heroin submitted as a result of its review and con- sideration. The Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic Fishery management Councils, as you know, are completing a draft fishery management plan for corals. In it the Councils identify Looe Key as a habitat area. of particular Response #1 concern and specific management measures are recommended. These measures are: The Coral and Coral Reef Resources FMP HAPC sed in Chapter Three, IV Legal Status Quo, a Looe Key Reef (nominated marine sanctuary). The designated HAPC Consequences, of the FEIS. NGAA has attempt to be one nautical mile square. No collection of coral to be per- tent with the FMP proposed management measur mitted In this &fee. In a core trapezoid area within points 1, 2, proposal moves forward, NCIAA will coordinate 3 and 4, (see map) no contact with coral or coral reef resources, insure efficient management and enforcement of this area. no collecting of marine tropical fishes, no use of fixed fishing gear, no spearfishing and no anchoring to be permitted. "These management measures are intended to protect coral and bottom assemblages in the core area from all human directed or induced harm." The trapezoid area described above is shown on attachment A. Attachment D shows differences between the management proposed for Looe Key as a National Marine Sanctuary and as a habitat area of particular concern In our Fishery Management Plan for Corals end Coral Reef Resources. A council authorized by Public Law 94-265, the Fishery Conservation & Management Act of 1976 Mr. Dallas Miner July 14, 1980 Page Two We feel that the measures proposed for our NAPC should also be adopted for the sanctuary. Your office has a copy of our current draft of the Coral Fishery Management Plan should you need additional Information supporting our position. Response #2 Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on your document. Your comparison between the Marine Sanctuary and Coral FMP proposal for Looe Key clearly defines the similarities of the two sets of proposed regulatory Sincerely yours, measures. However, It falls to Illustrate the difference between the two proposals with regards to comprehensive management focus and the emphasis in education and research. In the FEIS NOAA has revised the proposed regulations as originally presented Robert P. Jones Chairman In the DEIS. We now propose to prohibit anchoring on the coral within the Fore Reef as defined by the core trapezoid area and to prohibit the collection of tropical specimens (marine life fishing) within the proposed sanctuary RPJ:TR:smp (see Generic Response 04). In addition "damage" to coral is prohibited (except from anchoring where allowed) by regulation. These revision bring the Attachment sanctuary regulations even more In line with those proposed by the Councils For a discussion of the size of the proposed sanctuary area, please see act Gulf Council Generic Response #3 and for a discussion of the relationship between management Roberto Moreno as an HAPC and management as a sanctuary please see Generic Response #2. Sandie Lamar Jack Browner staff ATTACHMENT A SCALE: I" 3DOO' 1" .49 nmi I" .91km HAWK CHANNEt so to 24* 28'N 0 M so 14 i to 14 14 It 30 14 2o 20 4 :31 2 24\ 33 0 41 41 to 64 to lot ........................ ............ 61924'W FIGURE 6-7. Location of the Looe Key HAPC, as measured onto the contours of IIOAA National Ocean Survey Chart 11445. Square measures 1.852km (I nni) or each side with a center at the asterisk. The LORATI-C readings for the four points of the trapezoid are listed below. 1 141 7980-11-13973.7. 7980-Y-43532.7 2 SH 7980-W-13973.4. 7980-Y-43532.4 3 HE 7980-11-13975.0. 7900-Y-43530.1 4 SE 7980-1.1-13975.4. 7980-Y-43527.7 6-62 ATTACBMENT B LOOE KU PROPOSALS marine Sanctuary Coral F71P General Area: Five square nautical General Area- One nautical mile miles Includes portions of patch square. Contains fore reef and flat reefs, a reef flat, fore reef, deep, reef. reef, and deep ridge. (If charting shows a smaller area will include adequate portions of the five zones the area will be reduced.) "Special Management Area.: trapezoid. "Special Planagement Area : trapezoid. (same) Coral Collection. None permitted in Coral Collection: same, but no con- general are&. tact with coral permitted In trapezoid area. M Tropical Ma-rine Specimens: Collecting Tropical Marine Specimens: Collecting & allowed throughout area by permit. of marine tropical fishes prohibited In trapezoid area. Spearfishings Probibited in general Spearfishing: Prohibited in trapezoid area. area. Fixed Geart General area: prohibit Fixed Cear: General area: prohibit wire fish traps. Trapezoid area: fish traps within 100-foot contour prohibit wire fish traps and lobster (Reef Fish FWP). Trapezoid area: traps. fixed fishing gear prohibited. Anchoring: Restricted to sand flats. Anchoring: Prohibited In trapezoid. Historical and Cultural Resources: Historical and Cultural Resources: Removal, damaging, tampering Not specifically addressed. prohibited. Toxic materials., Prohibits all Toxic Materials: Prohibits toxic discharges except vessel cooling chemicals in taking fish and other water, fish parts, chumming materials marine organisms In coral areas. and effluents from karine sanitation devices. Explosives: not addressed. Explosives: Prohibited over live coral bottoms when causing coral damage. BRANCH OFFICE CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT BRANCH OFFICE 3117 OVERSEAS HIGHWAY 16TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT P.O. Box MARATHON, FLORIDA 33050 MONROE COUNTY PLANTATION KEY, FLORIDA 330 TEL (305) 743-9036 300 WHITEHEAD STREET TEL. (305) 852-92 KEY WEST, FLORIDA 33040 RECORDER TEL. (305) 294-4641 COUNTY CLERK COLLECTOR OF DELINQUENT TAXES COUNTY AUDIT( July 11, 1980 U. S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin. Rockville, Maryland 20852 Attention: Mr. Richard A. Frank, Administratox Dear Sir: The Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida at a regular meeting in formal session an July 1, 1980 adopted Resolutions go. 152-1980, 153-1980 and 154-1980 opposing the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, supporting the Fishery Management Councils Coral Management Plan and requesting the appointment of a resident of Monroe County to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Enclosed for your information are copies of said resolutions. Very truly yours, Clerk of Circuit Court and ex officio Clerk Board of County Commissioners Rww/vp cc: file Enclosures RESOLUTION NO. 153-1980 RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE FISH MANAGEMENT COUNCILS CORAL MANAGEMENT PLAN/PROGRAM PROVIDING FOR THE PROTEC- TION Of THE CORAL REEFS. WHEREAS, Monroe County, Florida, is directly affected by the, activities which occur In and around it's waters; the, Gulf of Mexico- the. Florida lay, and the Atlantic Ocean. and, WHEREAS, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Managment Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council have juris- diction over the Federal waters in and around Monroe County. State of Florida. and, WHEREAS, said Councils are establishing a Coral management Plan/Program which would provide for the protection of the coral reefs in and around Monroe County, Florida, now. therefore, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MONROE COUNTY. FLORIDA. as follows- 1. That the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida. does hereby support the concept that the Gulf of Mexico. Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council proceed to establish and Implement a Coral Management Plan/Program in order to provide for the protection of the Coral reefs In and around Monroe County, Florida. 2. That the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Governor of the State of Florida, the, United States Department of Commerce_ and such other agencies and officials as is appropriate. Passed and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, at a regular meeting held on the, 1st day Of July. 1980. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MONROE COUNTY. FLORIDA By Chairman Attest., Clerk (Seat) APPROVED AS To FORM AND LEGAL SUFFICIENCY 2. No response necessary. RESOLUTION NO. 154-1980 RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE APPOINTMENT OF A RESIDENT OF MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA. TO THE GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL AND THE SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL. WHEREAS, Monroe County is directly affected by the activities which occur in and around it's waters; the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, and, WHEREAS, the Gulf of Mexio Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council have jurisdic- tion over the Federal waters in and around Monroe County, State of Florida, and WHEREAS, appointments to said councils are made through designations by the Governor of the State of Florida and other appropriate agencies, now therefore. BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA, as follows: 1. That the Board of County Commissioners does hereby request the Governor of the State of Florida to take such actions as is necessary in order to provide for the appointment of a resident of Monroe County, Florida, to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and/or the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in order to provide for direct input to said Council from the area directly affected by said Council activities. 2. That the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, is hereby directed to forward a copy of this Resolution to the Governor of the State of Florida, the United States Department of Commerce, and such other agencies and officials as is appropriate. Passed and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, at a regular meeting held on the 1st day of July, 1980. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA BY: CHAIRMAN ATTEST: 3. No response necessary. RESOLUTION NO. 152 - 1980 RESOLUTION OPPOSING PROPOSED LOOE KEY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY AS SET FORTH IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT DATED JANUARY, 1980. WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, has received the Draft Environmental Impact Statement dated April, 1980 regarding the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, and, WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, at it's public meeting held on July 1, 1980, did receive comments in regards thereto, and, WHEREAS, the establishment of a five (5) mile area is not necessary to protect the Looe Key Reef, now, therefore. BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA, as follows: 1. That the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County Florida, does hereby note it's opposition to the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, the designation consisting of a five (5) mile boundary area, and further, that the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, does hereby request that the appropriate public hearings be held such that the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary area can be more reasonably established should the public input support same. Passed and adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Monroe County, Florida, at a regular meeting held on the 1st day of July, 1980. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA BY: CHAIRMAN ATTEST: CLERK APPROVED AS TO FORM AND LEGAL SUFFICIENCY, BY: ATTORNEY'S OFFICE 4. Please see Generic Response #2. SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL 1 SOUTHPARK CIRCLE, SUITE 304 CHARLESTON, S.C. 39407 TELEPHONE (803) 371-4364 DAVID H.G. GOULD, CHAIRMAN ERNEST B. FEEMITZ, EXECUTIVE PEGGY A. STAMEY, VICE CHAIRWOMAN DIRECTOR July 2, 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs Officer Office of Coastal Zone Management 3390 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Nancy: The South Atlantic Council, in its meeting last week, again reviewed the Looe Key sanctuary DEIS. The Council voted to support a one square mile sanctuary boundary identical to the HAPC for Looe Key as proposed in the Coral FMP. With this one change, the Council endorses the Looe Key sanctuary proposal. The council does, however, recommend that certain corrections be made in the final document. It was noted that the data on fish traps used in the DEIS is not the most current data available. The Council recommends that the final document utilize updated information available from the Florida DNR and NMFS' Southeast Fisheries Center. Another recommendation from the Council concerns the use of the word "recreational" in the Preamble and Article III of the Draft Designation Document appearing in Appendix A. The reference to recreational without a like reference to commercial was considered inappropriate. It is suggested that either commercial be added wherever recreational is used or that recreational be deleted entirely. With my best regards. Sincerely, David H.G. Gould Chairman Response #1 Thank you for your letter. Please see Generic Response #3 for a discussion of the boundary issue. Response #2 NOAA has included the data from the FDNR/NMFS wire fish trap study. This new information has been incorporated into Chapter Four, Environmental Consequences, 1. Regulatory Alternatives for Wire Trap Fishing. Response #3 The word "commercial" has been inserted in Article 3 of the Designation Document, acknowledging the value of Looe Key as an area important for commercial fisheries. However, the language in the Preamble of the Designation Document is derived from the statutory language of Title III of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. The purpose of the Act specifies preserving "recreational values" as a rational for designation of an area as Marine sanctuary but does not similarly specify commercial values. Accordingly it would be inappropriate for NOAA to insert the term "commercial" in the Preamble. ACTIVE DIVERS ASSOCIATION 8034 S.W. 114 Place MIAMI, FLORIDA 33173 June 24, 1980 Director Sancturries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven St. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Director: We are an organization numbering in excess of three hundred (300) Sport Divers and we totally support the five (5) Square Mile Lope Key Sanctuaries Proposal. Very truly yours, ACTIVE DIVERS ASSOCIATION H.A.V. PARKER III EXECUTIVE COUNCIL/SAFETY OFFICER NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY FLORIDA AUDUBON SOCIETY Karsten A. ?ist 341 East Tropical .,!ay Plantation. Florida 3331? June 12, 1980 Director, Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone .',anagement 3300 4hitshaven Street, I.'. V. dashington. D. C. 20235 r 4ar Sirs Please See Generic Respo.nse #1 The Broward 'ounty Audubon Society represents more than 1600 individual a@d family memberships in Broward County, Florida. The interests of this membership are focussed on the preservation M of our n*tural heritage. specificly on the preservation of unique 14 habitats such as Lo" Key and its plant and animal life. The Broward County Audubon Society would like to express Its strong support for the preservation of Looe Key and the establishment of Looe Key Marine Sanctuary. 11th the number of visitors -which have been recorded for Looe Key It in important that protective management rules be established and enforced. No Loubt the economic value of the tourist days spent in the Florida Keys because of Looe rey will have a much greater economic value than the loss to commercial fishing activities which the establishment of the sanctuary will entail. Sincerely, Karsten A. Riot Conservation Chairman Center for Environmental Education 1925 K Street. N.W. - Washington. D.C 20006 202/466-4996 JULY 15, 1980 Director, Marine Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven St., NW Washington, D.C. 20235 Response #1 Dear Director: Please see Generic Response #1. We are here commenting upon the Draft Environmental Impact Statement an the marine sanctuary proposal for Laos Key. Response #2 General Comments: As the DEIS makes. clear the resources of Please refer to Response #3 of the letter from primary concern within the study area are the coral reefs. The Defenders of Wildlife, and the new HIS maps o reefs serve as a focus for recreational. use and as the habitat boundary alternatives. Also please see Generi for other species of recreational and commercial value. e.g., tropical fish, spiny lobster. It is also clear from a reading of the Loce Key Reef Resource Inventory (henceforth, Inventory), prepared by the fLorida Reef Foundation in 1978, chat this area has aLready suffered tremendousLy from human activities (set especially page 31). It is also clear that the ecosystem of a coral roof community is complex and very sensitive to pecturbation. Thus, white we agree that the carat roof in the resource of greatest importance in the area, we also believe that the regulations must not focus solely on the covet itself. Indications are that the whole Florida Reef Tract.may be undergoing a general deterioration (inventory,. p. 42). Loue Key provides-an opportunity for protecting a unique segment of the Florida Roof Tract from further degradation and for focusing research into the status of che Florida Roof Tract as a whole. Visitor pressure on the reefs of the Lower Keys in general.. and on Loom Key in particular, will. only increase in the coming years.(DEIS, p. 39). In. light of this. we believe that the sanctuary, reguLations should. reflect the sensitivity of the rest system and the increasing impacts of human activities. Boundaries: The preferred alternative boundaries provide a minimum of. protection for the area. However. we find it difficult to evaluate the adequacy of this, or the other, boundary options because so little information is presented for the area outside the preferred boundary area. In particular, the map on Figure 2 of the DEIS does not depict bioLogical zones outside the proposed 2 five-square nautical mile boundary, much Less zones which would be included under Alternative 3. Of particular concern is the exclusion of the deep cidge area. mentioned in the Inventory on pages 7 and 4. We believe that this area should be included in the sanctuary because Lt is port of-the reef system and, to quote the inventory, "has the potential for elucidating the geological past of the area." (p. 14) Weber-Loos Key DEIS Page Two 7-15-80 On rationale presented for preferring the five-square nautical mile boundary is that such an area would represent an "ecological. slice of the pie." (DEIS. pp. 25-26)The slice preferred is arbitrary because it excludes portions of the patch reef deep roof, and deep ridge zones. No positive reasoning Is presented for excluding these areas. It seems that these areas are excluded because there is little Information on their biology. This Lack of Information is not sufficient reason for exclusion. Corsi Collecting: We strongly support the preferred 'regulations Response 03 on coral collecting within the sanctuary area. The Inventory (pp. 37-38) states that four species of coral have already been exterminated due Please refer to Response #5 of the lett to collecting. This paper also states that "souvenir coral collecting Defenders of Wildlife. is an ongoing practice." (p. 31) Not only do such activities reduce the esthetic and recreational value of the area but also threaten the ecological bass. of the area. To quote the inventory (pp. 31): Response #4 "Habitat destruction resulting from coral harvesting and No response necessary. anchor damage has a pronounced deleterious effect on the roof and its resources. Adverse ecological effects of this nature not only disrupt functional interrelationships but Response #5 negatively impact the commercially valuable resource base." All sanctuary management measures will periodically reevaluated We believe that permits for scientific and educational coral collecting based on monitoring of uses and resources and additional research data. should stipulate the amount and location of coral to be taken. The regulation governing lobster trapping will be included in these reevaluation and monitoring efforts. Furthermore, every attempt will be Wire Trap Fishing: We agree that wive fish traps should not made to work closely with the Fishery Management Councils to insure 4- be allowed within the proposed sanctuary. The impact an coral and adequate protection of the spiny lobster. non-carget fish species is of particular concern to us. Lobstser Trapping: We support the preferred alternative of Response #6 prohibiting Lobster trapping on the fore Reef. However, we would Like to see an assessment of the economic impact of allowing- Please refer to Generic Response #04. The final proposal includes a the setting of pots only in sandy areas outside the Fore Reef. We prohibition on tropical specimen collecting within the sanctuary except urge OCZM to pursue cooperation with the Fishery Management councils by permit for scientific and educational purposes. in developing a workable plan for the protection of spiny Lobster from overfishing. In particular, we wish to avoid the extirpation of this species. since this would have long-term effects on the roof community at a whole. Tropical Marine Specimen Collecting: We strongly support Alternative C which would prohibit tropical. specimen collecting within the sanctuary except for scientific and educational purposes with.. 6_. NOAA permits. We note that the DEIS (pp. 102-103) itself recognizes that tropical specimens can be raised successfully in capitiviy and that areas outside the proposed sanctuary are Likely to afford collectors opportunities for collecting such specimens. In addition, the DEIS discussion of chLs alternative recognizes the considerable advantages ICE this alternative. Weber-Loos Key DEIS Page Three 7-13-80 Spearfishing: As the DEIS notes (P. 105), spearfishing seems Response #7 to have created a wariness in the fish of the Loan Key area which has diminished the opportunities for viewing. these fish. In Addition, The text has been revised to clarify the relationship between reef predators an the DEIS notes, the elimination of reef predators by spearfishing and urchins. Please see Chapter Four, Regulatory Alternatives for Spearfishing. appears to have spurred an increase in chat urchin populations which, 7 in turn.. may be reducing seagrasses and algae in the area upon which herbivocaus fish feed. The need for a prohibition on spearfishing Response #8 within the sanctuary is clear. In order to implement such a prohi- bition, we believe, it necessary to prohibit the possession of spear. No response necessary. fishing equipment within the sanctuary. Otherwise the prohibition on spearfishing will be all too easily circumvented. Submerged Historical and Cultural Resourcess: We support the 8 Preferred alternative. 9 Discharges: We support the preffered alternative. We would urge, however, that the sanctuary manager monitor the expansion of Response #9 shore-based sewage facilities in the are and inform permitting agencies of the sensitivity of the Loan Key area. The sanctuary management will make every effort to work closely with other permitting agencies to Insure understanding of the sensitivities Anchoring: Both the DEIS (pp. 111-112) and the Inventory (p. 3t) of the Loss Key area and Sanctuary management concerns. cite, the server impact which anchoring has had an the corl reef areas of the proposed sanctuary. Projected growth in the use of the study Response #10 area threatens to further stress the carat of the Key. The Fare The preferred alternative for anchoring has been changed in the FEIS. Reef and Reef Flat zones ace already subject to widespread damage NOAA is proposing to prohibit anchoring on coral on the Fore Reef and to be prohibited in the Fore Reef Zone; elsewhere, it should be allowed encourage sand anchoring elsewhere within the sanctuary. 10 only in sandy areas. We do not believe that this will prove impractical in that short term as far as recreational users are concerned. At the same, time, we do-not believe that recreational Response #11 use of the area for chat time being warrants the adverse impacts Sanctuary management will emphasize continuing public participation and associated with anchoring. We wish to avoid, so to speak, "loving the reef to death". A temporary moratorium an anchoring in the education. The latter is evidenced in the proposed sanctuary goals above steam wilt allow OCAM with the cooperation of the fishery and objectives. Specific mechanisms for public involvement in management Management Council to develop long-range means of protecting will be developed during formulation of the Management Plan. During that coral resources from the effects of anchoring. process, the public will be asked to review and recommend suggested management stratagies. Advisory committees will be established if the 11 Sanctuary Management: We strongly urge that the sanctuary public feels It desirable. manager convene an Advisory Committee which both represents community interest groups and can provide scientific advice art activities within Response #12 the sanctuary. A vigorous public education campaign should be pursued to insure that users of sanctuary waters understand the substance and reason for regulations. This approach was used in the regulatory structure for the Key Largo Marine Sanctuary, and objections were raised by the Executive Director Other issues: We suggest that instead of listing harmful fishing of the Organized Fishermen of Florida. NOAA concurs with their argument methods in the regulations at 937.6(3), permitted fishing methods be that this type of regulation results in much more confusion than a 12 listed. Such methods should be easy to identify. The positive. rather straightforward listing of prohibitions and restrictions. than negative, cone of such regulations may be more palatable, and better observed, by users-of the sanctuary waters. Weber-Loos Key DEIS Page four 7-15-80 finally, we believe that-those carrying an research in the sanctuary be required to supply reports to the sanctuary manager which summarize activities and results. In addition, the sanctuary manager should encourage by funding and other means research into the ecosystem and human, impacts within the sanctuary. We appreciate the opportunity to comment upon this proposal and took forward to the Final Environmental Impact Statement. Sincerely, Michael Weber Marine Habitat Coordinator MW:mw cc. Mrs. Bruce Barrett 401@ Aj. U-i A0 -4 Please see Generic Response m -4 A Oe -4 44 @AL DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE July 14, 1980 Director, marine Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Sir/Madam: Defenders of Wildlife submits the following comments Sherrard Coleman with respect to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement Response #1 (DEIS) on the proposed Loco Key National Marine Sanctuary. The goal of the Marine Sanctuary Program is to establish and maintain a National Defenders of Wildlife ("Defenders") is a national, system of marine sanctuaries for the purpose of preserving or restoring special marine areas for their conservation, recreational, ecological or esthetic values. The program focuses attention on sites of national interest non-profit, tax exempt organization with a membership of and concern. approximately 50,000 citizens nationwide, and is dedicated to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the 1 nation's wildlife and wildlands. Looe Key is the first proposed "national" marine sanc- tuary, a title which we find appropriate and in keeping with the scope and focu of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. All marine sanctuaries designated pursuant to this program should be so titled to reflect the national interest in marine resource and habitat protection. General Comment Defenders is strongly supportive of the stated goals of santuary designation for Looe Key, Florida. As discussed 2 in tha introductory section of the DEIS, Looe Key is truly unique in its variety of marine organisms, supported by the continuing vitality of the comlex, yet extremely fragile, Please refer to Generic Response 1244 NINETEENTH STREET, NW WASHIGT0ON, DC 20036 (202) 659-9510 coral reef ecosystem. The coral formations are themselves irreplaceable, in addition to forming the foundation af this environment. There has been longstanding and widespread local in- terest in protection of these resources -- as evidenced in particular by the number of organizations participating in NOAA's 1978 workshop in Big Pine Key. One of the primary concerns is the rapidly increasing tecreational and commer- cial use of the area. As Looe Key is located outside state territorial waters, state jurisdiction is not applicable. And, there is at present no regulation of the two most direct M threats to the coral roof system: anchoring of boats and 1 -4 coral collecting activities. Increasing damage from these activities indicates that the majority of persons utilizing this area ate not aware of the extreme fragility of the coral roof system. The disruption of one element precipitates a cause-and-offect reaction resulting in the imbalance and eventual decline of the entire system. All of those factors underline the urgency of prompt desig- nation of Loco Key as a sanctuary. One of the important benefits [ cc i. e, of such designation would be coordinated efforts to "enhance public awareness of the functioning of the Looe Rey coral reef system., (DEIS, p. 5) Defenders believes that all 2 interests involved in the use of Looe Xey's resources can be adequately served, while still preserving -- through reasonable management -- an unparalleled ecosystem in La relatively undisturbed state. Sanctuarv Boundaries The preferred alternative (112) discussed in the DEIS Response 03 would encompass portions of the Patch Reef, all of -the The 'highly developed coral system' referred to in the text on pp. 90-91 is the spur and groove system of the.Fore Reef. According to sources Interviewed at the site there is no comparable coral reef to the immediate Reef Flat, Fore Reef and portions of the Deep Reef and Deep east and west of the preferred alternative. Detailed biological investigations of the area beyond the five mile area were not available for the DEIS. The Ridge zones -- approximately 5 square nautical miles in biological information In the DEIS was taken from data in the Laos Key Reef -91 Resource Inventory in which the scope of wort was limited to the biological area. As. later outlined at pp. 90 Boundary Alternative zones associated with Looe Key reef. It would be difficult at this ties to delineate an area enccmpassing the entire Deep Reef and Deep Ridge (north-South M #3 would include all of Alternative #21s territory, plus extension). Field Investigations of this.outer area are either non-existant or very preliminary. Also please see Generic Response 03 for additional C) portions of territory on the east and west borders of discussion of the boundary issue. 3 Alternative #2. Defenders is perplexed, however, by 0CZM1s On the other hand, the Looe Key area is a highly productive fishing area. Enlarging the 5 mile area to a 10 nm sanctuary could, if fishing regulations statement (pp. 90-91) that 'this additional area does were Imposed. restrict local. long-term commercial fishermen and Interfere with as much as two-thirds of their catch. Enlarging the 5 mile area to 10 not contain the same highly developed coral system' found miles. although desirable. was not believed essential to meeting the objectives of the sanctuary. within the parameters of Boundary P.Lcernative 12. Does this statement mean that the unique coral systems of Looe Key are iound,on. y within the approximate square of Boundary Alternative #2, and ni2t along the same reef areas to the iMMftd1&t9 east and west of that Alternative? This is apparently the case, although the DEIS does not directly say so, nor does it present evidence to that effect. In fact, other statements in the DEIS indicate that the necessary detailed investigation of the entire reef has not been accomplished.* Rather, as the DEIS's introductory section makes clear, the preferred alternative has been selected without further resource investigation by OCZM because it: ... will provide a reasonable sl ice of the reef tract which w:Ul pairmit management to achieve the sanctuary objectives... (p. 4).(Erphasis added.) ana ... will provide long-term protection for a reoresentative section of the Floridi reef tract Tr-omPatch Reefs out to the Deep Ridge." (p. 11) (Emphasis added.) M 3 and 00 ... will help insure accomplishment of all sanctuary goals by encompassing a 'slice of the ecological pie' ...... (p. 12) (EmphasE-sadded.) Such statements clearly indicate an arbitrary decision- making process which has resulted in proposed boundaries that will not,,...contrary to DEIS proclamations, meet the primary sanctuacy objective of maintaining, protecting and enhancing the quality of the natural, biological, aesthetic and cultural resources of the Loos Key reef system. This -objective is not founded in terms such as rea@onable slice, or representative section." The proposed boundaries would only accomplish partial protection for a small, selected partica Of that system. LJ* DEIS, p. 90. It is also apparent from additional statements on page 91 that the OCZH chose the particular boundaries of Alternative #2 in deference to local commercial fishing interests: local fishermen depend an the 5 square nautical mile sanctuary proposal area for approximately one-third of their catch and the area beyond the 5 square nautical mile boundary !or approximately two-thirds of their catch. Therefore posing restrictions on com- mercial fishing within a 10 square mile area would likely cause considerable economic hardship on local long-term commercial fishermen....." It should be noted that NOAA's own on-site survey of Looe Key* indicates that commercial fishing activities primarily involve spiny lobster, mackerel, and yellowtail rn 3 snapper. Lobster traps are, for the most part set within the Patch Reef zone, with a few occasionally sot within the 00 N) Deep Reef zone. Although both Ocyurus chrysurus (yellowtail snapper and Scomberomorus regalis (mackerel) occur In relative abundance throughout most of the reef zones,*.* commercial .fishing li)he activities apparently are located in large part seaward of the.reef and, less frequently, within Hawk Channel but north of Looe Key.*** Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory, prepared -for Office of Ocean Management, NOAA, by the Florida Reef Foundation, Homestead, Florida. February 28, 1978. Authors: Arnfried, Antonius, Arthur H. Weiner, John C. Halas, and Ed Davidson. (Razeinafter cited as "Onsite Survey'.) The yellowtail snapper occurs less !reqjently in the Reef Flat and Deep Reef zones. Onsite Survey, p. 29. ***Onsite Survey, p. 30. The Lower Keys Chapter of the Organized Fishermen of Florida has testified in opposition to any restriction on fishing activities which would reduce income to that industry. Defenders certainly does not wish to see unreasonably restrictive boundaries imposed to the "considerable economic hardship" of commercial fishing interests. Defenders does believe, however, that in the interest of presenting a comprehensive analysis, the OCZX must detail further both the area's resources beyond the borders of Alternative #2, and the current and anticipated levels of all activities impacting the Loos Key reef system. The inclusion of this sort of information is really pre- requisite to a decision on boundaries which can be supported rn by all interests. @0 W If such further investigations as requested above indicate that commercial fishing can be conducted outside sanctuary boundaries: 1) without undue economic hardship, and 2) without ad-@ersa impact upon adjacent coral reefs, then there can be no good reason for providing less-than- complete protection within sanctuary parameters whatever those finally established parameters may be. In summary, the current DEIS discussion does not prese=t a compelling argument for the adoption of Boundary Alternative #2. The fact that the Fore Reef zone has more spectacular corals than the Patch Reef zone must not eliminate the Patch Reef zone from being considered an integral, vital component of the reef system. NOA.A's Onsite Survey states, for example, that the Patch Reef zone provides the two "most important requirements for the mobile, herbivorous reel' fauna: shelter from predators and an unlimited supply of food."* The Patch Reef and Reef Flat zones in combination thus comnrise the nursery area for juvenile fish species. Ther-OCar, should be proposing protectiol-I lor, all of both zones, instead of protection for all the"Reef Flat zone-and only parts of the Patch Reef zone. Likewise, Defenders believes that OCZM has not made the case for less-than-total protection for the Deep Reef zone and the Deep Ridge zone. M 3 As with portions of the closer-in zones, the Deep Reef and Deep Ridge zones contain a wide variety of octocorals, and stony corals, in addition to sponges. The Onsite Survey notes in particular the significance of the Deep Ridge zone as a potential source for discovering the area's geological past.** The stated goals of sanctuary designation can only be. achieved by protection of an entire system -- not by arbitrary selection and piecemeal protection of areas containing "more valuable" resources than those of adjacent areas.within that system. Defenders also realizes, however, that dasignation of ihe entire Florida reef tract is both Onsize Survey, p. 37. Onsite Survey, p. 14. Impractical for management and unduly restrictive to human utilization. In light of the foregoing discussion, and with awareness of the increasing commercial and recreational demands being placed on Looe Key's resources, Defenders proposes, therefore, that OCZM designate an area which encompasses the entirety of all five reef zones. This slight expansion of 3oundary Alternative #3 would be north-south in direction; the east- west boundaries would remain as depicted in the DEIS (p. 23). Thus, the northern boundary of the sanctuary would extend from Sawk Channel southward to the margin of the continental shelf. The protective effect of such designation would be M that of preserving, as-a unit, all reef zones contained C@ 3 e-n within a significant area of the reef tract system. Such an area would allow a 'living laboratory' approach to needed understanding of the remaining reef system's interrelation7 ships. Further, as stated in the DEIS (p. 91), such an expanded area would not be likely to require additional enforcament capabUity, as the same number of personnel could effectively patrol the larger area. Defenders believes that the incorporation of these.extended boundaries can be accomplished without undue restrictions to the local cozmarcial fishing industry. The larger area, albeit still a compromise and st ill a portion of the larger ecosystem, nevertheless encompasses the whole of all reefal zones, while allowing a reasonable 1evel o! human activtty to continua. For these reasons, Defenders strongly urges it s adoption. Regulated Activities implementation of Looe Key National marine Sanctuary Response 04 should be primarily protective in its scope and effect. Immediately after designation, a Visitor Use Study will be Initiated. Monitoring these uses and evaluation of reef health and user impacts will Hence, any human activities to be allowed within its allow management to assess the effectiveness of the sanctuary management boundaries must be carefully controlled and monitored to measures In achieving sanctuary goals and objectives. 4 ensure the Cont4nuing health and viabilit y of the area's living resources. with respect to specific activities, Defenders supports OCZM's assessment that coral collecting and anchoring of bbats are primary detriments to the reef _Lsystem. 1. Coral Collecting. Defenders is strongly supportive of OCZM's proposed regulation, which would prohibit collec- Response 15 tion or possession of all coral within the sanctuary (with "Scientific' and "educational" applications for the collection of coral will M the exception of those specimens collected under permit for S be carefully scrutinized. Specific provisions will be made in permit applIc t on to specif quantities as well as the species of coral to be taken. only 80 those colTectors meeting the criteria specified in 937.7 of the proposed scientific or educational purpose!@). It is very apparent regulations will be considered for permits. @that uncontrolled specimen collecting has resulted in the near depletion of several species from the easily-accessible 5 Fore Reef zonci.- Defenders urges the OCZH to initiate a permit system which can exercise discretion in the review of "scientific" or "educational" applications for coral collecti.ng. In this regard, specific provision should be made in permit applications for quantities, as well as specles, of coral to be taken. Although the DEIS states (pp. -92-93) that commercial coral harvesting is "insigni- ficant," the Onsite Survey mentions, at least, numerous reports indicating this act--vity.-to have been "common practice in the recent past." The vast amounts of coral L Onsits Survey, p. 31. imoorted into this country, from the Philippines in particular,* to be sold in countless curio and jewelry shops indicate a continuing demand for this resource. Defenders thus believes the OCZM should pay special attention to its regulations allowing a very limited take of coral specimens from the sanctuary. Those regulations (and their enforce- ment) m-1-st not allow loopholes for commercial interests. 5 in addition, the DEIS makes specific reference (p..92) to the increased resnonsibilities enforcing this regulation will entail. Defenders does not believe that NOAA should regard permit review as "detracting" from other dutie*s. Meaningful protection of the coral reefs is basic to:the M objectives of this designation: the careful review of 80 permit applications is a vital element in that protection. 2. Commercial Fishing, A. Wire ZEaE Fishing. Defenders believes that Response 06 wire trap fishing should not be permitted in any portion The draft regulations as proposed by NOAA in the DEIS prohibit wire trap fishing within the sanctuary. of the sanctuary at this time. The regulations covering this activity may be amended to per-.ut limited use of wire 6 trap* when- 1) there are documented data available con- cerning the environmental, sociological and economic impacts of trars; and 2) there are conclusive data available on the num.ber of area fisherman c-azzently using wire traps as well as the expected increase in this usage. diven the stated "7nternational Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management Newsletter," January, 1980, pp. 19-20. isadvantages connected with wire trap usage (pp. 95-96), not the least of which is the potential to seriously deplete reef fish stocks, Defenders does not believe the cost- and efficiency-related advantages (p. 96) arg-ue compellingly for their permitted usage. 6 Therefore, Defenders strongly urges OCZM to prohibit any .wire tram usage within the sanctuary until such tixie as these data can be assessed and a final decision made to either Derwat limited usage or to prohibit usage completely within the sanctuary. B. Lobster Trapping. Defenders is generally supportive of OCZM's intention to prohibit lobster trapping Response #7 No response necessary. in-the Fare Reef zone within the sanctuary, as such pro- hibition'would offer partial protection to the rn species. The Onsite Survey indicates (p. 30) that most c!o lobster traps are set within the Patch Reef zone in any 00 7 event, so this regulation is not anticipated to have a substantial economic impact on local lobster fishing interests. As is ihe case with wire trap fishing., there are considerable gaps in knowledge relating to lobster populat-ion dynamics. Defenders is pleased to note that OCZM ;:Ians close cooperation with Fishery Management Council's in their efforts to protect and enhance spiny lobster stocks both within the sanctuary and throughout adjacent areas. 3. TroDical Marine Soecimen Coliectipl. It is somewhat unclear why OCZLI,proposes to allow Response 08 tropical marine specimen collecting within sanctuary Please see Generic Response 14. The FFIS Proposes to prohibit tropfcal specimen collecting except with a permit for scientific and educational purposes boundaries when its own discussion of this activity (pp. only.I 103-104) indicates two pertinent factors which seem to argue against it: 1) tropical fish can and are success- fully raised in captivity and sold cou6nercially; and 2) tropical fish collecting can be conducted from adjacent 'tb a mi areas w. ninal socioeconomic impact. it appears that OCZM.has endorsed alternative 'b;' (restrict tropical specimen collectors to collectors with NOAA permits within all boundary alternatives and to non-chemical 8 techniques) in deference to local commercial collectors, without being able to support that alternative on resource 4.0 protective grounds. Defenders believes alternative 'c' (limiting tropical specimen collectors within all boundaries to those with NOAA scientific and educational permits) is thore rational. Indeed, the DEIS discussion of this alternative's effects (p. 104) argue strongly in its favor: 'This alternative would crotect and enhance the tropical fish population at Looe Key., prevent the depletion of ecologically imoortant snecies, add to the aesthetics of the sanctuary, and maintain and enhance the long-term productivity of the Looe Key coral reef for futuze generations.....' "It appears that there are many suitable areas for tropical specimen collectors to catch tropical fish and inverte- brates...including shallow inshore areas, inshore coral heads, mid-channel reefs ... and the entire outer reef. This alternative would cause limited economic loss to present commercial collectors." Defenders urges OCZM to adopt alternative "c", as it will provide species protection, reduce administrative review and monitoring functions, and not result in undue economic impact to commercial collectors. 4. Spearfishing. Defenders fully supports OCZM't Response 09 M proposed prohibition on all spear!ishing (and possession No response necessary. @O of spear!ishing equipment) within sanctuary boundaries- CD 5. Submerged Historical and Cultural Resources. Response 010 No response necessary. Defenders agrees with the OCZM that continued exploration and investigations into subinerged historical and cultural Response oil resources, such as the HMS Looe, are,important, and should No response necessary. 10 be allowed to go forward through the institution of a NOAA Response #12 permit system. NOAA has modified the proposed anchoring regulation to prohibit anchoring 6. Dischargei. Defenders supports CCZM's preferred on coral the Fore Reef and to encourage sand anchoring elsewhere within the sanctuary (Please refer to Chapter Four, Environmental Consequences, 7. alternative, i.e., prohibiting the discharge of substances Alternatives Regulating Anchoring.) This suggestion will be considered in the Response #4 study to be initiated except non-polluted cooling waters from vessels, fish or if designation occurs. parts and chumming materials and discharges fro m marine sanitation devices within the sanctuary. 7. Anchoring. The increasing number of recreational and commercial boats utilizing the Looe Key area underscores 12 the i=artance of regulating locations and methods for anchoring as this activity is widely acknowledged to be tremely damaging in nature to Coral reef systems. As both the DEIS and the Onsite Survey indicate, there is already widespread evidence of anchor-related damage to coral formations, particularly within the Fore Reef and Reef Flat zones. If allowed to continue unabated, this activity will certainly lead to the eventual demise of the entire reef system. WitLh respect to allowable anchoring locations, Defenders is generally supportive of OCZM's efforts to liirLit anchoring to less sensitive areas of the Looe Key system. However, those efforts do not go far enough,in r1i I providing the needed protection for coral formations. 10 12 As the DEIS indicates, the number and diversity of coral formations within the Fore Reef zone render that area the most popular to divers, but also render it the area most in need @Of protection from careless anchoring. Further discussion in the DEIS (pp. 112-113) reveals that the Reef Flat zone and areas seaward of the Fore Reef offer less vulnerable anchoring sites. In light of this discussion, Defenders believes anchoring should be limited to designated areas within: 1) the Reef Flat zone, -d 2) waters seaward of the Fore Reef zone. With respect to 12, above, designated anchoring sites should be restricted to waters in front of the eastern half of the Fore Reef, where an uninterrupted sand flat exists.* DEIS, pp. 10, 55. Such modification of OCZM's preferred alternative would provide-complete protection to the Fore Reef zone, and increased protection to both the Reef Flat and the Deep Reef zones. This is particularly desirable for the Deep Reef zone, where there is little information currently available on resources or their condition. Defenders does not believe the imposition of this prohibition would inflict undue hardship on recreational snorkelers and divers, since anchoring in designated areas of the Reef Flat zone offers: 1) a greater degree of protection from high-waves beyond the reef crest, and-2) easy access to the Fore Reef zone rri by swimming through a relatively short expanse of shallow water. Concerning methods of anchoring, Defenders supports Response #)3 OCZH'a intention to institute research vn the use of a No response necessary. mooring systi* in the Fore Reef zone. InAddition to this research, 0CZM should also investigate the use of such a system in the eastern half of the Deep Reef zone seaward of the Fore Reef zone. This portion of the 13 Deep Reef zone is relatively shallow in depth (9-11 meters), and provides a very gradual downward slope* over a sandy bc)tto=. It thus seems reasonable to believe this portion may well provide a suitable mooring area, allowing easy access to the Fore Reef area for divers. The concept of estabLishing permanent moorings has been advocated in the past for areas similar to Looe Key, such as Key Largo." DEIS, p. 55. **.Phillio Dustan, "Bessiged Reefs of Florida's Keys," Natural Historv, Vol. 85:4, 1977, oz. 73-76. other Activities Defenders disagrees with OCzM1s stated intention Response 114 bottom trawling and are therefore subject to potential Sanctuary regulations (Appe not to promulgate regulations pertaining to: 1) alteration Bottom trawling and specimen dredging are listed in the Designation Document of or construction on the seabed; and 2) nd I x A). and specimen dredging. As revealed on page 41, the only RseughU]astiohnsswi.iblecbemecoansifdcetroedrwwiitthhinfulsaincptubuailrye airnevolvement Should activities reason offered for this intention is that these activities do not "pose a realistic threat to the resources at this time." This statement is misleading in two respects: 1) both activities, by DEIS admission, would be damaging in nature to coral reso@jrces and the benthic community as a whole; and 2) to say that resources are not threatened at this time" indicates at least the possibility they will 14 be threatened in the future. (In fact, it is not entirely M .1@ clear, with respect to bottom trawling and specimen LJ dredging, that this activity isn't already planned, if not occurring.*) In the interest of the Marine Sanctuary Program's stated gc;al 'of coordinated management, and of consistently thorough regulations, Defenders believes OCZM should promulgate regulations for these activities. It makes little sense to identify an activity as threatening in nature, and then not regulate it simply because it is not anticipated to occur in the near future. It See DEIS discussion of exploratory trawling for reef T-ish on live bottoms in South Atlantic areas, a. 16. In addition to these activities, Defenders believes Response #15 The likelihood of oil and gas exploration.and exploitation at Looe Key is that OCZM should also, at a minimum, list hydrocarbon remote. However, alteration of the seabed is listed in Appendix A. Article 4. Section I(i) as an activity subject to regulation. In the event that gas and operations as a, regulated activity within the sanctuary. oil activity becomes an Issue within the sanctuary, It would undoubtedly result In an alteration of the seabed and NQAA could promulgate protective Although the DEIS states (p. 78) that 'oil and gas devel- regulations. opment does not appear to be a realistic possibility in the vicinity,' this belief is no guarantee against a Response 016 This issue will be a part of the Management Plan which will be prepared chanse o! mind in the futuze. OCZM certainly has nothing If the sanctuary Is designated. It Is possible that NOAA permits for scientific and educational purposes will require reports on the results of research 15. to lose by recogni2ing oil and gas operations as a potential activities which will be available for public Information. NOAA concurs that this requirement would better enable sanctuary management and threat to Looe Key's rosoLrcas. Listing hydrocarbon the public to accurately assess both the resources at Looe Key and the cumulative Impacts of human activities in the area. operations as a regulated activity in the designation itself will enable OCZM to issue specific regulations should that activity be proposed for the area in the future. Failure to list hydrocarbon operations in the designation M document as a regulated activity will require repetition 0.0 of the entire designation process should oil and gas development become a proposed reality in the future.* Sanctuary Management Effective management is, of course, critical to a successful sanctuary program. With this desired result in mind, Defenders proposes that researchers conducting activities in the sanctuary under NOAA permits be required 16 to su@-it to the Sanctuary Information Center reports on the results of zhoso activities and.that such reports be made ..L!yailable for public review and comment. This data base will DEIS, p. S. better enable sanctuary management and the public to accurately 16 assess both the quantities of resources and the cumulative impacts of human activities upon them. Finally, provision should be made in the regulations Response 017 for an advisory committee which would play a direct role Sanctuary management will be comprised of objective personnel thoroughly versed in special area man'agement in the wrine environment. In addition. in review of sanctuary permit applications and in monitoring management will seek continuing advice from outside expertise and from members of the various user groups. During development of the Management 17 of sanctuary issues in general. The advisory co=rittee Plan, the public will be asked to review alternative mechanisms for ensuring continued involvement in sanctuary management. If formal advisory panels should be comprised of individuals representing the wide are found desirable by the public they wil I be established as a part of the final management framework. This arrangement has been suggested for variety of interests utilizing Looe Key's resources. other potential sanctuaries and can serve a very useful function. Please see Chapter 11 for a more detailed discussion of proposed management. Defenders appreciates very much the opporturLity to provide comment upon this sanctuary proposal. L M Sincerely yours, (.n Sherrard Coleman Marine Issues Specialist cc: Mr. Bruce Barrett [a, SINCE NINETEEN HUNDRED "THE VOICE OF CONSERVATION" July 11, 1980 Director, Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Mgm. 3300 Whitehaven St., NW Washington, V.C. 20235 Re: Proposed Loo Key Marine Sanctuary Dear Sir: Response #1 The Florida Audubon Society hereby comments upon the proposed Loo Key National Marine Sanctuary, and the draft Environmental Impact Statement Please See Generic Response #l. prepared for this proposal. Florida Audubon, along with the National Audubon Society and the five Southeastern Florida chapters of the Society, strongly supports the proposed creation of the the Loo Key National Marine Sanctuary. We represent collectively over 35,000 members in Florida, Response #2 1 many of whom,utilize the resources of the area proposed for inclusion in the sanctuary for recreation, including fishing, skin diving and nature Most Of the commercial recreational questionaires distributed for study. the Looe Key onsite survey were unanswered. Because of the low response, only revenues form the Commercial dive boat operations were calculated in the General Comments economic Study (Appendix C-5) However, a regional service sector multiplier Was used which brought the total esti,ated economic value of dive boat The draft Environmental impact Statement appears to under emphasize the Operations to between $480,450 and $800,750. In the absence of more detailed economic impact of sport and recreational uses of the proposed sanctuary information, the EIS must rely upon the data collected during the survey. area, and overemphasizes the use of the area by commercial fishing interests. Conclusions drawn from such limited information must be used cautiously. For example, the statement indicates on page 63 that "the onsite survey estimated revenue from dive boat trips to be between $150,000 and 250,000 in 1978." From our experience, this figure appears almost absurdly low. We know of one dive boat operation alone which grosses more than $100,000 per year in this area. In-addition, the man-day expenditures which are derived from the figures provided in the Environmental impact statement indicate that dive boat trips generate only 20-33 dollars per diver in "income." From our experience, these figures again seem low, and do not appear to be adequately justified in the text of the statement. Conversely, the text of the statement itself suggests that the value of the commercial fishery at too Key is overestimated, due to the overestimate of the number of fishermen using the area, or by inflated catch value estimates FLORIDA AUDUBON SOCIETY 921 Lake Sybelia Drive P. 0. Drawer 7 Maitland, Florida 32751 (305) 647-261S Director, Sanctuaries Program July 11, 1980 Page 2 in survey questionnaires 1p. 62). While this revelation in duly noted in the statements detailed text. it somehow escapes mention in the summary, and apparently no adj"tments have been made in the considered economic impact of commercial/fisbing operations cited in the report because of this factor. Thus, commercial fishing seems to be of significantly over- stated economic value in the proposed sanctuary area. If the above cited factors were corrected for? an even more compelling Response #3 case for designation of the sanctuary would exist, and it is unfortunate While the commercial fishing survey catch Value results also obtained from that these obvious inaccuracies were perpetuated to this stage of the the Onsite survey appeared higher than normal, (as Compared with Monroe County Environmental Impact Statement process. data and information from other Sources) the results were well within the range of Probability and appropriate for general economic analysis. For The Florida Audubon Society supports the preferred alternatives as indicated this reason they were used in the DEIS analysis as reported by the fisherman. in the draft impact statement in.the following regulatory areas: coral collecting fish traps 4 lobster trapping spearfishing historic and cultural resources Response 04 discharges M anchoring No response necessary. Florida Audubon urges the adoption of a different alternative than that selected as 'preferred" in the draft Environmental Impact Statement in the case of tropical marine specimen collecting. The "preferred" alternqtlve selected in the draft Environmental Impact Statement would allow commercial tropical fish collecting to proceed within the sanctuary so long as those proposing to collect obtained a permit. The philosophy apparently operative here is to limit collecting to "experienced collectors," and those exhibiting "knowledge" of tropical marine species Response #5 and "non-damaging techniques for harvesting tropical fishes and invertebrates.* 5 The draft designation document contained in the draft E.I.S. an Appendix A. Please See Generic Response 04. however, does not provide explicit criteria for the "knowledge" requirements of collectors, or the description or definition of "non-da"ging techniques.." As such, the provisions of the suggested permitting program seem loose and unenforceable toward any particular and. In the case of tropical marine specimen collecting, we urge the office of Coastal Zone Management to implement alternative 3, which would prohibit tropical specimen collecting except by permit for scientific and educational purposes. we further suggest that scientific and educational collecting be limited to those individuals directly associated with bonsfide research or educational programs of accredited universities, institutions or state and federal government agencies. and that the requirements for issuance of a permit require submission of documentation of the nature and scope of the educational or research programs for which specimens are sought. Director, Sanctuary Program July 11, 1990 Page 3 We can find no justification in the public interest for perpetuating commercial tropical fish harvesting for the pet trade within the limited 5 square mile area of this sanctuary. There are literally thousands of square miles of reef habitat in the Florida Keys area where such collecting can go on freely, and to suggest that closing this smallsegment to commercial harvesting will pose any kind of hardship upon the collecting industry simply does not stand reasoned scrutiny. in conclusion, we urge that the designation of the sanctuary be made promptly, and that tropical specimen collection be restricted by permit, to bonafide scientific and educational purposes. Sincerely, Charles Lee Vice President Conservation cc: Senator Lawton Chiles Senator Richard Stone Congressman Dante Fascell Bruce Barrett M 1@ 00 Marine Wilderness Society June 17, 1980 Comments of The Marine Wilderness Society on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Regulations for Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary I am Alexander Stone, President of The Marine Wilderness Society. The Society Is pleased to have this opportunity to comment on the Response #I Please tee Generic R Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, and to strongly support its designation. The Marine Wilderness Society is a national marine conservation organization with an established record of active interest In the development of sound ocean policies that provide for the effective protection and preservation of certain important ocean areas of the coastal zone. On the Issue of Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary, the Society's vigorous position of support for the establishment of ,this sanctuary Is a matter of record. It pleases me today to be able to endorse the establishment of a 5 square mile Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary not only on behalf of The Marine Wilderness Society, but also on behalf of the following orgenizations, The Sierra Club Florida Chapter The Marine Mammal Foundation The Florida Reef Foundation The Underwater Society of America The Marine Wilderness Society P.0. Box 943 Miami, Florida 33165 Comments on the DEIS - Looe Key HPtional Mprine Sanctuary pg. e The Periwinkle Alliance The Key 131scayne Anglers The Nptionel Association of Retired Federal Employees - Homestead Chapter The Norine Rouse Scuba Club end the Sierra Club Mieml Group, Volusia- Flagler Group, and Calusp Group. Attached to these corunents are the Resolutions of Support adopted by these organizations for the desigrartion of a National Looe Key Marine Sanctuary of five square miles, so that it shall " Include rri representational sections of all reef zones and provide an essential buffer zone between the main reef sector and the unre- C1 gulated-activity areas outside the sanctuary." Adoption of the 5@-square-mile boundary alternative for the sanctuary Is absolutely crucial to the purposes of the sanctuary, in the view Response #2 of 'he Marine Wilderness Society and all the other organizations Please see Generic Response 3 which we hove just named. If the sanctuary designation is to achieve the stated purpose of providing long-term protection to this special marine area for its unique conservation, recreational, ecological and aesthetic values, an adequate area must be set aside. To be representational of the integrated Florida Reef Tract ecosystem, 2 the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary must Include adequate portions of the patch reef, reef flat, fore reef, deep reef and reef ridge, all of which are distinct transitional zones of the reef system. Anything less than a five-square mile area would fail to include these zones adequately enough to set off a viable system. To properly protect the values and assets of Looe Key Reef which have brought about Its consideration for marine sanctuary status, a reasonable 'buffer zone" must be Incorporated into the sanctuary. This is necessary to effectively shield the primary reef features Comments on the DEIS - Looe Key Nationsl Msrine Sanctuary pr- jend its populations of tropical fish and other marine organisms from the much higher impact level and activity level which will be found outside the sanctuary's boundaries. To reduce the area of the sanctuary below the preferred alternative of five square 'miles will brirw unrestricted activities and their attendant Impacts so clos 'ato the sanctuary's major reef features and fish populations that the aforementioned activities and impacts will be reflected within the sanctuary itself. At this juncture, I must point out that this Is not enly the judgment of strict marine conservationists. Among the over twelve thousnnd Floridians represented In the organizations which I mentioned earlier. we can count marine scientists, sport anrlers, 2 divers and spear fishermen. Particularly noteworthy Is the resolution of support for the five-squre mile sanctuary boundaries of the Underwater Society of America, this country's official apearfishine organization and national representative in all Inter- national spearfishinr competitions. M All these people endorse the establishment of a five-square mile CD loog'e' Key National Marine Sanctuary, even if it means restrictions on their own activities. The anglers and boaters will have to exercise utmost care In their anchoring procedures. The scientists will have to obtain permits for their collection of specimens. The divers will have to "take only memories and leave only bubbles' on Looe Key Reef. And the spearfishermen will have to look elsewhere for their quarry. But they all agreet Looe Key Reef and its fish populations must be protected "to maintain and restore an essen- tially natural ecological condition and balance." And only the designation of a five-square mile Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary Ican achieve this. That only a marine sanctuary designation can protect Looe Key Reef 3 1and its natural values is acknowledged even by the Congressions 1 Comments on the DEIS- Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary pp. 4 Research Service. Keep In mind that what is necessary at Looe Response 13 Key Reef, what the objective of these proceedings Is, is to No response necessary provide this uniquely situated reef and its marine Inhabitants with a comiDrehensive manarement system which will treat the reef system end impects upon It In a holistic manner within a specific geopTephic area. In these respects. only the marine sanctuaries pror.rrm can provide Loos Key Reef with the Intended management. I am sure you are aware of the narrow commercial interests which have been seeking to helt, undermine or limit the designation of a Loos Key National Mprine Sanctuary, alleging that such a designation Is superfluous in view of other available statutory authority, such as the Fishery Conservation and Management Act or the Outer Conti- nental Shelf Lands Act. These arguments are deceptive and erroneous. M I The Congressional Research Service. In Its December 5 1979 report, 25 has found that the Marine Sanctuaries Program embodies "...several W respects In which the marine sanctuaries authority is unique. These unique benefits divide into (a) coverare of specific environ- mentel impects not directly regulable under other authority, and (b) other benefits." (CRS. p. ?7). This some study concludes thAt " The Marine Sanctuaries Authority of MPRSA Title III permits a holistic approach to management of defined marine areas that is not readily stainable through resort to statutes focusing on specific environmental impacts ... Research reveals a variety of respects in which the marine sanctuaries act appears to offer environmental protection benefits not directly achievable through other Federal statutory authorities." (CRS, p. 34). A second Congressional Research Service report, dated February 14, 1980. finds through its Natural Resource Policy Division that " the Comments on the DEIS - Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary P. 5 marine sanctuaries provision is an environmental protection law that offers a positive approach to the protection of marine areas of recognized importance. It is a multiple-use provision that was designed to protect a site, rather than stop certain activities or eliminate adverse inpacts. As demands on the marine environment increase. the need to protect highly valued sites will also Increase-Without the sanctuary provision, sites could only te protected indirectly (and probably less completely) through 8 maze of federal prorrams ... one could easily conclude that the long-term protection or restoration of marine sites for conservation. recreational. ecological or aesthetic values without the direct approach of a sanctuary prorram is likely to be more difficult." (p. 12-1)) Looe Key Reef needs and must have that direct approach because It M is Indeed a unique and hilthly valued marine site. 5) There Fire fears of uninformed peoDle, misled by certain groups, that a marine sanctuary designation at Looe Key now will lead to Response #4 sAke-of-the-pen expansion of boundaries and restrictions later. No response necessary This is nothing more then nonsense, as anyone knows who has bothered to read the Marine Senctuaries Act and the federal regulations Response #5 promulgated for Its implementation. We trust that the Sanctuary The tropical specimen collecting regulation has been changed in the Programs Office will give any future arguments of this sort the final Proposal to prohibit such collecting within the Proposed sanctuary discounting they so richly deserve. In the hopes of reclarifying except by permit for scientific and educational purposes. Please see Generic Response 04. The anchoring regulation as Proposed in the OEIS comments a letter has been changed to prohi this situation, we are submitting as part of our lb t all anchoring on the fore reef and to encourage from the Director of Sanctuary Programs delineating the time- sand anchoring elsewhere in the sanctuary. consuming and involved process which must precede the slightest change In the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary document. it necessary for The Marine Wilderness ITIme limitations now make Society to defer from commenting extensively on the individual sanctuary-regulations proposed until a loiter time. At this time, we would like simply to endorse NOAA*s preferred alternative re,-u- Comments on the DEIS - Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary p. 6 lations with the following observations: (a) Florida state law now prohibits the use and transportation of wire mesh fish traps. Under no circumstances should these traps be permitted anywhere in the sanctuary. (b) The proposed regulations on tropical fish collecting -are too permissive. (c) The anchor damage provision should be made as simple as possible to allow maximum non- damaging use of the sanctuary while protecting its coral formations from impacts. Fuller comments will follow within the comment period. In conclusion, we wish to reiterate our solid position for the Response #6 designation of a Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, with the least delay possible and the boundaries to afford adequate protection No response necessary. 6 fpr a sufficient reef area to include all its representational reef zones. Respectfully submitted, ALEXANDER STONE President The Marine Wilderness Society AS/bh enc. July 5. 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs Office - OCZM 3300 Whitehaven Street. N.W. Washington. D.C. 20235 refi Locie Key DEIS Dear Dr. Fosterg Through this letter we would like to reaffirm our endorsement of the designation of a 5-square-mile Lode Key National Marine Sanc- tunry, based on that particular reef's unique and/or outstanding characteristics, In terms of Its ecology and in terms of the oppor- tunities It offers under the esthetic, recreational and educational and research programatic objectives of the Marine Sanctuaries Program.. Response 0 1 Lode Key Reef is unique among the lower Florida Reef Tract reefs Please see Generic Response P 1. in that it lies opposite Big Pine Key, an unusually large body CD of land for the Middle and Lower Florida Keys. This large land mesa-has a positive effect on coral species distribution on Looe Response # 2 Key Reef because it diverts direct passage of colder and less saline Florida Bay water over Lode Key Reef. Thus, Lode Key Is uniquely benefitted in that It enjoys a more stable water tempera- The HIS notes that reefs occur mainly opposite land where they are less ture range than all other live coral reefs in the Lower and Middle exposed to Florida Say water (Ginsburg and Shinn, 1964) and therefore Keys.. This becomes particularly significant because as it is, the reefs are not as well developed in the more widely spaced Middle Keys entire Florida Reef -Tract to situated at the extreme lower tempe- as In the Upper Keys. reture limit for reei building corals. Lode Key, even with the d9mate It Is now sustaininq due.to, a lack of protection, offers I un quely rich coral species diversity and morphology which Response # 3 clearly qualify it for marine sanctuary status. NOAA's own Lode Key Reef Resource Inventory states that. with This Information was provided by the 11 Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory" regards to coral species diversi Looe Key's ...list of 47 species (Antonlus et. al. 1978) and used in bol,h the draft and f Inal EIS. to the beat of our knowledge, (ile-the most complete published so The Inventory serves as one of the major source documents. for for any Floridian reef ... Remarkably, Looe Key's scleractinian species diversity compares very favorably... even with central Caribbean reefs.' A comparison of Lode Key's identified..reef buil- ding corals with the Identified corals obtained during an Intense 20-year study In Jamaica found that Looe Key's list of reef-building corals '-falls only five short of the Jamaican species list. This is,quite remarkable for a reef that exists at Tke- 14 wltde-erlve-5s 5cycia+i` P 0 Bok 943 / Miami Florida 33165 Loos Key DEIS NOAA - OCZM July 5, 1980 the very boundary of coral reef development and has been studied only for a short period of time." (quotes from page 37 and 38). 3 This unique richness of coral species Is made irrefutably signi- ficant In terms of human opportunity for study, research, recrea- tion and esthetic enjoyment when we consider the unmatched depth availability of Lobe Key's coral species end major reef features. Loos Key Reef's spectacular spur and groove coral formations, found on its fore reef zone, are one of the major features which bring visitors to Lobe Key Reef. The positioning of these for- nations at the edge of a very shallow-reef flat zone make It uniquely accessible not only to experienced scuba divers and marine biologists, but also to school-age children, first-time snorkelers, and just about any American citizen who can avail Response 4 himself of a shallow-draft skiff and a glass-bottom bucket. Availability and potential opportunities for the sanctuary pro- NUAA agrees that the existence of the shallow reef flat zone, its gram's objectives under the categories of research, education and accessibility to the public and its utility for inexperienced recreation make Loos Key Reef eminently qualified for marine swimmers, snorkler, and others, makes Looa Key a unique and extremely valuable marine recreation area. This feature is one of the Referring again to your own Loos Key Reef Resource Inventory, you most distinguishing aspects of the reef area and was a major factor will find that Lobe Key Reef's reef flat "...exhibits a largely considered In evaluating the site for proposed designation. sandy reef top which is so shallow that it represents an ideal recreational area for unexperienced swimmers or families with children." (P. 3). Continuing, you will find that " The Fore Reef Response# 5 zone of Loos Key Is a well developed and especially spectacular formation. Its main portion Is a high profile spur and groove system, bordering the Reef Flat in very shallow water and sloping No response necessary. 5 down to a sand bottom in 9-11 m of depth ... Following the spurs seaward, in a depth increasing from 3 to 8 m. one finds a zone which may well be the most Important, certainly the most spectacu- er part ofthe Lobe Key Reef. Some of the spurs show a profile are of up to 7 m high, caused mainly by the vigorous construction activity of the 'mountainous' star coral Montastrea annularis." (pgs. 11-12). Finally, as you move to the Deep Reef Zone, you Find "...a number of scleractiniens with branching and flower-like owth forms ... which are either not present or very rare In more accessible areas of Looe Key...Dislike growth forms of striking shape are found among many species of Agariciidae and Mussidae, which only at this death occur in a appreciable numbers ... and two eep water species occur only here (including) the rare, mono- filament Ellisella barbadensis..."(p. 13). a Looe Key Reef unique In the Florida Reef Tract in terms of coral pecies distribution and in fulfillment of the MSA's programmatic objectives? Categorically, the answer must be yes. And so must the decision be to declare a Loos Key Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Respectfully, ALEXANDER STONE President AS/ld July 12, 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Dir. Sanctuary Programs Office - OCZM 3300 Whitshaven St., NW Washington, D.C. 20235 Door Dr. Posters we are submitting this letter in response to the Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary Draft Environmental Impact Statement published in April of 198O. The Marine Wildlife Foundation is a corporation-not-for-profit 1 chartered under the laws of the State of Florida for educational research and marine resource management purposes and objectives. As such, the foundation would like to register its support for the Response #1 designation of a Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary. our review of the DElS for this project, and our own experience with the reef In question, clearly land us to believe that Lao* Key offers unique Please see Generic Response #1 potentials for research. public education gird recreation in the area of coral reefs, and that a marine sanctuary designation for 5 square miles of the reef Is absolutely necessary in order to safguard the reef's resources and the above mentioned potentials. We've noted misleading opposing comments from some quarters with Response #2 regards to the sanctuary nomination- These commentators are refer- ring to the Laos Key nomination as an initiative which *picks on It has never been NOAA's Intent to single out any particular group commercial fishermen" and which may in the future be broadened to and unreasonably restrict their use of the Looe Key Area. As you point irive the commercial fishermen from fishing grounds not covered in out,six Of the activities affect all user groups equally. NOAA has based its selection of both the preferred boundary and regulatory alternatives From a study of the marine sanctuary legislation and rules promul- On the need to protect and conserve the Looe Key resources for maximum participated for its Implementation in the Federal Register, we find the public benefit and to develop a sanctuary that is representative of the biological Zones. above objections to be totally unfounded in fact, and we feel it is necessary for the sake of clarity and truth in the record to spell out what we realize is already obvious to your office- The Loos Key marine sanctuary nomination do not pick on commercial fishermen, or anybody else. NOAA's Preferred Alternative for the sanctuaory's management itemizes eight specific activity areas to be regulated, coral collecting, wire trap fishing. tropical specimen collecting, spearfishing, lobster trapping, tampering with historic and cultural resources, vessel discharges, and anchoring. The Marine Wildlife Foundation Comments on Looe Key DEIS July 12. 1980 - page 2 Of these eight activity areas, only two deal specifically with any commercial fishing activities. These are the regulations dealing with wire trap fishing and lobster trapping. With regard to wire trap fishing, even the Executive Director of the Organized Fisher- men of Florida, Mr. Jerry Sansom, testified at the Miami public. hearing on the Looe Key nomination that his organization (which officially represents commercial fishing interests in Florida) had "no problems with a fish trap ban on Loos Key..." He also did not lodge any objections to the proposed prohibition on lobster trapping an the Fare Reef zone. The other six activity areas itemized in NOAA's Preferred Alter- native for the sanctuary's management either affect all user groups alike (dig charging, anchoring) or affect sport divers (tropical specimen collecting spearfishing) or deal with destruc- tive vandal type activities (Coral collecting, tampering with historic and cultural resources). The contention that commercial fishermen are somehow a "target" of the Loos Key marine-sanctuary nomination is fueled not by the facts within the Loos Key but rather by the imaginary fears within the minds of some mis- informed commercial fishermen. These fears center around the belief that designating a Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary now would somehow lead to arbitrary, bureaucrat-initiated expansion of sanctuary boundaries and regulated areas sometime In the future. without the need for public process Response #3 and to the specific detriment and loss of commercial fishermen. It Is true that one of the major concerns of opponents of the proposed We submit that the terms of the low- and specified federal regulations sanctuary is the belief that NOAA will use what is perveived as unlitaeral make the above scenario impossible. According to the rules promul- discretion to enlarge the boundaries of the sanctuary and modify the operating gated in the Federal Reqister an July 31. 1979. Section 922-26. regulations. However, the constraints posed by the Marine Sanctuary Program Regulations (CFR vol 44, no. 148, 7/31/79) Insure that modification of (b) The Designation Shall specify, by Its -arms the geographic either the Designation Document or regulations of individual sanctuaries is coordinates of the Sanctuary ores-, its distinctive features that a lengthy process involving numerous Opportunities for public notice and 3 require protection, and the types of activities that may be subject involvement. to requlation. The terms of the Designation may be modified only by the same procedures through which the original designation was made. (c) The requlations shall be consistent with and implement the terms of the Designation and Shall set forth the limits of human activities within the sanctuary end procedures for the review and certification of permits. licenses or other authorizations pursuant to other authorities. All amendments to these regulations must remain consistent with the Designation." This means that the sanctuary boundaries cannot be changed after Designation. except by the same laborious process of nomination, public input, Environmental Impact Statement publication, hearings. secretary of Commerce approval and Presidential approval. The same The Marine Wildlife Foundation Comments on Loos Key DEIS July 17, 1980 - Page 3 Is true for types of activities regulated, they cannot be changed without going through the same laborious process as the original nomination For Loos Key Reef. that original process has now taken almost four years dating from the original nomination. It is 3 clear that no federal bureaucrat can 'spring" new restrictions or a sanctuary area expansion on any user group of Loos Key, except on an emergency basis for no more then 120 days and only If this action is found...essential to prevent immediate, serious and irreversible damage to the resources of a sanctuary.* (Federal Register. July 31, 1979. Section 922.76(d). We know and expect that the Sanctuary "Programs Office and NOAA. in its decision-making process regarding the designation of a Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary will: consider facts and points of law as presented above, and disregard unfounded contentions based on emmotionalism and ignorance. That is NOAA's binding responsibil- ity under the Kerins Sanctuaries Act, and we are confident of its proper execution.. Sincerely. Ann Kamus Board of Directors The Marine Wildlife Foundation AR/bp Address response to& 9582 Bird Rd. #6 Miami. Fla. 33165 NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA OFFICE and TROPICAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, INC. 5530 SUNSET DRIVE SOUTH MIAMI. FLORIDA 33143 (305) 665-5111 June 18, 1980 Coordinating with. Florida Audubon Society. South Deide Audubon Society Royal Palm Audubon Society Director, Sanctuaries Program Monroe County Audubon Society Office of Coastal Zone Management Breward County Audubon Society 3000 Whitehaven Street, NW Audubon Society and the Everglades Washington, D.C. 20235 RE: Loos Key Reef Marine Sanctuary Dear Sir: The National Audubon Society, through its six southeast Florida Chapters located from Palm Beach through the Florida Keys, strongly supports the proposal to designate Loos Key Reef as a national marine sanctuary. We please see Generic Response #1. especially support the educational objectives &a stated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. We believe that the boundaries, under the circumstances. and the preferred regulations recommended by NOAA are reasonable. We believe that the enforcement of regulations limiting anchoring to specific zones, while prohibiting such activity on the Fore-Reef, in of vital importance if the roof is to be protected from further degradation. we, among others,believe that in evaluating this matter. greater em- phasis be placed on the value of the recreational features of the Loos Key Roof and waters as a unique natural resource than is reflected in the Environmental impact Statement. The recreational usage is of great importance to residents of South Florida and tourists alike. Tourist dollars play a major role in the Florida Keys economy, but per- haps of greater concern is the protection of the resource itself. Too many of the reefs in the Keys have suffered perhaps irreparable damage caused by the impact of anchors on the reefs, the removal of coral and the collecting of the species of fish used in aquariums. The designation of Loos Key Reef an a marine sanctuary would be, we be- lieve, a most significant step towards preserving a Florida reef habitat Page 2 ACW/Director. Marine Sanctuaries Program 6/18/80 before it in destroyed. Sincerely, (Mrs.) Alice Wainwright For the National Audubon Society as coordinator of its Southeast Florida Chapters NATIONAL FISHERIES INSTITUTE. INC. 1101 CONNECTICUT AVENUE. N,@% V WASHINGTON C,.C 20036 0 (2021 857.11 Ir July 28, 1980 Director of Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D. C. 20235 Dear Sir: The National Fisheries Institute appreciates the opportunity to submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared on the proposed LOOE Key Marine Sanctuary. Our review of the document reveals no new discussion by the Agency which would change our general position that marine sanctuaries are not necessary due tothe existence of Federal and state statutes which 1. Please see Generic Response 02. provide or have the potential to provide sufficient protection for the marine rri area concerned. A chapter in the DEIS entitled "Purpose and Need for Action" does not adequately demonstrate current adverse Impacts or potential impacts which cannot be addressed under'existing regulatory authority. The chapter further states that, "sanctuary designation will provide the long term Inte- grated management necessary to protect and use wisely these resources." This statement is made without any apparent effort to determine whether or not exist- ing low and regulations, particularly when properly coordinated, will provide sufficient protection for the area. The Institute is particularly concerned with proposed regulations which would supersede Draft Fishery Management Plans when finally enacted with regard to regulation of trap fishing and lobster fishing within the sanctuary. Evidently the reason for proposing such regulations is the absence at the present time of commercial fishing regulations. This situation will not continue indefinately. Your office clearly understands that the regulations have been in process for some time and that the projected completion dates are as early as late 1980. It is likely that the FMPs will be approved before the final designation of a marine sanctuary. The section of the DEIS entitled "Legal Status Quo" states that the most direct threats to the coral reefs are collecting and anchoring as well as the impacts of commercial fishing and the collection of tropical fish or ;nvertabrates. That section of the DEIS then goes on to list in some detail the provisions of draft FMPs to regulate the Spiny Lobster Fishery, the Reef Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and Coral and Coral Reef Resources. These plans appear to provide for the effective management of fishery resources as well as the protection of Director of Sanctuaries Program Page Two July 28, 1980 coral and coral reef resources. These plans appear to provide for the effective management of fishery resources as well as the protection of coral and coral reef resources. In arguing against the effectiveness of provisions of the draft FMPs, the major point Is the draft status of such plans rather than specific provisions of the plans. Again, it must be stated that the proposed regulations set forth it, the MIS are also In draft status and may not be in place prior to the effective implementation of the FMPS. The National Fisheries Institute strongly considers the effective regulation and management of fishery resources to be an activity assigned to the regional fishery management councils under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The major concern expressed by the seafood Industry with regard to the total marine sanctuary program is the extent to which the program will supersede fishery regulations that have been promulgated after long and serious deli- berations by those individuals closest to the fishery, namely the members of the management councils. The imposition of regulations by the Secretary under the marine sanctuary program will result In duplicative regulatory authority and additional layers a( bureaucracy which are not necessary, Approval by the Secretary, under the marine sanctuary program, of regulations which are more stringent that regulations which may have already been approved in con- junction with FMP's will certainly give credence to the arguments that the marine sanctuary program is a mechanism to override the regional fishery management councils. For these reasons, It would appear to be preferable, in the event a marine sanctuary Is designated, to exclude from the designation document any provisions for the regulation of commercial fishing activities. Failure to take such action will do much to support the fishing industry's concern that the program is a mechanism for the overreegulation of the commercial seafood Industry by the Federal government. The Institute appreciates the opportunity to comment on this proposal and we look forward to future opportunities to work with the Agency toward the effective protection of marine resources under existing statutory authority, Sincerely, Gustave Fritschie Director of Government Relations GF:siw cc: Bob Jones Gulf Atlantic Fishery Management Council South Atlantic Fishery Management Council NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY Ne. York Z,0010giral Park Ne- York Aquarium Bronx Zoo Bronx, Xe@ York 104<70 Center for Fir)d Bjohwy and conservation Telephone: (212) 220-510n Osborn Laboratories of MarineStionets June 17, 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Archie Carr, Assistant Director Sanctuary Programs Office Animal Research and Conservation Center OCzM New York Zoological Society 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Response #1 Dear Dr. Fosters Please see Generic Response #1. This letter is in response to your request for comments an the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary (April,1980). Response #2 1 have submitted numerous statements on the Looe Key Sanctuary Please see Generic Response #3. M in the past from my previous post with Florida Audubon Society. Therefore I will be brief in this missive. My main purpose is to applaud you and your colleagues for advancing the proposal to this pessultimate stage. Designation will reflect a tenacious vitality in the Marine Sanctuary Program and a major contribution to American marine conservation; both, reassuring developments. The only recommendation I will offer is that if the opportunity arises to expand the boundaries beyond the proposed 5 square miles, by all means take it. Z am fully aware of the dark controversy that has surrounded the Looe Key proposal in rlorida, stemuning chiefly from the objections of elements of the commercial fishing community. However, I have always maintained that a marine Sanctuary around LoDoe Key will cause the fishermen only slight inconveniences. The draft EIS appears to substantiate that point. .Notwithstanding the objections, the objective point-of-view finds that one cannot conserve too much coral reef; not in the tars of continental U.S.A. More of Loos Key will always be better than less. Iwa !- I will now hazard the projection that commercial fishing i for certain species, the spiny lobster among them, will improve Response #3 foliowing sanctuary designation. My hypothesis is based an two NOAA concurs with your Position and believes that the benefits of designating 1points: 1) Many marine species, like the lobster, are "r" selected. That is their reproductive strategy is to produce Looe Key Reef as a marine Sanctuary include protection of a primary nursery, spawning, feeding area for Commercial fish stocks. As other reviewers have very large numbers of offspring (very many more than could suggest conceivably find living space in a 5 square mile sanctuary, for ed it is quite possible that the commerical fishing Industry will benefit xample)l 2) Loos Key, if protected from spearfishing and from.des ignation. lother cropping, will eventually harbor big, vigorous specimens f various vertebrate and invertebrate species. This protected Response #4 brood-stock may make important contributions to harvestable 10 No response necessary. stocks outside the reserve. Currently, the intensity of fishing for coral-dependent species throughout the reef tractcombined with the general degradation in quality of the coral habitat, may partly explain Pe perennial resource shortages commercial fishermen seem to experience. Protecting a piece of the reef, Looe Key, my help irestock much of the rest. i It would be worth testing for this effect if for no other @reason than to add an ironic footnote to the rugged history iof the Loos Key designation. M I !n th: meantime, the Looe Key Sanctuary will become a 4 Fchuer hed ddition to the protected natural heritage of this L11 co ntry. I strongly favor its designation. Sincerely, ell, C_J*/Xoo1L_ Archie Carr, III Ph.D. Assistant Director ANIMAL RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION CENTER AC:rg NORINE ROUSE SCUBA CLUB 4708 North Dixie WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA 33407 czm REC'D July ll, 1980 1980 JUL 22 PM 11:05 Norine Rouse SCUBA Club MAIL ROOM Dr.Nancy Faster Deputy, Director, Sanctuaries Program Response #I Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D. C. 20235 Thank you for your comments. The final proposal includes a prohibition Subject: Loose Key Marine Sanctuary on tropical specimen collecting, except by permit for scientific and Tropical Fish Collecting and educational purposes. Please see Generic Response #4 for additional Dear Dr. Foster: discussion. The prefer-red management alternative which would allow commercial tropical specimen collecting at a designated Looe Key Marine Sanctuary and contained in the Draft Environmental Impact State- ment prepared by the Sanctuary Programs Office Is in direct con- flict with specified objectives of the Sanctuary Program and Is inconsistent with other preferred regulatory measures for this site. The DEIS states that prohibiting specimen collecting within the Sanctuary boundary would protect and enhance the tropical fish population at Lcoe Key, prevent the depletion of ecologically important (cleaner) species, add to the aesthetics of the area Increasing diver enjoyment and maintain and enhance the long term productivity of the Looe Key coral reef. It admits that precedents prohibiting collecting have already been set in other federally protected areas, that there are numerous alternative sites available for commercial collectors and economic Toss would be minimal. The preferred alternative of the Sanctuary Program, however, is to allow commercial collecting by those commercial enterprises "experienced in collecting" and willing to submit applications for permits. The Norine Rouse Scuba Club considers this an unacceptable activity within a designated federal Marine Sanctuary and recommends that the Sanctuary Program reconsider Its preferred alternative for this activity. Enforcement,regulation and management procedures will no', be adequate at this site for some time after designattion to adequately permit and understand such a biologically complex commercial enterprise. Local commercial collectors even without the use of collecting drugs are an efficient lot utilizing a variety of types and sizes of drop and collecting nets. Gas powered air Compressors are often used in- stead of SCUBA, allowing nearly unlimited collecting time in shallow water under good weather conditions which occur at the time of year of an abundance of juvenile reef fishes. Preferred specimens include juvenile angelfishes and butterflyfishes, neon gobies and several species of tropical reef shrimp all known to play an important role -2- Dr. Nancy Poster July 11, 1980 Deputy Director, Sanctuaries Program Ofc. in the cleaning symbiosis mechanism associated with larger reef fishes and morays. Collectors prefer Looe Key for Its ease of re- location, usually clear water and diverse fish and invertebrate populations. Divers working alone or in tandem can easily col- specimens in a day of collecting and duplicate this as long-as weather conditions and availability of specimens allow Juvenile and subadult reef fishes are very territorial and upon removing an Individual from its niche it is often some time before the specific niche is reoccupied. It is known that a very high percentage of aquarium specimens die within a relative- ly short time of sale to the often inexperienced aquarist or from poor handling by the collector, further making the collection of specimens for financial gain within a federally designated marine sanctuary a ludicrous activity. The demand for specimens has increased dramatically In recent years and will assuredly con- tinue Increasing the number of collectors in the area and the effort expended. Imagine the loss of the aesthetic experience so desired by the Sanctuary Program by the first time Looe Key diver as he observes a commercial collector with a surface air supply, bags of specimens In his belt and,nets in hand exploring the fore reef for financial pin. Numerous personal observations have re- vealed that collecting is a common practice in many areas of the Looe Key reef and because of the ease of collecting many specimens gobies, damselfishes. brittle stars, urchins. feather worms and' 4 crustaceans), the seasonality of spawning by demersal spawners and the recruitment-of larvae of pelagic spawners, the requirement of niche availability and the rareness of some preferred specimens, there is little doubt that continuous commercial collecting in a finite area reduces species richness and abundance and alters the community structure of reef fish and invertebrate populations. The long-term impact of removing the many cleaner species is unknown. The Norine Rouse Scuba Club implores the Marine Sanctuary Program to reconsider the Deferred alternative allowing the commercial collecting of tropical specimens at Looe Key and instead prohibit tropical specimen collecting within all boundary alternatives ex- cept for scientific and educational purposes with NOAA permits.. Respectfully submitted, Norine Rouse, Director NORINE ROUSE SCUBA CLUB NR. 1d Royal Palm Audubon Society, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida June 12, 1980 Director, Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20235 Door Sirs I have found the Dreft impact Statement an the Proposed Looe Key Marine Sanctuary, prepared by the Office of Coastal Zone Management, and we received under cover letter dated Mayy 8, 1980 from Mr. Bruce Berrett, Acting Director, Office of Environmental affairs, to be quite satisfactory. On behalf of the members of the Royel Palm Audubon society, r urge accept of the conclusions of the Statement without change. Sincerely yours, Please see Generic Response 1 1. John E Derdner Jr. Conservation Committee Chairman 1000 NW 5th Ave. Delray Beach, Fl. 33444 cc: Mr. Bruce Berrett, Acting Director, Office of Environmental Affairs, Deppartment of Commerce Ms. Mary Jane Breton, National Audubon Society Mrs. Alice Wainwright, Coordinator, Southeast Floride Chepters of the National Audubon Society SIERRA CLUB The Florida Chapter MARINE WILDERNESS July 6. 1980 Sanctuary Prograns Office OCZY 3300 Whiteheven St., NW Washington, D.C. POP35 Attno Dr. Vency Foster, Dep. Dir. ReT-s Loos Key Marine Sanctuary Sierra Club, Florida Chapter Dear Dr. Fosters Les King As you know, the 4000-member Sierra Club Florida Chapter has offi- cially taken a position of su port for the designation of a 5- square-mile Loos Key Reef National Mprine Sanctuary. We endorse your preferred alternative in most essential respects and urge that adequate enforcement be provided with regards to the prescribed Response p I regulations under your DEIS'@ preferred alternative. M We had observers at the recent hearin a on Looe Key, and were quite Please see Generic Response #1. appalled at the legal and regulatory Ignorance of quite a few of ko the reviewers that offered verbal comments. Scientists who in their own fields would not even think of uttering a single formal conclusion without exhaustive research and supporting documentation, Response 0 2 seemed quite content at these hearings to play amateur legal ana- lysts. on several occassions, we heard these otherwise responsible NOAA concurs with.your assessment.' Please see Generic Response 02 for a n I professionals shoot from the cuff as they m8intsi ad, w thout a discussion regarding the degree of comprehensive protection that can be afforded sinele fact to support them, thst sanctuary designation for Lobe Key was unnecessary -- possibly even wasteful -- in view of the Looe Key under the marine sanctuary program and the Fishery Conservation "fact" that edequate and equal protection could and would be pro- and Management Act. vided to the site under other federal reFulatory programs. This is definitely untrue. No other federal or state program can afford Loos Key Reef end Its resources the comprehensive, site- specific management and protection which It would receive as a nmtio.npl marine sanctuary. And this is not just our orian3zation's opinion -_ It is the formpl and official concensus of a I profe- ssional goverment law analysts. Your own Loos Key National Marine Sanctuary DEIS summarizes on page 71 the federal/regional agencies and existing regulations to protect Looe Key Reef. We find that only altering of the sea- bed and discharge of polluting substances currently have an empowered author Ity and existing regulation. There are currently pgo existing regulations for Looe Key with regards to coral collec- P.O. Box 943 Miami. Florida 33165 Sanctuary Programs Office - Loos Key july 6, ig8o page 2 tion, wire fish trappinf,, lobster trapping, hook and line fishing. net fishing and tropical collecting. We also find that there is no currently existing euthoriu outside the Marine Sanctuaries Program, empowered to promulgate regulations on Loos Key with rege rds to anchoring, spearfishing, and the selvage and recovery of historical and cultural resources such as the wreck of the H.M.S. Looe. If Looe Key Reef's resources are to be protected, it must be done through marine sanctuary designation. Too much emphasis has been placed by certain Individuals on the potential scope of protection which might be afforded to Loos Key Reef under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act. In the first place, the FCMA's Fishery Management Plans and enabling regulations cannot be site-specific to the extent required in a ----Zest nat Ion. In the second place,.FYiPs are marine sanctuary 9 maximum-yield oriented, not ecology-balance oriented. In the third place, VAPs and theT-r attendant catch quotas are totally subject to annual change and alteration based on commercial yield criterial they are not coherent, long-term protective measures which can maintain `anU preserve the entire ecological balance of a particularly valuable reef such as Loos Key. rn According to NOA.A's Looe Key DEISt N) No FMPs are being prepared for other resources including numerous C@l species of tropical fish with esthetic but limited commercial value,'invertebrates, and other species which are interrelated In the ecosysten.' .The effectiveness of the (Fishery Management) draft plans to mitigate the adverse physical and ecological impacts of commercial and re- creational fishing on the Looe Key reef cannot be assessed at the present time. However, It should be noted that there are distinct differences between managing fisheries for commercial development and managing an ecological system for the protection and maintenance of a coral reef with emphasis on enhancing public awareness and wise use of reef systems, public education, research and assessment...' In addition to these more direct threats, the disposal of sewage and trash, primarily by recreational boaters, could threaten the resources. These threats are not considered In any FMP and regulation under other laws is limited...' (all quotes, P- 72). If comprehensive protection is to be given to the Looe Key Beef et 1, It can't be done through FMPs -- a marine sanctuary must be designated. Sanctuary Programs Office - Loos Key July 6. 1980 page 3 Almost no reviewers have commented on the archeological resources which would be protected on Looe Key via a marine sanctuary designation. NOAA's Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory reveals on page 33 that there are at least 5 shipwrecks already pinpointed and accounted for on Looe Key Reef. Most noteworthy is the wreck of the HMS Looe, which went down in 1744. The accessibility the wreck's artifacts are supported by the following quote from the Inventory (page 33). " The wreckage of the H.M.S. Looe herself lies to the south- west of the current marker post in 4.5 to 9 m of water... When Ed Response # 3 Davidson examined this site in company of a State of Florida underwater archeologist in the summer of 1977 hand fanning NOAA agrees that the HMS Looe Is noteworthy and that the marine sanctuary revealed fragments of flint, pieces of the original Oak Timbers, program offers a means of adequate protection. Please see the response to and some corroded iron fasten ngs...under only 18 inches of sand." the testimony of Dr. Duncan Mathewson at the Key West Public Hearing. These archaeological resources, In such shallow depths. provide a great and unique situation for visitor and student observation and study. This to clearly under the programmatic objectives and sanctuary categories established for the Marine Sanctuaries Response #4 program. And these resources can only be adequately protected through the Marine Sanctuaries Program. (DEIS, p. 71, 72). Please see Generic Response #3 which discusses the desirability of sanctuary Finally, recent reports promulgated by the Congressional Research designation for Looe Key. Service (and in particular, its Low Division) clearly show that the scope and type of protection which a marine sanctuary desig- nst n would provide for Looe Key Reef cannot be adequately duplicated by any other federal statutes or combi nations of statutes. In a December 5, 1979 report, the Congressional Research Service has found "...several respects in which the Marine Sanctuaries Authority is unique. These unique benefits divide into (a) coverage of specific environmental impacts not directly regulable under other authority, and (b) other benefits." (CRS, p. 27). Further study of the above mentioned CRS report reveals that, "The Marine Sanctuaries Authority of MPRSA Title III permits a holistic approach to management of defined marine areas that Is not readily stainable through resort to statutes focusing on specific environmental Impacts ... Research reveals a variety of respects In which the marine sanctuaries act appears to offer environmental protection benefits not directly adievable through other Federal statutory authorities." (CRS, p.34). The above is the official position of Congress' top law analysts and researchers not the opinions of unqualified amateurs who seem to think that their eminent expertise in totally unrelated fields make them experts on federal statutory authority. Sanctuary Programs Office - Loos Key july 6, 1980 page 4 Independent of the above report, the Natural Resource Policy Division of the Congressional Research Service produced Its own report on February 14, 1980. The findings just as conclu- sively show that the only way to protect Looe Key Reef's unique resources and site Is to designate it an a national marine sanctuary. Here in that report's conclusiono The marine sanctuaries provision is an environmentAl protect;on low that offers a positivep:pproach to the protec- tion of marine areas of recognized im rtance. It Is a mul- tiple-use provision that was designed to protect a site. rather then stop certain activities or eliminate adverse impacts. As demands on the marine environment Increase, the need to pro- tect highly valued sites will also inerease...Without the sanc- tuary provision, sites could only be protected Indirectly (and probably less completely) through a maze of federal programs... one could easily conclude thet.th: long-term protection or rpatorpt a sites for c nservation, recreational. ecological or aesthetic values without the direct approach of a sanctuary program is likely to be more difficult." (p. 12-13). We don't believe that, after the above, there is anything left to be said. Loos Key Reef Is a uniquely valuable marine site of recognized importance whl-ch is in need of a positive protec- TQ tion approach which will. In the long-term, safeguard and N) restore the reef's unique assets and resources for the purposes of MSA's recreational, ecological and educational programmatic objectives. Marine Sanctuary designation fits Looe Key Reef to a T, and should be implemented without further delay or T&Tth-er question. Think you very much for your attention, @ S cerel a X Ch r;lwh a C ub lorida Chapter c@er .1. X a C iub@lro CZM REC'D SIERRA CLUB Miami Group MAIL ROOM P.O. BOX 30741 Miami, Florida Box 33143 1980 JUL 22 July 7, 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs Office OCZM 3300 Whitehaven. St., N.W. Washington,. D.C. 20235 Reft Lode Key-DEIS Comments Dear Dr.Foster: The-Sierra Club Miami Group and its 800 Individual members fully support the designation of a 5-square-mile area of Looe Key Reef as a National Marine Sanctuary. This unique and valuable reef Response #1 offers precious opportunities for recreation, education, research and ecological conservation which cannot be matched by other reefs in the lower Florida Reef Tract. To safeguard and maintain the reef resources which make these opportunities possible, a marine sanctuary must be designated in the area to deal. on a Please see Generic Response #1. site-specifications basis, with the human impact and visitation now being experienced at Looe Key Reef. During the recent set of hearings on the Looe Key marine sanctuary Response #2 proposal, some reviewers contended that it is the creation of the santuary which would bring about the damaging human impact to the reef. The Implied conclusion of these reviewers Is that Looe The text has been expanded to incorporate your suggestion. Key is best left alone, so that human impact won't happen. We The estimated $250,000 income reported by Charter dive boats is total gross are- hereby formally pointing, out. that this is glaringly erro- revenue from Charter boat services. Estimated passenger's on these charter neous argument which must not be allowed to interfere with the operations was 7500, not 17,858 for 1978 based on onsite survey questionaires. designation of a Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. Costs to private Individuals with their own boats is obviously less than if they chartered boats to take them to the reef----hence the $16.50 combined NOAA's own Looe Key Reef Resource inventory" points out that value. (The estimate of $14.17 has been changed in the FEIS to $16.50, See This resource...will come under ever increasing stress by a Page C-11). Combining the 7500 commercially transported divers with an growing local population as well as a growing flow of tourists... average of 15,000 private divers using their own transportation, and adding visitation pressure on reefs in the northern sector of the reef the 5,500 per year from students at Newfound Harbor Institute as you have tract is increasing...It Is reasonable to expect that overflow suggested, the diver/snorkeler load for 1978 would have been 28,000. from this area will impact the reefs of the Lowerr Keys. In addi- tion, the shallow nature of much of the Looe Key reef system predisposes it toward utilization by a broader spectrum of sport divers than other,deeper reefs. Consumptive users of the reef tract's resources, facing restrictive management regulations In Loos Key, pg.2 July 7, 1980 the Upper Keys protected areas (Biscayne National Monument, Key Largo Marine Sanctuary, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park) will undoubtedly be forced to increasingly exploit the resources of the Lower Keys," (quoted from page 41-42) Consider the implication of the statement above In light of the promotional publicity and advertising which is already appearing in national and local media. Attached to this letter, you will.% find copies of several publicity articles and dive shop adver- tisements geared to attract ever increasing visitor-traffic to -the Lace Key, area. The meaning of all this promotion is ines- capable. Looee Key Reef is facing "imminent development" and thereby clearly qualifies for inclusion and protection under the marine sanctuary system. The visitation and human impact level on Lace Key Reef.already is very great. Particularly when you consider the reef's small geographic area. NOAA's Lace Key, National Marine Sanctuary DEIS points out that there are already 100 commercial fishing boats (page C-3) and 6 dive shops (page C-2) utilizing Laos Key Reef. Even witout counting the anchoring and sewage impact of sport fishing and commercial fishing boats on Laos Key. we find the following: Chartered boat divers to Looe Key......17,658 per yr. (Based on $250,000 yearly dive boat revenue from p. C-5 divided by $14.17 avg. dive cost from P. C-11) Private boat divers to Loos Key .............. 14,377 per yr. (Based on averaging low and high estimates, 96941-19061. from p.C-11) New Found Harbor Marine Institute visits ----- 5,500 per yr. (Based on student load from p- C-1O and assuming only, an average of ONE reef visit per student during stay) CURRENT DIVIE/SNORKELER LOAD ........... 37,735 per yr. The conclusion is cleart. Looe Key Reef-has already been discovered and Is now under escalating development and human impact. This rate of visitation and impact is not only going to be maintained, it is going to increase due to promotion. advertising and word of mouth. This visitation and human Impact is site-specific; therefore, only the designation of a Lace Kay, National Marine Sanctuary can deal with it and protect Looe Key's resources (Congressional Research Service Natural Resource Policy Division Report of February 14, 1980, pages 12-13) Respectfully, Marie-Therese Delate Tropical Anglers Club 6720 SW. 39 Terrace Miami, Florida july iLs. 1980 Dr. Nancy Foster. Deputy Director sanctuary Programs Office OCZM )300 Whitehaven St., N.W. res Looe Key Reef Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Dr. Fosters ers Club joins the many other William A. Moore Throuph this letter. the Tropical Anrl orrmnizetions that have already endorsed the creation of a 5-square- mile Nptional Marine Sanctuary on Looe Key Reef. We believe that this reef's combination of resources end opportunities for human ectivities is unique in the Florida Keys end In imminent threat of endurinp damage If not protected under the Marine Sanctuaries Act. Response We wish to emphasize that under no circumstances should the use of Please see Generic Response fl. wire mesh fish traps be permitted in any portion.of the designated Sanctuary. rri I -he state of Florida has finally moved by action of the Legislature --A to ban the use or possession of wire-mesh fish traps within the waters of South. Florida. The Reef Fish Management Plan of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Menggement Council advocates In Its latest draft Response #2 a ban on the use of wire-mesh fish traps within a designated .stressed area" which includes the Lower Florida Keys out to the The latest information from the Florida Department of Natural Resources 100-foot depth line. Overwhelming scieniific evidence clearly survey study on wire mesh fish traps has been incorporated into Chapter indicates that this same prohibitive attitude should be extended Four of the FEIS, Environmental Consequences" Regulatory Alternatives to protect all depth zones to be included within the Loos Key for Wire Trap Fishing. National Marine Sanctuary. Vie include with this letter the latest date available from a state of Florift Dep3rtment of Natural Resources survey study on wire- mesh fish tra, s, which wes conducted by accompanying fish trep operntors during regular operations. Thib data clearly shows thats (a) 459 of RII fish caught in wire mesh fish traps are not marketed because they are not food fish. (b) 35% of all fish coupht In wire mesh fish traps are "grunts." (c) Not counting groupers. the average weight of the food fish caught by wire mesh fish traps is less than one pound r)er fish! (d) it-least 3 W/o=a fish caught by wire-mesh fish traps are tropical reef fish. (a) Out of seventy seven different fi 8h species caught by the wire mesh fish traps In this study, only fifteen qpecies (19%) were considered to be food fish. The use of these wire mesh fish traps has a disastrous effect on res Looe Key Roof July 14, 1980 peee 2 the size distribution of reef fish populations. The traps are non-selective and capture all reef species. Juveniles are caught in abundance by the traps. The combined effect of these factors is to decimpte marine fish stocks -- a condition which is utterly 2 intolerable in a marine sanctuary. How is Looe Key Reef to ful- fill reseerch end public education objectives of the marine sanctuarie ,; program if the fish populations are seriously affected this indiscriminate overharvesting technique. What can the quality of a recreational diving experience on Looe Key be if it tropical fish 8nd other species are overrhervested and overstre:sed by fish trapping? This "diving experience" mentioned above must be considered an Response #3 integral and essential component of the Looe Key Reef marine No response necessary. sanctuary nomination. Research, educational and recreational objectives cannot be properly attained if diving observation of Response 04 3 the reef and Its inhabitants Is not freely possible. There is ample evidence in the experience of the Key Largo.Marine Sanctuary end Biscayne National Monument to definitely establish that the As you will note the DEIS proposed prohibiting spearfishing within the actual impact of even tremendous numbers of diving observers is h minimal -- even-on a small, limited site such as Molasses Reef .sanctuary and t a final proposes to prohibit tropical specimen collecting In Pennekamp. Any evidence of impact on suchreefs is attributable as well. Please see Generic Response 1 4 for a discussion of this change. to Improper anchoring techniques and not to the divers themselves. Cn However, diving observation and spearfishing are for the most part Response antagonistic. Fish are not all that stupid, The continued t resence of spearfishermen on a reef site teaches the reef's Please refer to response #I the J. Connor Davis letter. nhobitents to consider human divers as dangerous predators to be 4 Pvoided. Thus. just the splash of a diver's entry will send schooling species out into the open water, drive groupers and other Response 0 6 such-species into eaves to hide, etc. Similarly, tropical fish collection will teach those target species to stay out of sight any time any divers are in the water. This situation would defini- No response necessary. te-ly Interfere seriously with the research, education and recreation Intents of a Loos Key Reef marine sanctuary designation. Observer divers should be free to explore all areas of a Looe Key Reef National Marine Spnctuaryl but speerfishermen end tropical fish collectors should be kept out as contradictory to the sanctuary's purposes. The same is not true of the line fisherman. This harvesting tech- nique does not in any way Incorporate the negative aspects of af earfishing or tropical fish collecting. No matter how many line f shermen ply a reef, the fish never develop a fear of humans In thewater. Line fishing has absolutely no impact on tropical species and almost no impact on juvenile fish either. Finally, the taking by line of larger predators such as grown groupers Is self-limitingo as more froupers are taken, a. greater food supply Is naturally left for those that remain thereby, making them less and less interested in the angler's offered bait. The Tropical Anglers Club hopes that your office will agree with 6 the observations made above. And we urge you to move on the Loos Key @Ptionsl Marine Sanctuary designation without delay. S'0 W WIl?tV___&Mo @re. President gw#icaf C@qudjon @oddy, _Ync. 5 5 30 SUNSET DR IV E MIAMI, FLORIDA 33343 ,Tune 17, 1980 Director, Sanctuaries Program office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20235 Dear Sirs Tropical Audubon Society, representing over 3,000 residents of Dade County, strongly supports the designation of Looe Key Reef as a marine R.L. Kelley sanctuary under Title III of the MARINE PROTECTION, RESEARCH AND Tropical Audubon Society, Inc. SMCTUARIES ACT (PL92-532). IThe proposed boundary of the sanctuary and the proposed rules for regulation of the sanctuary (as described in Appendix A of the Draft 2 Environmental impact Statement) are satisfactory. Response 01 However, we do question the figures on p.65 of the document concerning Please see Generic Response I 1. Commercial Fishing and Recreation. The amount for Commercial Fishing rri 3 seems to be grossly overestimated, while that for Tourism underest imated. it is clear to all who live in South Florida that this area is far more important for tourism (diving, snorkeling, etc.) than for Response # 2 Na comsexcial fishing. Most of the sources Interviewed during the preparation of the DEIS a.greed In general. the Draft Environmental Impact statement is a well written, that the target user group at Looe Key combines snorkelers, SCU6A divers and informative document. We support its recommendations and hope to see recreational fishermen. However, the Importance of this sector of the economy the sanctuary established as soon as possible. and the value of their activities were difficult to quantify. The question- nalres that were Intended to gather Information on commercial dive boat operations went-largely unanswered. The economic values from the commercial fishing Sincerely, questionnaires, although higher than 'he Monroe County average, were within the range of probability and appropriate for general economic analysli purposes (see Chapter Three, Section C. Looe Key onsite Survey). At I R.L. Kelley. President cci Bruce Barrett, Acting Director, office of Environmental Affairs, Response # 3 U.S. Dept. Commerce Alice Wainwright, Coordinator, S.E. Florida chapters National No response necessary. Audubon Society Ed Davidson, President, Florida Keys Audubon Society Charles Lee, Vice President, Conservation Florida Audubon Society CONSERVATIO14 IN ACTION 114 SOUTH FLORIDA 51 A 6 G. 3 I I I 9wpd,_4,uJLLn -Sodity, 964. 5330 SUNSET DRIVE XIAHI, FLORIDA. 3314.3 july 14, L980 Dr. Nancy Foster, Deputy Director Sanctuary Programs office 0CzM 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW C.) Washington, D.c- 20235 Dear Dr. Foster: W As expressed during the recent public hearing in Miami, the Tropical Audubon Society and-its 3,000 members are in Strong support of marine sanctuary designation for a 5 square-mile area of Loos Key Reef. Ample evidence has been submitted demonstrating the unique character of Looe Key Reef and the opportunities it offers for recreation, research and education within the meaning and spirit of OCZM's programmatic objectives for marine sanctuaries. M We noted at the Miami public hearing criticism of the sanctuary nomina- 1. Please See Generic Fiesponse _#l. l tion on the grounds that the Loos Key Reef site was too small to be of 2- NMA h- used the infonmtion that significance. it was also suggested that the site's relative smallness You Provided in developing GN*ric pesponse 00 made it too susceptible to total obliteration of the sanctuary by some 13. Please see that response. unspecified natural catastrophe. We disagree very vigorously with these contentions, and consider them to be not supported by the actual conditions on Looe Key Reef and by the actual parameters of the sanctuary nomination- It is certainly true that Looe Key Reef is a comparatively small reef. But it is precisely a relative scarcity which makes special sites such as Loos Key unique and particularly qualified for inclusion in the marine sanctuary program. in the words of your office's own Looe Key National Marine Sanctuar Draft Environmental Impact Statement, " The Eooe Key area represents one of the few remaining living sections of the Florida Reef Tract which includes portions of Patch Reefs, a Reef Flat, Fore Reef, Deep Reef and Deep Ridge in a small, manageable unit which allows for a focus on public ed- ucation and research aimed at a better understanding of reef dyna- mics." (p. 4, emphasis added) CONSERVATrON IN ACTION 114 SOUTB FLORIDA (30s) #64--sill Page 2 - RLK/N. Foster 7/14/80 As explained above, the smallness of the area in which Looe Key displays a cross section of reef zonation is precisely one of the factors making it uniquely suited for research, education and the attendant programmatic objectives of the Marine Sanctuaries Office. The compactness of reef zonation on Looe Key also makes it,especially valuable in terms of the Marine Sanctuaries Program's recreational pro- grammatic objective. In terms of esthetics and visitor attraction, the most uniquely outstanding feature of Looe Key is. according to the Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory- "The Fore Reef zone of LoOe Key (which) is a well developed and especially spectacular formation. its main portion is a high pro- file spur groove system, bordering the Reef Flat in very shallow water.-." (P. 13) It is the extreme proximity of these spectacular.formations to a very, shallow Reef Flat which makes Looe Key "...ideal for recreational uses by both ainateur and experienced individuals." (Loce Key DEIS, p. 4).. Aside from the above, Looe Key Reef is biologically significant and 2 qualified for marine sanctuary status because of its superior coral species diversity...ILooe Key Reef Resource Inventory, p. @7-38) This diversity is duo! at least-in part to the particularly privileged geog- M raphical position enjoyed by Looe Key Reef. Sheltered from colder Florida Bay waters by the large land mass of Big Pine Key, Looe Key Reef r\) offers corals a more stable water temperature range and conditions- for frowth than surrounding areas in the Lower Florida Keys. These condi- tions existed in a "large" ocean area, throughout the Lower Florida Keys, then Looe Key Reef would not be'special. In conclusion: the smallness of Loos Key Reef is a function of its uniqueness with regard to coral species diversity, reef zonation dis- tribution and human opportunities for recreation, research and education.. To safeguard these unique attributes, we concur with the National Aud- ubon Society Research Station in Islamorada in their findings that a 5 squa.re mile boundary option is both necessary and sufficient to maintain a viable sanctuary. This is true,. not only in terms of maintaining the integrity of the sanctuary, but also in terms of providing sufficient protected habitat and spawning areas to land stocking support to the surrounding stressed zone (which is part of the defined -stressed area- delineated in the Draft Reef Fish Management Plan-0-f the-.G-ulf of Mex- ico Fishery Management Council). At this point we must emphasize that Looe- Key's smallness does not in any way prove it to be more vulnerable or susceptible to a natural dis- &ster than a larger area. In.facit, the exact opposite might be more Page 3 - PLK/Y.. Foster -.7/14/80 indicated. We have already commented on the temperature stabilizing effects of Loos Key Reef's geopraphical. location opposite the large land mass of Big Pine Key. This makes Loos Key Reef more potentially resistant as a. whole to winter cold coral kills than the other reefs in the Lower@ Florida Keys. in the case of hurricanes and storms, the very shallow Reef Flat could ,act as a protective buffer for the Patch Reefs of Loos Key, thus mini- mizing damage to the corals in this sector when compared to other reefs in the general region. Finally, the primary esthetic and recreational Fore Reef Zone is pri- marily.composed of the most massive and storm resistant of cor al species. From the Looe Key Reef Resource Inventory: '-.-the most important, certainly the most spectacular part of the Looe Key Reef--shorw(s) a profile here of up to 7 m high, caused mainly by the vigorous construction activity of the 'moun- tainous' star coral Montastrea annularis. This species builds ,buttresses of 2 to 3 m in diameter and 4 to 5 m from top to ,bottom...On top of the spurs, Montastrea annularis is still re- presented in boulders of 1.5 m, to 2 m in diameter, accompanied by similar sized specimens which are primarily brain corals such an Dioloria strigosa and Calc6phyllia natans. Due to the massive nature of the reefbuilders in this sazone, there are few holes in the reef framework-..' (p. 12) LJ CD The Sanctuary Programs office does not need to be overly concerned with what nature may inflict on a designated 5 square-mile Looe Kay National Marine Sanctuary. The true potential for disaster lies in what humans may inflict upon Looe Key Reef if it is not protectedunder the Marine Sanctuaries Program. Sincerely, Dr. Robert L. Kelley-o4UP, President CZM Upper Keys Citizens Association 1980 JUL 22 PM 11:59 P.O. Box 1044 MAIL ROOM July 12, 1980 Director, Sanctuaries Program Office of Coastal Zone Management 3300 Whitehaven Street, N.W. Washington, D. C. 20235 Dear Sir: Please see Generic Response This letter will serve to express the feelings of the members of the Upper Keys Citizens Association in regard to the designation of Looe Key in Monroe County as a Marine Sanctuary. We are an or- ganized group of some 500 Keys citizens who are vitally interested in preserving the "quality of life" in the Keys. The public hearings that have been hold so far on this proj- ect have been dominated largely byt a very vocal minority of persona consisting of local commercial fisherman. From an economic stand- point, they contribute a very small percentage to the total tour- ist related Income of the county. The vociferous objections of' this Small, Special interest group, completely ignore the fact that Loco Key lies in federal waters, outside of state and local jurisdiction. It is the prov- ince and public heritage of all Americans. The objectors tend to dislike any type of regulation of fisheries and marine areas. Their major objection seems to be based on the fear that once a Sanctuary is established, it will immediately expand to take in the entire roof area from Key Largo to Dry Tortugas. It is a little difficult to understand just why this small group of objectors is so intensely interested In this extremely small patch in the Atlantic. We have heard it said, "It is a BIG ocean," - they could do their fishing elsewhere. On the other hand, this is a spot that draws tons of thousands of divers and viewers who cannot find this beauty elsewhere. It is unfortunate that this matter comes before our County Commission in an election year. Any expression of the feelings of some of,those Commissioners up for re-election, is likely to be made with one eye on the ballot box. This fact should be kept in mind. 2 Our preference is for the 4.9 square mile area shown as No. 2 on page 23 of the April, 1980 Draft Environmental Impact Statement of the Office of Coastal Zone Management. Whichever area is selected, we urge it be designated as soon as possible. Sincerely, Ken. Durr President KD:gk cc:Mr. Bruce R. Barrett Office of Environmental Affairs Room 3425 U.S. Dept. of Commerce Washington, D.C. 20230 RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT LOOE KEY REEF MARINE SANCTUARY WHERAS, LoOE Key Reef, In the waters off the Florida Keys, Supports endangered and valuable marine lift in one of the most diverse and biologically productive carol roof communities in the entire Florida Roof Tract, and WHEREAS, the aesthetic, recreational, research and ecological values of Looe Key REef are valuable socio-economic resources which are under increasing stressful pressure that must be alleviated by a site-specific program able to provide compre- hensive management within the reef's geographically defined area, NOW. THEREFORE, be it hereby resolved that Laos Key Reef should be designated as a marine sanctuary area under Title III of the MARINE PROTECTION, RESEARCH AND SANCTUARIES ACT (P.L. 92-532), THAT the marine sanctuary area should, within Its five square miles, adequately included presentational sections of all reef zones and provide an essential buffer zone between the main roof sector and the unregulated-activity areas outside the sanctuary. AND THAT comprehensive sanctuary regulations should be implemented to maintain and restore an essentially natural condition and ecological balance on the Looe Key Roof Marine Sanctuary. ADOPTED by organizational vote on THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS SUBMITTED THIS RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE LOOE KEY MARINE SANCTUARY: Harlan B. Herbert. conservation Chairman Lake Region Audubon SocietY P.O. box 2471 Lakeland. Florida 33803 Kenneth flowers. President Friends of the Lower St. Johns Inc., P.O. Box 1401 Orange Park, Florida 32973 R. Skinner, President Isask Walton League-Mangrove Chapter 175 Fontanblew Blvd. Miami. Florida 33172 Franklin a. Adams. President Cypress Chapter Isaak Walton Logue of America 4272 19th Place S.W. Naples, Florida 33999 Allen Lowrie,President Save the Bay, Inc.