[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 48 (Thursday, March 12, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13077-13117]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-04502]



[[Page 13077]]

Vol. 80

Thursday,

No. 48

March 12, 2015

Part II





Department of Commerce





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





15 CFR Part 922





Expansion of Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine 
Sanctuaries, and Regulatory Changes; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 80 , No. 48 / Thursday, March 12, 2015 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 13078]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

15 CFR Part 922

[Docket No. 130405335-4999-02]
RIN 0648-BD18


Expansion of Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National 
Marine Sanctuaries, and Regulatory Changes

AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean 
Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is 
expanding the boundaries of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine 
Sanctuary (GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) to 
an area north and west of their current boundaries. As part of this 
action, NOAA is revising the terms of designation, management plans, 
and regulations for these two sanctuaries.

DATES: Effective Date: Pursuant to section 304(b) of the National 
Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1434(b)), the revised 
designations and regulations shall take effect and become final after 
the close of a review period of forty-five days of continuous session 
of Congress beginning on March 12, 2015. Additional information 
regarding the effective date for this final rule is contained in the 
``Background'' section, below. NOAA will publish an announcement of the 
effective date of the final regulations in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) 
described in this rule and the record of decision (ROD) are available 
upon request to Maria Brown, Superintendent, Gulf of the Farallones 
National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San 
Francisco, CA 94129. Copies of the FEIS, final management plans, and 
the final rule can also be viewed or downloaded at http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maria Brown at Maria.Brown@noaa.gov or 
415-561-6622; or Dan Howard at Dan.Howard@noaa.gov or 415-663-0314.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Effective Date

    This rule postpones for 6 months the effective date for the 
discharge requirements in both expansion areas with regard to U.S. 
Coast Guard activities. In the course of this rule making NOAA learned 
from Coast Guard that the discharge regulations had the potential to 
impair the operations of Coast Guard vessels and air craft conducting 
law enforcement, search and rescue training and other statutorily 
mandated activities in Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national 
marine sanctuaries. The USCG supports national marine sanctuary 
management by providing routine surveillance and dedicated law 
enforcement of the national marine sanctuaries. It does so concurrently 
with other Coast Guard operations, which include those relating to 
homeland security, search and rescue, regulatory program enforcement 
(such as vessel air pollution low sulfur fuel program requirements, 
fisheries management, oil spill response, marine living resource 
protection), vessel traffic management, and drug interdiction. Coast 
Guard training involving use of force and search and rescue drills 
require expenditure of ammunition or pyrotechnics (``live fire 
training''). Additionally, some vessels used by the Coast Guard in both 
sanctuaries have limited capacity to store sewage, and that may impact 
Coast Guard's capability to conduct extended, necessary operations in 
the expansion areas. Accordingly, to ensure that this rule does not 
undermine Coast Guard's ability to perform its duties, NOAA is 
postponing for 6 months the date when the discharge requirements will 
become effective with regard to Coast Guard operations. During this 
time, NOAA will consider how to address Coast Guard's concerns and will 
consider, among other things, whether to exempt certain Coast Guard 
activities in both sanctuaries similar to existing exemptions provided 
for Department of Defense activities (15 CFR 922.82(b) and 922.112(c)). 
The 6-month postponement will begin at the time the regulations for the 
expansion areas become effective. As noted above, NOAA will publish a 
notice when the regulations promulgated by this rule become effective 
and will include in that notice the date when the postponement of the 
effective date for Coast Guard activities ends. The public, other 
federal agencies, and interested stakeholders will be given an 
opportunity to comment on various alternatives that are being 
considered. This will include the opportunity to review any proposed 
rule and related environmental analyses.

B. GFNMS Background

    NOAA designated GFNMS in 1981 to protect and preserve a unique and 
fragile ecological community, including the largest seabird colony in 
the contiguous United States and diverse and abundant marine mammals. 
GFNMS is located along and offshore California's north-central coast, 
west of northern San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin and southern Sonoma 
Counties. GFNMS was previously composed of approximately 1,282 square 
miles (968 square nautical miles (sq. nmi)) of offshore waters 
extending out to and around the Farallon Islands, nearshore waters (up 
to the mean high water line unless otherwise specified) from Bodega 
Head to Rocky Point in Marin, and the submerged lands beneath these 
waters. The Farallon Islands lie along the outer edge of the 
continental shelf, between 15 and 22 miles (13 and 19 nmi) southwest of 
Point Reyes and approximately 30 miles (26 nmi) due west of San 
Francisco. In addition to sandy beaches, small coves, and offshore 
stacks, GFNMS includes open bays (Bodega Bay, Drakes Bay) and enclosed 
bays or estuaries (Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, Estero Americano, and 
Estero de San Antonio). GFNMS is located within the California current, 
and its waters are characterized by wind-driven upwelling, localized 
eddies, counter-current gyres, high nutrient supply, and high levels of 
phytoplankton. As a result of this action, GFNMS is being expanded to a 
total of 3,295 square miles (2,488 sq. nmi).

B. CBNMS Background

    NOAA designated CBNMS in 1989 to protect and preserve the 
extraordinary ecosystem, including invertebrates, marine birds, 
mammals, and other natural resources, of Cordell Bank and its 
surrounding waters. CBNMS is located offshore of California's north-
central coast, west of Marin County. CBNMS previously protected an area 
of approximately 529 square miles (399 sq. nmi). The main feature of 
the sanctuary is Cordell Bank (Bank), an offshore granite bank located 
on the edge of the continental shelf, about 49 miles (43 nmi) northwest 
of the Golden Gate Bridge and 23 miles (20 nmi) west of the Point Reyes 
lighthouse. CBNMS is entirely offshore and shares its southern and 
eastern boundary with GFNMS. Similar to GFNMS, CBNMS is located in a 
major coastal upwelling system. The combination of oceanic conditions 
and undersea topography provides for a

[[Page 13079]]

highly productive environment in a discrete offshore area. Prevailing 
currents push nutrients from upwelling southward along the coast, 
moving nutrients and other prey over the upper levels of the Bank. The 
vertical relief and hard substrate of the Bank provide benthic habitat 
with near-shore characteristics in an open ocean environment. The 
combination of algae and sedentary animals typical of nearshore waters 
in close proximity to open ocean species like blue whales and albatross 
creates a rare mix of species and a unique biological community at 
CBNMS. As a result of this action, CBNMS is being expanded to a total 
of 1,286 square miles (971 sq. nmi).

C. Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of NOAA's action is to add national marine sanctuary 
protections to the globally significant coastal upwelling center 
originating off of Point Arena, which is the source of nutrient-rich 
upwelled waters that flow into GFNMS and CBNMS via wind-driven 
currents. NOAA's action expands the boundaries of GFNMS and CBNMS north 
and west of the sanctuaries' original boundaries to extend regulatory 
protections and management programs to the nationally significant 
marine resources and habitats of the waters and submerged lands 
offshore of San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino 
Counties.
    The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) 
gives NOAA the authority to expand national marine sanctuaries to meet 
the purposes and policies of the NMSA, including:
     ``. . . to provide authority for comprehensive and 
coordinated conservation and management of these marine areas [national 
marine sanctuaries], and activities affecting them, in a manner which 
complements existing regulatory authorities (16 U.S.C. 1431(b)(2)); 
[and]
     to maintain the natural biological communities in the 
national marine sanctuaries, and to protect, and, where appropriate, 
restore and enhance natural habitats, populations and ecological 
processes . . .'' (16 U.S.C. 1431(b)(3)).
    The NMSA also requires NOAA to periodically review and evaluate 
progress in implementing the management plan and goals for each 
national marine sanctuary. The management plans and regulations must be 
revised as necessary to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA 
(16 U.S.C. 1434(e)) to ensure that each sanctuary continues to best 
conserve, protect, and enhance their nationally significant living and 
cultural resources.
    In addition to expanding the boundaries of GFNMS and CBNMS, NOAA's 
action revises the sanctuaries' management plans and modifies the 
sanctuaries' regulations. Together these changes provide comprehensive 
management and protection of the nationally significant resources of 
the area, while facilitating uses compatible with resource protection. 
The regulatory changes are described in detail below in the ``Summary 
of the Regulatory Amendments.''
    The expansion area, from the upwelling off the Point Arena coast 
and the waters south to GFNMS and CBNMS, is ecologically connected to 
the current sanctuaries. The upwelled water, rich with nutrients, 
largely originates offshore of Point Arena and flows south. It is the 
regional ecosystem driver for productivity in coastal waters of north-
central California. The area supports a rich marine food web made up of 
many species of algae, invertebrates, fish, birds, and marine mammals. 
Some species are transitory, travelling hundreds, thousands or tens of 
thousands of miles to the region, such as endangered blue whales, 
albatross, shearwaters, white and salmon sharks, while others live year 
round in the sanctuaries, such as Dungeness crab, sponges, other 
benthic invertebrates, salmon, many species of rockfish and flatfish, 
and harbor seals and harbor porpoises. Of note, the largest assemblage 
of breeding seabirds in the contiguous United States is at the Farallon 
Islands, and each year their breeding success depends on a healthy and 
productive marine ecosystem to allow breeding adults and fledgling 
young to feed and flourish. Given that these sensitive resources are 
particularly susceptible to damage from human activities, expanding 
CBNMS and GFNMS conserves and protects critical resources by preventing 
or reducing human-caused impacts such as marine pollution, and wildlife 
and seabed disturbance.
    In addition, this action protects significant submerged cultural 
resources and historical properties, as defined by the National 
Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470, et seq., and its regulations 
(historical properties include among other things: Artifacts, records, 
remains related to or located in the properties of traditional 
religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe and that meet the 
National Register criteria). Several state and federal laws exist that 
provide some degree of protection of historical resources, but the 
State of California regulations only extend 3 nautical miles offshore, 
and existing federal regulations do not provide comprehensive 
protection of these resources. Records document over 200 vessel and 
aircraft losses between 1820 and 1961 along California's north-central 
coast from Bodega Head north to Point Arena. Submerged archaeological 
remnants related to a number of former doghole ports are likely to 
exist in the area. Doghole ports were small ports on the Pacific Coast 
between Central California and Southern Oregon that operated from the 
mid-1800s until 1939. Such archaeological remnants could include 
landings, wire, trapeze loading chutes and offshore moorings.
    While there is no documentation of submerged Native American human 
settlements in the boundary expansion area, some may exist there, since 
Coast Miwok and Pomo peoples have lived and harvested the resources of 
this abundant marine landscape for thousands of years. Sea level rise 
at the end of the last great Ice Age inundated a large area that was 
likely used by these peoples when it was dry land.

D. History of the Boundary Expansion

    In 2001, NOAA received public comment during a review of the GFNMS 
and CBNMS management plans requesting that both sanctuaries be expanded 
north and west. Since 2003, sanctuary advisory councils for both 
national marine sanctuaries have regularly discussed and supported 
boundary expansion northward and westward at advisory council meetings, 
which are open to the public. In addition to the public and advisory 
council input, legislation was proposed several times between 2004 and 
2011 by then-Representative Lynn Woolsey, Senator Barbara Boxer, and 
cosponsors, to expand and protect GFNMS and CBNMS, but was never passed 
by Congress. In general, interest in expanding CBNMS and GFNMS has 
stemmed principally from a desire to protect the biologically rich 
underwater habitat of the expansion area and the important upwelling 
current originating off Point Arena.
    The sanctuary advisory councils formally expressed support for the 
proposed boundary expansion in four resolutions prior to NOAA issuing 
the proposed rule in April 2014. The GFNMS advisory council passed 
three separate resolutions on April 19 and December 13, 2007, and 
November 11, 2011, supporting sanctuary boundary expansion. On 
September 19, 2007, the CBNMS advisory council passed a resolution 
supporting protection for Bodega Canyon via proposed legislation.
    As a result of the public interest in boundary expansion, in 2008 
NOAA included actions to consider a future

[[Page 13080]]

boundary expansion in the revised management plans for CBNMS and GFNMS. 
The management plans indicate NOAA would develop a framework to 
evaluate boundary alternatives, with public input. Some of the 
recommended criteria included consideration of boundary changes that 
would: Be inclusive of and ensure the maintenance of the area's natural 
ecosystem, including its contribution to biological productivity; be 
biogeographically representative; facilitate, to the extent compatible 
with the primary objective of resource protection, public and private 
uses of the marine resources; and provide additional comprehensive and 
coordinated management of the area.
    NOAA, in compliance with Section 304(e) of the NMSA, conducted 
public scoping from December 21, 2012, to March 1, 2013 (77 FR 75601), 
to identify issues associated with a proposed expansion. In January and 
February 2013 NOAA held three public scoping meetings in Bodega Bay, 
Point Arena and Gualala. These public meetings were attended by several 
hundred people. NOAA received more than 300 written submissions, along 
with the oral comments received during the three public scoping 
meetings, which are posted under docket number NOAA-NOS-2012-0228 on 
www.regulations.gov.
    NOAA analyzed comments received during this process and considered 
them in the draft environmental impact statement accompanying the 
proposed rule (79 FR 20982), with analysis of the proposed action and 
four alternatives. Scoping revealed wide support for the protection of 
areas offshore Sonoma and southern Mendocino Counties. Some commenters 
also suggested the protection of areas further north and south of the 
proposed expansion or other alternate boundary configurations for GFNMS 
and CBNMS. Whereas some commenters were opposed to expanding the 
sanctuaries or specific sanctuary regulations, there was generally 
strong support for extending existing sanctuary regulations to the 
proposed expanded area, including prohibitions on oil and gas 
development. Many commenters also indicated opposition to any 
regulations of fishing under the NMSA. Other comments focused on: 
Operation of motorized personal watercraft (MPWC) in the expanded 
portions of GFNMS; protection of wildlife from human disturbance; and 
future development of alternative energy and aquaculture.
    During the development of the proposed action, it became clear that 
an extension of all existing GFNMS and CBNMS regulations to the 
respective expansion areas would not meet NOAA's goals of providing 
resource protection and facilitating compatible uses. Therefore, NOAA 
proposed to extend some of the existing GFNMS and CBNMS regulations to 
the proposed expansion area without any changes, amend some of the 
existing regulations that would apply to both the existing sanctuaries 
and the proposed expansion area, and add some new regulations.
    The DEIS was made available for public comment on April 4, 2014, 
and the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 
20982) on April 14, 2014. NOAA solicited public comments until June 30, 
2014, and held four public hearings in Sausalito (May 22), Point Arena 
(June 16), Gualala (June 17) and Bodega Bay, CA (June 18). NOAA 
received about 1,000 individual comments, including letters, online 
submissions on www.regulations.gov, and oral testimonies at public 
hearings. In addition, both CBNMS and GFNMS sanctuary advisory councils 
provided comments to NOAA on the proposed action (see http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/sac_actions.html). All public comments are 
available for public viewing at www.regulations.gov (search for docket 
number NOAA-NOS-2012-0228). The comments and NOAA's responses are 
summarized below.

II. Revisions to the Sanctuary Terms of Designation

    Section 304(a)(4) of the NMSA requires that the terms of 
designation for national marine sanctuaries include: (1) The geographic 
area included within the Sanctuary; (2) the characteristics of the area 
that give it conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, 
research, educational, or esthetic value; and (3) the types of 
activities subject to regulation by NOAA to protect those 
characteristics. This section also specifies that the terms of the 
designation may be modified only by the same procedures by which the 
original designation is made.
    To implement this action, NOAA is changing the GFNMS and CBNMS 
terms of designation, which were last published in the Federal Register 
on February 19, 2015 (80 FR 8778) for GFNMS and on November 20, 2008 
(73 FR 70488) for CBNMS.

A. Revisions to the GFNMS Terms of Designation

    NOAA is revising the GFNMS terms of designation to:
    1. Update the title by adding ``Terms of,'' removing ``Document'' 
and making minor technical changes.
    2. Modify the geographical description of the sanctuary in the 
preamble.
    3. Modify Article I ``Effect of Designation'' by referring to Gulf 
of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
    4. Modify Article II ``Description of the Area'' by updating the 
description of the size of the sanctuary and describing the proposed 
new boundary for the sanctuary.
    5. Modify Article III ``Characteristics of the Area That Give It 
Particular Value'' by updating the description of the nationally 
significant characteristics of the area to include the globally 
significant coastal upwelling area.
    6. Modify Article IV ``Scope of Regulation'' by updating section 1, 
subsection a, by replacing ``hydrocarbon operations'' with a more 
complete description of oil and gas activities; adding ``minerals'' to 
what had been ``hydrocarbon operations''; by clarifying the actual 
activities related to cultural and historical resources that are 
prohibited; and adding a new subsection i, ``Interfering with an 
investigation, search, seizure, or disposition of seized property in 
connection with enforcement of the Act or Sanctuary regulations.''
    7. Modify Article V ``Relation to Other Regulatory Programs'' by 
updating section 1 to replace the term ``mariculture'' with the term 
``aquaculture'' and replacing ``seabed'' with the term ``submerged 
lands'' used throughout the terms of designation and regulations; by 
updating section 3 to include the dates of designation and expansion 
used for certification; and adding ``In addition, a permit or 
authorization may not be issued under any circumstances for exploring 
for, developing or producing oil, gas, or minerals within the 
Sanctuary.''
    The revised terms of designation read as follows:

REVISED TERMS OF DESIGNATION FOR GULF OF THE FARALLONES NATIONAL MARINE 
SANCTUARY

Preamble

    Under the authority of Title III of the Marine Protection, 
Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, Public Law 92-532 (the Act), 
the waters and submerged lands along the Coast of California to the 
39th parallel, between Manchester Beach in Mendocino County and 
Rocky Point in Marin County and surrounding the Farallon Islands and 
Noonday Rock along the northern coast of California, are hereby 
designated a National Marine Sanctuary for the purposes of 
preserving and protecting this unique and fragile ecological 
community.

Article I. Effect of Designation

    Within the area described in Article II, the Act authorizes the 
promulgation of such

[[Page 13081]]

regulations as are reasonable and necessary to protect the values of 
Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (the Sanctuary). 
Section 1 of Article IV of these Terms of Designation lists 
activities of the types that are either to be regulated on the 
effective date of final rulemaking or may have to be regulated at 
some later date in order to protect Sanctuary resources and 
qualities. Listing does not necessarily mean that a type of activity 
will be regulated; however, if a type of activity is not listed it 
may not be regulated, except on an emergency basis, unless section 1 
of Article IV is amended to include the type of activity by the same 
procedures by which the original designation was made.

Article II. Description of the Area

    The Sanctuary consists of an area of the waters and the 
submerged lands thereunder adjacent to the coast of California of 
approximately 2,488 square nautical miles (sq. nmi). The boundary 
extends seaward to a distance of 30 nmi west from the mainland at 
Manchester Beach and extends south approximately 45 nmi to the 
northwestern corner of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary 
(CBNMS), and extends approximately 38 nmi east along the northern 
boundary of CBNMS, approximately 6 nmi west of Bodega Head. The 
boundary extends from Bodega Bay to Point Reyes and 12 nmi west from 
the Farallon Islands and Noonday Rock, and includes the intervening 
waters and submerged lands. The Sanctuary includes Bolinas Lagoon, 
Tomales Bay, Estero de San Antonio (to the tide gate at Valley Ford-
Franklin School Road) and Estero Americano (to the bridge at Valley 
Ford-Estero Road), as well as Bodega Bay, but does not include 
Bodega Harbor, the Salmon Creek Estuary, the Russian River Estuary, 
the Gualala River Estuary, Arena Cove or the Garcia River Estuary. 
The precise boundaries are defined by regulation.

Article III. Characteristics of the Area That Give It Particular Value

    The Sanctuary encompasses a globally significant coastal 
upwelling center that includes a rich and diverse marine ecosystem 
and a wide variety of marine habitats, including habitat for over 36 
species of marine mammals. Rookeries for over half of California's 
nesting marine bird populations and nesting areas for at least 12 of 
16 known U.S. nesting marine bird species are found within the 
boundaries. Abundant populations of fish and shellfish are also 
found within the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary also has one of the 
largest seasonal concentrations of adult white sharks (Carcharodon 
carcharias) in the world. The area adjacent to and offshore of Point 
Arena, due to seasonal winds, currents and oceanography, drives one 
of the most prominent and persistent upwelling centers in the world, 
supporting the productivity of the sanctuary. The nutrient-rich 
water carried down coast by currents promotes thriving nearshore 
kelp forests, productive commercial and recreational fisheries, and 
diverse wildlife assemblages. Large predators, such as white sharks, 
sea lions, killer whales, and baleen whales, travel from thousands 
of miles away to feed in these productive waters. Rocky shores along 
the Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino County coastlines are largely 
undisturbed, and teem with crustaceans, algae, fish and birds.

Article IV. Scope of Regulation

Section 1. Activities Subject to Regulation

    The following activities are subject to regulation, including 
prohibition, as may be necessary to ensure the management, 
protection, and preservation of the conservation, recreational, 
ecological, historical, cultural, archeological, scientific, 
educational, and aesthetic resources and qualities of this area:
    a. Exploring for, developing or producing oil, gas, or minerals 
within the Sanctuary;
    b. Discharging or depositing any substance within or from beyond 
the boundary of the Sanctuary;
    c. Drilling into, dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged 
lands of the Sanctuary; or constructing, placing, or abandoning any 
structure, material, or other matter on or in the submerged lands of 
the Sanctuary;
    d. Taking, removing, moving, collecting, possessing, injuring, 
destroying or causing the loss of, or attempting to take, remove, 
move, injure, destroy or cause the loss of a cultural or historical 
resources;
    e. Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into the 
Sanctuary an introduced species;
    f. Taking or possessing any marine mammal, marine reptile, or 
bird within or above the Sanctuary except as permitted by the Marine 
Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act;
    g. Attracting or approaching any animal;
    h. Operating a vessel (i.e., watercraft of any description) 
within the Sanctuary; and
    i. Interfering with an investigation, search, seizure, or 
disposition of seized property in connection with enforcement of the 
Act or Sanctuary regulations.

Section 2. Consistency With International Law

    The regulations governing the activities listed in section 1 of 
this Article 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 signatory.

Section 3. Emergency Regulations

    Where necessary to prevent or minimize the destruction of, loss 
of, or injury to a Sanctuary resource or quality, or minimize the 
imminent risk of such destruction, loss, or injury, any and all 
activities, including those not listed in section 1 of this Article, 
are subject to immediate temporary regulation, including 
prohibition.

Article V. Relation to Other Regulatory Programs

Section 1. Fishing and Waterfowl Hunting

    The regulation of fishing, including fishing for shellfish and 
invertebrates, and waterfowl hunting, is not authorized under 
Article IV. However, fishing vessels may be regulated with respect 
to vessel operations in accordance with Article IV, section 1, 
paragraphs (b) and (h), and aquaculture activities involving 
alterations of or construction on the submerged lands, or 
introduction or release of introduced species by aquaculture 
activities, can be regulated in accordance with Article IV, section 
1, paragraph (c) and (e). All regulatory programs pertaining to 
fishing, and to waterfowl hunting, including regulations promulgated 
under the California Fish and Game Code and Fishery Management Plans 
promulgated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., will remain in effect, and 
all permits, licenses, and other authorizations issued pursuant 
thereto will be valid within the Sanctuary unless authorizing any 
activity prohibited by any regulation implementing Article IV.
    The term ``fishing'' as used in this Article includes 
aquaculture.

Section 2. Defense Activities

    The regulation of activities listed in Article IV shall not 
prohibit any Department of Defense activity that is essential for 
national defense or because of emergency. Such activities shall be 
consistent with the regulations to the maximum extent practicable.

Section 3. Other Programs

    All applicable regulatory programs will remain in effect, and 
all permits, licenses, approvals, and other authorizations issued 
after January 16, 1981, with respect to activities conducted within 
the original Sanctuary boundary and after the effective date of the 
expansion of the Sanctuary with respect to activities conducted 
within the expansion area will be valid within the Sanctuary unless 
authorizing any activity prohibited by any regulation implementing 
Article IV. No valid lease, permit, license, approval or other 
authorization for activities in the expansion area of the Sanctuary 
issued by any federal, State, or local authority of competent 
jurisdiction and in effect on the effective date of the expansion 
may be terminated by the Secretary of Commerce or by his or her 
designee, provided the holder of such authorization complies with 
the certification procedures established by Sanctuary regulations. 
In addition, the Secretary may not under any circumstances issue a 
permit or authorization for exploring for, developing or producing 
oil, gas, or minerals within the Sanctuary.

Article VI. Alterations to This Designation

    The terms of designation, as defined under section 304(a) of the 
Act, may be modified only by the same procedures by which the 
original designation is made, including public hearings, 
consultation with interested Federal, State, and local agencies, 
review by the appropriate Congressional committees and Governor of 
the State of California, and approval by the Secretary of Commerce 
or designee.

[END OF TERMS OF DESIGNATION]


[[Page 13082]]



C. Revisions to the CBNMS Terms of Designation

    NOAA is revising the CBNMS terms of designation to:
    1. Update the title by adding ``Terms of'' and removing 
``Document.''
    2. Modify the geographical description in the preamble by adding 
``Bodega Canyon'' and ``submerged lands'' and making minor technical 
changes.
    3. Modify Article I ``Effect of Designation'' by making minor 
technical changes.
    4. Modify Article II ``Description of the Area'' by updating the 
description of the size of the sanctuary and describing the proposed 
new boundary for the sanctuary.
    5. Modify Article III ``Characteristics of the Area That Give It 
Particular Value'' by updating the description of the nationally 
significant characteristics of the area to include Bodega Canyon and 
the additional area in the sanctuary.
    6. Modify Article IV ``Scope of Regulation'' by updating section 1, 
subsection c, by replacing ``hydrocarbon operations'' with a more 
complete description of oil and gas activities, and adding 
``minerals''; by clarifying the actual activities related to cultural 
and historical resources that are prohibited; and by adding a new 
subsection i ``Interfering with an investigation, search, seizure, or 
disposition of seized property in connection with enforcement of the 
Act or Sanctuary regulations.''
    7. Modify Article V ``Relation to Other Regulatory Programs'' by 
updating section 3 to include the dates of designation and expansion 
used for certification and by adding ``In addition, a permit or 
authorization may not be issued under any circumstances for exploring 
for, developing or producing oil, gas, or minerals within the 
Sanctuary.''
    The revised CBNMS terms of designation read as follows:

TERMS OF DESIGNATION FOR CORDELL BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

Preamble

    Under the authority of Title III of the Marine Protection, 
Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1431 et 
seq. (the ``Act''), Cordell Bank, Bodega Canyon, and their 
surrounding waters and submerged lands offshore northern California, 
as described in Article II, are hereby designated as Cordell Bank 
National Marine Sanctuary (the Sanctuary) for the purpose of 
protecting and conserving that special, discrete, highly productive 
marine area and ensuring the continued availability of the 
conservation, ecological, research, educational, aesthetic, 
historical, and recreational resources therein.

Article 1. Effect of Designation

    The Sanctuary was designated on May 24, 1989 (54 FR 22417). 
Section 308 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, 16 U.S.C. 1431 
et seq. (NMSA), authorizes the issuance of such regulations as are 
necessary to implement the designation, including managing, 
protecting and conserving the conservation, recreational, 
ecological, historical, cultural, archeological, scientific, 
educational, and aesthetic resources and qualities of the Sanctuary. 
Section 1 of Article IV of these Terms of Designation lists 
activities of the types that are either to be regulated on the 
effective date of final rulemaking or may have to be regulated at 
some later date in order to protect Sanctuary resources and 
qualities. Listing does not necessarily mean that a type of activity 
will be regulated; however, if a type of activity is not listed it 
may not be regulated, except on an emergency basis, unless Section 1 
of Article IV is amended to include the type of activity by the same 
procedures by which the original designation was made.

Article II. Description of the Area

    The Sanctuary consists of an approximately 971 square nautical 
mile (sq. nmi) area of marine waters and the submerged lands 
thereunder encompassed by a northern boundary that begins 
approximately 6 nmi west of Bodega Head in Sonoma County, California 
and extends west approximately 38 nmi, coterminous with the boundary 
of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS). 
From that point, the western boundary of the Sanctuary extends south 
approximately 34 nmi. From that point, the southern boundary of the 
Sanctuary continues east 15 nmi, where it intersects the GFNMS 
boundary. The eastern boundary of the Sanctuary is coterminous with 
the GFNMS boundary, and is a series of straight lines connecting in 
sequence, back to the beginning point. The precise boundaries are 
set forth in the regulations.

Article III. Characteristics of the Area That Give It Particular Value

    Cordell Bank (Bank) and Bodega Canyon are characterized by a 
combination of oceanic conditions and undersea topography that 
provides for a highly productive environment in a discrete, well-
defined area. The Sanctuary may contain historical resources of 
national significance. The Bank consists of a series of steep-sided 
ridges and narrow pinnacles rising from the edge of the continental 
shelf. The Bank is 300-400 feet (91-122 meters) deep at the base and 
ascends to within 115 feet (35 meters) of the surface at its 
shallowest point. Bodega Canyon is about 12 miles (10.8 nmi) long 
and is over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) deep. The seasonal upwelling of 
nutrient-rich bottom waters and wide depth ranges in the vicinity 
have led to a unique association of subtidal and oceanic species. 
The vigorous biological community flourishing at Cordell Bank and 
Bodega Canyon includes an exceptional assortment of invertebrates, 
fishes, marine mammals and seabirds. Predators travel from thousands 
of miles away to feed in these productive waters.

Article IV. Scope of Regulation

Section 1. Activities Subject to Regulation

    The following activities are subject to regulation, including 
prohibition, as may be necessary to ensure the management, 
protection, and preservation of the conservation, recreational, 
ecological, historical, cultural, archeological, scientific, 
educational, and aesthetic resources and qualities of this area:
    a. Depositing or discharging any material or substance;
    b. Removing, taking, or injuring or attempting to remove, take, 
or injure benthic invertebrates or algae located on the Bank or on 
or within the line representing the 50 fathom isobath surrounding 
the Bank;
    c. Exploring for, developing or producing oil, gas or minerals 
within the Sanctuary;
    d. Anchoring on the Bank or on or within the line representing 
the 50 fathom contour surrounding the Bank;
    e. Taking, removing, moving, collecting, possessing, injuring or 
causing the loss of, or attempting to take, remove, move, collect, 
injure or cause the loss of a cultural or historical resource;
    f. Drilling into, dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged 
lands of the Sanctuary; or constructing, placing, or abandoning any 
structure, material, or other matter on or in the submerged lands of 
the Sanctuary;
    g. Taking or possessing any marine mammal, marine reptile, or 
bird except as permitted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 
Endangered Species Act or Migratory Bird Treaty Act;
    h. Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into the 
Sanctuary an introduced species; and
    i. Interfering with an investigation, search, seizure, or 
disposition of seized property in connection with enforcement of the 
Act or Sanctuary regulations.

Section 2. Consistency With International Law

    The regulations governing activities listed in Section 1 of this 
Article shall apply to foreign flag vessels and foreign persons only 
to the extent consistent with generally recognized principles of 
international law, and in accordance with treaties, conventions, and 
other agreements to which the United States is a party.

Section 3. Emergency Regulations

    Where necessary to prevent or minimize the destruction of, loss 
of, or injury to a Sanctuary resource or quality, or minimize the 
imminent risk of such destruction, loss, or injury, any and all 
activities, including those not listed in Section 1 of this Article, 
are subject to immediate temporary regulation, including 
prohibition, within the limits of the Act on an emergency basis for 
a period not to exceed 120 days.

Article V. Relation to Other Regulatory Programs

Section 1. Fishing

    The regulation of fishing is not authorized under Article IV. 
All regulatory programs pertaining to fishing, including Fishery

[[Page 13083]]

Management Plans promulgated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (``Magnuson-
Stevens Act''), shall remain in effect. All permits, licenses, 
approvals, and other authorizations issued pursuant to the Magnuson-
Stevens Act shall be valid within the Sanctuary. However, all 
fishing vessels are subject to regulation under Article IV with 
respect to discharges and anchoring.

Section 2. Defense Activities

    The regulation of activities listed in Article IV shall not 
prohibit any Department of Defense (DOD) activities that are 
necessary for national defense. All such activities being carried 
out by DOD within the Sanctuary on the effective date of designation 
shall be exempt from any prohibitions contained in the Sanctuary 
regulations. Additional DOD activities initiated after the effective 
date of designation that are necessary for national defense will be 
exempted after consultation between the Department of Commerce and 
DOD. DOD activities not necessary for national defense, such as 
routine exercises and vessel operations, shall be subject to all 
prohibitions contained in the Sanctuary regulations.

Section 3. Other Programs

    All applicable regulatory programs shall remain in effect, and 
all permits, licenses, approvals, and other authorizations issued 
after July 31, 1989, with respect to activities conducted within the 
original Sanctuary boundary and after the effective date of the 
expansion of the Sanctuary with respect to activities conducted 
within the expansion area pursuant to those programs shall be valid 
unless prohibited by regulations implementing Article IV. In 
addition, the Secretary may not under any circumstances issue a 
permit or authorization for exploring for, developing or producing 
oil, gas, or minerals within the Sanctuary.

Article VI. Alterations to This Designation

    The terms of designation, as defined under section 304(a) of the 
Act, may be modified only by the same procedures by which the 
original designation is made, including public hearings, 
consultation with interested Federal, State, and local agencies, 
review by the appropriate Congressional committees, and approval by 
the Secretary of Commerce or designee.

[END OF TERMS OF DESIGNATION]

III. Summary of Regulatory Amendments

    With this action, NOAA is:

--Modifying the GFNMS and CBNMS boundary descriptions and coordinates;
--Applying certain existing prohibitions to the expansion areas;
--Amending certain existing prohibitions that apply in the original and 
expanded areas; and
--Adding new prohibitions.

    Specific regulatory language for each of the two sanctuaries can be 
found at the end of this document.

A. Summary of Boundary Modifications

    NOAA is modifying the boundary of GFNMS by extending it northward 
to the 39th parallel, just north of Point Arena in Mendocino County, in 
order to include the coastal waters and submerged lands north of the 
original sanctuary, and extending the boundary seaward to the 
continental slope to approximately the 10,000-foot (1,667-fathom) depth 
contour. The combined expanded boundary increases the size of the 
sanctuary from approximately 1,282 square miles (968 square nautical 
miles) to approximately 3,295 square miles (2,488 square nautical 
miles). The expanded area extends shoreward to the mean high water 
line, including restored wetlands, but does not include Salmon Creek 
Estuary, the Russian River Estuary, the Gualala River Estuary, Arena 
Cove or the Garcia River Estuary. The southern boundary and portions of 
the western boundary of GFNMS are coterminous with CBNMS. A map of the 
expanded sanctuary is available online at http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html.
    NOAA is increasing the size of CBNMS from approximately 529 square 
miles (399 square nautical miles) to 1,286 square miles (971 square 
nautical miles), by including the waters and submerged lands north and 
west of the original sanctuary. The revised boundary for CBNMS includes 
Bodega Canyon, a significant bathymetric feature that contributes 
directly to the biological productivity of the existing sanctuary 
ecosystem. Submarine canyons support deep water communities and affect 
local and regional water circulation patterns. The eastern and northern 
boundaries of CBNMS are coterminous with GFNMS.
    NOAA has also made minor technical changes to the textual 
descriptions and point locations of the No-Anchoring Seagrass 
Protection Zones in the Tomales Bay area of GFNMS. NOAA converted 
metric values (hectares and meters) to nautical miles and miles to be 
consistent with the rest of the document. All zones with a shoreline 
component to their boundary are now described in language that complies 
with current ONMS conventions for boundary descriptions. In addition to 
modifying the text, the index numbers of some coordinate pairs were 
reordered and some coordinates were modified to accommodate the edited 
text. NOAA has made no change to the existing zone locations or areas, 
except that the boundary coordinates of Seagrass Protection Zone 5 were 
modified slightly to better align with GFNMS boundaries. Therefore, 
this final rule corrects minor errors and incorporates these changes 
without significantly altering the size or location of the seagrass 
protection zones.

B. Summary of Existing Regulations Extended to the Expansion Areas

    NOAA is extending the following prohibitions and exemptions from 
the original sanctuaries to the expansion areas.
 Prohibition on Certain Discharges (GFNMS and CBNMS)
    Generally, discharging or depositing any material or other matter 
from within or into the sanctuary is prohibited in GFNMS and CBNMS with 
the following exceptions for all vessels including cruise ships: 
discharge of clean vessel engine cooling water, clean vessel generator 
cooling water, clean bilge water, anchor wash, and vessel engine or 
generator exhaust. All vessels other than cruise ships are also allowed 
to discharge or deposit within or into the sanctuary: fish, fish parts, 
chumming materials or bait as part of lawful fishing activities; clean 
effluent generated incidental to vessel use and generated by a Type I 
or II marine sanitation device; and clean vessel deck wash down. Note 
that the discharge prohibition applies not only to discharges and 
deposits originating in the sanctuary (e.g., from vessels in the 
sanctuary), but also from discharges and deposits occurring above the 
sanctuaries.
    The prohibition against discharge/deposit originating outside the 
sanctuary boundaries that subsequently enter and injure a sanctuary 
resource and quality is also being applied in the expansion areas, 
subject to the same exceptions described above for discharges within or 
into the sanctuary.
 Prohibition on the Take and Possession of Certain Species 
(GFNMS and CBNMS)
    NOAA extends the prohibition on the taking or possession of any 
marine mammal, sea turtle or bird within or above the sanctuary unless 
it is authorized by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as amended, 
(MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), Endangered Species Act, as amended, 
(ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as amended, 
(MBTA), 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq., or any regulation, as amended, 
promulgated under the MMPA, ESA, or MBTA. This regulation under the 
NMSA provides an important and additional deterrent for violations of 
existing laws designed to protect marine mammals, birds, or sea 
turtles, than that provided by those other laws alone. It

[[Page 13084]]

does not apply to activities (including a federally or state-approved 
fishery) that have been authorized under the MMPA, ESA, MBTA or 
implementing regulations.
    Therefore, under this regulation, if the National Marine Fisheries 
Service (NMFS) or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
issues a permit for, or otherwise authorizes, the take of a marine 
mammal, bird, or sea turtle, the permitted or authorized taking is 
allowed under this rule and would not require an additional sanctuary 
permit unless the activity also violates another provision of the 
sanctuary's regulations. The intent of this regulation is to enhance 
the protection of the diverse and vital marine mammal, bird, and sea 
turtle populations of the sanctuaries. This area-specific focus is 
complementary to efforts of other resource protection agencies.
 Prohibition on the Introduction of Introduced Species (GFNMS 
and CBNMS)
    Since 2008, it has been unlawful to introduce or release an 
introduced species in the federal waters of both sanctuaries. Through a 
separate rulemaking, NOAA recently published a final rule prohibiting 
the introduction of an introduced species into the state waters within 
the original boundary of GFNMS (80 FR 8778). With this final rule, NOAA 
extends this prohibition on introducing an introduced species into the 
expanded areas of both GFNMS and CBNMS, subject to existing exceptions 
for catch and release of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and for any 
aquaculture project conducted within Tomales Bay (in GFNMS) consistent 
with a permit, lease or license issued by the State of California.
 Prohibition on Construction on and Alteration of the Submerged 
Lands (GFNMS and CBNMS)
    NOAA extends to the GFNMS expansion area the prohibition on 
constructing any structure other than a navigation aid on or in the 
submerged lands of the sanctuary; placing or abandoning any structure 
on or in the submerged lands of the sanctuary; or drilling into, 
dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged lands of the sanctuary in 
any way. This prohibition includes four exceptions: (1) Anchoring 
vessels; (2) while conducting lawful fishing activities; (3) routine 
maintenance and construction of docks and piers on Tomales Bay; or (4) 
aquaculture activities conducted pursuant to a valid lease, permit, 
license or other authorization issued by the State of California. In 
addition, GFNMS regulations at 15 CFR 922.84 state that permitted 
activities existing prior to the expansion of the sanctuary may be 
allowed to continue through the process of certification described 
below.
    For CBNMS, NOAA extends to the expansion area the existing 
regulation in the sanctuary beyond the line representing the 50-fathom 
isobath surrounding Cordell Bank, which prohibits drilling into, 
dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged lands; or constructing, 
placing or abandoning any structure, material or matter on the 
submerged lands of the sanctuary. This prohibition includes two 
exceptions: (1) Anchoring vessels; and (2) while conducting lawful 
fishing.
 Prohibition on the Disturbance of Historic Resources (GFNMS)
    NOAA extends to the expansion area for GFNMS the existing 
prohibition on possessing, moving, removing, or injuring, or attempting 
to possess, move, remove or injure a sanctuary historical resource in 
the sanctuary. This regulation provides added protection to fragile, 
finite, and non-renewable resources so they may be studied, and 
appropriate information may be made available for the benefit of the 
public. The term ``historical resource'' is defined in ONMS program-
wide regulations as any resource possessing historical, cultural, 
archaeological or paleontological significance, including sites, 
contextual information, structures, districts, and objects 
significantly associated with or representative of earlier people, 
cultures, maritime heritage, and human activities and events. As 
defined in the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and NOAA 
national marine sanctuary regulations, (15 CFR 922.3), historical 
resources include ``submerged cultural resources,'' and ``historical 
properties.'' This rule prohibits the possession of a sanctuary 
historical resource regardless of whether it is possessed within or 
outside the sanctuary. For example, this rule makes it unlawful to 
possess anywhere an artifact that was unlawfully taken from a shipwreck 
in GFNMS.
 Prohibition on White Shark Attraction (GFNMS)
    NOAA extends to the GFNMS expansion area the existing prohibition 
on attracting a white shark anywhere within the sanctuary. The intent 
of this regulation is to prevent harm or behavioral disturbance to 
white sharks, which are one of the key predators in the GFNMS 
ecosystem.
 Prohibition on the Desertion of Vessels (GFNMS)
    NOAA extends to the GFNMS expansion area the existing prohibition 
on deserting a vessel aground, at anchor, or adrift in the sanctuary. 
Deserting a vessel increases the likelihood of a calamitous event or 
the risk of sinking, which could result in the discharge of harmful 
toxins, chemicals or oils into the marine environment, reducing water 
quality and impacting biological resources and habitats. In addition, 
the vessel itself and its materials on board can damage habitat. As 
defined in the regulations, the term ``deserting'' includes leaving a 
vessel at anchor when its condition creates potential for a grounding, 
discharge, or deposit; and the owner/operator fails to secure the 
vessel in a timely manner.
    NOAA also is extending to the GFNMS expansion area the prohibition 
on leaving harmful matter aboard a grounded or deserted vessel in the 
GFNMS. Once a vessel is grounded or deserted, there is a high risk of 
discharge/deposit of harmful matter into the marine environment. 
Harmful matter aboard a deserted vessel also poses a threat to water 
quality. The prohibition implemented by this rule is intended to reduce 
or avoid harm to sanctuary resources and qualities from potential 
deposit or leakage of hazardous or other harmful matter from a vessel.
 Prohibition on Oil, Gas, or Minerals Exploration (CBNMS)
    NOAA extends to the expansion area for CBNMS the existing 
prohibition on exploring for, developing or producing oil, gas, or 
minerals.
 Exemption for Department of Defense Activities (GFNMS and 
CBNMS)
    NOAA extends to the GFNMS and CBNMS expansion areas each 
sanctuary's existing exemption for DOD activities necessary for 
national defense. The activities may be conducted in these areas, 
provided such activities were conducted by DOD on or prior to the 
effective date of the expansions. DOD activities necessary for national 
defense initiated after the effective date could be exempted after 
consultation with the sanctuary superintendent, with authority 
delegated from the ONMS Director. In CBNMS, DOD activities not 
necessary for national defense, such as routine exercises and vessel 
operations, are subject to all prohibitions listed in the CBNMS 
regulations.

[[Page 13085]]

 Exemption for Emergencies (GFNMS and CBNMS)
    NOAA extends to the GFNMS and CBNMS expansion areas the existing 
exemption for activities necessary to respond to an emergency 
threatening life, property, or the environment from sanctuary 
regulations.
 Exemption for Permitted Activities (GFNMS and CBNMS)
    NOAA extends to the expanded area for both sanctuaries the 
exemption for activities permitted by the sanctuary superintendent, 
with authority delegated from the ONMS Director, in accordance with the 
permit issuance criteria found in 15 CFR 922.48, 15 CFR 922.83 (GFNMS) 
and 15 CFR 922.113 (CBNMS). It is important to note that permits will 
only be available for activities that would otherwise be prohibited by 
the regulations at 15 CFR 922.82(a)(2) through (a)(9) and (a)(11) 
through (a)(16) for GFNMS, and at 15 CFR 922.112(a)(2) through (a)(7) 
for CBNMS. No permit may be issued for activities that violate: 15 CFR 
922.82(a)(1) (GFNMS) and 15 CFR 922.112(a)(1) (CBNMS), which prohibit 
the exploration for, development, or production of oil, gas or minerals 
within the sanctuary; 15 CFR 922.82(a)(10) (GFNMS) and 15 CFR 
922.112(a)(8), which prohibit the introduction of an introduced 
species; and 15 CFR 922.82(a)(17) (GFNMS) and 15 CFR 922.112(a)(9) 
(CBNMS), which prohibit interference with an enforcement action. A 
sanctuary superintendent may issue a sanctuary permit to: (1) Further 
research or monitoring related to sanctuary resources and qualities; 
(2) further the educational value of the sanctuary; (3) further salvage 
or recovery operations; or (4) assist in managing the sanctuary.
 Issuance of Emergency Regulations (GFNMS and CBNMS)
    The terms of designation for both sanctuaries include the authority 
for NOAA to issue regulations on an emergency basis to prevent 
immediate, serious and irreversible damage to sanctuary resources. In 
GFNMS, emergency regulations would be issued under national marine 
sanctuary system regulations at 15 CFR 922.44. In CBNMS, emergency 
regulations would be issued under site regulations at 15 CFR 
922.112(d).

C. Summary of Amendments to Existing Regulations

    With this rule, NOAA is amending the following regulations and 
applying them throughout the sanctuaries, including in the expansion 
areas.
 New Exemption for Graywater Discharges (GFNMS and CBNMS)
    With the final rule, NOAA is including an additional exemption to 
allow the discharge/deposit of graywater, as defined by section 312 of 
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), by vessels less than 
300 GRT, or vessels 300 GRT or greater without sufficient holding tank 
capacity to hold graywater while within the sanctuary. This new 
exception does not apply to cruise ships. This modification recognizes 
the large area of the combined boundaries (and the difficulty some 
vessels may have to hold graywater while transiting the sanctuary), and 
now allows certain vessels to discharge clean graywater within the 
existing and expanded sanctuaries. Note that vessels greater than 300 
GRT with holding capacity are still prohibited from discharging 
graywater anywhere in the sanctuary.
    The graywater exemption also applies to the prohibition on a 
discharge/deposit originating outside the sanctuary boundaries that 
subsequently enters and injures a sanctuary resource or quality. 
Vessels less than 300 GRT or a vessel 300 GRT or greater without 
sufficient holding capacity for graywater are exempt from this ``enter 
and injure'' prohibition.
 Prohibition on Oil, Gas, or Minerals Exploration (GFNMS)
    NOAA is extending the existing GFNMS prohibitions on oil and gas 
exploration, development, and production to the expanded area, with the 
following modifications:
    1. NOAA is amending the current GFNMS regulation to also prohibit 
exploring for, developing, or producing minerals within the existing 
and expanded GFNMS boundary to be consistent with the adjacent CBNMS 
and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. No commercial exploration, 
development, or production of minerals is currently conducted, nor is 
such activity anticipated in the near future.
    2. NOAA is removing the GFNMS exception for laying pipelines 
related to hydrocarbon operations adjacent to the sanctuary. There are 
no existing or proposed oil or gas pipelines in the vicinity and no 
currently planned or reasonably foreseeable oil or gas leases or 
development projects that would necessitate pipelines.
 Prohibition on Operating MPWC (GFNMS)
    GFNMS regulations in the original sanctuary prohibit the operation 
of all MPWC, except for emergency search and rescue missions or law 
enforcement operations (other than routine training activities) carried 
out by the National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard, Fire or Police 
Departments or other Federal, State or local jurisdictions.
    This final rule does not change the prohibition on the operation of 
MPWC within the original sanctuary boundary and does not change the 
definition of MPWC. During the comment period, NOAA received a wide 
range of comments from the public regarding whether and how MPWCs 
should be regulated in the expansion area. As a result of the breadth 
and diversity of comments, NOAA is not extending the MPWC prohibition 
to the GFNMS expanded area from the southernmost tip of Bodega Head 
(the parallel at 38.29800 degrees North Latitude) and to the northern 
boundary near Point Arena so that it may consider the issue in more 
depth through a separate process, which will include public input, once 
the expansion of the sanctuary is final. Use of MPWC in most of the 
GFNMS expansion area will remain unregulated by NOAA at this time.
 Prohibition on Low Flying Aircraft in Designated Zones (GFNMS)
    GFNMS regulations prohibit disturbing marine mammals or seabirds by 
flying motorized aircraft at less than 1,000 feet over the waters 
within one nautical mile of the Farallon Islands, Bolinas Lagoon, or 
any Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS, see description 
below), except to transport persons or supplies to or from the Farallon 
Islands or for enforcement purposes. NOAA presumes that a failure to 
maintain a minimum altitude of 1,000 feet above ground level over such 
waters disturbs marine mammals or seabirds. NOAA is amending this 
regulation as follows: (1) Changing the name of all zones where this 
prohibition is applied to Special Wildlife Protection Zones (SWPZs); 
(2) changing the shape of these zones from round to polygon; (3) 
clarifying that the exception for transporting persons or supplies to 
or from Southeast Farallon Island is limited to transports authorized 
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Farallon National Wildlife 
Refuge; and (4) adding two new SWPZs (where the low overflight 
restriction applies) in the GFNMS expansion area. The combined area for 
all seven SWPZs covers 2.77% of sanctuary waters (approximately 91.5 
square miles). Each of these four changes is described in more detail 
below. NOAA provides the boundaries of the SWPZs as an appendix to the 
regulations. A map of the various zones designated in this rule can be 
viewed

[[Page 13086]]

online at http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html.
    1. NOAA is deleting the definition of ASBS in GFNMS regulations 
(although those areas are still designated by the state of California 
for water quality purposes and their status under State law remains 
unaffected by this rule). ASBS, as adopted by California's State Water 
Resources Control Board, are designated to protect water quality based 
on the presence of certain species or biological communities that, 
because of their value or fragility, deserve special protection. Within 
the original GFNMS boundaries, ASBS coincided with areas of high 
concentrations and/or biological diversity of breeding pinnipeds and 
birds and, as such, provided the rationale for NOAA's overflight 
restrictions. However, ASBS in the GFNMS expansion area are not in 
locations with high concentrations of breeding pinnipeds or birds.
    Therefore, NOAA has added a definition for Special Wildlife 
Protection Zones (SWPZ) and is no longer utilizing the references to 
Bird Rock ASBS (at Tomales Point), Point Reyes Headlands ASBS, Double 
Point ASBS, Duxbury Reef ASBS, Bolinas Lagoon and the waters around the 
Farallon Islands. Instead, NOAA is renaming and redefining these areas 
as SWPZs. NOAA is also designating two new SWPZs in the GFNMS expansion 
area where breeding birds and pinnipeds aggregate and would benefit 
from overflight restrictions. Within these SWPZs, disturbing seabirds 
or marine mammals by flying motorized aircraft at less than 1000 feet 
over the waters (except when transiting SWPZs to transport authorized 
persons or supplies to or from Southeast Farallon Island authorized by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, 
or for enforcement purposes) is prohibited. Failure to maintain a 
minimum altitude of 1000 feet above ground level over such waters is 
presumed to disturb marine mammals or seabirds. This presumption of 
disturbance could be overcome by contrary evidence that disturbance did 
not, in fact, occur (e.g., evidence that no marine mammals or seabirds 
were present in the area at the time of the low overflight).
    2. With this rule NOAA is also changing the shape of the zones from 
circles to polygons to improve the compliance with regulations that 
apply in the zones and has delineated boundaries around known points, 
islands and landmarks. These five SWPZs--Tomales Point, Point Reyes, 
Duxbury Reef-Bolinas Lagoon, and two zones at the Farallon Islands--
remain similar in size and location to the original low overflight 
restriction areas (Bird Rock ASBS, Point Reyes Headlands ASBS, Double 
Point ASBS, Duxbury Reef ASBS, Bolinas Lagoon and the waters around the 
Farallon Islands). The new SWPZs result in a slight increase in zone 
size for some areas and a decrease in size in other areas. NOAA 
believes the small changes in size to these zones add little to no 
additional flight time for aircraft and therefore result in a 
negligible change of operations for low flying aircrafts above the 
existing sanctuary. A detailed description of each of the zones may be 
found in the FEIS section 3.2.
    3. The final rule clarifies that the exemption for low overflight 
restriction at SWPZ 6 applies specifically to persons authorized by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to 
allow transiting Zone 6 to transport authorized persons or supplies to 
or from Southeast Farallon Island, or for enforcement purposes.
    4. This rule is creating two new SWPZs in the GFNMS expansion area. 
Low overflight restriction regulations will apply to the two new SWPZs. 
The first zone extends south along the coast from Havens Neck in 
Mendocino County approximately 10 miles to Del Mar Point in Sonoma 
County. The size of this zone is approximately 10.5 square miles. The 
second zone extends south along the coast from Windermere Point, north 
of the Russian River in Sonoma County, approximately 14 miles to 
Duncan's Point. The size of the zone is approximately 21.4 square 
miles. The overflight restrictions for these two new zones, consistent 
with those of the SPWZs within the original GFNMS boundaries, are 
intended to protect high concentrations of breeding pinnipeds and birds 
from certain human activities that could harm these sensitive 
resources.
 Prohibition on Cargo Vessels in Designated Areas (GFNMS)
    NOAA is amending the regulation that prohibits cargo vessels from 
transiting closer than two nautical miles from the Farallon Islands, 
Bolinas Lagoon, or any ASBS. As previously explained, these areas are 
now renamed SWPZs. Restricting the distance that cargo vessels may 
approach SWPZs is intended to prevent wildlife disturbance and minimize 
the risk of oil spills in these areas. For the five cargo vessel 
prohibition zones in the original sanctuary boundaries, NOAA is 
changing the shape from circles to polygons to improve the compliance 
with this regulation and to facilitate enforcement. Although a cargo 
vessel prohibition zone currently exists at the Middle Farallon Island, 
NOAA is now removing it because the International Maritime Organization 
amended the San Francisco Traffic Separation Scheme to route vessel 
traffic farther away from the Farallon Islands, virtually eliminating 
the potential for cargo vessels to transit the area between those 
islands. Because SWPZs extend one mile seaward from land and because 
the cargo vessel restriction zones would extend one additional mile 
beyond SWPZs, this rule creates a two nautical mile cargo vessel 
restriction zone. Thus, the overall size and location of the new zones 
will not significantly differ from the existing areas, resulting in a 
negligible change for transiting cargo vessels.
    In addition, NOAA is adding two new cargo prohibition zones in the 
expansion area that extend one nautical mile beyond each of the two 
newly designated SWPZs. Operating any vessel engaged in the trade of 
carrying cargo is prohibited in the zones. The combined area of the new 
cargo vessel zones in the expansion area is approximately 61.7 square 
miles. These two new zones are inshore of known cargo vessel traffic 
routes; therefore NOAA does not expect them to interfere significantly 
with current cargo vessel traffic. NOAA provides the boundaries of the 
cargo vessel restriction zones as an appendix to the regulations. A map 
of the various zones designated with this rule is available online at 
http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html.
 Prohibition on White Shark Approach (GFNMS)
    This final rule modifies the locations where approaching a white 
shark is prohibited at the Farallon Islands. NOAA originally prohibited 
approaching within 50 meters of a white shark within two nautical miles 
of the Farallon Islands to prevent harassment and to reduce wildlife 
disturbance to white sharks. The rule removes the approach prohibition 
around Middle Farallon Island because NOAA no longer considers the 
waters around that island as a location of primary food source for 
white sharks. NOAA is maintaining the zones off North and Southeast 
Farallon Islands and reconfiguring those zones to polygon shapes to 
improve compliance. NOAA provides the boundaries of the prohibition 
zones as an appendix to the regulations. As now revised, the combined 
area of the two new white shark protection zones is approximately 47.7 
square miles, which reduces the total size of the prohibition area by 
approximately 4.5 square miles. NOAA

[[Page 13087]]

believes this change in boundaries will result in a negligible change 
for researchers and tourism operators in the existing sanctuary and the 
reconfiguration of zones will result in more effective resource 
protection.
 Procedures To Certify Certain Activities [GFNMS]
    NOAA is amending the explanation of the procedure by which 
preexisting leases, permits, licenses, or approvals for activities in 
the expansion area and in existence on the effective date of the 
sanctuary expansion may be certified (see 15 CFR 922.84). NOAA 
clarifies that the certification process will only apply to activities 
in the expansion area, defines the application process, including 
limiting the duration of time for the application submittal process, 
and establishes criteria for the certification approval process. The 
certification process is developed as part of a separate mandate under 
the NMSA and is unrelated to the authorization process proposed by NOAA 
in the proposed rule.

D. Summary of New Regulations

    NOAA is implementing the following new prohibitions and exemptions 
for the existing and expanded sanctuary area.
 Prohibition on Interference With an Investigation (GFNMS and 
CBNMS)
    NOAA is adding new regulations that apply in the original and 
expanded areas of GFNMS and CBNMS. The regulations prohibit interfering 
with, obstructing, delaying, or preventing an investigation, search or 
seizure in connection with an enforcement action related to the 
National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.). For 
better compliance with sanctuary regulations, this regulation codifies 
an existing mandate from the NMSA (16 U.S.C. 1436).
 Prohibition on the Disturbance of Historic Resources (CBNMS)
    NOAA is adding a new regulation to the existing and expanded CBNMS 
boundary prohibiting disturbance of, or attempts to disturb, a 
sanctuary historical resource within CBNMS (this prohibition already 
exists within GFNMS). This new prohibition helps protect fragile, 
finite, and non-renewable historical resources so they may be studied, 
and appropriate information may be made available for the benefit of 
the public. This rule also prohibits the possession of a sanctuary 
historical resource, and provides for comprehensive protection of 
sanctuary resources by making it illegal to possess historical 
resources in any geographic location. For example, under this 
regulation it is unlawful for anyone to possess an artifact taken from 
a shipwreck in CBNMS, even if the artifact is no longer in the 
sanctuary.

IV. Changes From Proposed to Final Rule

    Based on public comments received between April 14 and June 30, 
2014, as well as internal deliberations and interagency consultation, 
NOAA has made the following changes to its proposed rule. NOAA has 
revised the FEIS accordingly.
1. Authorization Authority for CBNMS and GFNMS
    In the proposed rule, NOAA proposed adding to the GFNMS and CBNMS 
regulations the authority for ONMS to consider an otherwise prohibited 
activity if such activity is specifically authorized by any valid 
Federal, State, or local lease, permit, license, approval, or other 
authorization (``authorization authority''). While NOAA believes 
authorization authority is a valuable tool for managing certain coastal 
and marine uses within national marine sanctuaries, the agency has 
removed this proposal in response to the wide range of concerns 
expressed by the public during the comment period. NOAA is not amending 
the regulations at 15 CFR 922.49 (ONMS regulations), 15 CFR 922.82(e) 
(GFNMS regulations) or 15 CFR 922.112(d) (CBNMS regulations) that would 
have given GFNMS and CBNMS authorization authority. NOAA intends to 
initiate a separate process that will include public input on the topic 
of authorization authority for GFNMS and CBNMS after the finalization 
of this expansion rule.
2. Certification of Existing Uses
    Because of the possibility that preexisting activities that are 
permitted by other federal or state agencies might be occurring within 
the GFNMS expanded area that would otherwise be prohibited by GFNMS 
regulations, NOAA is clarifying the language at 15 CFR 922.84 
describing the process by which it can certify existing permitted 
activities within the expansion area. In compliance with the NMSA, 
GFNMS regulations at 15 CFR 922.84 state that certification is the 
process by which permitted activities existing prior to the expansion 
of the sanctuary that violate sanctuary prohibitions may be allowed to 
continue, provided certain conditions are met. The certification 
process only applies to activities in the GFNMS expanded area. 
Applications for certifying permitted existing uses must be received by 
NOAA within 90 days of the effective date of this final rule. In the 
proposed rule, the time period when an application for certifying 
permitted existing uses should be received was 60 days. However, to 
ensure sufficient time for outreach and for any potential party 
affected to prepare an application, NOAA has extended the time period 
to 90 days.
3. Description of the Area for GFNMS
    NOAA has made a small change to its proposed estimate of the area 
for GFNMS, changing it from 3,297 square miles (2,490 square nautical 
miles) to 3,295 square miles (2,488 square nautical miles), due to the 
following factors: Change of boundaries at Arena Cove (described 
below); use of an updated NOAA shoreline map; and the exclusion of 
offshore rocks and islands that are above the mean high water line. In 
addition, NOAA removed the reference to Giacomini Wetland in the 
description of the sanctuary that was included in the proposed rule. 
The reference generated confusion regarding the areal extent of Tomales 
Bay that is within the sanctuary. NOAA was not proposing to change the 
GFNMS boundary in Tomales Bay. The addition of Giacomini Wetland to the 
GFNMS boundary occurred as a result of the migration of the Mean High 
Water Line in Tomales Bay when the Waldo Giacomini Ranch was converted 
into a wetland through the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. The 
purpose of previously listing its inclusion in the current boundary 
description was to inform the public that since the last official 
boundary area calculation, which was conducted in 2007, GFNMS waters 
have since migrated into the Giacomini Wetland and those waters overlap 
with National Park Service property. However, it is not necessary to 
include the wetland as part of the boundary description, so the 
specific reference to Giacomini Wetland is removed from the final 
boundary description in order to avoid confusion.
4. Arena Cove
    After careful consideration of all comments, NOAA has adjusted the 
sanctuary boundary to exclude a larger area of Arena Cove than 
originally proposed. The final boundary for Arena Cove is approximately 
900 feet from the end of the harbor pier, which excludes all of the 
current harbor moorings within the cove and allows for expansion of 
pier and harbor operations. The final boundary is drawn at a line that 
connects two points on each side of the cove. NOAA rejected one 
suggestion to align the boundary with the existing

[[Page 13088]]

buoy at the edge of the harbor, given the buoy is not a fixed location 
and would require use of latitude/longitude coordinates for boundary 
identification (which is less effective for compliance and enforcement 
purposes). This change at Arena Cove decreases the size of the expanded 
sanctuary by approximately one tenth of a square nautical mile.
5. MPWC Use
    In the proposed rule, NOAA had proposed restricting use of MPWCs to 
specific zones in the GFNMS expansion area. As proposed, MPWCs would 
have been prohibited in most of the area. However, due to the range of 
comments in support of, in opposition to, and suggesting change to the 
MPWC regulations in the proposed rule, NOAA has removed its proposal 
for MPWC use zones from this final action. NOAA has concluded that 
addressing the various, divergent public comments and the issues that 
were raised regarding MPWC regulations in the expansion area is not 
feasible at this time. As a result, MPWCs are not regulated in most of 
the expansion area, from the southernmost tip of Bodega Head (the 
parallel at 38.29800 degrees North Latitude) to the northern boundary 
near Point Arena, with this rulemaking, but will continue to be 
prohibited (with exceptions) in the existing GFNMS boundaries, 
including Bodega Bay.
    Furthermore, because NOAA is removing its former MPWC proposal in 
this final action, the proposed requirement of a GPS unit for all MPWCs 
is also being removed from this final rule. The existing definition of 
MPWC will remain unchanged and continue to apply in the original area 
of GFNMS. NOAA intends to initiate a separate public process on the 
topic of MPWC for GFNMS after the finalization of this expansion rule 
to receive additional public input and information on this issue.
6. Special Wildlife Protection Zone (SWPZ) Definition
    Given the confusion of public comments over the types of activities 
that would be regulated within SWPZs, this final rule revises the 
proposed definition of SWPZs at 15 CFR 922.81 in order to clarify its 
intent. This change clarifies that SWPZs are defined areas susceptible 
to human disturbances. Specific prohibitions for transiting cargo 
vessels, low flying aircraft and vessels approaching white sharks 
within these zones apply to the SWPZs. NOAA is also clarifying that 
SWPZs do not include pinniped and bird resting and foraging areas. The 
definition is purposefully limited to breeding pinnipeds, and, at this 
time, is not intended to address other marine mammals such as whales 
and dolphins. The definition has also been modified from ``seabirds'' 
to ``birds'' to include all breeding birds (e.g. oyster catchers) that 
may be susceptible to human disturbance from low flying aircraft and 
transiting cargo vessels along the sanctuary shoreline.
7. Overflight Exception for SWPZ 6
    In its proposed rule, NOAA recommended the following exception for 
SWPZ 6: ``. . . transiting Zone 6 to transport authorized persons or 
supplies to or from Southeast Farallon Island or for enforcement 
purposes.'' Based on comments submitted by the Department of the 
Interior, NOAA is clarifying that this exception applies specifically 
to persons authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge. The exception for enforcement 
purposes remains unchanged.
8. Use of the Term ``Mariculture''
    NOAA has historically used the term ``mariculture'' in the original 
GFNMS terms of designation and regulations. However, the term 
``aquaculture'' has now become more widely used to describe the same 
activities as those described as ``mariculture,'' is used by other 
national marine sanctuaries (including the adjacent Monterey Bay NMS), 
and is the term used in NOAA's 2011 policy on aquaculture. With this 
final rule, NOAA replaces the term ``mariculture'' with ``aquaculture'' 
in the GFNMS regulations. This is a technical change that does not have 
any effect on the types of activities subject to NOAA regulation.
9. Separate Rulemaking on Introduced Species
    NOAA has been conducting a separate rulemaking on regulations 
relating to the introduction of introduced species in GFNMS and MBNMS. 
That rulemaking, completed prior to this final rule, amends regulations 
and terms of designation for GFNMS. Accordingly, this final rule 
includes this new regulatory language that had not yet been promulgated 
when the proposed rule for boundary expansion was published. Changes 
include the actual regulatory prohibition in Sec.  922.82(a)(10), a 
reference to the boundary of Tomales Bay added as appendix D to the 
subpart, and a new Sec.  922.85 regarding a memorandum of agreement 
between NOAA and state agencies describing how the agencies will 
consult on any future review of aquaculture projects in Tomales Bay. 
These changes are not part of this action, but were subject to public 
review in that separate rulemaking and are presented as part of the 
current regulations that now apply in GFNMS.
10. Boundary Coordinates
    NOAA is providing exact boundary coordinates for the regulations 
that prohibit transit of cargo vessels and approaching a white shark, 
whereas in the proposed rule the areas were only defined by specifying 
a one-mile radius around SWPZs.
11. Cultural Resources Within the Terms of Designation for CBNMS and 
GFNMS
    The existing terms of designation for both GFNMS and CBNMS 
describing activities subject to regulation included the general term 
``activities regarding cultural and historical resources.'' Consistent 
with the regulations already in place for both sanctuaries and with the 
terms of designation for the adjacent Monterey Bay National Marine 
Sanctuary, NOAA has clarified the activities subject to regulation 
related to cultural resources are in fact: Taking, removing, moving, 
collecting, possessing, injuring or causing the loss of, or attempting 
to take, remove, move, collect, injure or cause the loss of cultural or 
historical resources.
12. Permits for Oil, Gas, and Minerals Within the Terms of Designation 
for CBNMS and GFNMS
    In the proposed rule, NOAA proposed placing the following phrase in 
the GFNMS and CBNMS terms of designation Article IV, Section 1: ``In 
addition, the Secretary may not under any circumstances issue a permit 
or authorization for exploring for, developing or producing oil, gas, 
or minerals within the Sanctuary.'' NOAA has determined that this 
phrase is better placed in the terms of designation Article V, Section 
3 for both sanctuaries, with slight modification, to read as follows: 
``In addition, a permit or authorization may not be issued under any 
circumstances for exploring for, developing or producing oil, gas, or 
minerals within the Sanctuary.''

V. Response to Comments

    NOAA received over 1,000 comments on the DEIS, proposed rule and 
GFNMS and CBNMS draft revised management plans during the April 14 to 
June 30, 2014 public review period. Comments were received via mail, 
submissions on the regulations.gov Web site and oral testimony at four 
public meetings.
    NOAA summarized the comments according to the content of the 
statement or question put forward in

[[Page 13089]]

written statements or oral testimony regarding the proposed action and 
alternatives. NOAA also made changes to the DEIS, proposed rule and 
CBNMS and GFNMS management plans in response to the comments, where 
appropriate, including updates to data where the comments affect the 
impact analysis or are relevant to the sanctuary action plans. Several 
technical or editorial comments on the DEIS and management plans, and 
comments merely pointing out a mistake or missing information were 
addressed directly in the body of the documents in question, without a 
separate response being presented by NOAA.
    Overall, there was strong support for the proposed sanctuary 
boundary expansion and the proposed actions for increasing protection 
of marine resources. Most comments focused on the regulatory aspects of 
the proposed action, including concerns about the proposed 
authorization authority, motorized personal watercraft use, and the 
proposed Special Wildlife Protection Zones. Boundary issues were 
focused primarily on the inclusion of estuaries and river mouths and on 
extending the boundaries to include the entire Mendocino coastline. 
Numerous comments requested modifications to the draft revised 
sanctuary management plans to strengthen resource protection. Each of 
these issues is addressed below.
    Comments were grouped into categories, starting with more general 
issues, followed by specific issue comments, most of which correspond 
to the EIS issue area topics (e.g., biological resources, fishing, oil 
and gas facilities, military uses, etc.). For most topics, there are 
numerous sub-categories or issues, under which several comments may 
have been combined.

General Support and Opposition of Proposed Sanctuary Expansion

Support for Sanctuary Expansion
    Comment: Many comments voiced support for the proposed expansion of 
sanctuary boundaries and encouraged NOAA to proceed with the expansion 
process.
    Response: Comment noted.
Opposition to Sanctuary Expansion
    Comment: Some of the comments stated opposition to the overall 
sanctuary expansion process for various reasons.
    Response: Comment noted.

Authorization Authority

    Comment: NOAA should remove its proposal to provide GFNMS and CBNMS 
with the authority to authorize the permits of other agencies for 
activities that would otherwise be prohibited within the sanctuaries 
because it would allow activities in conflict with marine resource 
protection.
    Response: Due to issues raised regarding authorizations in comments 
received during the public review period, NOAA has removed 
authorization authority from the final regulations for both 
sanctuaries. However, NOAA believes authorization authority could be a 
valuable tool in managing several types of uses that currently occur in 
the proposed expansion area or may be proposed in the future in the 
expanded sanctuaries. NOAA intends to conduct a separate process with 
sanctuary advisory councils and public input to consider authorization 
authority after this rule is finalized.
    Comment: NOAA should narrow or otherwise limit the list of uses 
that could be approved through the authorization process, such as 
sewage discharges.
    Response: NOAA intends to conduct a separate public process to 
consider authorization authority after this rule is finalized. As part 
of this process, NOAA will consider which activities could be 
potentially considered for an authorization.
    Comment: NOAA should move forward with authorization authority, 
because it may be useful for considering activities with minimum 
impacts and for improving consultation with other agencies.
    Response: NOAA originally proposed adding authorization authority 
at both sanctuaries because it has proven to be a useful and necessary 
regulatory tool at other sanctuaries similar in size and scope to GFNMS 
and CBNMS. As described in the responses above, NOAA will rely on a 
separate process to work with communities, including other agencies, on 
the need for and benefits of extending authorization authority to GFNMS 
and CBNMS.

Boundaries

Western Boundaries of CBNMS and GFNMS
    Comment: NOAA should make minor adjustments to the proposed western 
boundaries: they are highly angular and may not consistently reflect 
actual wildlife activity.
    Response: The western, northern, and southern boundaries of the 
expanded CBNMS and GFNMS correspond to specified points of latitude and 
longitude primarily for purposes of enforcement and education. Many 
species of marine mammals, fish, birds and invertebrates inhabit the 
waters and submerged lands in the proposed expanded sanctuaries and it 
would be difficult to design boundaries to reflect specific wildlife 
activity. In addition, the proposed western boundaries meet the purpose 
for the action by containing most of the source waters of CBNMS and 
GFNMS stemming from the upwelling cell originating off Point Arena. As 
such, NOAA is not changing the expanded western boundaries of CBNMS and 
GFNMS as described.
Expand GFNMS To Include Portions of the MBNMS Boundary
    Comment: NOAA should include a portion of the Marin County 
coastline to Point Bonita; or the entire Marin County coastline; or the 
northern region of MBNMS from A[ntilde]o Nuevo to the current GFNMS 
boundary at Rocky Point to reflect the oceanographic boundaries of 
GFNMS and improve conservation and management over these waters.
    Response: Expanding the GFNMS boundary to include waters adjacent 
to the southern portion of Marin County outside of the current MBNMS 
boundary, or the waters adjacent to the Marin County or San Mateo 
County coast within MBNMS, is outside the scope of this proposed 
action. GFNMS has administrative jurisdiction over the northern portion 
of MBNMS, from the San Mateo/Santa Cruz County line northward to the 
existing boundary between the two sanctuaries, including the waters 
adjacent to southern Marin County and most of San Mateo County. MBNMS 
remains the lead for water quality issues in this area. NOAA is 
satisfied with the effectiveness of the management framework at this 
time.
Expand CBNMS and GFNMS in Other Configurations or Size
    Comment: NOAA should design CBNMS and GFNMS boundaries in other 
configurations than the proposed action or alternatives.
    Response: NOAA believes the boundary configuration best meets the 
stated purpose of the proposed action to protect upwelling off Point 
Arena and waters flowing south from it to CBNMS and GFNMS.
    Comment: NOAA should expand CBNMS and GFNMS boundaries even farther 
north to include other communities interested in protecting areas 
through a national marine sanctuary.
    Response: The purpose of this action is to protect the upwelling 
cell originating off Point Arena. NOAA believes the northern boundary 
of GFNMS properly encompasses the area

[[Page 13090]]

oceanographically and ecologically. However, NOAA has recently 
developed a process for communities to nominate areas for consideration 
as a national marine sanctuary as described online at http://www.nominate.noaa.gov/. Any community group interested in additional 
protection for nearby coastal waters can consider that process.
Arena Cove Boundary
    Comment: NOAA should exclude a larger area of Arena Cove than what 
was proposed in order to lessen impacts of regulations on current human 
uses in the cove, such as moorings.
    Response: After careful consideration of all comments, NOAA has 
adjusted the sanctuary boundary to exclude all of Arena Cove. Thus, the 
final boundary excludes all of the current harbor moorings as well as 
all basic pier and harbor operations immediately west of the end of the 
pier. Other activities, such as discharges from fireworks, will not be 
regulated by GFNMS, provided the discharges fall within the area of 
Arena Cove that is not included in the sanctuary. The final boundary 
excludes Arena Cove shoreward of a line that connects the two points on 
the northwest and southeast sides of the cove. The boundary is shown in 
Figure 3.2--16 in the FEIS.
    Comment: NOAA should include all of Arena Cove, because without 
sanctuary protection, incompatible uses such as oil and gas facilities 
may be permitted within and adjacent to the cove.
    Response: With this final rule, oil and gas exploration and 
development is prohibited in the expansion area, including areas 
adjacent to Arena Cove. Although sanctuary regulations do not apply in 
Arena Cove, there are state regulations and restrictions that prohibit 
oil and gas development in state waters, which include Arena Cove. 
Therefore, given the small area excluded in Arena Cove, and the 
presence of other existing regulations in adjacent waters, NOAA 
believes it is unlikely that oil and gas facilities would be 
constructed in Arena Cove.
Giacomini Wetland and Overlap With National Park Service (NPS) 
Boundaries
    Comment: NOAA should clarify the extent of the overlap between 
sanctuary waters and the Giacomini Wetland, as well as any 
jurisdictional conflict with the NPS.
    Response: NOAA was not proposing a change to the GFNMS boundary in 
Tomales Bay. By mentioning the Giacomini Wetland in the description of 
the sanctuary, the proposed rule generated some confusion regarding the 
areal extent of GFNMS in Tomales Bay. The addition of Giacomini Wetland 
to the GFNMS boundary occurred as a result of the migration of the mean 
high water line in Tomales Bay when the Waldo Giacomini Ranch was 
converted into a wetland through the Giacomini Wetland Restoration 
Project. The purpose of listing its inclusion in the proposed boundary 
description was to inform the public that since the last official 
boundary area calculation in 2007, GFNMS waters have since migrated 
into the Giacomini Wetland and those waters overlap with NPS property. 
However, it is not necessary to list this area in the boundary 
description since the mean high water line is the official boundary of 
the sanctuary in that location, so the specific reference to Giacomini 
Wetland has been removed from the boundary description in the final 
rule.
    GFNMS boundaries currently overlap with the NPS in Tomales Bay on 
the east and south shores. The GFNMS boundary does not affect the NPS' 
authority to extend its boundaries into the sanctuary. As a routine 
matter, NOAA coordinates its management efforts with NPS and any 
potential future conflicts that may arise would be addressed through 
this coordination.
Inclusion of Estuaries and Russian River Mouth
    Comment: NOAA should include the Russian River Estuary, Salmon 
Creek Estuary, Gualala River Estuary, and the Garcia River Estuary to 
the mean high water line, in the expanded sanctuary.
    Response: In this rule, NOAA is only extending the GFNMS boundary 
to mean high water and outside of river mouths and estuaries. The 
revised GFNMS management plan includes an activity requesting the 
Sanctuary Advisory Council to provide recommendations on the possible 
inclusion of coastal estuaries in the sanctuary.
    Comment: NOAA should clarify that the Russian River Estuary 
Management Project, which is managed by the Sonoma County Water Agency, 
is outside the proposed boundaries of the GFNMS and CBNMS expansion.
    Response: NOAA confirms the new GFNMS boundaries are outside those 
of the Russian River Estuary Management Project. A map showing 
sanctuary boundaries is available for download in the ``management 
section'' on the GFNMS Web site: http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html.
    Comment: NOAA should add a coordinate between Points 37 and 38 to 
further clarify the proposed boundary expansion at the mouth of the 
Russian River.
    Response: A new coordinate at the Russian River is not necessary. 
When a national marine sanctuary does not include a certain estuary, 
NOAA identifies the boundary as crossing the mouth of the river or 
creek in a straight line that intersects the mean high water line on 
each side. This straight line is defined by two points, one on either 
side of the river or creek. A third point is not necessary unless the 
line has multiple segments.

Purpose and Need for Proposed Expansion/Regulations

    Comment: NOAA should explain why it aims to protect only one 
upwelling area when the upwelling phenomenon occurs throughout the 
coastline along California, Oregon and Washington.
    Response: The upwelling cell originating at Point Arena, which is 
strongly linked with the sanctuary waters to the south, is distinctly 
different and is largely separate from other upwelling cells to the 
north. Including other upwelling cells to the north or south of the 
existing CBNMS and GFNMS would not support the purpose and need for 
this proposed action, because there is less ecological connection 
between those upwelling cells and the waters of CBNMS and GFNMS. 
Additional information is provided in Sections 2.1 and 2.2 of the FEIS.
    Comment: NOAA should elaborate on how sanctuary expansion would 
offer more protection to resources in the upwelling zone. There are 
both negative and beneficial effects of the proposed action, and there 
does not appear to be adequate analysis of a net benefit beyond 
existing protections such as the State-designated marine protected 
areas (MPAs).
    Response: NOAA's regulations do not duplicate those of the state 
MPAs (which primarily restrict fishing), but rather complement them. 
Sanctuary regulations, as well as its research and education programs, 
collectively provide additional protection for resources in the 
upwelling zone. Examples of regulations that provide additional 
protection include prohibitions on oil and gas exploration, discharges 
of harmful matter, and altering the submerged lands.
    The analysis in the FEIS finds that none of the alternatives would 
result in a significant adverse impact on any of the marine resources 
or uses in the existing CBNMS or GFNMS or expansion areas of the two 
sanctuaries. NOAA identified substantial benefits to physical 
resources, biology and cultural

[[Page 13091]]

and maritime heritage resources as a result of habitat qualities 
maintained or improved, with negligible costs to businesses in the 
commercial and recreational fishing industry. For a summary of 
benefits, see FEIS Section 4.11.2.

Sanctuary Regulations

Existing Regulations Alternative
    Comment: NOAA should adopt the Existing Regulations alternative as 
the preferred alternative rather than the proposed action, in order to 
be consistent with bills proposed in the past by then-Representative 
Lynn Woolsey and Senator Barbara Boxer.
    Response: The administrative process to expand a national marine 
sanctuary under the authority of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act 
(NMSA) requires NOAA to examine current agency authorities and 
management regimes and consider the results of agency and tribal 
consultations, and public input. When developing the DEIS for the 
expansion proposals, NOAA determined that modifications to existing 
regulations would better address and protect sanctuary resources in 
both the existing and expanded sanctuary boundaries. NOAA believes the 
regulatory modifications are important in ensuring protection of marine 
resources and balancing uses consistent with resource protection within 
sanctuary waters. Furthermore, modifications to existing regulations 
would bring consistency with regulations in other national marine 
sanctuaries. Some modifications to existing regulations, such as 
removing the exemption for constructing an oil and gas pipeline across 
GFNMS, received considerable public support. NOAA intends to conduct 
separate public review processes for those proposed actions that 
require more public deliberation, such as the inclusion of rivers and 
estuaries. NOAA's final action meets the overall intent of the proposed 
legislation from former Representative Woolsey and Senator Boxer.
Separate Regulations Amendment Process
    Comment: NOAA should consider any change to sanctuary regulations 
through a separate process after the geographic expansion becomes 
final, particularly for the proposed authorization of certain 
prohibited activities and the motorized personal watercraft (MPWC) 
regulations.
    Response: When developing the DEIS for the expansion proposals, 
NOAA determined that modifications to existing regulations would better 
address and protect sanctuary resources in both the existing and 
expanded sanctuary boundaries. After this rule is finalized, NOAA 
intends to carry out a separate public review process to address 
authorization authority and the use of MPWC in the expansion area. 
Other potential changes to sanctuary regulations could be considered as 
well.
National Regulations Concern
    Comment: In their January 2013 proposed national regulations, NOAA 
did not adequately describe the set of criteria by which NOAA would 
determine whether an authorization is granted for an activity otherwise 
prohibited in a national marine sanctuary.
    Response: As noted above, NOAA is not including authorization 
authority in this final rule, but intends to consider it in a 
subsequent, separate action. Comments on NOAA's January 2013, 
rulemaking are outside the scope of this proposed action.
Other Regulations
    Comment: NOAA should connect sanctuary-specific regulations with 
regulations from other environmental statutes in order to more 
effectively protect land, water and air.
    Response: Several regulations for both GFNMS and CBNMS already 
include specific references to other resource agencies, such as the 
discharge regulation (Environmental Protection Agency), the regulation 
prohibiting take of certain species (NMFS), and the introduced species 
regulation (State of California). Additionally, one of the mandates of 
the NMSA is to ``develop and implement coordinated plans for the 
protection and management of these areas with appropriate Federal 
agencies, State and local governments, Native American tribes and 
organizations, [. . .]'' (16 U.S.C. 1431(b)(7)). For this final rule, 
NOAA consulted with a variety of agencies that share jurisdiction over 
the resources in the waters of the national marine sanctuaries (see 
Appendix F in FEIS). These consultations were designed not only to 
ensure seamless coordination among agencies, but also to explore 
opportunities for further aligning agency efforts to maximize the 
conservation goals of the sanctuary expansion. NOAA will continue to 
engage other agencies through direct consultation and participation on 
the sanctuary advisory councils.

Recreational or Commercial Use Zones

    Comment: NOAA should consider the development of marine zones in 
order to allow for some submarine cable activities or yet to be 
determined future recreational and/or commercial uses.
    Response: NOAA is not aware of any upcoming proposals to lay cables 
through the sanctuary and believes the establishment of such cable 
zones to be premature. However, the maintenance of any existing cables 
would qualify for a certification of pre-existing authorizations or 
rights in accordance with national regulations at 15 CFR 922.47 and 
GFNMS regulations at 15 CFR 922.84. If new marine zones were warranted 
for future commercial or recreational activities, NOAA could then 
initiate a separate public process to consider those actions.
Restrict Vessel Speed
    Comment: NOAA should consider regulating vessel speed as the 
primary means for reducing lethal vessel collisions with whales and for 
reducing chronic exposure of whales to underwater engine and propeller 
noise.
    Response: NOAA is in the process of investigating Dynamic 
Management Areas (DMAs) as a way to address ship speed in the shipping 
lanes at the approaches to San Francisco Bay. DMAs were recommended in 
the CBNMS and GFNMS advisory councils' joint working group report, 
Vessel Strikes and Acoustic Impacts. A first step is to request 
voluntary speed restrictions for vessels transiting shipping lanes at 
the entrance of San Francisco Bay when there is a high concentration of 
whales. NOAA began implementing this approach in 2014, by requesting 
vessels to slow-down to ten knots or less in one of three lanes with 
the highest concentration of whales at the approach to San Francisco 
Bay. NOAA has also begun implementing a whale sighting network along 
the west coast to help build a robust monitoring program. Therefore, 
NOAA is not promulgating new regulations on vessel speed in GFNMS or 
CBNMS at this time. For a list of current actions to reduce risk of 
ship strikes to whales conducted by CBNMS, GFNMS, and other national 
marine sanctuaries on the west coast see the Web site http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/protect/shipstrike/research.html.
Emergency Regulation of Activities
    Comment: In a separate regulatory process NOAA should add a clause 
for regulating an activity on an emergency basis for no more than 120 
days in GFNMS.
    Response: The terms of designation for GFNMS already allow NOAA to 
adopt immediate temporary regulation, including prohibition, where 
necessary

[[Page 13092]]

to protect sanctuary resources (Article 4, Section 3). To date, NOAA 
has not adopted an emergency regulation for GFNMS, but it has the 
authority to do so, should the need arise in the future. CBNMS and 
MBNMS have this same authority.
Harmful Matter Definition
    Comment: NOAA should define harmful matter, and add introduced 
species (including non-native terrestrial species such as rodents) in 
that definition.
    Response: Harmful matter and introduced species are already defined 
at 15 CFR 922.81 for GFNMS and 922.111 for CBNMS. NOAA is addressing 
matters related to introduced species in GFNMS in a separate 
rulemaking. See comment below for additional information regarding 
introduced species.
Introduced Species
    Comment: NOAA should not allow exotic species to be brought into 
the California marine environment via aquaculture, and should ban 
offshore finfish aquaculture.
    Response: NOAA does not expressly prohibit aquaculture in GFNMS or 
CBNMS. However, any proposed aquaculture project in the sanctuaries may 
be subject to several existing prohibitions: Constructing on or 
altering the submerged lands; discharging any matter or material; and 
introducing introduced species into the sanctuary (see also response to 
comment ``Aquaculture'' in the Fishing section). NOAA recently 
finalized a prohibition on introduced species in the state's waters of 
the GFNMS. With this final rule, NOAA extends that prohibition all 
areas within GFNMS, with exceptions for shellfish aquaculture in 
Tomales Bay and the catch and release of striped bass.

Air Quality and Climate Change

Climate Change Benefits on Wildlife
    Comment: NOAA should better describe the proposed action's 
potential benefits to wildlife from reducing the effects of climate 
change. The proposed expansion of the sanctuary could result in further 
habitat protection from human disturbance, which could help counter 
increased stress in wildlife due to climate change.
    Response: NOAA analyzes the beneficial effects of the GFNMS and 
CBNMS regulations on biological resources in the FEIS (see Section 
4.3.4), including positive direct and indirect impacts from prohibiting 
harmful activities. Although it is likely these benefits would help 
offset impacts of climate change on wildlife, the extent of the benefit 
is not currently quantifiable. Text has been added to the FEIS to note 
potential benefits related to offsetting climate change impacts on 
wildlife.
    Comment: With the expansion of the sanctuaries, NOAA should conduct 
more research on climate change such as ocean acidification.
    Response: The management plans for both CBNMS and GFNMS contain 
Conservation Science Action Plans, which include goals to increase 
knowledge and understanding of the sanctuaries' ecosystem, develop new 
and continue ongoing research and monitoring programs to identify and 
address specific resource management issues, and encourage information 
exchange and cooperation. Both sanctuaries participated in development 
of the Ocean Acidification Action Plan for national marine sanctuaries 
of the west coast. The plan has numerous research recommendations for 
studying ocean acidification. The report is available at: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/about/westcoast.html#oa.

Biological Resources

Abalone Protection
    Comment: NOAA and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
(CDFW) should work cooperatively to ensure adequate abalone protection.
    Response: CDFW is the state agency responsible for managing abalone 
stocks. NOAA will continue partnering with the state on a range of 
resource protection issues in the GFNMS and CBNMS expansion areas, 
including protection of red abalone habitat and populations, as well as 
recovery of the endangered black abalone.
Endocrine Disruption
    Comment: NOAA and other institutions should address problems 
related to endocrine disruption and other pollutants.
    Response: The Water Quality Action Plan in the GFNMS management 
plan references threats from pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that 
can act as endocrine disruptors and outlines activities to address this 
issue.
Marine Life Protection
    Comment: NOAA should state unequivocally that wildlife must not be 
disturbed and marine life should not be taken. The expanded sanctuaries 
and their wildlife should be protected forever.
    Response: Wildlife protection within national marine sanctuaries is 
an important priority for NOAA. This final rule extends to the 
expansion areas sanctuary regulations that protect a variety of 
species, biological communities, and habitats, including a prohibition 
on the take of marine mammals, birds and turtles except when permitted 
under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. 
These two laws are implemented by NMFS and USFWS. NOAA is also 
designating low overflight prohibition areas and cargo vessel 
restriction areas in the GFNMS expansion area to provide added 
protection for breeding birds and breeding pinnipeds, as well as 
promulgating specific regulations to protect white sharks. NOAA 
believes this management framework represents a proactive approach to 
fulfilling the resource conservation mandate of the NMSA.
Noise
    Comment: NOAA should study the effects of noise on marine mammals 
and other animals, ensure that noise levels not found in nature do not 
stress marine mammals and other species, and prohibit sonar testing if 
it exceeds safe levels.
    Response: NOAA is studying the issue of noise impacts on sanctuary 
resources. NOAA has also responded to the GFNMS advisory council 
regarding its recommendations about the joint GFNMS and CBNMS advisory 
council working group report, Vessel Strikes and Acoustic Impacts. In 
addition, CBNMS and GFNMS management plans outline activities to 
monitor and address noise in the GFNMS Wildlife Disturbance Action Plan 
and the CBNMS Ecosystems Protection Action Plan. Sanctuary regulations 
prohibit the disturbance of marine mammals, birds and turtles except 
when permitted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and 
Endangered Species Act (ESA).
    With respect to sonar testing, section 304(d) of the NMSA provides 
for consultation with other federal agencies if their actions have the 
likelihood to injure sanctuary resources. NOAA has previously used this 
mechanism in consultations to minimize impacts of noise on marine 
mammals and other species. NOAA believes these tools provide a 
proactive approach to resource conservation and that an explicit 
prohibition on sonar testing is unwarranted at this time.
Ship Strikes and Noise Impacts on Wildlife
    Comment: NOAA should implement all recommendations from the CBNMS 
and GFNMS advisory councils' report

[[Page 13093]]

Vessel Strikes and Acoustic Impacts. Those recommendations will 
adequately address significant ship strike and underwater acoustic 
impact concerns.
    Response: NOAA has reviewed Vessel Strikes and Acoustic Impacts and 
has already begun to implement some of the recommended actions to 
reduce impacts on marine mammals. The revised management plan for CBNMS 
specifically lists as an activity to implement the recommendations from 
this report, while the revised management plans for both sanctuaries 
have several general activities (monitoring, education and outreach, 
collaborations) related to addressing the issue of ship strikes and 
noise on whales (also see previous responses to comment above). Current 
actions being taken can be found in the document ``GFNMS Response to 
the Report'' and can be downloaded at: http://farallones.noaa.gov/eco/vesselstrikes/welcome.html. All of these recommended actions, 
originally developed for the existing sanctuaries, apply in the 
expansion areas.
Protect Assets
    Comment: NOAA needs to protect and preserve our human assets over 
extractive assets.
    Response: Comment noted. Per the NMSA, NOAA regulates a number of 
extractive activities within national marine sanctuaries that have 
negative effects on sanctuary resources. At the same time, NOAA 
facilitates uses of the national marine sanctuaries compatible with 
resource protection. As such, NOAA works to best conserve all the 
assets of the national marine sanctuary system.

Special Wildlife Protection Zones and Associated Regulations

Special Wildlife Protection Zone (SWPZ) Definition and Scope of 
Regulations
    Comment: NOAA should revise the definition of SWPZs to clarify 
their intent.
    Response: NOAA has clarified in the final rule that SWPZs are 
located in areas susceptible to human disturbances, and that SWPZs do 
not include pinniped and marine bird resting and foraging areas. The 
definition is purposefully limited to breeding pinnipeds rather than 
marine mammal hotspots, and, at this time, is not intended to address 
other marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. The definition has 
also been modified from ``seabirds'' to ``birds'' to include all 
breeding birds (e.g. oyster catchers) that may be susceptible to human 
disturbance from low flying aircraft and transiting cargo vessels along 
the sanctuary shoreline.
    Comment: NOAA should better articulate what would be regulated 
within SWPZs.
    Response: 15 CFR 922.82 (prohibited or otherwise regulated 
activities) describes the prohibitions and exceptions for each SWPZ. 
The project description (Section 3.2) in the FEIS has been updated to 
better clarify the scope of the SWPZ definition and the prohibitions 
that use the SWPZ definition. Prohibitions that apply to the SWPZ are 
limited to GFNMS.
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how the sanctuary will coordinate with 
the State of California on State Special Closures in regards to SWPZs 
to avoid duplication of efforts and/or confusion.
    Response: Prohibitions that apply to SWPZs are limited to 
transiting cargo vessels, low flying aircraft, and approaching white 
sharks. The regulations are not intended to address disturbance from 
other human uses. The State of California established Special Closures 
in the original GFNMS area that prohibit access by watercraft in waters 
adjacent to designated seabird breeding areas and marine mammal 
breeding and haul-out sites. Therefore, both types of special areas 
complement each other for the purpose of marine conservation by 
focusing on different human uses. However, the special closures exist 
only under state law and are not part of the GFNMS regulations. NOAA 
will continue to work closely with the State of California to educate 
the public on wildlife disturbance issues and focus outreach on 
preventing human caused disturbance to wildlife.
    Comment: NOAA should move forward with the removal of Areas of 
Special Biological Significance (ASBS) as a defined area within 
sanctuary regulations.
    Response: NOAA agrees. The final rule includes removal of 
references to ASBS and other area names for purposes of sanctuary 
regulations. State-designated ASBS will still exist under state laws 
and regulations. NOAA is now designating SWPZs because it believes they 
will be more easily understood by sanctuary users.
    Comment: NOAA should establish on-the-water, year-round or seasonal 
closures for vessels at Fish Rocks, Haven's Neck, Gualala Pt., the Pt. 
Arena Peninsula, Bodega Rock, and Gull Rock to reduce wildlife 
disturbance. NOAA should also consider additional sanctuary protections 
to waters contiguous with the NPS Phillip Burton Wilderness area.
    Response: NOAA is not establishing this type of closure with this 
final rule. However, sanctuary regulations include prohibitions on 
taking or harassing certain species of wildlife, including marine 
mammals, sea turtles and birds (see 15 CFR 922.82) which help protect 
all wildlife throughout GFNMS, not just in specific zones. As stated 
above, the State of California established ``Special Closure'' zones 
within GFNMS waters to protect wildlife from watercraft, and which also 
support wildlife conservation. NOAA, in partnership with the Seabird 
Protection Network, will continue to collaborate with other agencies 
and organizations to monitor human use and educate target audiences 
(e.g. pilots, boaters and humans on foot) about preventing human-caused 
impacts on marine wildlife. In addition, the Resource Protection Action 
Plan within the GFNMS management plan has been modified to include 
additional activities to identify and address habitats that are known 
to be ``special areas of concern,'' including developing a sanctuary 
policy on areas adjacent to NPS Wilderness Areas.
    Comment: In 15 CFR 922.82, when referring to the exception for SWPZ 
6, NOAA should make changes as follows: 1) ``Authorized persons or 
supplies'' should be defined and limited to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Farallon National Wildlife Refuge; 2) Authorized law 
enforcement should be defined; and 3) Search and rescue should be 
excepted.
    Response: NOAA has revised the final rule to limit ``authorized 
persons'' to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Farallon National 
Wildlife Refuge. NOAA is not further defining authorized law 
enforcement, because the current text under the enforcement section in 
the NMSA (Sec. 307 [16 U.S.C. 1437]) has been effective in the past. 
There is an existing exception to this regulation for search and rescue 
in accordance with 15 CFR 922.82(c), for activities necessary to 
respond to an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment, 
consistent with regulations in many other national marine sanctuaries.
Mapping Zones
    Comment: NOAA should include in the FEIS better maps of the SWPZs; 
and maps that depict other zones and state marine protected areas 
(MPAs).
    Response: NOAA has developed a separate map of the proposed 
boundaries of all area-based GFNMS and CBNMS regulations, including 
SWPZs, which is available for download on the GFNMS Web site: http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html. NOAA does not regulate

[[Page 13094]]

state-designated MPAs, and thus adding these zones to the map could 
create confusion about NOAA's jurisdiction and the scope of this 
action, including the scope and definition of SWPZs. Therefore, the map 
shows only GFNMS and CBNMS boundaries and regulations.
Opposition to Special Wildlife Protection Zone 3
    Comment: NOAA should not expand SWPZ 3 into Tomales Bay. There is 
no possibility of cargo ships entering into Tomales Bay due to a lack 
of deep water, and there is no documentation of low flying aircraft in 
the area within that part of Tomales Bay; therefore this designation is 
unwarranted.
    Response: SWPZ 3 does not extend throughout Tomales Bay. The area 
contained within SWPZ 3 is already part of a State Area of Special 
Biological Significance (ASBS), and in 1981 NOAA established additional 
federal regulations for ASBS in the sanctuary to protect breeding birds 
and pinnipeds in the area from disturbance from low flying aircraft and 
transiting cargo vessels. NOAA is changing the term ASBS to SWPZs (see 
FEIS Section 3.2).
Overflight Regulations: Reconfigure Proposed SWPZ and Develop New Zones
    Comment: NOAA should add overflight regulations to protect 
pinnipeds and marine birds in Tomales Bay, Pt. Resistance, Bodega Rock/
Head, the spits at Drakes Estero, Devil's Slide Rock and the shoals 
near the Farallones, harbor seal pupping areas South of Del Mar Landing 
State Marine Reserve area, and Tidepool Beach, Shell Beach and Green 
Cove at The Sea Ranch.
    Response: NOAA has updated the GFNMS management plan with an action 
requesting a GFNMS advisory council working group to assess the need 
for additional low overflight zones throughout the entire sanctuary. 
Comments provided during this rulemaking process will be considered in 
any future zoning actions taken by the sanctuary. The revised 
management plan does not include a list of specific areas for future 
zoning, but NOAA recognizes that areas surrounding The Sea Ranch, 
Tomales Bay, and Devil's Slide Rock may be ``special areas of concern'' 
within the revised boundaries of GFNMS.
    Comment: NOAA should conduct a literature review regarding seabird 
protection and low overflights.
    Response: NOAA used the best available science in support of the 
low overflight prohibitions in the GFNMS expansion area. Any future 
process that considers low overflight zones in GFNMS would include a 
literature review of bird breeding areas adjacent to sanctuary waters, 
and a review of data regarding impacts on birds from low overflights.
Overflight Regulations: Minimum Altitudes
    Comment: NOAA should extend the 1,000 feet minimum altitude of 
overflight regulation areas to also include adjacent land areas.
    Response: NOAA's authority to protect marine life by restricting 
overflights only applies to the waters of the sanctuaries, including 
waters around islands and sea stacks within specified zones of the 
sanctuaries.
    Comment: NOAA should raise the minimum altitude for overflight 
regulations. A 1,000 foot ceiling over the waters would only be 
approximately 660 feet above the highest point of Southeast Farallon 
Islands, for example. Thus, the 1,000 foot overflight protection for 
wildlife ``hotspots'' is inadequate. In addition, the 1,000 foot 
overflight limit is also inconsistent with other federal authorities, 
such as NPS (5,000 ft.) and FAA (2,000 ft.) protections, and the 
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary's overflight regulations.
    Response: Monitoring data in central California has shown that an 
overflight height of 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL) has proven to 
be an adequate buffer in minimizing disturbance to breeding pinnipeds 
and birds within the jurisdiction of the sanctuary, by reducing 
disturbance by 96%. NOAA considers this information, coming from the 
specific region where GFNMS is located, most relevant to protecting the 
resources of the sanctuary. While NOAA considered overflight management 
practices in other national marine sanctuaries or other protected areas 
in the development of this regulation, it believes that, other things 
being equal, location-specific data is more relevant and should be 
given greater weight than practices designed for different ecosystems.
    Comment: NOAA should not include overflight regulations in the 
expanded area, because the restrictions place pilots and passengers at 
risk with the fog and marginal weather in this area.
    Response: NOAA has determined that overflight regulations in the 
expanded area are necessary to prevent disturbance to breeding birds 
and pinnipeds. Therefore, the final rule maintains the previously 
existing altitude restrictions within the existing sanctuary areas, and 
adds two new zones with the same altitude restrictions in the expansion 
area. During the development of this rule, NOAA determined that pilots 
have several options if weather conditions are such that maintaining 
visual flight rules cannot be achieved while avoiding the minimum 
altitude, rather than violating overflight regulations within the zones 
the pilot could instead choose to do any of the following: (1) Avoid 
flying over sanctuary waters by flying inland; (2) fly instrument 
flight rules through the fog; or (3) fly above the fog. With regards to 
safety, GFNMS regulations contain an exemption from the overflight 
prohibition in the event of an emergency threatening life, property or 
the environment.
Overflight Regulations: Drone Use for the Purpose of Research
    Comment: The use of solar powered drones and ultra-light aircraft 
for research purposes should be highly encouraged as it provides a 
quieter, more environmentally friendly, and a more economical 
alternative.
    Response: NOAA agrees that such technology can be useful, and is 
working with other resource management agencies to best understand the 
potential benefits and drawbacks of drones and other light aircraft in 
protected areas like national marine sanctuaries. GFNMS and CBNMS 
regulations prohibit ``take,'' including operating a vessel or aircraft 
or doing any other act that results in the disturbance of sea turtles, 
birds, and marine mammals, and NOAA is now analyzing new information 
regarding the potential impacts of these machines on these species. 
NOAA may issue permits for research activities otherwise prohibited by 
sanctuary regulations, and researchers may apply to operate motorized 
aerial vehicles, including motorized ultra-light aircraft and 
``unmanned aerial systems'' (drones) at low altitudes, within the 
boundaries of SPWZs.
Overflight Regulations: Private Airstrip Located in Vicinity of SWPZ
    Comment: NOAA should change the overflight regulations in the 
vicinity of Point Arena, due to the location of the private airstrip at 
27711 South Hwy 1. It is necessary to fly over the ocean under 1,000 
feet during arrival and departure from this airstrip, which has been in 
use since 1970.
    Response: NOAA is not including an overflight zone next to Point 
Arena in its final regulations. The southernmost point of the private 
airstrip is approximately 5 nautical miles from the northernmost 
boundary of SWPZ 1, which is the nearest SWPZ to the

[[Page 13095]]

airstrip. NOAA believes that the distance between SWPZ 1 and the 
airstrip would not impact takeoff or landing at this airstrip.
Cargo Vessel Regulations: Expand the Prohibition Regulations
    Comment: NOAA should not remove the zone that excludes cargo 
vessels around Middle Farallon Island; NOAA should create a new zone to 
include the waters of CBNMS. This would benefit pelagic wildlife over 
Cordell Bank, Fanny Shoals, and the Shelf Break west of the Farallon 
Islands. It would also encourage ships to operate away from the 
Farallon Islands, reducing the risk of strikes to whales in that area.
    Response: The International Maritime Organization amended the San 
Francisco Traffic Separation Scheme effective June 1, 2013 to route 
vessel traffic farther away from the Farallon Islands. Extending the 
western shipping lanes to the southwest and the northern shipping lanes 
to the northwest has virtually eliminated the potential for cargo 
vessels to transit the area between Southeast and North Farallon 
Islands. Because the shipping lanes effectively prohibit cargo vessels 
near the Middle Island, there is no need to include a sanctuary cargo 
vessel prohibition around this island and NOAA is removing it in this 
final rule. Because the purpose of the cargo vessel prohibition zones 
are to reduce the risk of a collision with islands, and given the 
Cordell Bank is deep enough underwater, NOAA does not believe it is 
necessary to exclude cargo vessel operation in CBNMS.
    Comment: NOAA should designate a two-nautical mile buffer distance 
for cargo vessels around both the existing ASBSs and the proposed SWPZs 
within the GFNMS expansion area.
    Response: In the final rule, NOAA designed the cargo vessel 
restriction boundaries to extend one-nautical mile seaward of SWPZs. 
This effectively translates into a two-nautical mile area around 
designated biologically sensitive areas. Therefore, NOAA has not 
modified the action with respect to the size of the zones where cargo 
vessel operation is restricted.
    Comment: NOAA should add white shark protection by including 
Tomales Point and Tomales Bay as additional SWPZs that protect white 
sharks from close approaching vessels.
    Response: The final rule prohibits attracting white sharks 
throughout all GFNMS waters, including Tomales Point, Tomales Bay, and 
the expansion area. The prohibition on approaching white sharks within 
50 meters only applies inside of and within one nautical mile of SWPZ 6 
and 7 (the North and Southeast Farallon Islands), because the waters 
around the Southeast Farallon Islands are where tourism and research 
vessels are most likely to be found, and therefore most likely to 
disturb feeding white sharks. Impact analyses on creating additional 
white shark approach prohibition areas were not conducted as part of 
this rulemaking. However, the revised GFNMS management plan outlines a 
process for GFNMS to minimize future user conflicts and provide special 
areas of protection for sensitive habitats, living resources, and other 
unique sanctuary features, such as SPWZs. See comment below for more 
detail on this process.
Process for Designating Additional Zones
    Comment: NOAA should clearly describe the process by which it would 
designate additional SWPZs within any of the four national marine 
sanctuaries on the California coast or make changes to the regulations 
that apply within those zones.
    Response: SWPZs are only being established in GFNMS. If NOAA 
intended to designate additional SWPZs, it would initiate a public 
process under the NMSA, NEPA and the Administrative Procedure Act 
(APA), all of which include opportunities for public review and comment 
as well as consultation with appropriate Federal, state, and local 
agencies.

Enforcement and Penalties

    Comment: NOAA should have a strong enforcement element and adequate 
funding for more patrols by California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
(CDFW) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). NOAA should perform a gap analysis 
to identify increased enforcement needs so that management of existing 
sanctuaries will not be compromised, particularly in these times of 
uncertain federal funding.
    Response: Enforcement of sanctuary regulations are handled 
principally by NOAA's Office for Law Enforcement (OLE), USCG, and 
respective state resource management agencies. Although this expansion 
action does not include an automatic increase in enforcement funding, 
CDFW officers work together with NOAA to conduct patrols and 
investigate potential violations throughout California. NOAA OLE and 
GFNMS currently provide funding for patrols of sanctuary waters to the 
CDFW through a joint enforcement agreement. In addition to the 
cooperative assistance by the state, USCG conducts air and sea 
surveillance within the expansion area and has broad federal 
enforcement authority. Additionally, NOAA will continue to work with 
federal and state enforcement partners, both within the current 
boundaries and in the expansion area, to maintain water and aerial 
surveillance, update patrol guides and regulatory handbooks, and 
conduct interpretive/outreach patrols. Based on these ongoing 
enforcement mechanisms, NOAA does not believe a gap analysis is 
warranted. More information about enforcement of NOAA regulations is 
available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/index.html.
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how it assesses penalties on people 
engaging in activities prohibited by sanctuary regulations. Penalties 
for violations in protected ocean areas should be severe.
    Response: The NMSA establishes a limit on the maximum civil 
penalties that can be charged for violations of sanctuary regulations 
and law, presently set at $140,000 per violation. The amount of any 
penalty is generally determined by the nature of a violation and a 
variety of aggravating/mitigating circumstances. NOAA attorneys 
generally scale proposed penalties to fit the nature of a particular 
violation. NOAA's Office of the General Counsel considers the 
aggravating and mitigating circumstances and assesses penalties 
appropriately. NOAA's policy for assessment of civil administrative 
penalties and permit sanctions is available at: http://www.gc.noaa.gov/documents/Penalty%20Policy_FINAL_07012014_combo.pdf.

Fishing

Discharge Exemption
    Comment: NOAA should clarify whether the routine practice of 
washing ice and slime off the deck of a fishing boat would be 
considered a prohibited discharge under NOAA's proposed regulations for 
graywater.
    Response: Graywater is defined according to section 312 of the 
FWPCA as ``galley, bath and shower water.'' This definition does not 
include ice and slime from deck wash. Further, NOAA regulations 
provides an exemption for clean vessel deck wash down (15 CFR 
922.82(a)(2)(iii) and 15 CFR 922.112(a)(2)(i)(C)) and for fish, fish 
parts or bait (15 CFR 922.82(a)(2)(i) and 15 CFR 922.112(a)(2)(i)(A)), 
with clean defined as not containing detectable levels of harmful 
matter. Therefore, the routine practice of washing ice and slime off 
the deck of a fishing boat conducting lawful fishing in the sanctuary 
is not prohibited, provided it is during the conduct of lawful fishing

[[Page 13096]]

activity and the material is otherwise clean.
Fishery Regulations
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how the authorization authority 
interacts with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) process in 
assessing impacts on fishery management, because of concerns for 
impacts on fisheries or essential fish habitat (EFH).
    Response: NOAA has removed the authorization provision from the 
final rule, but intends to address it through a separate rulemaking 
process after this expansion action is complete. (See response to 
comments under ``Authorization'' heading.)
    Comment: NOAA should ban all fishing and taking of wildlife, 
especially of threatened or endangered species. NOAA should not allow 
long-line fishing or the type of fishing that may capture, harm or kill 
unintended marine wildlife.
    Response: NOAA is not implementing any fishing regulations as part 
of this rulemaking. Fishing is regulated at GFNMS and CBNMS by CDFW, 
the California Fish and Game Commission, and NMFS (in consultation with 
the Pacific Fishery Management Council). Regarding long-line fishing, 
NMFS has implemented several regulations to reduce bycatch of non-
target species such as marine turtles, mammals and birds. Within NOAA, 
the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and NMFS work closely 
together and with CDFW to ensure that fishing activities within the 
national marine sanctuaries do not pose a threat to any threatened or 
endangered species.
    Comment: NOAA or Congress should clarify that sanctuaries do not 
regulate fishing and that the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (MSA) is the primary statute for any fishing-related 
management issue, including the creation of MPAs inside national marine 
sanctuaries. NOAA should use regulatory and/or statutory mechanisms at 
the national level, so that it would apply to all national marine 
sanctuaries.
    Response: Both the NMSA and MSA provide NOAA tools to regulate 
fishing activities in national marine sanctuaries. NOAA and the 
relevant Regional Fishery Management Councils examine the need for 
fishing regulations. Depending on the determination made, NOAA may need 
to use the authorities under either or both Acts as the most 
appropriate regulatory approach to meet the stated goals and objectives 
of a sanctuary. The process for establishing fishing regulations in 
national marine sanctuaries is codified in the NMSA at Section 
304(a)(5) [16 U.S.C. 1434]. Here, NOAA is not promulgating any fishing 
regulations or proposing to designate specific MPAs within the expanded 
sanctuaries. Promulgating regulations affecting all national marine 
sanctuaries is beyond the scope of this rulemaking.
    Comment: Enforcement of the present set of discharge regulations 
would comprise a de facto fishing ban in sanctuary waters, resulting 
from requirements for holding tanks or MSD.
    Response: NOAA disagrees. Enforcement of the discharge regulations 
in the footprint of the original GFNMS and CBNMS has not comprised a de 
facto fishing ban. Fishing occurs routinely within these sanctuaries 
and is regulated by CDFW, the California Fish and Game Commission and 
NMFS in consultation with PFMC. The aim of the discharge regulations is 
to improve water quality and ecosystem health; not to ban fishing 
within the sanctuaries. The discharge regulations implemented by 
national marine sanctuaries affect the treatment of sewage and other 
materials associated with vessel operations, and may therefore result 
in adverse impacts on the operations of a commercial fishing vessel. 
However, current state and federal regulations already limit different 
types of vessel discharges into the waters of the expansion area. 
Therefore, the addition of sanctuary regulations only represents an 
incremental increase in restrictions on vessel discharges.
    Comment: Enforcement of the present set of regulations would 
comprise a de facto fishing ban in sanctuary waters, resulting from a 
prohibition on cleaning of fish as per the prohibition on discharges 
(15 CFR 922.82(a)(2)(i)).
    Response: NOAA disagrees. The discharge regulation prohibits the 
discharge into the sanctuary of material resulting from unlawful 
fishing or from fishing outside the boundaries of the sanctuary, 
including discharge of material acquired outside the sanctuary while 
transiting the sanctuary. Regulations for both CBNMS and GFNMS identify 
fish and fish parts, including discharges of fish and fish parts from 
fish cleaning, as part of lawful fishing activities, and therefore 
exempt from the discharge regulation.
    Comment: Enforcement of the present set of regulations would 
comprise a de facto fishing ban in sanctuary waters, resulting from the 
definition of harmful matter under 15 CFR 922.81, because fishing 
activity in sanctuary waters necessarily involves the risk of loss of 
fishing tackle, including sinkers, hooks, and line.
    Response: The full definition of harmful matter (15 CFR 922.81 and 
922.111) states that any substance, or combination of substances that 
because of their quantity and concentration, or physical, chemical, or 
infectious characteristic may pose a threat to Sanctuary resources or 
qualities, including but not limited to: fishing nets, fishing line, 
hooks, fuel, oil, and those contaminants (regardless of quantity) 
listed pursuant to 42. U.S.C. 101(14) of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act at 40 CFR 
302.4. The intent of including fishing nets, fishing line, hooks, fuel, 
oil, and other contaminants to the definition of harmful is not to 
prohibit the loss of fishing gear incidental to fishing activity, but 
to restrict the loss of fishing gear in concentrations that could pose 
a threat to sanctuary resources, which could potentially happen if a 
fishing vessel were grounded or deserted within a sanctuary. Grounding 
or deserting a fishing vessel with concentrations of fishing gear that 
may pose a threat to sanctuary resources is prohibited as defined at 15 
CFR 922.82(a)(15), which states that leaving harmful matter aboard a 
grounded or deserted vessel in the sanctuary is prohibited. NOAA is 
willing to discuss the interpretation of ``harmful matter'' with the 
fishing community at a future date to determine the scope of the 
concern and potential solutions.
    Comment: NOAA should develop language for the on-going discharge of 
non-toxic gray water from commercial fishing vessels and recreational 
craft.
    Response: With this final rule, NOAA exempts clean graywater from 
the discharge regulations in GFNMS and CBNMS.
Fishing and Introduced Species Definition
    Comment: NOAA needs to clarify the definition for introduced 
species, because of concerns for how the current definition may be 
applied to different types of bait used by fishermen and thereby 
restrict or prohibit fishing within the Sanctuary.
    Response: The definition for introduced species at 15 CFR 922.81 
and 922.111 states that an introduced species means any species or its 
biological matter capable of propagation that is non-native to the 
ecosystem of the sanctuary. Bait of non-native fish carcasses or 
poultry parts are not capable of propagation or reproduction and 
therefore are not within the definition of introduced species. 
Consequently, using species (or

[[Page 13097]]

biological matters of species) not native to the ecosystem and not 
capable of propagation as bait while conducting lawful fishing is not 
subject to the sanctuaries' regulations related to introduced species.
Fishery Management
    Comment: NOAA should create a blanket law regulating all of the 
nationally recognized fisheries controlled by the United States.
    Response: The MSA is implemented by NMFS within NOAA and the 
Regional Fishery Management Councils. Most fisheries that solely occur 
within the limits of state waters are managed by the respective state 
fishery management agency. Promulgating regulations affecting all 
fisheries in the United States is beyond the scope of this rulemaking.
    Comment: NOAA should regulate fishing to sustainable or healthy 
levels and provide adequate funding for enforcement of regulations.
    Response: NOAA is not implementing any fishing regulations as part 
of this rulemaking. Almost all of the regulations regarding fishing off 
of California are promulgated by NMFS and the State of California. The 
regulations are enforced by NOAA OLE and CDFW officers with assistance 
from partners, such as USCG and California State Parks with funding 
appropriated by Congress and the California Legislature. As components 
of NOAA, ONMS and NMFS work closely together and with CDFW to ensure 
that fishing activities within national marine sanctuaries support 
healthy and sustainable fish populations and do not pose a threat to 
any threatened or endangered species.
Aquaculture
    Comment: NOAA should prohibit offshore aquaculture in the sanctuary 
and clarify whether future new aquaculture projects in sanctuary waters 
would be geographically restricted to Tomales Bay, or would be allowed 
in all sanctuary waters of GFNMS.
    Response: While GFNMS regulations do not prohibit aquaculture 
operations, the activities typically associated with aquaculture, such 
as disturbance of submerged lands (anchoring pens and structures), 
introduction of introduced species, or discharges (food, medicine) are 
prohibited within the sanctuary. (It should be noted, per NOAA's recent 
rulemaking on the introduction of introduced species, existing state-
approved aquaculture projects in Tomales Bay are exempt from the 
introduced species prohibition.) Thus, whereas any future offshore 
aquaculture is not explicitly prohibited by GFNMS regulations, it would 
be subject to these other associated prohibitions.
    Comment: The DEIS does not comment on potential negative effects of 
future aquaculture operations on areas of special designation like 
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH), marine protected areas (MPAs), etc.; the 
DEIS provides no analysis of how these operations might affect 
fisheries and marine ecosystems, including cumulative effects.
    Response: The purpose of the EIS is to assess impacts of the 
proposed action, which is sanctuary expansion and adoption of proposed 
regulations. The final action does not propose future aquaculture 
operations. There are numerous future activities that could impact 
sanctuary resources, each of which would be subject to review and 
approval from state and federal agencies, including NOAA. At that time, 
impacts of a proposed activity would be assessed through the NEPA or 
California Environmental Quality Act process depending on if it is a 
local, state or federal action. The rulemaking about introduced species 
is prohibiting aquaculture that uses introduced species from all state 
waters except Tomales Bay.
Fishing Grounds Impacts From Alternative Energy Development
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how currently productive fishing 
grounds may be impacted by non-mineral energy development.
    Response: NOAA assumes the reference to non-mineral energy 
development refers to alternative energy development (for example wind 
or marine hydrokinetic energy). Energy development and its effects on 
fishing are outside the scope of this action.
    Comment: NOAA should support a comprehensive marine spatial 
planning effort to analyze uses, including fishing and habitat 
conservation, as they relate to alternative energy production.
    Response: NOAA collaborates with the Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management (BOEM), Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, and other agencies, as part of the West Coast Governors 
Alliance (WCGA) on Ocean Health. For any future alternative energy 
projects along the west coast, NOAA will work through any of the 
strategies developed by the WCGA. Moreover, it would not be appropriate 
for national marine sanctuaries to lead a marine spatial planning 
effort for the State of California, given BOEM cannot issue a lease for 
alternative energy projects within national marine sanctuaries. 
However, if an applicant requested a permit to test an alternative 
energy project within state waters of GFNMS and the project fit into a 
sanctuary permit category, GFNMS would conduct a planning exercise on 
the scale of the sanctuary to determine how to best minimize impacts on 
existing uses (including fishing) and sanctuary natural resources.
Whale Entanglement
    Comment: NOAA could help in efforts to have fishing gear modified 
to reduce entanglements with whales, particularly from pots and gear 
from Bodega Bay north.
    Response: NMFS has lead authority for implementing the MMPA and ESA 
for whale species, and is therefore also the lead NOAA agency for whale 
entanglements. ONMS will continue to consult with NMFS, CDFW and the 
California Fish and Game Commission on matters of whale entanglement.

Historic Resources

Point Arena Pier Wrecks
    Comment: There are at least two shipwrecks in the waters adjacent 
to the Point Arena pier; while there may be interest in preserving the 
shipwreck sites, it is equally important that any preservation effort 
not interfere with the uses of the pier.
    Response: NOAA is no longer including waters adjacent to the Point 
Arena pier in the expansion of GFNMS (see response to comment regarding 
Arena Cove boundary). Management of cultural and maritime heritage 
resources outside sanctuary boundaries will continue under the existing 
regulatory framework summarized in the Cultural and Maritime Heritage 
Resources section of the FEIS.
Salvage of Historic Resources
    Comment: NOAA should allow the salvage of historic resources.
    Response: The NMSA directs NOAA to enhance the protection of 
historical, cultural, and archaeological resources. Therefore, CBNMS 
and GFNMS regulations prohibit possessing, moving, or injuring, or 
attempting to possess, move, remove or injure, a sanctuary historical 
resource. However, through a sanctuary permit, salvage of historic 
resources may be allowed to further research or monitoring, further the 
educational value of the sanctuary, or assist in managing the 
sanctuary.

Marine Transportation--Shipping Lanes

    Comment: NOAA should certify that the shipping lanes are an 
existing use within the GFNMS and CBNMS and shall not be terminated by 
the ONMS Director.

[[Page 13098]]

    Response: Certification applies to holders of an existing permit or 
other authorization or right to conduct an otherwise prohibited 
activity in the expansion area. The shipping lanes are neither in the 
sanctuary expansion area nor a prohibited activity in CBNMS and GFNMS 
and therefore do not require a certification as an existing use.

Military Uses

DOD Consultation
    Comment: NOAA should develop a formal consultation process between 
ONMS and DOD to assure minimization of impacts on sanctuary resources. 
This process should include PFMC and NMFS notification so that impacts 
on EFH in the sanctuaries can be minimized.
    Response: NOAA disagrees that a new consultation process with DOD 
is necessary. The extent of DOD activities not included in the existing 
exemptions from CBNMS and GFNMS regulations would be determined in 
consultation with ONMS pursuant to section 304(d) of the National 
Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA), which contains formal procedures for 
required interagency consultation on federal actions that are likely to 
injure sanctuary resources. DOD would be required to follow all 
consultation requirements contained in the NEPA and NMSA, among other 
statutes. The DOD would be required to consult directly with NMFS for 
any projects that may have an adverse impact on EFH, whether the EFH is 
within a national marine sanctuary or not.
DOD Exemption
    Comment: The Navy opposes the provision in the proposed rule that 
would maintain an existing exemption from the prohibitions in the CBNMS 
regulations that provides that Department of Defense activities not 
necessary for national defense, such as routine exercises and vessel 
operations, would be subject to all prohibitions contained in the 
regulations. 15 CFR 922.112(c). Navy proposes instead that CBNMS adopt 
the regulatory provision regarding exemption for Department of Defense 
(DOD) activities to the existing prohibitions set out in GFNMS 
regulations that states that all activities currently carried out by 
Department of Defense within the sanctuary are essential for national 
defense and therefore, not subject to the prohibitions contained in the 
regulations in this subpart. 15 CFR 922.82(b). Further, the Navy 
objects to any amendments to the current GFNMS DOD exemption and 
suggests that the agencies that are responsible for ensuring national 
security are in the best position to determine which actions are 
necessary for national defense. Lastly, the Navy cites an inconsistency 
in the summary of regulatory amendments and proposed regulatory text. 
The summary of regulatory amendments implies that existing language 
from CBNMS regulations would be applied to the GFNMS exemption for DOD 
activities, but the regulatory text does not reflect such a change.
    Response: NOAA acknowledges that there is an inconsistency in the 
summary of regulatory amendments and proposed regulations in the 
preamble to the proposed rule. In response, NOAA has modified the 
preamble to clarify that the proposed rule for this rulemaking did not 
include any amendments to the current GFNMS DOD exemption.
    NOAA recognizes that the DOD exemption differs between CBNMS and 
GFNMS because ``routine exercises and vessel operations'' are not 
exempted in CBNMS regulations as they are in GFNMS regulations. NOAA 
believes that the issue of consistency in the language for DOD 
exemptions across the national marine sanctuary system is broader in 
scope than this rulemaking, which focuses on the expansion of CBNMS and 
GFNMS, and that the issue is more appropriately addressed separately. 
Therefore, NOAA will continue for the time being to make no changes to 
the existing DOD exemptions in CBNMS and GFNMS as they have been in the 
regulations since 1989 and 1981 respectively. NOAA, however, commits to 
undertaking a separate process to consider additional amendments to the 
regulations governing military exemptions from prohibitions on a 
system-wide basis across all national marine sanctuaries, in 
consultation with DOD and the Department of Homeland Security 
concerning the Coast Guard.
    Comment: NOAA should exclude all activities by the DOD, such as the 
use of sonar, which can affect marine mammals, in the expansion area 
since it is such a special place.
    Response: Existing military uses and an analysis of their 
environmental effects in the study area are contained in Section 4.9 of 
the FEIS. Homeland security and military uses of the expanded CBNMS and 
GFNMS are subject to NEPA and the NMSA, and they are also subject to 
all applicable federal regulations and requirements related to the 
environment. DOD is required to consult with ONMS pursuant to NMSA 
section 304(d) on any proposed military activities in the expansion 
area that would be likely to injure sanctuary resources. Therefore, 
NOAA believes the existing regulatory framework sufficiently addresses 
DOD impacts on sanctuary resources and excluding military activities 
from the expansion area is not warranted.

Motorized Personal Watercraft (MPWC) Use

Support for Conditional MPWC Use
    Comment: NOAA should move forward with alternative approaches to 
regulating MPWCs that would allow some MPWC use in the proposed 
expansion area.
    Response: Due to the range of comments in support of, in opposition 
to and suggesting changes to MPWC regulations, NOAA removed from the 
final rule the MPWC use zones in the GFNMS expansion area (see Figure 
3.2-17 in the FEIS). The proposed access route to Zone 4 was removed 
from the final rule and the area where MPWC are prohibited was extended 
slightly northward through establishing a line of latitude that 
corresponds with the southernmost tip of Bodega Head. This specific 
line was established to aid navigation and enforcement of the 
regulation.
    MPWC use is allowed to continue within the GFNMS expansion area 
north of Bodega Head, (excluding Bodega Bay due to existing laws and 
regulations) until NOAA can implement a separate process to evaluate 
the feasibility of managing MPWC within the expansion area. Further 
consideration of MPWC use patterns and activities, and public input on 
the scope of sanctuary regulations are needed. MPWC use will continue 
to be prohibited in the original GFNMS boundaries, with exceptions for 
emergency search and rescue missions or law enforcement operations. 
MPWC will continue to be allowed in CBNMS. Additional information 
regarding impacts of MPWC use is in Section 3.2 of the FEIS.
    Comment: NOAA should avoid any overlap of the proposed zones for 
MPWC use with California-designated MPAs.
    Response: See response above. The regulations that apply to State 
marine protected areas (such as Marine Reserves, Marine Parks and 
Marine Conservation Areas) from Bodega Head to Point Arena prohibit the 
take of marine resources. Some of those MPAs allow take of certain 
species, while others prohibit all take, but none prohibit any types of 
vessel use and are not designed to protect wildlife from boat-based 
disturbance.

[[Page 13099]]

Total Allowance (i.e. No Regulation) of MPWC
    Comment: NOAA should allow MPWC use throughout the entire expansion 
area, including CBNMS, and/or GFNMS. The DEIS did not provide adequate 
rationale for the purpose and need to regulate MPWC and potential 
impacts from MPWC have not been shown to be significant and/or are no 
different than other types of vessels.
    Response: See response to the comment on ``Support for Conditional 
MPWC Use.''
Prohibition of MPWC
    Comment: NOAA should prohibit MPWC use throughout the entire GFNMS 
sanctuary (both the previous boundaries and the entire expansion area) 
as it creates a risk of wildlife disturbance and is a use that is 
incompatible with sanctuary resources and values. Moreover, the use of 
MPWC could adversely affect the public's experience of such a pristine 
coastal area and is already prohibited in GFNMS.
    Response: See response to the comment on ``Support for Conditional 
MPWC Use.''
Socioeconomic Impacts of Regulating MPWC
    Comment: NOAA should better address socioeconomic impacts on the 
MPWC industry, local economy, including loss of recreational 
opportunities.
    Response: Socioeconomic considerations are fully addressed in the 
EIS for both the former proposed action (which would have prohibited 
MPWC use in most of the proposed expansion area but allowed MPWC use in 
designated zones) and for the existing regulations alternative, which 
would prohibit MPWC use throughout the expansion area. The EIS found 
that with MPWC restrictions wildlife protection would be improved, and 
given the relatively low level of existing MPWC use within the GFNMS 
expansion area, the impact on MPWC users was expected to be less than 
significant.
    As explained above, NOAA has revised the final rule (see response 
to comment under ``Support for Conditional MPWC Use.'')
    Comment: NOAA should compensate MPWC owners for taxes and 
registration costs paid on their watercraft if a ban is enacted within 
the expansion area.
    Response: Since NOAA is not regulating MPWC use in the expansion 
area, other than the slight extension of original GFNMS regulations to 
the southernmost tip of Bodega Head, discussion about potential 
socioeconomic mitigation measures is premature.
MPWC Education and Outreach
    Comment: NOAA should promote voluntary programs (similar to the 
Blue Rider Ocean Awareness and Stewardship Program in the Florida Keys 
National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS)) to educate the public on responsible 
MPWC use as an alternative to implementing additional regulations and 
restrictions.
    Response: NOAA recognizes the importance of education and outreach 
to MPWC users as a complement to MPWC regulations. GFNMS has updated 
the Wildlife Disturbance Action Plan in its revised management plan to 
include outreach to MPWC users.
MPWC Enforcement
    Comment: NOAA does not have the authority to require MPWC users to 
carry a GPS unit and to enforce this requirement.
    Response: As a tool for compliance with zonal regulations, NOAA has 
the authority to require such specific equipment on vessels and 
watercraft in order for MPWC users to accurately and precisely navigate 
to access and stay within the designated zones. However, NOAA is not 
moving forward with regulation of MPWC in the expansion area at this 
time. See response to comment on ``Support for Conditional MPWC Use.''
    Comment: The opening of an access channel for the proposed Zone 4 
creates additional enforcement challenges. NOAA should implement a 
permit program for surfer safety and lawful fishing to allow for 
limited MPWC use within the GFNMS expansion area using visual and 
permitted identification (e.g. stickers).
    Response: At this time, NOAA removed the zones and the proposed 
access channel to Zone 4 from the final rule, and thus permitting for 
certain uses is not applicable. MPWC use will continue to be allowed 
throughout almost all of the GFNMS expansion area. A permitting program 
for MPWC use could be evaluated in the future assessment and potential 
regulatory framework of MPWC use in the GFNMS expansion area.
    Comment: NOAA should extend the existing GFNMS regulation 
prohibiting MPWC use to apply to the expansion area (as well as the 
previous boundaries of the sanctuary) but temporarily not enforce this 
regulation in the expansion area until the working group concludes its 
work and NOAA implements revised MPWC rules in the expansion area.
    Response: All regulations are subject to enforcement. See response 
to comment on ``Support for Conditional MPWC Use.''
MPWC Use Liability
    Comment: Within the DEIS, NOAA neglected to consider the chain of 
liability incurred from proposed MPWC launch points in the event of 
injuries or fatalities resulting from public use of these launch 
locations.
    Response: All launch points discussed in the EIS currently exist 
and are open to multiple ocean user groups. NOAA is not constructing 
any launch points as part of the final action. Furthermore, NOAA is not 
liable for injuries or fatalities resulting from public use of 
sanctuary waters.
MPWC Rulemaking Process
    Comment: The proposed MPWC zones appear to have been developed by 
NOAA in a closed process that did not inform or involve the sanctuary 
advisory councils or include representative coastal residents that 
could have provided local knowledge on wildlife populations; the only 
input on zones came from special interests seeking to maintain MPWC 
activity.
    Response: NOAA complied with the public noticing requirements as 
specified by the NEPA and APA during this rulemaking process, including 
providing a public scoping period at the beginning of the process, 
which is when NOAA started gathering information on the use of MPWC in 
the expansion area. Due to the range of comments in support of, in 
opposition to and suggesting changes to MPWC regulations, NOAA removed 
from the final rule the MPWC use zones in the expansion area and is 
prohibiting the use of MPWC in the original GFNMS boundary and up to 
the southernmost tip of Bodega Head.
MPWC Definition
    Comment: A wide range of comments suggested various changes to the 
definition of MPWCs, including using the definitions from the USCG and 
Society of Automotive Engineers.
    Response: NOAA removed all proposed changes to the GFNMS definition 
of MPWC. This maintains the status quo with respect to regulation of 
MPWC in the previously-existing GFNMS. NOAA is considering potential 
changes to the definition of MPWC as part of a separate national 
rulemaking process (78 FR 5998), which is still underway.

[[Page 13100]]

MPWC Use and Potential Impacts on the Affected Environment
    Comment: NOAA should investigate the technology and design and 
different methods of operation of MPWC in the marine environment, 
because the 4-stroke engines contained in modern MPWC are less 
polluting, more fuel efficient, and quieter than earlier MPWC models.
    Response: NOAA acknowledges the changes in MPWC technology, but 
continues to have concerns with MPWC use. See response to comment on 
``Support for Conditional MPWC Use.''
    Comment: MPWC are not more detrimental to the environment than 
other vessel types that are allowed in the sanctuary, therefore 
regulating MPWC more strictly than other vessels, such as fishing 
vessels and rescue vessels, constitutes unfair discrimination against 
one particular user group.
    Response: See response to comment on ``Support for Conditional MPWC 
Use.''
    Comment: NOAA should better assess the potential impacts of MPWC 
sound on wildlife, including thresholds for noise impacts that can 
induce a ``take'' of marine mammals and seabirds under the MMPA. In 
addition, NOAA should analyze current uses and future trends in demand 
for MPWC use within the expansion area, especially MPWC use patterns in 
the proposed expansion area and proposed MPWC use zones in relation to 
wildlife hotspots.
    Response: Further review of all available information pertaining to 
MPWC use and their potential effects could be beneficial during a 
future public process evaluating the feasibility of regulating MPWC use 
in the expansion area.
    Comment: NOAA should work with stakeholders to justify the MPWC 
zones in MBNMS and their definition.
    Response: Although the information provided by the commenter may be 
useful to consider in any subsequent process that evaluates the 
potential regulation of MPWC use, this comment is outside the scope of 
the proposed action.

NEPA Process

NEPA Compliance
    Comment: NOAA has violated the processes required by NEPA. Proposed 
authorizations would be allowed in the existing CBNMS and GFNMS. Over 
half of the existing GFNMS lies south of Sausalito, yet there have been 
no hearings held south of the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Response: NOAA believes it has fully complied with NEPA 
requirements and regulations promulgated by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1506.6(c)). The location of public 
hearings is not specified as part of the requirements. Public hearings 
were held in Sausalito (May 22), Bodega Bay (June 19), Gualala (June 
18), and Point Arena (June 17), CA. Sausalito, where one of the public 
hearings was held, is in close proximity to the southern portion of 
GFNMS. Furthermore, public comment could also have been submitted via 
letter to the GFNMS superintendent or via electronic submission via the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. NOAA considered comments in the same 
manner, regardless of means of delivery. Also, see response to comments 
on ``Authorizations.''
Commenting Through Regulations.gov
    Comment: NOAA should make it less confusing to which document the 
comment should be directed.
    Response: NOAA sought comment on four different documents: the 
proposed rule, which contains the action NOAA proposed, supplementary 
information in the DEIS, and the draft CBNMS and GFNMS management 
plans. NOAA acknowledges that some comments could apply to more than 
one of the documents. NOAA received all the comments, then evaluated if 
changes were necessary to support the proposed action, and if so, which 
document(s) would need to be changed. The Regulations.gov Web site is 
set up to serve all federal government agencies, and is administered by 
USEPA; NOAA does not have the flexibility to alter this interface for 
public comment.
Public Hearings Testimony
    Comment: At future hearings, NOAA should not say that repeating 
comments is not necessary because it implies that people's comments are 
unimportant. Also elected officials should not be prioritized.
    Response: NOAA regrets if it created the impression that comments 
are not important during the public hearings. As required by law, NOAA 
reviews the substance of every comment received on a proposed action. 
The intent of the directions provided at the public hearings was to 
acknowledge that NOAA focuses on the quality, rather than quantity, of 
the comments. This means that NOAA bases its decision on the merit of 
the comments raised, not just on the number of comments received on a 
particular topic. Regarding priority for elected officials, it is 
standard practice by many agencies to acknowledge public officials and 
allow them to present their testimony first. In this way, members of 
the public have the opportunity to state their support or opposition to 
comments made by elected officials and provide additional rationale for 
consideration.

National Marine Sanctuaries Act

    Comment: Congress should re-authorize the NMSA to make clear the 
mandate of multiple use and the need to balance this mandate with 
resource protection.
    Response: Reauthorization and the ability to make changes to the 
NMSA are within the authority of Congress, not NOAA or other executive 
branch agencies. NOAA believes the purposes and policies of the NMSA 
are clear; among other things, they direct NOAA to ``facilitate to the 
extent compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, 
all public and private uses of the resources of these marine areas not 
prohibited pursuant to other authorities'' (16 U.S.C. 1431(b)(6)).
    Comment: The expansion of sanctuaries should be done through an act 
of Congress. This would provide adequate public forum to debate the 
expansion.
    Response: The designation of new national marine sanctuaries as 
well as the expansion of existing sanctuaries can be achieved 
congressionally or administratively by NOAA under the authority of the 
NMSA. In order to expand the sanctuary, NOAA needs to comply with 
public notice and comment requirements of the NMSA, NEPA, and APA, 
which provide for extensive public involvement during the developmental 
phases of a proposed action, such as sanctuary expansion.
    Comment: NOAA should explain why expansions do not violate 
Congressional intent found in the NMSA.
    Response: In 2000, Congress amended the NMSA by requiring certain 
findings be made by the agency before designating a new sanctuary (16 
U.S.C. 1434 (f)(1)). This particular requirement does not apply to this 
action because NOAA is expanding the boundaries of existing 
sanctuaries, not designating new national marine sanctuaries.

Oil, Gas, Alternative Energy and Mining Development

Alternative Energy Development Concerns
    Comment: NOAA should define the process, policy and standards for 
approval of alternative energy projects, given the new proposed 
authorization provisions.
    Response: As explained above, the final rule no longer includes 
provisions

[[Page 13101]]

for authorizations. Alternative energy projects would be subject to 
sanctuary regulations, such as the restrictions against altering the 
submerged lands and discharges or deposits. Projects that would 
otherwise be in violation of the regulations could be allowed if they 
qualified for a sanctuary permit.
    Comment: NOAA should prohibit alternative energy development, 
especially development that would disturb the sea floor.
    Response: See response to comment above. Development that would 
alter the submerged lands is prohibited, unless allowed by permit.
    Comment: The DEIS indicates that there would be environmental 
consequences under the proposed action, as oil and gas development 
would be prohibited, but NOAA should also include a discussion of the 
potential for energy project development and its potential effect on 
wildlife.
    Response: The purpose of the impact analysis is to disclose 
potential impacts caused by the proposed action and other alternatives. 
The FEIS addresses beneficial effects of the regulations on biological 
resources, as compared to existing conditions. NOAA is not proposing to 
undertake or to issue a permit for energy development with this rule. 
Accordingly, the FEIS does not analyze the impacts of energy projects 
on wildlife. The impacts of prohibiting oil and gas development are 
outlined in this section because the regulations prohibit all oil and 
gas development. In contrast, alternative energy development is not 
being specifically prohibited nor being proposed. The potential for 
future energy project development is not known at this time. As noted 
in the EIS, no lease requests have been received by BOEM for 
alternative energy projects in the expansion area or anywhere in 
California. Any future alternative energy project would be subject to 
the NEPA process if NOAA or another agency is involved in the 
establishment or permitting of an alternative energy project.
Alternative Energy Support
    Comment: Alternative energy development should be allowed, if it 
were environmentally prudent to do so.
    Response: The revised regulations do not specifically prohibit 
alternative energy projects but, as noted above, projects are subject 
to sanctuary regulations. NOAA intends to conduct a separate rulemaking 
process to consider establishing a process to allow each sanctuary to 
authorize other Federal or state permits. During this separate public 
process, NOAA may consider authorizations for alternative energy 
development.
Methane Hydrates
    Comment: NOAA should clarify that the oil, gas and mineral leasing 
prohibition precludes leasing, development or production of methane 
hydrates.
    Response: Since methane hydrates are a form of gas, they are 
subject to the prohibition against gas development or production 
contained in the sanctuary regulations.
Oil and Gas Development Threats
    Comment: NOAA should clarify what threat exists for oil and gas 
development, since regulatory protections are not necessarily 
permanent.
    Response: Given the demand for oil and gas products, there is the 
potential for increased pressure to develop resources that have been 
identified offshore northern California. The final rule prohibits oil 
and gas development and does not have any exceptions for oil and gas 
facilities. In addition, no permit may be issued for oil and gas 
development in the sanctuaries. The existing exemption for oil and gas 
pipelines in GFNMS has been deleted in the final rule. Once in effect, 
reversal of the oil and gas prohibition would require an act of 
Congress or NOAA would need to commence a rulemaking and NEPA process 
to amend the regulation that prohibits oil and gas development.
Oil and Gas Development Prohibition
    Comment: NOAA should adopt the strongest oil and gas prohibitions.
    Response: The final rule includes a complete prohibition against 
oil and gas development. No permit may be issued for oil and gas 
development in the sanctuaries. Furthermore, it does not include an 
exemption for oil and gas pipelines in GFNMS, or any mechanism to issue 
a permit for a future proposal.
Oil Transportation
    Comment: NOAA should revise sanctuary regulation Sec.  922.82(a)(1) 
to also prohibit the transportation of oil, gas or minerals via 
pipeline and remove the existing pipeline exemption.
    Response: The final rule includes deletion of the existing pipeline 
exemption; therefore, the suggested revision to GFNMS regulation 15 CFR 
922.82 is not necessary. There would be no mechanism to allow oil and 
gas pipelines.
Oil and Gas Development Support
    Comment: NOAA should adopt balanced policies that support 
affordable, reliable oil and gas development. BOEM estimates 700 
million barrels of oil and 700 billion cubic feet of natural gas 
located in federal waters would be precluded by the expansion.
    Response: One of NOAA's mandates is to ``facilitate to the extent 
compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, all 
public and private uses of the resources [. . .]'' (16 U.S.C. 
1431(b)(6)). Oil and gas development in the marine environment has 
historically posed significant risks to marine resources, as evidenced 
by the magnitude of the impacts of some offshore oil spills. Therefore, 
NOAA has usually excluded traditional energy exploration and production 
in our nation's national marine sanctuaries.
Mining
    Comment: NOAA should prohibit mining operations in the expansion 
area.
    Response: Mineral development is prohibited, as stated in the 
sanctuary regulations that prohibit exploration for minerals.

Sanctuary Management and Administration

Collaboration
    Comment: NOAA should collaborate with government and non-
governmental organizations on monitoring wildlife, education, citizen 
science, outreach, and advancing ecosystem protection and marine 
conservation initiatives and programs.
    Response: NOAA welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with 
organizations to build community partnerships for education, outreach, 
research, monitoring, and resource protection. The Stewards of the 
Coast and Redwoods, Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) California 
Coastal National Monument, as well as other local government and non-
governmental organizations are listed as potential partners in the 
revised GFNMS management plan. For example, NOAA values the partnership 
with BLM and looks forward to continuing and strengthening this 
partnership in the expansion area through national and local 
initiatives, such as reducing and mitigating wildlife disturbance along 
the California coast through the Seabird Protection Network.
Coordinated Management
    Comment: NOAA staff should meet with the California State Lands

[[Page 13102]]

Commission (CSLC) to determine the location and terms of CSLC leases in 
the proposed sanctuary in order to analyze how the leases would be 
affected by the proposed rule. CSLC suggests GFNMS enter into a 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commission on existing and 
future CSLC leases.
    Response: NOAA will continue coordination with the CSLC and other 
agencies to ensure compatibility to the maximum extent practicable. 
NOAA would certify existing CSLC leases in accordance with 15 CFR 
922.47 and 15 CFR 922.84. NOAA will also work with the CSLC on 
potential future leases, and mechanisms for potentially allowing those 
uses in the sanctuary, including MOUs.
GFNMS Collaboration
    Comment: NOAA should work in a collaborative manner to achieve the 
goals of the Point Reyes-Farallon Islands Marine Sanctuary as listed in 
its original DEIS. The current process did not achieve those goals.
    Response: The comment refers to text in Volume One of the FEIS on 
the Proposed Point Reyes-Farallon Island Marine Sanctuary (the original 
name of GFNMS), issued in 1980. NOAA manages GFNMS under the statutory 
authority of the NMSA. To meet its management responsibilities, NOAA 
implements the GFNMS management plan and develops regulations 
consistent with the terms of designation. The framework for expanding 
the sanctuary was laid out in the 2008 GFNMS management plan, which is 
in line with activities NOAA stated it would aim to achieve after 
initial sanctuary designation.
Governance Structure
    Comment: NOAA should allow for significant local oversight in 
sanctuary governance.
    Response: National marine sanctuaries have sanctuary advisory 
councils composed of voting and non-voting members that represent a 
variety of government agencies, local user groups, and the general 
public. Sanctuary advisory councils are very inclusive of local 
communities and stakeholders. The meetings have agendas set by the 
advisory council members, are hosted throughout the year in local 
communities, and always have an allotted time for public comment. 
Sanctuary advisory councils may choose to establish committees and 
working groups to further delve into issues; and working groups provide 
an opportunity to involve more stakeholders from the community in 
developing recommendations for consideration by the full sanctuary 
advisory councils.
Funding
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how funds will be used to manage the 
expanded sanctuary area, given the current uncertainties of federal 
funding for programs. The resources required to manage this large and 
new area could detract from the protection of existing resources in 
already designated sanctuaries.
    Response: Once the regulations are in effect, prohibitions and 
environmental protections, such as the prohibition on oil and gas 
development, will be immediate and would entail virtually no cost to 
the sanctuary. NOAA recognizes resource limitations may limit or delay 
implementation of some of the activities in the management plans. NOAA 
will continue to evaluate future resource needs of all sanctuaries in 
its formulation of annual budget requests. In addition, the sanctuaries 
will work to build community partnerships in the expansion area to 
develop collaborative programs for education, outreach, research and 
monitoring, resource protection, and enforcement.
Monitoring
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how it will monitor the protection of 
upwelling waters.
    Response: GFNMS, CBNMS and MBNMS share an action plan in their 
respective management plans that is focused on monitoring the health of 
the ecosystem through offshore oceanographic and wildlife surveys. The 
action plan also describes how GFNMS and CBNMS will develop plans to 
extend monitoring efforts into the proposed expansion area to monitor 
the full extent of the upwelling area. Monitoring would help identify 
changes over time as well as potential problems that need to be 
addressed through management actions, enforcement and/or education.
Permits
    Comment: NOAA should not grant any kind of permits to allow 
otherwise prohibited activities (including special event privileges) 
because it is contrary to the intended protection of sanctuary 
resources.
    Response: NOAA has the authority to issue permits to allow some 
types of activities that are otherwise prohibited by sanctuary 
regulations, but which generally present a public benefit by furthering 
the management and protection of sanctuary resources. Permits usually 
include conditions that are designed to minimize or eliminate impacts 
on sanctuary resources, and may also be designed to minimize user 
conflict. Various findings must also be met in order to issue a 
sanctuary permit, which can be issued for education, research, salvage 
(for GFNMS), and management. NOAA can also issue special use permits 
(SUP) to promote public access and use, and understanding of a 
sanctuary resource, when the superintendent can determine the activity 
will have no effect on sanctuary resources.
Sanctuary Advisory Councils
    Comment: The current sanctuary advisory councils should be expanded 
to include additional representatives from the geographic area of the 
expanded sanctuary boundary.
    Response: NOAA recognizes the need to potentially adjust the 
composition of the GFNMS advisory council and has revised the GFNMS 
management plan to reflect this need. NOAA will consider the addition 
of seats to the sanctuary advisory council after the expansion becomes 
final. NOAA is not considering the addition of seats to the CBNMS 
advisory council, as the expanded boundary of CBNMS would not add new 
constituencies not already represented on the CBNMS advisory council.
    Comment: NOAA should consider using a sanctuary advisory council 
working group process to further investigate and make recommendations 
on how to address controversial items identified during the public 
comment period.
    Response: NOAA has included this recommendation in the final GFNMS 
management plan. NOAA will propose to the sanctuary advisory council 
the establishment of working groups to address issues such as 
authorization authority, MPWC regulations, and additional low 
overflight prohibition zones as well as the configuration of those 
zones and the inclusion of estuaries in the GFNMS. The CBNMS advisory 
council decided to delay consideration of such a working group until 
after NOAA made a final decision about the expansion of CBNMS.
    Comment: NOAA should consider using a sanctuary advisory working 
group to examine how existing uses in Arena Cove could continue.
    Response: After review of all public comments, NOAA chose to 
exclude Arena Cove from the expansion area. Therefore, existing uses of 
Arena Cove do not fall under sanctuary regulations.
    Comment: NOAA should clarify how community members may become

[[Page 13103]]

members of a sanctuary advisory council working group.
    Response: If the CBNMS or GFNMS advisory councils convened working 
groups to make recommendations to the respective full advisory councils 
regarding a specific topic, they would work with sanctuary staff to 
identify a list of potential members including experts on a particular 
topic and/or appropriate interested parties. Interested community 
members may also express interest in participating on a working group 
by contacting any of the advisory council members or sanctuary staff 
listed on the sanctuary Web sites.
    Comment: Sanctuary advisory councils should represent the will and 
voice of the communities, rather than be forced to support the goals of 
the sanctuary. They are controlled by the sanctuary because the 
sanctuary sets the agenda and has the right not to accept their 
recommendations.
    Response: Sanctuary advisory councils are established by NOAA under 
the authority of the NMSA (16 U.S.C. 1445A). Congress intended the 
councils to include representatives interested in the protection and 
multiple use management of sanctuary resources. This means that 
representatives on a sanctuary advisory council may represent a wide 
range of views on sanctuary management. Congress intended sanctuary 
advisory councils to be advisory bodies, not decision-making bodies. 
Each sanctuary advisory council meeting is open to the public, and 
anyone is permitted to present oral or written statements on items of 
concern to sanctuary management. Therefore, NOAA believes that the 
sanctuary advisory councils in their current format are an efficient 
and effective way to receive input from communities affected by 
sanctuary management.
Management Plan Purpose
    Comment: The GFNMS management plan should focus on preservation and 
restoration.
    Response: The NMSA directs NOAA to manage national marine 
sanctuaries with the primary objective of resource protection. The NMSA 
further instructs NOAA to provide comprehensive management, which 
includes research, education, outreach, and facilitation of uses 
compatible with resource protection. Therefore, the GFNMS management 
plan contains action plans that focus on all of these mandates.
Radioactive and Toxic Waste
    Comment: NOAA should do something about the vast quantity of 
radioactive waste dumped near the Farallon Islands.
    Response: The GFNMS management plan includes an action plan to 
evaluate the condition of, and actual impacts on, sanctuary resources 
and qualities from the Farallon Islands radioactive waste dump site.
State Control
    Comment: The State of California rather than the federal government 
should manage the expansion area. There are concerns that the federal 
government will tell the State of California how to manage and regulate 
the area and wrong decisions will be made for the state.
    Response: Although the State of California has an extensive MPA 
program established by the Marine Life Protection Act, much of the 
expansion area extends beyond the marine waters under state control and 
is beyond its jurisdiction.
    NOAA closely collaborates with various agencies and departments of 
the State of California not only on the topic of sanctuary regulations, 
but also on various non-regulatory programs aimed at improving resource 
protection in national marine sanctuaries off the coast of California. 
The NMSA also includes a provision that allows a governor to review any 
terms of designation--boundary areas, activities subject to 
regulation--and accept or reject any term (in state waters) the 
governor finds objectionable; this provision helps create this strong 
collaboration. When it comes to sanctuary management, NOAA emphasizes 
coordination with state and federal agencies and therefore the State of 
California has representation on the GFNMS advisory council. 
Furthermore, there are numerous ways for the public to provide input on 
sanctuary management, including service as an advisory council member, 
providing public comment at advisory council meetings and commenting 
during the development of new management plans or regulations.
Science in Decisions
    Comment: NOAA should use robust, peer-reviewed science for 
management decisions. Some ONMS scientific publications would benefit 
from independent peer-review.
    Response: NOAA always strives to use the best available science to 
inform management decisions. One of the means to achieve that is the 
rigorous public process that accompanies management decisions. During a 
public comment period on a draft EIS and proposed rule, NOAA may 
receive relevant scientific information of which it was unaware at the 
time of publication of the draft documents. Such public comments as 
well as consultations with various agencies assist NOAA in developing a 
sound final action.
    The level of review for a NOAA scientific document is determined 
through the guidelines set forth in the Information Quality Act. These 
guidelines are in the Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer 
Review published in 2004, and are administered by the White House 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Under OMB guidelines, any 
document that is deemed influential scientific information (i.e., 
information that can reasonably be determined to have a ``clear and 
substantial impact on important public policies or private sector 
decisions'') must be peer reviewed. NOAA guidelines also set forth 
requirements for NOAA publications with regards to peer review (see 
http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/info_quality.html). The ONMS 
Condition Reports and some of the ONMS Conservation Series reports fall 
into the category of influential scientific information. In addition, 
NOAA publishes some documents through the ONMS Conservation Series that 
are not considered influential scientific information under OMB 
guidelines, but internal policy still requires that they be peer 
reviewed.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Compliance
    Comment: NOAA should fully comply with the Freedom of Information 
Act (FOIA) in content and in a timely manner.
    Response: Since 2010, NOAA has received 16 requests under the FOIA 
for information relating to CBNMS and GFNMS. NOAA responded to 13 
requests in a timely and complete manner. Two requests were withdrawn 
by the applicants. Due to the complexity of the remaining request, it 
is still pending for further review. It is NOAA's policy to fully 
comply with the FOIA.
Sanctuary Names
    Comment: NOAA should consider new ecosystem-based names for the 
expanded GFNMS and CBNMS, since the action will lead to the inclusion 
of other prominent marine features.
    Response: NOAA is considering a public process to gather input on a 
potential new name for GFNMS after finalization of this action. At this 
time, NOAA is not considering any name change for CBNMS.

[[Page 13104]]

Socioeconomics Issues

Access to Expanded Sanctuaries--General Public Access
    Comment: NOAA should ensure that there will be no loss of public 
access to the expansion area.
    Response: The final rule does not contain any restrictions on 
public access to the shorelines in the GFNMS expansion area.
Vessel/Vehicle Access
    Comment: NOAA should prohibit or restrict use of vessels or 
vehicles in the proposed expansion area and/or in the rivers leading 
into the proposed sanctuary, for the following reasons: Noise 
disturbance to birds and marine mammals, water pollution (including 
from oil), disturbance of bottom vegetation, and further environmental 
risk to sensitive areas.
    Response: NOAA believes current restrictions are sufficient to 
protect sanctuary resources. It is beyond the scope of this action for 
NOAA to broadly ban all vessels from the sanctuaries, or from the 
rivers feeding into the GFNMS expansion area. Existing regulations and 
management actions are extended to apply in the expanded boundary area 
to help mitigate resource impacts associated with vessel access/
operation in the sanctuaries, such as restriction on cargo vessels near 
sensitive areas.
Bodega Marine Life Refuge Research and Education
    Comment: NOAA should either: (1) Recognize and establish a special-
use area for research and education (Research and Education Zone) 
managed by the University of California (University); (2) exclude the 
Bodega Marine Life Reserve from the sanctuary; or (3) include the 
Bodega Marine Life Reserve in the sanctuary and streamline the process 
to allow appropriate existing research and educational uses.
    Response: Establishing a special-use area for research and 
education for the Bodega Marine Reserve would require NOAA to initiate 
a separate regulatory process, and excluding the Bodega Marine Reserve 
would prevent sanctuary protection from applying to the Reserve. 
Therefore, NOAA is including the Bodega Marine Life Reserve in the 
sanctuary, and will work towards certifying current research and 
education activities in accordance with 15 CFR 922.47 and 15 CFR 
922.84. In addition, NOAA will meet with the University to streamline 
the permitting process and request the Marine Lab apply for an 
institutional permit for a range of future activities within the 
boundaries of the Reserve.
Bodega Bay Companies
    Comment: NOAA should respect companies such as oyster farms and 
cattle ranches that have businesses in and around Bodega Bay, since 
they have continually protected the waters around them.
    Response: NOAA acknowledges the importance of the local businesses 
around and in the sanctuary including ranches and oyster farms. NOAA 
has worked with ranchers and the oyster farms in and around Tomales Bay 
to protect water quality and will continue to work with groups near the 
original sanctuary and expansion area.
Desalination
    Comment: NOAA should clarify if desalination projects will be 
allowed in the future.
    Response: The sanctuary regulations do not specifically prohibit 
desalination projects, but such development could be subject to 
regulations prohibiting the alteration of the submerged lands or the 
discharges or deposits. The project could qualify for some form of a 
sanctuary permit, which involves specific criteria and which typically 
includes conditions to protect sanctuary resources.
Education Center Needed
    Comment: NOAA should develop an education center and/or office in 
Bodega Bay or other location in the proposed expansion area.
    Response: Bodega Marine Laboratory has been identified as a 
potential location for a sanctuary field office. GFNMS and CBNMS staff 
will consult with various public constituents including the sanctuary 
advisory councils to determine potential locations for sanctuary 
exhibits, a potential visitor center(s) and field office(s).
Education Materials
    Comment: NOAA should produce relevant outreach materials and maps 
online and in print, to visually highlight the features, ecosystems, 
and wildlife within the boundary expansion area.
    Response: NOAA agrees that these types of materials would support 
public outreach. The existing online and print materials created for 
this action contain select maps and several photographs. NOAA will work 
to update and distribute printed and online materials to reflect the 
features and boundaries of CBNMS and GFNMS.
Fireworks
    Comment: Existing fireworks displays should be grandfathered in to 
the expansion area through the use of certification or special use 
permits; any additional proposals should be considered by applying 
appropriate biological and other criteria. Would a federal permit be 
needed for fireworks?
    Response: The originally proposed authorization provision has been 
deleted from the sanctuary regulations. Therefore, NOAA does not have 
the ability to authorize firework activities on the basis of a state or 
local permit. As noted in the FEIS, NOAA will examine whether the 
discharge of fireworks could be allowed through certification (for 
existing permitted fireworks) pursuant to proposed 15 CFR 922.84, or 
through a special use permit, as described in Section 310 of the NMSA 
(16 U.S.C. 1441) and in the Federal Register notice published on May 3, 
2013 (78 FR 25957). The potential to permit firework shows is also an 
activity that could be addressed in the separate process to consider 
authorization authority. For fireworks at Arena Cove, it should be 
noted that the boundary has been revised to exclude Arena Cove. 
Activities outside of the sanctuary that do not result in discharges 
that enter the sanctuary and cause injury to sanctuary resources do not 
require NOAA approval.
Population
    Comment: NOAA should address environmental concerns of a growing 
population.
    Response: The sanctuary management plans provide action plans to 
address the issue of balancing resources with human activities.
Research--Expand ACCESS Program
    Comment: The Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) 
integrated monitoring program should be extended into the sanctuary 
expansion areas.
    Response: Both the CBNMS and GFNMS management plans contain action 
plans to maintain and extend ACCESS into the proposed expansion area.

Visual Resources

    Comment: NOAA should discuss visual resource impacts in the EIS 
since visual resources may benefit significantly from increasing 
protected habitat.
    Response: Visual resources are indirectly captured in the FEIS 
discussion of benefits on marine resources, habitats, recreation and 
tourism.

[[Page 13105]]

Water Quality, Discharges and Dredging

Vessel Graywater Discharges (Non-Cruise Ships)
    Comment: NOAA should address graywater discharges from commercial 
vessels, including fishing vessels and recreational craft. Since both 
sanctuaries would be expanded, the larger area might make it difficult 
for some vessels to hold graywater discharges while transiting through 
the sanctuaries.
    Response: NOAA prohibits discharging or depositing into CBNMS and 
GFNMS, other than from a cruise ship, any material except clean 
graywater (and other exemptions). By allowing the discharge of clean 
graywater by vessels less than 300 GRT or vessels 300 GRT or greater 
without sufficient tank capacity to hold graywater while within the 
sanctuary, NOAA does not force non-cruise ship vessels to hold all 
graywater and they have the option of discharging clean graywater in 
the sanctuary, consistent with the existing provisions in MBNMS and 
state and federal regulations.
    Comment: NOAA should move forward with the graywater exemption and 
should consider the effects of sanctuary expansion upon the California 
No Discharge Zone (NDZ) and the water quality of the San Francisco Bay 
Estuary.
    Response: See response to comment above. NOAA's final rule contains 
a graywater exemption. The effects of the sanctuary expansion upon the 
portion of the California NDZ in the expansion area were indirectly 
described in the EIS. Since many vessels transit the sanctuaries upon 
entering and exiting the San Francisco Bay, this exception avoids the 
potential situation of concentrating graywater discharges in a small 
area outside of the sanctuaries near the bay entrance. The water 
quality within the portions of the California NDZ in the expansion area 
and existing GFNMS is expected to be the same as, or similar to, that 
within the entire area of the expanded sanctuaries. In the portion of 
the San Francisco-Pacifica Exclusion Area of northern MBNMS beyond 3 
nm, vessels will continue to be able to discharge sewage and graywater 
as allowed by the current regulatory regime.
    Comment: NOAA should only allow park service vessels to discharge 
graywater into the sanctuaries.
    Response: See responses to comment above.
Cruise Ship Discharges
    Comment: NOAA should base the proposed rules upon best available 
science and the continuing advancements in the shipboard treatment of 
wastewater to high standards and reconsider the current ``no-
discharge'' approach for cruise ships. The proposed covered waters are 
expanding to the point where cruise ships may have difficulty managing 
their discharges over several days.
    Response: NOAA disagrees that cruise ships transiting the expansion 
areas will face significant operational difficulties in holding 
discharges. As noted in the FEIS, NOAA's analysis of the issue 
indicates that transit of the expansion area will take only a few hours 
during normal circumstances, and that operators could hold discharges 
until they reach areas outside sanctuary boundaries (e.g., north and 
west of the expanded boundary or within the San Francisco-Pacifica 
exclusion area) and discharge per the existing regulatory regime.
    NOAA's decision to apply existing sanctuary discharge regulations 
to the expanded area were developed consistent with the scientific 
rigor associated with EPA's 2012 California NDZ (USEPA 2012) and NOAA's 
2008 Joint Management Plan Review (NOAA 2008). NOAA also reviewed the 
Cruise Ship Assessment Discharge Report (USEPA 2008), which described, 
among other things, the nature and volume of waste streams, treatment 
methods, potential adverse impacts, and regulatory regime for cruise 
ship discharges. Based on these analyses, NOAA concludes that the 
volume and content of cruise ship discharges could adversely affect 
sanctuary resources in the expansion area and that their continued 
prohibition is warranted at this time. However, NOAA recognizes the 
cruise ship industry's recent advancements in shipboard treatments of 
wastewater, and plans to have ONMS consider these developments in a 
system-wide review of sanctuary cruise ship regulations, as described 
in the revised CBNMS and GFNMS management plan. Until such time NOAA 
can better understand these advancements, and their effect on sanctuary 
resources, it is making no changes to the discharge regulations 
promulgated with this action.
    Comment: NOAA should give a better justification of the 
differential treatment of cruise ships with respect to the exceptions 
for treated sewage and graywater.
    Response: The cruise ship regulations extended to the CBNMS and 
GFNMS expansion areas are existing CBNMS and GFNMS regulations. The 
existing cruise ship regulations were fully analyzed in the FEIS for 
the revised management plans of CBNMS, GFNMS, and MBNMS and published 
on September 26, 2008 (73 FR 55842). Regarding cruise ships being 
different than other ships, many discharge regulations treat discharges 
from cruise ships as a distinct vessel class on the West Coast of the 
U.S. (e.g. California, Washington, and Alaska) and nationally (e.g., 
the Vessel General Permit [VGP]) of the EPA). Cruise ships are a unique 
class of vessel and have the potential to generate and discharge 
greater quantities of wastewater effluents than other vessel 
categories.
Cruise Ships--Vessel Routes
    Comment: The option of sailing to seaward of the sanctuaries would 
require significant additional time and cost and have additional 
environmental effects in terms of fuel consumption and resultant 
emissions from cruise ships. NOAA should analyze these effects.
    Response: Cruise ships are not required to sail seaward, or west, 
of the expanded sanctuaries as a result of this action. Cruise ship 
operators could choose, but are not required, to implement vessel route 
changes based on their own assessment of the best methods to adjust to 
the sanctuary regulations, particularly as it pertains to the capacity 
to hold sewage and graywater during transit through the sanctuaries. 
Also, see response to first comment under the ``Cruise Ship 
Discharges.''
Vessel General Permit Relationship to Regulations
    Comment: NOAA's regulations should mirror the 2013 VGP, which 
provides a more extensive list of vessel discharge effluent streams 
than sanctuary regulations. The high water quality standards achieved 
under the VGP are confirmed by extensive research by the USEPA and the 
Alaska Science Advisory Panels, and there is no evidence that any 
threat would be posed to the environment or resources of the 
sanctuaries under that approach.
    Response: The VGP only applies within three miles of the coastline; 
its application to waters beyond that has not been analyzed by the 
USEPA or the State of California. See response to comment under 
``Cruise Ship Discharge.'' NOAA is considering undertaking a review of 
national marine sanctuary cruise ship discharge regulations, which 
could include VGP effluent streams and the standards for them. This 
proposal is included in the revised management plans for CBNMS and 
GFNMS.

[[Page 13106]]

Discharge-Related Regulatory Definitions
    Comment: NOAA should change the definition of ``clean'' to mean not 
containing harmful matter, because the current definition is 
inconsistent with the definition of ``harmful matter.'' If applied 
strictly, this definition would effectively establish a limit of ``non-
detectable'' for any ``harmful matter'' discharged by a ship.
    Response: The qualifier ``clean'' is used in describing allowed 
discharges and is defined in Sec. Sec.  922.81 and 922.111 as ``. . . 
not containing detectable levels of harmful matter.'' A substance may 
be at ``detectable'' levels, but pose no threat to the environment and 
therefore no longer be considered a ``harmful matter.'' Therefore the 
substance would be considered clean. As noted in the previous response, 
NOAA is considering having ONMS undertake a review of national marine 
sanctuary cruise ship discharge regulations, and could include a review 
of the definitions for ``clean'' and ``harmful matter'' as part of the 
review.
Discharges That Cannot Be Terminated
    Comment: The exceptions for other operational discharges (for both 
cruise ships and other vessels) are limited to clean vessel engine 
cooling water, clean vessel generator cooling water, vessel engine or 
generator exhaust, clean bilgewater or anchor wash. NOAA should include 
an exception for all ``non-discretionary'' discharges arising from 
vessel operation, such as leachate from anti-fouling hull coatings, 
cathodic protection, (as well as others described in the EPA VGP).
    Response: The exceptions for discharges (Sec. Sec.  
922.81(a)(2)(iii) and (iv) and 922.111(a)(1)(i)(C) and (D)) are 
standard exceptions for most of the national marine sanctuaries across 
the country. A site-specific rulemaking such as this one is not the 
appropriate mechanism for a nation-wide amendment to sanctuary 
regulations. As mentioned in the response to comment ``Cruise Ship 
Discharges,'' NOAA is considering having ONMS undertake a review of 
national marine sanctuary cruise ship discharge regulations, which 
could also include a review of discharges noted as unable to be 
terminated.
Land-Based Discharges
    Comment: NOAA should use its expertise and authorities to address 
issues of estuarine and marine conservation as it relates to 
California's non-point source management responsibility under the 
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
    Response: The NMSA and CZMA are distinct and separate statutory 
authorities administered by different NOAA offices. Under the CZMA, 
NOAA's Office for Ocean and Coastal Management reviews state coastal 
nonpoint source pollution control programs developed for approval under 
the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990. The office 
also administers grants to states for coastal nonpoint source control 
program implementation activities. The Plan for California's Nonpoint 
Source Pollution Control Program (NPS Plan), developed by the State 
Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the California Coastal 
Commission, received full approval from the USEPA and NOAA in 2000. 
Although the proposed GFNMS final management plan is not linked to the 
NPS Plan, its Water Quality Action Plan includes activities to 
coordinate with other agencies to address land-based discharges into 
the estuarine and nearshore areas of the sanctuary.
    Comment: NOAA should make it mandatory to aerobically compost 
biosolids, which will modify, degrade and in some cases eliminate some 
of the toxic compounds from farms.
    Response: The regulation of biosolids is outside the scope of this 
rulemaking and outside the jurisdiction of national marine sanctuaries. 
The discharge of material beyond its boundaries is not regulated in 
GFNMS, except with regards to discharges that enter the sanctuary and 
injure a sanctuary resource. NOAA recognizes the connection between 
land-based pollution and sanctuary water quality, and therefore 
includes an activity to promote best management practices for 
agriculture in the GFNMS management plan.
    Comment: NOAA should regulate discharge from agricultural 
activities and oil pollution from roads and cars by designating inland 
sanctuaries or expanding sanctuaries into inland areas to prevent 
inland discharges that may injure a sanctuary resource or quality.
    Response: See response to the comment ``Inclusion of Estuaries.'' 
The discharge of material is not regulated in GFNMS beyond its 
boundaries, except with regard to discharges that enter the sanctuary 
and injure a sanctuary resource. The GFNMS revised management plan 
outlines steps to understand and address impacts from known sources of 
pollution.
Russian River Discharge and Water Quality
    Comment: NOAA should maintain or improve the Russian River Estuary 
Management Project to: Better address impacts of breaching the Russian 
River, including release of toxins; identify sources of increased 
nutrients; and request maintenance of adequate flow in the Russian 
River.
    Response: The Russian River Estuary Management Project is not 
within the boundary expansion of GFNMS. However, NOAA currently 
collaborates with the Estuary Project managers, through NMFS. Although 
NOAA is not expanding the sanctuary into the Russian River Estuary at 
this time, the management plan includes a strategy to collaborate and 
exchange information with agencies and authorities within estuaries 
adjacent to the proposed GFNMS expansion area. See the Water Quality 
Action Plan Strategy WQ-3 for more information.
Beach Nourishment
    Comment: NOAA should consider how the proposed regulatory framework 
may prohibit dredging and disposing of sediments for living shoreline 
projects (e.g., beach nourishment), which are environmentally 
beneficial.
    Response: The disposal of matter above the mean high water line is 
not regulated in GFNMS, except with regard to discharges that enter the 
sanctuary and injure a sanctuary resource. Currently there are no known 
proposed living shoreline projects within the GFNMS boundary or 
expansion area. However, NOAA considers such projects a beneficial use 
that could be considered as an alternative to disposal of dredged 
materials. If a living shoreline project were to be proposed within 
GFNMS in the future, NOAA could consider a permit application in 
accordance with 15 CFR 922.83 or a separate regulatory process, if 
needed.
NPDES Permits
    Comment: NOAA should include an exemption to 15 CFR 922.84 for 
discharges regulated by NPDES discharge permits. These discharge 
permits are adopted to fully protect all beneficial uses and NPDES 
dischargers should not and need not be subject to additional 
regulations for GFNMS resources to be fully protected. NOAA should 
clarify that discharges to the Russian River regulated by NPDES permits 
are not considered unlawful activities under 15 CFR 922.82(a)(4).
    Response: NOAA has not included an exemption to 15 CFR 922.84 for 
discharges regulated by NPDES discharge permits. The regulation is not 
intended to prevent discharge activities beyond the sanctuary boundary, 
including the Russian River Estuary discharges regulated by NPDES 
permits. NOAA could certify pre-existing NPDES

[[Page 13107]]

discharge permits that are already authorized by the State of 
California and in existence on the effective date of the proposed 
sanctuary expansion, such as the NPDES permit for the Russian River 
Estuary. See 15 CFR 922.47 and the procedures outlined in 15 CFR 922.84 
for more information. In part, NOAA had originally proposed 
authorization authority to allow it to approve NPDES permits for 
discharges that would not cause significant, adverse harm to sanctuary 
resources; it is an example of an activity a sanctuary advisory council 
working group on authorizations could consider in making any 
recommendations.
State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Jurisdiction
    Comment: NOAA should communicate with the local communities 
regarding jurisdiction of storm water discharges.
    Response: SWRCB regulates storm water discharge, and this action 
would not change SWRCB jurisdiction. NOAA is not regulating storm water 
discharge, except potentially for those discharges that enter the 
sanctuary and injure a sanctuary resource.
Bodega Harbor Dredging and Disposal
    Comment: NOAA needs to exempt existing routine dredging of Bodega 
Harbor. Without such an exception, a small port of that size would be 
inadvertently shut down as a result of the cost of maintenance dredge 
disposal (whether on land or offshore). In addition, NOAA should 
designate a dredge disposal site in GFNMS for Bodega Harbor Channel 
Maintenance Dredging.
    Response: Bodega Harbor is located outside of the sanctuary 
boundaries. Therefore, existing or future dredging of the harbor would 
not violate any sanctuary regulations that pertain to discharge of 
materials or alteration of the seafloor. Bodega Harbor maintenance 
projects conducted adjacent to GFNMS currently dispose of dredged 
materials at EPA-designated dredge disposal sites, which include ocean 
and upland locations outside the existing and proposed boundaries of 
GFNMS. There is no need to designate another dredge disposal site at 
this time. If the need arises in the future, the EPA would be the lead 
agency to designate any new dredge disposal sites.
Dredging Prohibition
    Comment: NOAA should ban dredging throughout all sanctuary waters.
    Response: NOAA agrees. The final rule prohibits drilling into, 
dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged lands of GFNMS and CBNMS, 
with few exceptions.

Technical Document Edits (Rule, EIS, Management Plans)

    Numerous comments requested specific edits to the text of the 
proposed rule, DEIS or management plans. To the extent that these edits 
are pertinent and correct, these edits have been made to the relevant 
documents and are not further addressed in the response to comments. 
Other minor typographical corrections have been made to the relevant 
documents and are also not further addressed here.

VI. Classification

National Environmental Policy Act

    NOAA has prepared a final environmental impact statement to 
evaluate the environmental effects of this rulemaking. Copies are 
available at the address and Web site listed in the ADDRESSES section 
of this final rule. Responses to comments received on the proposed rule 
are presented in the final environmental impact statement (December 19, 
2014; 79 FR 75800) and preamble to this final rule.

Coastal Zone Management Act

    Section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA; 16 U.S.C. 
1456) requires Federal agencies to consult with a state's coastal 
program on potential Federal regulations having an effect on state 
waters. NOAA submitted a copy of the final environmental impact 
statement and supporting documents to the California Coastal Commission 
for evaluation of Federal consistency under the CZMA. On December 12, 
2014, NOAA received confirmation from the California Coastal Commission 
that the action was consistent with the purposes of the California 
Coastal Management Program.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This rule was drafted in accordance with Executive Orders 12866 and 
13563. It was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, which 
found the rule to be ``significant'' according to EO 12866 and EO 
13563.

 Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment

    NOAA has concluded that this regulatory action does not have 
federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a 
federalism assessment under Executive Order 13132.

Executive Order 13175: Tribal Consultation and Collaboration

    Representatives from the Manchester Band of Pomo Indians, Kashia 
Band of Pomo Indians of Stewarts Point Rancheria, and Federated Indians 
of Graton Rancheria were invited in writing to consult with NOAA under 
Executive Order 13175. As of publication date of this notice of final 
rulemaking, NOAA only received a response from the Chairman of the 
Kashia Band of Pomo Indians to the consultation letters. NOAA will 
continue to consult and seek tribal participation in the management of 
CBNMS and GFNMS as appropriate.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended and codified at 5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq., requires an agency to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis of any rule subject to the notice and comment 
rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 
U.S.C. 553) or any other statute, unless the agency certifies that the 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Under section 605(b) of the RFA, if the head 
of an agency (or his or her designee) certifies that a rule will not 
have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
the agency is not required to prepare a regulatory flexibility 
analysis. Pursuant to section 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation, 
Department of Commerce, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy, Small Business Administration, certifying that original 
proposed rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The rationale for that certification was set 
forth in the preamble of that rule (79 FR 20982, April 14, 2014).
    Although NOAA has made a few changes to the regulations for CBNMS 
and GFNMS from the proposed rule to the final rule, none of these 
changes alter the initial determination that this rule will not have an 
impact on the small businesses included in the original analysis 
presented in the proposed rule. Moreover, NOAA did not receive any 
comments on the certification or its conclusion. Therefore, the 
determination that this rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities is unchanged. As a 
result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and has 
not been prepared.

[[Page 13108]]

Paperwork Reduction Act

    ONMS has a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control 
number (0648-0141) for the collection of public information related to 
the processing of ONMS permits across the National Marine Sanctuary 
System. NOAA's proposal to expand GFNMS and CBNMS would likely increase 
the number of requests for ONMS general permits and special use 
permits, because the sanctuaries are now larger. An increase in the 
number of ONMS permit requests resulted in a change to the reporting 
burden certified for OMB control number 0648-0141. This control number 
for the processing of ONMS permits has been updated by OMB.
    Comments on this determination were solicited in the proposed rule 
but none were received. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no 
person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a 
penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject 
to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information 
displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

VII. References

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 922

    Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Historic 
preservation, Intergovernmental relations, Marine resources, Natural 
resources, Penalties, Recreation and recreation areas, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Wildlife.

    Dated: February 27, 2015.
W. Russell Callender,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone 
Management.

    Accordingly, for the reasons discussed in the preamble, the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is amending 15 CFR part 
922 as follows:

PART 922--NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 922 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.


0
2. Revise subpart H to read as follows:

Subpart H--Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Sec.
922.80 Boundary.
922.81 Definitions.
922.82 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.
922.83 Permit procedures and issuance criteria.
922.84 Certification of preexisting leases, licenses, permits, 
approvals, other authorizations, or rights to conduct a prohibited 
activity.
922.85 Review of State permits and leases for certain aquaculture 
projects.
Appendix A to Subpart H of Part 922--Farallones National Marine 
Sanctuary Boundary Coordinates
Appendix B to Subpart H of Part 922--No-Anchoring Seagrass 
Protection Zones in Tomales Bay
Appendix C to Subpart H of Part 922--Northern Extent of Tomales Bay
Appendix D to Subpart H of Part 922--Special Wildlife Protection 
Zones within the Sanctuary
Appendix E to Subpart H of Part 922--Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zones 
in the Sanctuary
Appendix F to Subpart H of Part 922--White Shark Approach 
Prohibition Zones in the Sanctuary


Sec.  922.80  Boundary.

    (a) Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) encompasses an 
area of approximately 2,488 square nautical miles (3,295 square miles) 
of coastal and ocean waters, and submerged lands thereunder, 
surrounding the Farallon Islands and Noonday Rock along the northern 
coast of California. The precise boundary coordinates are listed in 
appendix A to this subpart.
    (b) The western boundary of the Sanctuary extends south from Point 
1 approximately 45 nautical miles (52 miles) to Point 2, which is the 
northwestern corner of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS). 
The Sanctuary boundary then extends from Point 2 approximately 38 
nautical miles (43 miles) east along the northern boundary of CBNMS to 
Point 3, which is approximately 6 nautical miles (7 miles) west of 
Bodega Head. From Point 3 the Sanctuary boundary continues south and 
west to Points 4 through 19 (in numerical sequence) and is coterminous 
with the eastern boundary of CBNMS. From Point 19 the Sanctuary 
boundary continues south and east to Points 20 through 25 (in numerical 
sequence) until it intersects the boundary for Monterey Bay National 
Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) at Point 26. From Point 26 the Sanctuary 
boundary extends eastward and northward, coterminous with MBNMS, to 
Points 27 through 33 (in numerical sequence). From Point 33 the 
boundary proceeds along a straight line arc towards Point 34 until it 
intersects the Mean High Water Line at Rocky Point, California. From 
this intersection the Sanctuary boundary follows the Mean High Water 
Line northward until it intersects the boundary for Point Reyes 
National Seashore approximately 0.7 nautical miles (0.8 miles) south 
and east of Bolinas Point in Marin County, California. The Sanctuary 
boundary then approximates the boundary for Point Reyes National 
Seashore, as established at the time of designation of the Sanctuary, 
to the intersection of the Point Reyes National Seashore boundary and 
the Mean High Water Line approximately 0.13 nautical miles (0.15 miles) 
south and east of Duck Cove in Tomales Bay. The Sanctuary boundary then 
follows the Mean High Water Line along Tomales Bay and up Lagunitas 
Creek to the U.S. Highway 1 Bridge. Here the Sanctuary boundary crosses 
Lagunitas Creek and follows the Mean High Water Line north to the 
Estero de San Antonio and up the Estero to the tide gate at Valley 
Ford-Franklin School Road. Here the Sanctuary boundary crosses the 
Estero de San Antonio and proceeds west and north following the Mean 
High Water Line to the Estero Americano and up the Estero to the bridge 
at Valley Ford-Estero Road. Here the Sanctuary boundary crosses the 
Estero Americano and proceeds west and north following the Mean High 
Water Line towards Salmon Creek. Approaching Salmon Creek the boundary 
continues along the Mean High Water Line until it intersects a straight 
line arc that passes through Points 35 and 36. From that intersection 
the boundary extends across the creek along the straight line arc 
towards Point 36 until it again intersects the Mean High Water Line. 
From this intersection the boundary follows the Mean High Water Line 
north towards the Russian River. Approaching the Russian River the 
boundary continues along the Mean High Water Line until it intersects a 
straight line arc that passes through Points 37 and Point 38. At that 
intersection the boundary extends across the river along the straight 
line arc towards Point 38 until it again intersects the Mean High Water 
Line. From this intersection the boundary follows the Mean High Water 
Line north towards the Gualala River. Approaching the Gualala River the 
boundary continues along the Mean High Water Line until it intersects a 
straight line arc that passes through Points 39 and Point 40. At that 
intersection the boundary extends across the river along the straight 
line arc towards Point 40 until it again intersects the Mean High Water 
Line. From this intersection the boundary follows the Mean High Water 
Line north to Arena Cove in Mendocino County. Approaching Arena Cove 
the

[[Page 13109]]

boundary continues along the Mean High Water Line until it intersects a 
straight line arc that passes through Points 41 and Point 42. At that 
intersection the boundary extends across the cove along the straight 
line arc towards Point 42 until it again intersects the Mean High Water 
Line. From this intersection the boundary follows the Mean High Water 
Line north towards the Garcia River. Approaching the Garcia River the 
boundary continues along the Mean High Water Line until it intersects a 
straight line arc that passes through Points 43 and Point 44. At that 
intersection the boundary extends across the river along the straight 
line arc towards Point 44 until it intersects the Mean High Water Line. 
The Sanctuary boundary then continues north following the Mean High 
Water Line until it intersects the rhumb line connecting Point 45 and 
Point 46. From this intersection the Sanctuary boundary continues west 
along its northernmost extent to Point 46. The Sanctuary includes 
Bolinas Lagoon, Estero de San Antonio (to the tide gate at Valley Ford-
Franklin School Road) and Estero Americano (to the bridge at Valley 
Ford-Estero Road), as well as Bodega Bay, but does not include Bodega 
Harbor, the Salmon Creek Estuary, the Russian River Estuary, the 
Gualala River Estuary, Arena Cove, or the Garcia River Estuary. Unless 
otherwise specified, where the Sanctuary boundary crosses a waterway, 
the Sanctuary excludes this waterway upstream of the crossing.


Sec.  922.81  Definitions.

    In addition to those definitions found at Sec.  922.3, the 
following definitions apply to this subpart:
    Attract or attracting means the conduct of any activity that lures 
or may lure any animal in the Sanctuary by using food, bait, chum, 
dyes, decoys (e.g., surfboards or body boards used as decoys), 
acoustics or any other means, except the mere presence of human beings 
(e.g., swimmers, divers, boaters, kayakers, surfers).
    Clean means not containing detectable levels of harmful matter.
    Cruise ship means a vessel with 250 or more passenger berths for 
hire.
    Deserting means leaving a vessel aground or adrift without 
notification to the Director of the vessel going aground or becoming 
adrift within 12 hours of its discovery and developing and presenting 
to the Director a preliminary salvage plan within 24 hours of such 
notification, after expressing or otherwise manifesting intention not 
to undertake or to cease salvage efforts, or when the owner/operator 
cannot after reasonable efforts by the Director be reached within 12 
hours of the vessel's condition being reported to authorities; or 
leaving a vessel at anchor when its condition creates potential for a 
grounding, discharge, or deposit and the owner/operator fails to secure 
the vessel in a timely manner.
    Harmful matter means any substance, or combination of substances, 
that because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or 
infectious characteristics may pose a present or potential threat to 
Sanctuary resources or qualities, including but not limited to: Fishing 
nets, fishing line, hooks, fuel, oil, and those contaminants 
(regardless of quantity) listed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 101(14) of the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act at 
40 CFR 302.4.
    Introduced species means any species (including, but not limited 
to, any of its biological matter capable of propagation) that is non-
native to the ecosystems of the Sanctuary; or any organism into which 
altered genetic matter, or genetic matter from another species, has 
been transferred in order that the host organism acquires the genetic 
traits of the transferred genes.
    Motorized personal watercraft means a vessel which uses an inboard 
motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power 
and which is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or 
kneeling on the vessel, rather than the conventional manner of sitting 
or standing inside the vessel.
    Routine maintenance means customary and standard procedures for 
maintaining docks or piers.
    Seagrass means any species of marine angiosperms (flowering plants) 
that inhabit portions of the submerged lands in the Sanctuary. Those 
species include, but are not limited to: Zostera asiatica and Zostera 
marina.
    Special Wildlife Protection Zones are areas surrounding or adjacent 
to high abundance of white sharks, breeding pinnipeds (seals and sea 
lions) or high abundance and high biological diversity of breeding 
birds that are susceptible to human caused disturbance, including 
federally listed and specially protected species. Coordinates for 
Special Wildlife Protection Zones are found in appendix C of this 
Subpart.


Sec.  922.82  Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.

    (a) The following activities are prohibited and thus are unlawful 
for any person to conduct or to cause to be conducted within the 
Sanctuary:
    (1) Exploring for, developing, or producing oil, gas or minerals.
    (2) Discharging or depositing from within or into the Sanctuary, 
other than from a cruise ship, any material or other matter except:
    (i) Fish, fish parts, chumming materials or bait used in or 
resulting from lawful fishing activities within the Sanctuary, provided 
that such discharge or deposit is during the conduct of lawful fishing 
activity within the Sanctuary;
    (ii) For a vessel less than 300 gross registered tons (GRT), or a 
vessel 300 GRT or greater without sufficient holding tank capacity to 
hold sewage while within the Sanctuary, clean effluent generated 
incidental to vessel use by an operable Type I or II marine sanitation 
device (U.S. Coast Guard classification) that is approved in accordance 
with section 312 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended 
(FWPCA), 33 U.S.C. 1322. Vessel operators must lock all marine 
sanitation devices in a manner that prevents discharge or deposit of 
untreated sewage;
    (iii) Clean vessel deck wash down, clean vessel engine cooling 
water, clean vessel generator cooling water, clean bilge water, or 
anchor wash;
    (iv) For a vessel less than 300 GRT or a vessel 300 GRT or greater 
without sufficient holding capacity to hold graywater while within the 
Sanctuary, clean graywater as defined by section 312 of the FWPCA; or
    (v) Vessel engine or generator exhaust.
    (3) Discharging or depositing from within or into the Sanctuary any 
material or other matter from a cruise ship except clean vessel engine 
cooling water, clean vessel generator cooling water, vessel engine or 
generator exhaust, clean bilge water, or anchor wash.
    (4) Discharging or depositing, from beyond the boundary of the 
Sanctuary, any material or other matter that subsequently enters the 
Sanctuary and injures a Sanctuary resource or quality, except for the 
material or other matter excepted in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (v) 
and (a)(3) of this section.
    (5) Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid on or in 
the submerged lands of the Sanctuary; placing or abandoning any 
structure on or in the submerged lands of the Sanctuary; or drilling 
into, dredging, or otherwise altering the submerged lands of the 
Sanctuary in any way, except:
    (i) By anchoring vessels (in a manner not otherwise prohibited by 
this part (see paragraph (a)(16) of this section);
    (ii) While conducting lawful fishing activities;

[[Page 13110]]

    (iii) Routine maintenance and construction of docks and piers on 
Tomales Bay; or
    (iv) Aquaculture activities conducted pursuant to a valid lease, 
permit, license or other authorization issued by the State of 
California.
    (6) Operating motorized personal watercraft (MPWC) anywhere in 
Bodega Bay and anywhere in the Sanctuary south of 38.29800 degrees 
North Latitude (the southernmost tip of Bodega Head), except for 
emergency search and rescue missions or law enforcement operations 
(other than routine training activities) carried out by the National 
Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard, Fire or Police Departments or other 
Federal, State or local jurisdictions.
    (7) Taking any marine mammal, sea turtle, or bird within or above 
the Sanctuary, except as authorized by the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act, as amended, (MMPA), 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., Endangered Species Act 
(ESA), as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 
as amended, (MBTA), 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq., or any regulation, as 
amended, promulgated under the MMPA, ESA, or MBTA.
    (8) Possessing within the Sanctuary (regardless of where taken, 
moved or removed from), any marine mammal, sea turtle, or bird taken, 
except as authorized by the MMPA, ESA, MBTA, by any regulation, as 
amended, promulgated under the MMPA, ESA, or MBTA, or as necessary for 
valid law enforcement purposes.
    (9) Possessing, moving, removing, or injuring, or attempting to 
possess, move, remove or injure, a Sanctuary historical resource.
    (10) Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into the 
Sanctuary an introduced species, except:
    (i) Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) released during catch and 
release fishing activity; or
    (ii) Species cultivated by commercial shellfish aquaculture 
activities in Tomales Bay pursuant to a valid lease, permit, license or 
other authorization issued by the State of California. Tomales Bay is 
defined in Sec.  922.80. The coordinates for the northern terminus of 
Tomales Bay are listed in appendix C to this subpart.
    (11) Disturbing marine mammals or seabirds by flying motorized 
aircraft at less than 1,000 feet over the waters within any of the 
seven designated Special Wildlife Protection Zones described in 
appendix D to this subpart, except transiting Zone 6 to transport 
persons or supplies to or from Southeast Farallon Island authorized by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, 
or for enforcement purposes. Failure to maintain a minimum altitude of 
1,000 feet above ground level over such waters is presumed to disturb 
marine mammals or seabirds.
    (12) Operating any vessel engaged in the trade of carrying cargo 
within any area designated Special Wildlife Protection Zone or within 
one nautical mile from these zones. The coordinates are listed in 
appendix E to this subpart. This includes but is not limited to tankers 
and other bulk carriers and barges, or any vessel engaged in the trade 
of servicing offshore installations, except to transport persons or 
supplies to or from the Farallon Islands. In no event shall this 
section be construed to limit access for fishing, recreational or 
research vessels.
    (13) Attracting a white shark anywhere in the Sanctuary; or 
approaching within 50 meters of any white shark within Special Wildlife 
Protection Zone 6 and 7 or within one nautical mile from these zones 
The coordinates are listed in appendix F to this subpart.
    (14) Deserting a vessel aground, at anchor, or adrift in the 
Sanctuary.
    (15) Leaving harmful matter aboard a grounded or deserted vessel in 
the Sanctuary.
    (16) Anchoring a vessel in a designated seagrass protection zone in 
Tomales Bay, except as necessary for aquaculture operations conducted 
pursuant to a valid lease, permit or license. The coordinates for the 
no-anchoring seagrass protection zones are listed in Appendix B to this 
subpart.
    (17) Interfering with, obstructing, delaying, or preventing an 
investigation, search, seizure, or disposition of seized property in 
connection with enforcement of the Act or any regulation or permit 
issued under the Act.
    (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 the prohibitions in this section. The 
exemption of additional activities shall be determined in consultation 
between the Director and the Department of Defense.
    (c) The prohibitions in paragraph (a) of this section do not apply 
to activities necessary to respond to an emergency threatening life, 
property, or the environment.
    (d) The prohibitions in paragraphs (a)(2) through (9) and (a)(11) 
through (16) of this section do not apply to any activity executed in 
accordance with the scope, purpose, terms, and conditions of a National 
Marine Sanctuary permit issued pursuant to Sec. Sec.  922.48 and 922.83 
or a Special Use permit issued pursuant to section 310 of the Act.


Sec.  922.83  Permit procedures and issuance criteria.

    (a) A person may conduct an activity prohibited by Sec.  
922.82(a)(2) through (9) and (a)(11) through (16) if such activity is 
specifically authorized by, and conducted in accordance with the scope, 
purpose, terms and conditions of, a permit issued under Sec.  922.48 
and this section.
    (b) The Director, at his or her discretion, may issue a National 
Marine Sanctuary permit under this section, subject to terms and 
conditions as he or she deems appropriate, if the Director finds that 
the activity will:
    (1) Further research or monitoring related to Sanctuary resources 
and qualities;
    (2) Further the educational value of the Sanctuary;
    (3) Further salvage or recovery operations; or
    (4) Assist in managing the Sanctuary.
    (c) In deciding whether to issue a permit, the Director shall 
consider factors such as:
    (1) The applicant is qualified to conduct and complete the proposed 
activity;
    (2) The applicant has adequate financial resources available to 
conduct and complete the proposed activity;
    (3) The methods and procedures proposed by the applicant are 
appropriate to achieve the goals of the proposed activity, especially 
in relation to the potential effects of the proposed activity on 
Sanctuary resources and qualities;
    (4) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible 
with the primary objective of protection of Sanctuary resources and 
qualities, considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity 
may diminish or enhance Sanctuary resources and qualities, any 
potential indirect, secondary or cumulative effects of the activity, 
and the duration of such effects;
    (5) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible 
with the value of the Sanctuary, considering the extent to which the 
conduct of the activity may result in conflicts between different users 
of the Sanctuary, and the duration of such effects;
    (6) It is necessary to conduct the proposed activity within the 
Sanctuary;
    (7) The reasonably expected end value of the proposed activity to 
the furtherance of Sanctuary goals and purposes outweighs any potential 
adverse effects on Sanctuary resources

[[Page 13111]]

and qualities from the conduct of the activity; and
    (8) Any other factors as the Director deems appropriate.
    (d) Applications. (1) Applications for permits should be addressed 
to the Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; ATTN: 
Superintendent, Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Dr., 
The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129.
    (2) In addition to the information listed in Sec.  922.48(b), all 
applications must include information to be considered by the Director 
in paragraph (b) and (c) of this section.
    (e) The permittee must agree to hold the United States harmless 
against any claims arising out of the conduct of the permitted 
activities.


Sec.  922.84  Certification of preexisting leases, licenses, permits, 
approvals, other authorizations, or rights to conduct a prohibited 
activity.

    (a) A person may conduct an activity prohibited by Sec.  
922.82(a)(1) through (17) if such activity is specifically authorized 
by a valid Federal, State, or local lease, permit, license, approval, 
or other authorization in existence prior to the effective date of 
sanctuary expansion and within the sanctuary expansion area and 
complies with Sec.  922.47 and provided that the holder of the lease, 
permit, license, approval, or other authorization complies with the 
requirements of paragraph (e) of this section.
    (b) In considering whether to make the certifications called for in 
this section, the Director may seek and consider the views of any other 
person or entity, within or outside the Federal government, and may 
hold a public hearing as deemed appropriate.
    (c) The Director may amend, suspend, or revoke any certification 
made under this section whenever continued operation would otherwise be 
inconsistent with any terms or conditions of the certification. Any 
such action shall be forwarded in writing to both the holder of the 
certified permit, license, or other authorization and the issuing 
agency and shall set forth reason(s) for the action taken.
    (d) Requests for findings or certifications should be addressed to 
the Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; ATTN: Sanctuary 
Superintendent, Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, 
The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129. A copy of the lease, permit, 
license, approval, or other authorization must accompany the request.
    (e) For an activity described in paragraph (a) of this section, the 
holder of the authorization or right may conduct the activity 
prohibited by Sec.  922.82 (a)(1) through (17) provided that:
    (1) The holder of such authorization or right notifies the 
Director, in writing, within 90 days of the effective date of Sanctuary 
designation, of the existence of such authorization or right and 
requests certification of such authorization or right;
    (2) The holder complies with the other provisions of this section; 
and
    (3) The holder complies with any terms and conditions on the 
exercise of such authorization or right imposed as a condition of 
certification, by the Director, to achieve the purposes for which the 
Sanctuary was designated.
    (f) The holder of an authorization or right described in paragraph 
(a) of this section authorizing an activity prohibited by Sec.  922.82 
may conduct the activity without being in violation of applicable 
provisions of Sec.  922.82, pending final agency action on his or her 
certification request, provided the holder is otherwise in compliance 
with this section.
    (g) The Director may request additional information from the 
certification requester as he or she deems reasonably necessary to 
condition appropriately the exercise of the certified authorization or 
right to achieve the purposes for which the Sanctuary was designated. 
The Director must receive the information requested within 45 days of 
the postmark date of the request. The Director may seek the views of 
any persons on the certification request.
    (h) The Director may amend any certification made under this 
section whenever additional information becomes available that he 
determines justifies such an amendment.
    (i) Upon completion of review of the authorization or right and 
information received with respect thereto, the Director shall 
communicate, in writing, any decision on a certification request or any 
action taken with respect to any certification made under this section, 
in writing, to both the holder of the certified lease, permit, license, 
approval, other authorization, or right, and the issuing agency, and 
shall set forth the reason(s) for the decision or action taken.
    (j) The holder may appeal any action conditioning, amending, 
suspending, or revoking any certification in accordance with the 
procedures set forth in Sec.  922.50.
    (k) Any time limit prescribed in or established under this section 
may be extended by the Director for good cause.


Sec.  922.85  Review of State permits and leases for certain 
aquaculture projects.

    NOAA has described in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the 
State of California how the State will consult and coordinate with NOAA 
to review any new, amended or expanded lease or permit application for 
aquaculture projects in Tomales Bay involving introduced species.

Appendix A to Subpart H of Part 922--Farallones National Marine 
Sanctuary Boundary Coordinates

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic) 
and based on the North American Datum of 1983.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point ID No.                   Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        39.00000      -124.33350
2.......................................        38.29989      -123.99988
3.......................................        38.29989      -123.20005
4.......................................        38.26390      -123.18138
5.......................................        38.21001      -123.11913
6.......................................        38.16576      -123.09207
7.......................................        38.14072      -123.08237
8.......................................        38.12829      -123.08742
9.......................................        38.10215      -123.09804
10......................................        38.09069      -123.10387
11......................................        38.07898      -123.10924
12......................................        38.06505      -123.11711
13......................................        38.05202      -123.12827
14......................................        37.99227      -123.14137
15......................................        37.98947      -123.23615
16......................................        37.95880      -123.32312
17......................................        37.90464      -123.38958
18......................................        37.83480      -123.42579
19......................................        37.76687      -123.42694
20......................................        37.75932      -123.42686
21......................................        37.68892      -123.39274
22......................................        37.63356      -123.32819
23......................................        37.60123      -123.24292
24......................................        37.59165      -123.22641
25......................................        37.56305      -123.19859
26......................................        37.52001      -123.12879
27......................................        37.50819      -123.09617
28......................................        37.49418      -123.00770
29......................................        37.50948      -122.90614
30......................................        37.52988      -122.85988
31......................................        37.57147      -122.80399
32......................................        37.61622      -122.76937
33......................................        37.66641      -122.75105
34 *....................................        37.88225      -122.62753
35 *....................................        38.35045      -123.06711
36 *....................................        38.35665      -123.06724
37 *....................................        38.44575      -123.12602
38 *....................................        38.45531      -123.13469
39 *....................................        38.76231      -123.52957
40 *....................................        38.76941      -123.53541
41 *....................................        38.91136      -123.71061
42 *....................................        38.91766      -123.72568
43 *....................................        38.95404      -123.73405
44 *....................................        38.95944      -123.71820
45 *....................................        39.00000      -123.69710
46......................................        39.00000      -124.33350
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the sanctuary boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.



[[Page 13112]]

Appendix B to Subpart H of Part 922--No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection 
Zones in Tomales Bay

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic) 
and based on the North American Datum of 1983.
    (1) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 1 encompasses an area 
of approximately .11 square nautical miles (.15 square miles) 
offshore south of Millerton Point. The precise boundary coordinates 
are listed in the table following this description. The eastern 
boundary is a straight line arc that connects points 1 and 2 listed 
in the coordinate table below. The southern boundary is a straight 
line arc that connects points 2 and 3, the western boundary is a 
straight line arc that connects points 3 and 4 and the northern 
boundary is a straight line arc that connects point 4 to point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 1 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.10571      -122.84565
2.......................................        38.09888      -122.83603
3.......................................        38.09878      -122.84431
4.......................................        38.10514      -122.84904
5.......................................        38.10571      -122.84565
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 2 encompasses an area 
of approximately .15 square nautical miles (.19 square miles) that 
begins just south of Marconi and extends approximately 1.6 nautical 
miles (1.9 miles) south along the eastern shore of Tomales Bay. The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western boundary is a series of straight line arcs 
that sequentially connect point 1 to point 5 listed in the 
coordinate table below. The southern boundary is a straight line arc 
that extends from point 5 towards point 6 until it intersects the 
Mean High Water Line. From this intersection the eastern boundary 
follows the Mean High Water Line north until it intersects the 
straight line arc that connects point 7 to point 8. From this 
intersection the northern boundary extends to point 8.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 2 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.13326      -122.87178
2.......................................        38.12724      -122.86488
3.......................................        38.12563      -122.86480
4.......................................        38.11899      -122.86731
5.......................................        38.11386      -122.85851
6 *.....................................        38.11608      -122.85813
7 *.....................................        38.14078      -122.87433
8.......................................        38.13326      -122.87178
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (3) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 3 encompasses an area 
of approximately .01 square nautical miles (.02 square miles) that 
begins just south of Marshall and extends approximately .5 nautical 
miles (.6 miles) south along the eastern shore of Tomales Bay. The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western boundary is a straight line arc that 
connects point 1 to point 2 listed in the coordinate table below. 
The southern boundary is a straight line arc that extends from point 
2 towards point 3 until it intersects the Mean High Water Line. From 
this intersection the eastern boundary follows the Mean High Water 
Line northward until it intersects the straight line arc that 
connects point 4 to point 5. From this intersection the northern 
boundary extends westward along the straight line arc that connects 
point 4 to point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 3 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.15956      -122.89573
2.......................................        38.15250      -122.89042
3 *.....................................        38.15292      -122.88984
4 *.....................................        38.16031      -122.89442
5.......................................        38.15956      -122.89573
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (4) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 4 is an area of 
approximately .18 square nautical miles (.21 square miles) that 
begins just north of Nicks Cove and extends approximately 2.7 
nautical miles (3.1 miles) south along the eastern shore of Tomales 
Bay to just south of Cypress Grove. The precise boundary coordinates 
are listed in the table following this description. The western 
boundary is a series of straight line arcs that sequentially connect 
point 1 to point 8 listed in the coordinate table below. The 
southern boundary is a straight line arc that extends from point 8 
towards point 9 until it intersects the Mean High Water Line. From 
this intersection the eastern boundary follows the Mean High Water 
Line north until it intersects the straight line arc that connects 
point 10 to point 11. From this intersection the northern boundary 
extends westward along the straight line arc that connects point 10 
to point 11.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 4 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.20004      -122.92315
2.......................................        38.18881      -122.91740
3.......................................        38.18651      -122.91404
4.......................................        38.17919      -122.91021
5.......................................        38.17450      -122.90545
6.......................................        38.16869      -122.90475
7.......................................        38.16535      -122.90308
8.......................................        38.16227      -122.89650
9 *.....................................        38.16266      -122.89620
10 *....................................        38.20080      -122.92174
11......................................        38.20004      -122.92315
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (5) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 5 encompasses an area 
of approximately 1.3 square nautical miles (1.6 square miles) that 
begins east of Lawson's Landing and extends approximately 2.7 
nautical miles (3.1 miles) east and south along the eastern shore of 
Tomales Bay but excludes areas adjacent (approximately .32 nautical 
miles or .37 miles) to the mouth of Walker Creek. The precise 
boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western boundary is a series of straight line arcs 
that sequentially connect point 1 to point 3 listed in the 
coordinate table below. From point 3 the southern boundary trends 
eastward along the straight line arc that connects point 3 to point 
4 until it intersects the Mean High Water Line. From this 
intersection the boundary follows the Mean High Water Line northward 
until it intersects the straight line arc that connects point 5 to 
point 6. From this intersection the boundary extends westward along 
the straight line arc that connects point 5 to point 6. From point 6 
the boundary follows the straight line arc that connects point 6 to 
point 7, and then extends along the straight line arc that connects 
point 7 to point 8 until it again intersects the Mean High Water 
Line. From this intersection the boundary follows the Mean High 
Water Line until it intersects the straight line arc that connects 
point 9 to point 10. From this intersection the boundary extends to 
point 10 along the straight line arc that connects point 9 to point 
10.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 5 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.21825      -122.96041
2.......................................        38.20666      -122.94397
3.......................................        38.19431      -122.93431
4 *.....................................        38.20080      -122.92174
5 *.....................................        38.20522      -122.92446
6.......................................        38.20366      -122.93246
7.......................................        38.20938      -122.94153
8 *.....................................        38.21599      -122.93742
9 *.....................................        38.23129      -122.96293
10......................................        38.21825      -122.96041
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (6) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 6 encompasses an area 
of approximately .01 square nautical miles (.02 square miles) in the 
vicinity of Indian Beach along the western shore of Tomales Bay. The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The eastern boundary is a straight line arc that 
connects point 1 to point 2 listed in the coordinate table below. 
The southern boundary extends westward along the straight line arc 
that connects point 2 to point 3 until it intersects the Mean High 
Water Line. From this intersection the eastern boundary follows the 
Mean High Water Line northward until it intersects the straight line 
arc that connects point 3 to point 4. From this intersection the 
northern boundary extends eastward along the straight line arc that 
connects point 4 to point 5.

[[Page 13113]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 6 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.14103      -122.89537
2.......................................        38.13919      -122.89391
3 *.....................................        38.13804      -122.89610
4 *.....................................        38.14033      -122.89683
5.......................................        38.14103      -122.89537
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (7) No-Anchoring Seagrass Protection Zone 7 encompasses an area 
of approximately .09 square nautical miles (.12 square miles) that 
begins just south of Pebble Beach and extends approximately 1.6 
nautical miles (1.9 miles) south along the western shore of Tomales 
Bay. The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table 
following this description. The eastern boundary is a series of 
straight line arcs that sequentially connect point 1 to point 5 
listed in the coordinate table below. The southern boundary extends 
along the straight line arc that connects point 5 to point 6 until 
it intersects the Mean High Water Line. From this intersection the 
western boundary extends north along the Mean High Water Line until 
it intersects the straight line arc that connects point 7 to point 
8. From this intersection the northern boundary extends eastward 
along the straight line arc that connects point 7 to point 8.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 7 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.13067      -122.88620
2.......................................        38.12362      -122.87984
3.......................................        38.11916      -122.87491
4.......................................        38.11486      -122.86896
5.......................................        38.11096      -122.86468
6 *.....................................        38.11027      -122.86551
7 *.....................................        38.13001      -122.88749
8.......................................        38.13067      -122.88620
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

Appendix C to Subpart H of Part 922--Northern Extent of Tomales Bay

    For the purpose of Sec.  922.82(a)(10)(ii), NOAA is codifying 
the northern geographical extent of Tomales Bay via a line running 
from Avalis Beach (Point 1) east to Sand Point (Point 2). 
Coordinates listed in this Appendix are unprojected (geographic) and 
based on the North American Datum of 1983.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Point  ID No. Tomales Bay  Boundary       Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.23165      -122.98148
2.......................................        38.23165      -122.96955
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix D to Subpart H of Part 922--Special Wildlife Protection Zones 
Within the Sanctuary

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic) 
and based on the North American Datum of 1983.
    (1) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 1 (SWPZ 1) encompasses an 
area of approximately 7.9 square nautical miles (10.5 square miles). 
The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following 
this description. The western boundary of SWPZ 1 extends south from 
Point 1, west of Haven's Neck in Mendocino County, to Point 2, west 
of Del Mar Point. The boundary then extends east from Point 2 along 
a straight line arc connecting Point 2 and Point 3 until it 
intersects the Mean High Water Line at Del Mar Point. The SWPZ 1 
boundary then turns north to follow the Mean High Water Line towards 
Haven's Neck and continues until it intersects a straight line arc 
connecting Point 4 and Point 5. From this intersection the Sanctuary 
boundary continues west along its northernmost extent to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 1 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.80865      -123.63227
2.......................................        38.74096      -123.54306
3 *.....................................        38.74096      -123.51051
4 *.....................................        38.80865      -123.60195
5.......................................        38.80865      -123.63227
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (2) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 2 (SWPZ 2) encompasses an 
area of approximately 16.2 square nautical miles (21.4 square 
miles). The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table 
following this description. The western boundary of SWPZ 2 extends 
south and east from Point 1, south of Windermere Point in Sonoma 
County, to Point 2 and then to Point 3 in sequence. Point 3 is west 
of Duncans Point in Sonoma County. The boundary then extends east 
from Point 3 along a straight line arc connecting Point 3 and Point 
4 until it intersects the Mean High Water Line at Duncans Point. The 
boundary then turns north to follow the Mean High Water Line towards 
Windermere Point until it intersects a straight line arc connecting 
Point 5 and Point 6. From this intersection the boundary continues 
due south along a straight line arc to Point 6.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 2 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.49854      -123.26804
2.......................................        38.45095      -123.18564
3.......................................        38.39311      -123.12068
4 *.....................................        38.39311      -123.09527
5 *.....................................        38.52487      -123.26804
6.......................................        38.49854      -123.26804
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (3) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 3 (SWPZ 3) encompasses an 
area of approximately 7 square nautical miles (9.3 square miles). 
The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following 
this description. The western boundary of SWPZ 3 extends south and 
east from Point 1, southwest of the Estero de San Antonio in Sonoma 
County, to Point 2, south of Tomales Point in Marin County. The 
boundary then extends north and east from Point 2 along a straight 
line arc connecting Point 2 and Point 3 until it intersects the 
boundary of the Point Reyes National Seashore. From this 
intersection the SWPZ 3 boundary follows the Point Reyes National 
Seashore boundary around Tomales Point into Tomales Bay and 
continues until it again intersects the straight line arc that 
connects Point 2 and Point 3. From this intersection the SWPZ 3 
boundary follows the straight line arc north and east toward Point 3 
until it intersects the Mean High Water Line at Toms Point in 
Tomales Bay. The SWPZ 3 boundary then follows the Mean High Water 
Line northward towards the Estero de San Antonio until it intersects 
the straight line arc that connects Point 4 and Point 5. From this 
intersection the Sanctuary boundary continues south and west to 
Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 3 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.24001      -123.02963
2.......................................        38.19249      -122.99523
3 *.....................................        38.21544      -122.95286
4 *.....................................        38.27011      -122.97840
5.......................................        38.24001      -123.02963
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (4) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 4 (SWPZ 4) encompasses an 
area of approximately 10.2 square nautical miles (13.5 square 
miles). The precise boundary coordinates are list in the table 
following this description. The western boundary of SWPZ 4 extends 
south and west from Point 1, west of Point Reyes in Marin County, to 
Point 2, south and west of Point Reyes Lighthouse. The boundary then 
follows a straight line arc east and south from Point 2 to Point 3. 
From Point 3 the boundary follows a straight line arc north to Point 
4. From Point 4 the SWPZ 4 boundary proceeds west along the straight 
line arc that connects Point 4 and Point 5 until it intersects the 
Point Reyes National Seashore boundary north of Chimney Rock. The 
SWPZ 4 boundary then follows the Point Reyes National Seashore 
boundary around Point Reyes until it again intersects the

[[Page 13114]]

straight line arc that connects Point 4 and Point 5 north of the 
Point Reyes Lighthouse. From this intersection the SWPZ 4 boundary 
turns seaward and continues west to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 4 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.01475      -123.05013
2.......................................        37.97536      -123.05482
3.......................................        37.96521      -122.93771
4.......................................        38.00555      -122.93504
5.......................................        38.01475      -123.05013
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (5) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 5 (SWPZ 5) encompasses an 
area of approximately 14.8 square nautical miles (19.6 square 
miles). The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table 
following this description. The western boundary of SWPZ 5 extends 
south and east from Point 1, near Millers Point in Marin County, to 
Point 2, which is south and west of Bolinas Point. The SWPZ 5 
boundary then follows a straight line arc east from Point 2 towards 
Point 3 until it intersects the Mean High Water Line at Rocky Point. 
From this intersection, the SWPZ 5 boundary follows the Sanctuary 
boundary north to Bolinas Point and Millers Point, respectively, 
including Bolinas Lagoon but not including Seadrift Lagoon, until it 
intersects the straight line arc that connects Point 4 and Point 5. 
From this intersection the SWPZ 5 boundary turns seaward and 
continues west and south along the straight line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 5 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.96579      -122.83284
2.......................................        37.88195      -122.73989
3 *.....................................        37.88195      -122.62873
4 *.....................................        37.98234      -122.81513
5.......................................        37.96579      -122.83284
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (6) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 6 (SWPZ 6) encompasses an 
area of approximately 6.8 square nautical miles (9 square miles) and 
extends from the Mean High Water Line seaward to the SWPZ 6 
boundary. The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table 
following this description. The boundary of SWPZ 6 extends south and 
west from Point 1, north of Southeast Farallon Island, along a 
straight line arc to Point 2, then south and east along a straight 
line arc to Point 3, then north and east along a straight line arc 
to Point 4, then north and west along a straight line arc to Point 
5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 6 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.72976      -123.00961
2.......................................        37.69697      -123.04374
3.......................................        37.66944      -123.00176
4.......................................        37.70246      -122.96608
5.......................................        37.72976      -123.00961
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (7) Special Wildlife Protection Zone 7 (SWPZ 7) encompasses an 
area of approximately 6 square nautical miles (7.9 square miles) and 
extends from the Mean High Water Line seaward to the SWPZ 7 
boundary. The precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table 
following this description. The boundary of SWPZ 7 extends south and 
west from Point 1, north of North Farallon Island, along a straight 
line arc to Point 2, then south and east along a straight line arc 
to Point 3, then north and east along a straight line arc to Point 
4, then north and west along a straight line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 7 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.79568      -123.10845
2.......................................        37.76746      -123.13869
3.......................................        37.73947      -123.09341
4.......................................        37.76687      -123.06330
5.......................................        37.79568      -123.10845
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix E to Subpart H of Part 922--Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zones in 
the Sanctuary

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic) 
and based on the North American Datum of 1983.
    (1) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 1 (CVPZ 1) is an area of 
approximately 20 square nautical miles (26 square miles) immediately 
offshore of Anchor Bay. The precise boundary coordinates are listed 
in the table following this description. The western boundary of 
extends south and east from Point 1, north and west of Haven's Neck, 
to Point 2, west and south of Del Mar Point. The CVPZ 1 boundary 
then extends east from Point 2 along a straight line arc connecting 
Point 2 and Point 3 until it intersects the Sanctuary boundary. The 
CVPZ 1 boundary then turns north to follow the Sanctuary boundary 
past Haven's Neck and continues until it intersects the straight 
line arc connecting Point 4 and Point 5. From this intersection the 
CVPZ 1 boundary continues west along its northernmost extent to 
Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 1 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.82485      -123.68420
2.......................................        38.72330      -123.55145
3 *.....................................        38.72330      -123.47658
4 *.....................................        38.82485      -123.60953
5.......................................        38.82485      -123.68420
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (2) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 2 (CVPZ 2) encompasses an area 
of approximately 30 square nautical miles (40 square miles). The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western CVPZ 2 boundary extends south and east from 
Point 1, west of Windermere Point in Sonoma County, to Point 2 and 
then to Point 3 in sequence. Point 3 is west of Duncans Point in 
Sonoma County. The CVPZ 2 boundary then extends east from Point 3 
along a straight line arc connecting Point 3 and Point 4 until it 
intersects the Sanctuary boundary south of Duncans Point. The CVPZ 2 
boundary then turns north to follow the Sanctuary boundary past 
Windermere Point until it intersects the straight line arc 
connecting Point 5 and Point 6. From this intersection the CVPZ 2 
boundary continues due south along this straight line arc to Point 
6.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 2 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.48995      -123.28994
2.......................................        38.43749      -123.19789
3.......................................        38.37614      -123.13153
4 *.....................................        38.37614      -123.07843
5 *.....................................        38.54099      -123.28994
6.......................................        38.48995      -123.28994
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (3) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 3 (CVPZ 3) encompasses an area 
of approximately 17 square nautical miles (22 square miles). The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western CVPZ 3 boundary extends south and east from 
Point 1, west of the Estero de San Antonio in Sonoma County, to 
Point 2, south of Tomales Point in Marin County. The CVPZ 3 boundary 
then extends north and east from Point 2 along a straight line arc 
connecting Point 2 and Point 3 until it intersects the Sanctuary 
boundary. From this intersection the CVPZ 3 boundary follows the 
Sanctuary boundary around Tomales Point into Tomales Bay and 
continues until it again intersects the straight line arc that 
connects Point 2 and Point 3. From this intersection the CVPZ 3 
boundary follows the straight line arc north and east across Tomales 
Bay until it intersects the Sanctuary boundary south of Toms Point 
in Tomales Bay. The CVPZ 3 boundary then follows the Sanctuary 
boundary northward past the Estero de San Antonio until it 
intersects the straight line arc that connects Point 4 and Point 5. 
From this intersection the boundary continues south and west to 
Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Zone 3 Point ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.24496      -123.05698
2.......................................        38.16758      -123.00179
3 *.....................................        38.21170      -122.92566
4 *.....................................        38.28215      -122.99278

[[Page 13115]]

 
5.......................................        38.24496      -123.05698
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (4) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 4 (CVPZ 4) encompasses an area 
of approximately 28 square nautical miles (37 square miles). The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western CVPZ 4 boundary extends south and west from 
Point 1, west and north of Point Reyes in Marin County, to Point 2, 
south and west of Point Reyes Lighthouse. The CVPZ 4 boundary then 
follows a straight line arc east and south from Point 2 to Point 3. 
From Point 3 the CVPZ 4 boundary follows a straight line arc north 
to Point 4. From Point 4 the CVPZ 4 boundary proceeds west along the 
straight line arc that connects Point 4 and Point 5 until it 
intersects the Sanctuary boundary at Drakes Beach. The CVPZ 4 
boundary then follows the Sanctuary boundary around Point Reyes 
until it again intersects the straight line arc that connects Point 
4 and Point 5, north of the Point Reyes Lighthouse. From this 
intersection the CVPZ 4 boundary turns seaward and continues west to 
Point 5 along this arc.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 4 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.03311      -123.06923
2.......................................        37.96053      -123.07801
3.......................................        37.94655      -122.91781
4.......................................        38.02026      -122.91261
5.......................................        38.03311      -123.06923
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (5) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 5 (CVPZ 5) encompasses an area 
of approximately 29 square nautical miles (39 square miles). The 
precise boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The western CVPZ 5 boundary extends south and east from 
Point 1, west of Millers Point in Marin County, to Point 2, south 
and west of Bolinas Point. The CVPZ 5 boundary then follows a 
straight line arc east from Point 2 towards Point 3 until it 
intersects the Sanctuary boundary. From this intersection, the CVPZ 
5 boundary follows the Sanctuary boundary north towards Rocky Point 
and continues along the Sanctuary boundary past Bolinas Point and 
Millers Point, respectively, including Bolinas Lagoon but not 
including Seadrift Lagoon, until it intersects the straight line arc 
that connects Point 4 and Point 5. From this intersection the CVPZ 5 
boundary turns seaward and continues west and south along the 
straight line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 5 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.96598      -122.85997
2.......................................        37.86532      -122.74797
3 *.....................................        37.86532      -122.63720
4 *.....................................        37.99449      -122.82841
5.......................................        37.96598      -122.85997
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The coordinates in the table above marked with an asterisk (*) are
  not a part of the zone boundary. These coordinates are landward
  reference points used to draw a line segment that intersects with the
  shoreline.

    (6) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 6 (CVPZ 6) encompasses an area 
of approximately 21 square nautical miles (28 square miles) 
surrounding Southeast Farallon Island and extends from the Mean High 
Water Line to the CVPZ 6 boundary. The precise boundary coordinates 
are listed in the table following this description. The boundary 
extends south and west from Point 1, north of Southeast Farallon 
Island, along a straight line arc to Point 2, then south and east 
along a straight line arc to Point 3, then north and east along a 
straight line arc to Point 4, then north and west along a straight 
line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 6 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.75264      -123.01175
2.......................................        37.69461      -123.07333
3.......................................        37.64621      -122.99867
4.......................................        37.70538      -122.93567
5.......................................        37.75264      -123.01175
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (7) Cargo Vessel Prohibition Zone 7 (CVPZ 7) encompasses an area 
of approximately 20 square nautical miles (26 square miles) 
surrounding the North Farallon Islands and extends from the Mean 
High Water Line to the CVPZ 7 boundary. The precise boundary 
coordinates are listed in the table following this description. The 
boundary extends south and west from Point 1, north of North 
Farallon Island, along a straight line arc to Point 2, then south 
and east along a straight line arc to Point 3, then north and east 
along a straight line arc to Point 4, then north and west along a 
straight line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 7 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.81914      -123.11155
2.......................................        37.76497      -123.16939
3.......................................        37.71623      -123.09089
4.......................................        37.76872      -123.03359
5.......................................        37.81914      -123.11155
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix F to Subpart H of Part 922--White Shark Approach Prohibition 
Zones in the Sanctuary

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic) 
and based on the North American Datum of 1983.
    (1) White Shark Approach Prohibition Zone 1 (WSAPZ 1) 
encompasses an area of approximately 21 square nautical miles (28 
square miles) surrounding Southeast Farallon Island and extends from 
the Mean High Water Line to the WSAPZ 1 boundary. The precise 
boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The boundary extends south and west from Point 1, north 
of Southeast Farallon Island, along a straight line arc to Point 2, 
then south and east along a straight line arc to Point 3, then north 
and east along a straight line arc to Point 4, then north and west 
along a straight line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 1 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.75264      -123.01175
2.......................................        37.69461      -123.07333
3.......................................        37.64621      -122.99867
4.......................................        37.70538      -122.93567
5.......................................        37.75264      -123.01175
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) White Shark Approach Prohibition Zone 2 (WSAPZ 2) 
encompasses an area of approximately 20 square nautical miles (26 
square miles) surrounding the North Farallon Islands and extends 
from the Mean High Water Line to the WSAPZ 2 boundary. The precise 
boundary coordinates are listed in the table following this 
description. The boundary extends south and west from Point 1, north 
of North Farallon Island, along a straight line arc to Point 2, then 
south and east along a straight line arc to Point 3, then north and 
east along a straight line arc to Point 4, then north and west along 
a straight line arc to Point 5.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Zone 2 Point  ID No.               Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.81914      -123.11155
2.......................................        37.76497      -123.16939
3.......................................        37.71623      -123.09089
4.......................................        37.76872      -123.03359
5.......................................        37.81914      -123.11155
------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. Revise subpart K to read as follows:

Subpart K--Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Sec.
922.110 Boundary.
922.111 Definitions.
922.112 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.
922.113 Permit procedures and issuance criteria.
Appendix A to Subpart K of Part 922--Cordell Bank National Marine 
Sanctuary Boundary Coordinates
Appendix B to Subpart K of Part 922--Line Representing the 50-Fathom 
Isobath Surrounding Cordell Bank


Sec.  922.110  Boundary.

    The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary) boundary 
encompasses a total area of approximately 971 square nautical miles 
(1,286 square miles) of offshore ocean waters, and submerged lands 
thereunder, surrounding the submarine plateau known as Cordell Bank 
along-the northern coast of California, approximately 45 nautical miles 
west-northwest of San Francisco, California.

[[Page 13116]]

The precise boundary coordinates are listed in appendix A to this 
subpart. The northern boundary of the Sanctuary is a rhumb line that 
begins approximately 6 nautical miles (7 miles) west of Bodega Head in 
Sonoma County, California at Point 1 and extends west approximately 38 
nautical miles (44 miles) to Point 2. This line is part of a shared 
boundary between the Sanctuary and Farallones National Marine Sanctuary 
(FNMS). The western boundary of the Sanctuary extends south from Point 
2 approximately 34 nautical miles (39 miles) to Point 3. From Point 3 
the Sanctuary boundary continues east 15 nautical miles (17 miles) to 
Point 4 where it intersects the FNMS boundary again. The line from 
Point 3 to Point 4 forms the southernmost boundary of the Sanctuary. 
The eastern boundary of the Sanctuary is a series of straight lines 
connecting Points 4 through 20 in numerical sequence. The Sanctuary is 
coterminous with FNMS along both its (the Sanctuary's) eastern and 
northern boundaries.


Sec.  922.111  Definitions.

    In addition to the definitions found in Sec.  922.3, the following 
definitions apply to this subpart:
    Clean means not containing detectable levels of harmful matter.
    Cruise ship means a vessel with 250 or more passenger berths for 
hire.
    Harmful matter means any substance, or combination of substances, 
that because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or 
infectious characteristics may pose a present or potential threat to 
Sanctuary resources or qualities, including but not limited to: fishing 
nets, fishing line, hooks, fuel, oil, and those contaminants 
(regardless of quantity) listed pursuant to title 42 of the United 
States Code.
    Introduced species means any species (including, but not limited 
to, any of its biological matter capable of propagation) that is non-
native to the ecosystems of the Sanctuary; or any organism into which 
altered genetic matter, or genetic matter from another species, has 
been transferred in order that the host organism acquires the genetic 
traits of the transferred genes.


Sec.  922.112  Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.

    (a) The following activities are prohibited and thus are unlawful 
for any person to conduct or to cause to be conducted within the 
Sanctuary:
    (1) Exploring for, developing, or producing oil, gas, or minerals.
    (2)(i) Discharging or depositing from within or into the Sanctuary, 
other than from a cruise ship, any material or other matter except:
    (A) Fish, fish parts, chumming materials, or bait used in or 
resulting from lawful fishing activities within the Sanctuary, provided 
that such discharge or deposit is during the conduct of lawful fishing 
activity within the Sanctuary;
    (B) For a vessel less than 300 gross registered tons (GRT), or a 
vessel 300 GRT or greater without sufficient holding tank capacity to 
hold sewage while within the Sanctuary, clean effluent generated 
incidental to vessel use and generated by an operable Type I or II 
marine sanitation device (U.S. Coast Guard classification) approved in 
accordance with section 312 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 
as amended, (FWPCA), 33 U.S.C. 1322. Vessel operators must lock all 
marine sanitation devices in a manner that prevents discharge or 
deposit of untreated sewage;
    (C) Clean vessel deck wash down, clean vessel engine cooling water, 
clean vessel generator cooling water, clean bilge water, or anchor 
wash;
    (D) For a vessel less than 300 GRT or a vessel 300 GRT or greater 
without sufficient holding capacity to hold graywater while within the 
Sanctuary, clean graywater as defined by section 312 of the FWPCA; or
    (E) Vessel engine or generator exhaust.
    (ii) Discharging or depositing from within or into the Sanctuary 
any material or other matter from a cruise ship except clean vessel 
engine cooling water, clean vessel generator cooling water, vessel 
engine or generator exhaust, clean bilge water, or anchor wash.
    (iii) Discharging or depositing, from beyond the boundary of the 
Sanctuary, any material or other matter that subsequently enters the 
Sanctuary and injures a Sanctuary resource or quality, except as listed 
in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.
    (3) On or within the line representing the 50-fathom isobath 
surrounding Cordell Bank, removing, taking, or injuring or attempting 
to remove, take, or injure benthic invertebrates or algae located on 
Cordell Bank. This prohibition does not apply to use of bottom contact 
gear used during fishing activities, which is prohibited pursuant to 50 
CFR part 660 (Fisheries off West Coast States). The coordinates for the 
line representing the 50-fathom isobath are listed in appendix B to 
this subpart, and the 50-fathom isobath is approximated by connecting 
these coordinates with straight line arcs in numerical sequence from 
Point 1 to Point 15. There is a rebuttable presumption that any such 
resource found in the possession of a person within the Sanctuary was 
taken or removed by that person.
    (4)(i) On or within the line representing the 50-fathom isobath 
surrounding Cordell Bank, drilling into, dredging, or otherwise 
altering the submerged lands; or constructing, placing, or abandoning 
any structure, material or other matter on or in the submerged lands. 
This prohibition does not apply to use of bottom contact gear used 
during fishing activities, which is prohibited pursuant to 50 CFR part 
660 (Fisheries off West Coast States). The coordinates for the line 
representing the 50-fathom isobath are listed in appendix B to this 
subpart, and the 50-fathom isobath is approximated by connecting these 
coordinates with straight line arcs in numerical sequence from Point 1 
to Point 15.
    (ii) In the Sanctuary beyond the line representing the 50-fathom 
isobath surrounding Cordell Bank, drilling into, dredging, or otherwise 
altering the submerged lands; or constructing, placing, or abandoning 
any structure, material or matter on the submerged lands except as 
incidental and necessary for anchoring any vessel or lawful use of any 
fishing gear during normal fishing activities. The coordinates for the 
line representing the 50-fathom isobath are listed in Appendix B to 
this subpart, and the 50-fathom isobath is approximated by connecting 
these coordinates with straight line arcs in numerical sequence from 
Point 1 to Point 15.
    (5) Taking any marine mammal, sea turtle, or bird within or above 
the Sanctuary, except as authorized by the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act, as amended, (MMPA), 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., Endangered Species 
Act, as amended, (ESA), 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., Migratory Bird Treaty 
Act, as amended, (MBTA), 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq., or any regulation, as 
amended, promulgated under the MMPA, ESA, or MBTA.
    (6) Possessing within the Sanctuary (regardless of where taken, 
moved or removed from), any marine mammal, sea turtle or bird taken, 
except as authorized by the MMPA, ESA, MBTA, by any regulation, as 
amended, promulgated under the MMPA, ESA, or MBTA, or as necessary for 
valid law enforcement purposes.
    (7) Possessing, moving, removing, or injuring, or attempting to 
possess, move, remove or injure, a Sanctuary historical resource.
    (8) Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into the 
Sanctuary an introduced species, except striped bass

[[Page 13117]]

(Morone saxatilis) released during catch and release fishing activity.
    (9) Interfering with, obstructing, delaying, or preventing an 
investigation, search, seizure, or disposition of seized property in 
connection with enforcement of the Act or any regulation or permit 
issued under the Act.
    (b) The prohibitions in paragraph (a) of this section do not apply 
to activities necessary to respond to an emergency threatening life, 
property or the environment.
    (c) All activities being carried out by the Department of Defense 
(DOD) within the Sanctuary on the effective date of designation or 
expansion of the Sanctuary that are necessary for national defense are 
exempt from the prohibitions contained in the regulations in this 
subpart. Additional DOD activities initiated after the effective date 
of designation or expansion that are necessary for national defense 
will be exempted by the Director after consultation between the 
Department of Commerce and DOD. DOD activities not necessary for 
national defense, such as routine exercises and vessel operations, are 
subject to all prohibitions contained in the regulations in this 
subpart.
    (d) The prohibitions in paragraphs (a)(2) through (7) of this 
section do not apply to any activity executed in accordance with the 
scope, purpose, terms, and conditions of a National Marine Sanctuary 
permit issued pursuant to Sec. Sec.  922.48 and 922.113 or a Special 
Use permit issued pursuant to section 310 of the Act.
    (e) Where necessary to prevent immediate, serious, and irreversible 
damage to a Sanctuary resource, any activity may be regulated within 
the limits of the Act on an emergency basis for no more than 120 days.


Sec.  922.113  Permit procedures and issuance criteria.

    (a) A person may conduct an activity prohibited by Sec.  
922.112(a)(2) through (7), if such activity is specifically authorized 
by, and conducted in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms and 
conditions of, a permit issued under Sec.  922.48 and this section.
    (b) The Director, at his or her discretion, may issue a national 
marine sanctuary permit under this section, subject to terms and 
conditions, as he or she deems appropriate, if the Director finds that 
the activity will:
    (1) Further research or monitoring related to Sanctuary resources 
and qualities;
    (2) Further the educational value of the Sanctuary;
    (3) Further salvage or recovery operations in or near the Sanctuary 
in connection with a recent air or marine casualty; or
    (4) Assist in managing the Sanctuary.
    (c) In deciding whether to issue a permit, the Director shall 
consider such factors as:
    (1) The applicant is qualified to conduct and complete the proposed 
activity;
    (2) The applicant has adequate financial resources available to 
conduct and complete the proposed activity;
    (3) The methods and procedures proposed by the applicant are 
appropriate to achieve the goals of the proposed activity, especially 
in relation to the potential effects of the proposed activity on 
Sanctuary resources and qualities;
    (4) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible 
with the primary objective of protection of Sanctuary resources and 
qualities, considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity 
may diminish or enhance Sanctuary resources and qualities, any 
potential indirect, secondary or cumulative effects of the activity, 
and the duration of such effects;
    (5) The proposed activity will be conducted in a manner compatible 
with the value of the Sanctuary, considering the extent to which the 
conduct of the activity may result in conflicts between different users 
of the Sanctuary, and the duration of such effects;
    (6) It is necessary to conduct the proposed activity within the 
Sanctuary;
    (7) The reasonably expected end value of the proposed activity to 
the furtherance of Sanctuary goals and purposes outweighs any potential 
adverse effects on Sanctuary resources and qualities from the conduct 
of the activity; and
    (8) The Director may consider additional factors as he or she deems 
appropriate.
    (d) Applications. (1) Applications for permits should be addressed 
to the Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries; ATTN: 
Superintendent, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, P.O. Box 159, 
Olema, CA 94950.
    (2) In addition to the information listed in Sec.  922.48(b), all 
applications must include information to be considered by the Director 
in paragraph (b) and (c) of this section.
    (e) The permittee must agree to hold the United States harmless 
against any claims arising out of the conduct of the permitted 
activities.

Appendix A to Subpart K of Part 922--Cordell Bank National Marine 
Sanctuary Boundary Coordinates

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic 
Coordinate System) and based on the North American Datum of 1983 
(NAD83).

                     Sanctuary Boundary Coordinates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point  ID No.                  Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        38.29989      -123.20005
2.......................................        38.29989      -123.99988
3.......................................        37.76687      -123.75143
4.......................................        37.76687      -123.42694
5.......................................        37.83480      -123.42579
6.......................................        37.90464      -123.38958
7.......................................        37.95880      -123.32312
8.......................................        37.98947      -123.23615
9.......................................        37.99227      -123.14137
10......................................        38.05202      -123.12827
11......................................        38.06505      -123.11711
12......................................        38.07898      -123.10924
13......................................        38.09069      -123.10387
14......................................        38.10215      -123.09804
15......................................        38.12829      -123.08742
16......................................        38.14072      -123.08237
17......................................        38.16576      -123.09207
18......................................        38.21001      -123.11913
19......................................        38.26390      -123.18138
20......................................        38.29989      -123.20005
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Appendix B to Subpart K of Part 922--Line Representing the 50-Fathom 
Isobath Surrounding Cordell Bank

    Coordinates listed in this appendix are unprojected (Geographic 
Coordinate System) and based on the North American Datum of 1983 
(NAD83).

               Cordell Bank Fifty Fathom Line Coordinates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point  ID No.                  Latitude        Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.......................................        37.96034      -123.40371
2.......................................        37.96172      -123.42081
3.......................................         37.9911      -123.44379
4.......................................        38.00406      -123.46443
5.......................................        38.01637      -123.46076
6.......................................        38.04684      -123.47920
7.......................................        38.07106      -123.48754
8.......................................        38.07588      -123.47195
9.......................................        38.06451      -123.46146
10......................................        38.07123      -123.44467
11......................................        38.04446      -123.40286
12......................................        38.01442      -123.38588
13......................................        37.98859      -123.37533
14......................................        37.97071      -123.38605
15......................................        37.96034      -123.40371
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[FR Doc. 2015-04502 Filed 3-11-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P