SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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OVERSIGHT HEARING ON REAUTHORIZATION OF THE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES CONSERVATION, WILDLIFE AND OCEANS
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 25, 1999, WASHINGTON, DC
Serial No. 1066
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrinted for the use of the Committee on Resources
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house
Committee address: http://www.house.gov/resources
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman
W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
KEN CALVERT, California
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming
HELEN CHENOWETH, Idaho
GEORGE P. RADANOVICH, California
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
WILLIAM M. (MAC) THORNBERRY, Texas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCHRIS CANNON, Utah
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
JOHN PETERSON, Pennsylvania
RICK HILL, Montana
BOB SCHAFFER, Colorado
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
GREG WALDEN, Oregon
DON SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
MIKE SIMPSON, Idaho
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
GEORGE MILLER, California
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN B. PICKETT, Virginia
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELÓ, Puerto Rico
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ADAM SMITH, Washington
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
CHRIS JOHN, Louisiana
DONNA CHRISTIAN-CHRISTENSEN, Virgin Islands
RON KIND, Wisconsin
JAY INSLEE, Washington
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
TOM UDALL, New Mexico
MARK UDALL, Colorado
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
LLOYD A. JONES, Chief of Staff
ELIZABETH MEGGINSON, Chief Counsel
CHRISTINE KENNEDY, Chief Clerk/Administrator
JOHN LAWRENCE, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
MIKE SIMPSON, Idaho
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELÓ, Puerto Rico
ADAM SMITH, Washington
HARRY BURROUGHS, Staff Director
JOHN RAYFIELD, Legislative Staff
JEAN FLEMMA, Democratic Legislative Staff
C O N T E N T S
Hearing held February 25, 1999
Statement of Members:
Faleomavaega, Hon. Eni, a Delegate in Congress from the District of American Samoa
Prepared statement of
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGilchrest, Hon. Wayne T., a Representative in Congress from the State of Maryland
Goss, Hon. Porter J., a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida
Prepared statement of
Pallone, Jr., Hon. Frank, a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey, prepared statement of
Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey
Prepared statement of
Vento, Hon. Bruce F., a Representative in Congress from the State of Minnesota
Statement of Witnesses:
Cooksey, Sarah W., President, Coastal States Organization
Prepared statement of
Fote, Thomas, Jersey Coast Anglers Association
Garcia, Terry D., Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce
Prepared statement of
Hershman, Marc J., Director and Professor, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington
Prepared statement of
Lytton, Gary D., President, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association
Prepared statement of
Park, Howard, Consultant, Personal Watercraft Industry Association
Prepared statement of
Savitz, Jacqueline, Executive Director, Coast Alliance
Prepared statement of
Shinn, Jr., Robert C., Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrepared statement of
Response to questions from Mr. Faleomavaega
Letter to Mr. Garcia from Mr. Young
Response from Marc Hershman to questions from Mr. Faleomavaega
Additional material supplied:
Briefing Paper, Committee on Resources
Issues and Problems Associated with Personal Watercraft in Barnegat Bay, Melissa Chin, Cook College Cooperative Education Program, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
National Ocean Industries Association and the American Petroleum Institute, prepared statement of
OVERSIGHT HEARING ON REAUTHORIZATION OF THE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT
FEBRUARY 25, 1999
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation,
Wildlife and Oceans,
Committee on Resources,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to other business, at 10:38 a.m., in Room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, Jim Saxton (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. We will now proceed to our second order of business. This section of the Subcommittee meeting is a hearing. The Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans will come to order for this section.
Today, we are discussing the Coastal Zone Management Act, known as CZMA, enacted by Congress in 1972. CZMA provides grants to states that voluntarily develop and implement federally-approved Coastal Zone Management Plans.
It also allows states with approved plans the right to review Federal actions to ensure they are consistent with those plans. It authorized the National Estuarine Research Reserve System as well, which all of my friends from New Jersey know it is extremely important to us.
I am a sailor and protection of the fragile coastal ecosystem has been a priority of mine since I came to Congress in 1984. The Barnegat Bay Watershed includes portions of the Edwin B. Forsyth National Wildlife Refuge, which provides nesting habitat for migratory birds along the Atlantic flyway.
Threats to these creatures necessarily should be addressed within the context of CZMA. One such threat is the use or misuse of personal watercraft, also known as jet skis or PWCs, particularly when they are used in shallow water.
This environmental impact of PWCs is often cited as the following:
(1) Wildlife Disturbance: PWCs shallow draft and high maneuverability are not present in larger boats, and allow PWCs to enter sensitive areas not assessable by larger motorized boats.
Once there, they disturb nesting birds and wildlife. Some studies indicate that when startled by PWCs, nesting birds have trampled their eggs. Seals have abandoned their pups and other marine mammals have avoided certain areas.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC (2) Destruction of Aquatic Vegetation: Again, because PWCs are able to enter shallow water, they have the ability to uproot aquatic plants and disturb kelp beds.
(3) Increased Erosion: PWC users typically spend longer periods of time in an area than traditional boats and can generate significant wave action. Increased and continuous wave action contributes to the shoreline erosion.
The Subcommittee is preparing legislation to encourage states to address the impacts of personal watercraft on the marine environment through the State Coastal Zone Management Plans.
At this point, I would ask Mr. Faleomavaega if he has any comments he would like to make.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Enacted by Congress in 1972, CZMA provides grants to states that voluntarily develop and implement federally-approvcd coastal zone management plans. It also allows states with approved plans the right to review Federal actions to ensure they are consistent with those plans, and it authorizes the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
I am a sailor, and protection of the fragile coastal ecosystem has been a priority of mine. The Barnegat Bay watershed includes portions of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, which provides nesting habitat for migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway. Threats to these creatures necessarily should be addressed within the context of CZMA. One such threat is the use of personal watercraft, also known as jet-skis or PWCs, in shallow water.
The environmental impacts of PWCs are often cited as the following:
(1) Wildlife Disturbance: PWCs shallow draft and high maneuverability are not present in larger boats, and allow PWCs to enter sensitive areas not accessible to larger motorized boats. Once there, they disturb nesting birds and wildlife. Some studies indicate that when startled by PWCs, nesting birds have trampled their eggs, seals have abandoned their pups, and other marine mammals have avoided certain areas.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC(2)Destruction of Aquatic Vegetation: Again, because PWCs are able to enter shallow water, they have the ability to uproot aquatic plants and disturb kelp beds.
(3) Increased Erosion: PWC users typically spend longer periods of time in an area than traditional boats and can generate significant wave action. Increased and continuous wave action contributes to shoreline erosion.
The Subcommittee is preparing legislation to encourage states to address the impacts of personal watercraft on the marine environment through state coastal zone management plans.
STATEMENT OF HON. ENI FALEOMAVAEGA, A DELEGATE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF HAWAII
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do want to commend you and thank you for calling this hearing concerning this very important issue. Mr. Chairman, the Coastal Zone Management Act, which was enacted in 1972, this legislation has resulted in the State-Federal partnerships that promote smart development and conservation for our Nation's coastal areas.
Proactive planning and on the ground projects remain critical as stresses on the coast continue to increase. Our coastlines are the most developed areas in the Nation. These areas cover only 17 percent of the land, but contain more than 53 percent of our Nation's population.
Fourteen of our 20 largest cities are along the coast. Since they also support a significant portion of our Nation's economy, including recreational fishing, shipping, oil and gas industries, we cannot afford to ignore threats to the health of our coasts.
Only by addressing problems such as pollution, decline in water quality, erosion, sea level rise, and loss of habitat for marine life can we derive maximum benefits from these areas.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Popularity of the Coastal Zone Management Act is evidenced by the fact that 33 of 34 eligible States have developed Coastal Zone Management Plans. The strengths of the Act include flexibility that allow states to address their unique needs and concerns, combine focus and plan development, and conservation, and public access, and consistency provisions giving states a voice and reviewing Federal activities that conflict with state plans.
One criticism of the Act has been that monitoring and enforcement are too weak. Provisions in the bill that will be introduced by you, Mr. Chairman, requiring that the Secretary of Commerce recommend measurable outcome indicators or other mechanisms by which the states could evaluate the effectiveness of their programs may address this concern.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses this morning and commenting on the fact that you are a sea captain, Mr. Chairman. I would like to invite you to join me on a journey or a voyage on a double-haul Polynesian voyaging canoe to sail from Tahiti to Hawaii. That will really give you some coastal zone management appreciation.
Mr. SAXTON. I think I look forward to that.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Faleomavaega follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. ENI FALEOMAVAEGA, A DELEGATE IN CONGRESS FROM THE TERRITORY OF AMERICAN SAMOA
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for holding a hearing on the Coastal Zone Management Act. Enacted in 1972, this legislation has resulted in state-Federal partnerships that promote smart development and conservation in our nation's coastal areas.
Pro-active planning and on-the-ground projects remain critical as stresses on the coast continue to increase. Our coastlines are the most developed areas in the nation. These areas cover only 17 percent of the land but contain more than 53 percent of the population. Fourteen of our 20 largest cities are along the coast. Since they also support a significant portion of our nation's economyincluding recreational, fishing, shipping, and oil and gas industrieswe cannot afford to ignore threats to the health of our coasts. Only by addressing problems such as pollution, declining water quality, erosion, sea level rise, and loss of habitat for marine life, can we derive maximum benefits from these areas.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The popularity of the Coastal Zone Management Act is evidenced by the fact that 33 of 34 eligible states have developed Coastal Zone Management Plans. The strengths of the Act include:
flexibility that allows states to address their unique needs and concerns;
combined focus on planned development, conservation, and public access; and
consistency provisions giving states a voice in reviewing Federal activities that conflict with state plans.
One criticism of the Act has been that monitoring and enforcement are weak. Provisions in the bill that will be introduced by Mr. Saxton, requiring that the Secretary of Commerce recommend measurable outcome indicators or other mechanisms by which the states could evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, may address this concern.
I look forward to hearing from the witnesses about this and other ways to improve this important legislation.
Mr. SAXTON. I would now like to introduce our first witness, our colleague fromactually, I did not realize until I saw you sitting there, but the gentleman lives on Sanibel Island in Florida and in the summer on Fisher's Island off the coast of Rhode Island. Is that correct?
Mr. GOSS. Correct.
Mr. SAXTON. In any event, welcome and we look forward to hearing your testimony. You may proceed.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Will the Chairman yield?
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Yes.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I would like to offer my personal welcome to the gentleman from Florida, who I certainly have had the privilege of knowing personally for the past 10 years.
I commend him for the tremendous contributions that he has made not only to this Institution, but to our Country. I welcome him.
Mr. GOSS. Thank you very much.
Mr. SAXTON. I ask unanimous consent that all Subcommittee members be permitted to include their opening statement in the record at this point. Mr. Goss.
STATEMENT OF HON. PORTER J. GOSS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. GOSS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Ranking Member, I appreciate those very kind words of welcome. I have many happy memories of working in this room with you all back when this Subcommittee had a different name.
It is interesting to me and pleasant to be back; especially talking about coastal zone management. I do have a statement officially prepared for the record, which I would ask be accepted in the record.
I would like to just emphasize a couple of major points, if I could. Thank you very much. I also started for the office this morning at an early hour, but I got here by 8 a.m., which is a good thing, because I only live 4 minutes away.
I would suggest that there are advantages to living on the Hill, Mr. Gilchrest, but nothing that would qualify with living where you do in Maryland on the coast. I miss the coast very much. I care very much about it and we in Florida do.
We think that the coastal zone management legislation has been extremely helpful. I think the proof is clearly in the pudding; 34 out of 35 eligible States participate. I understand something like 99 percent of our Gulf Lakes and ocean shore lines have a degree of protection from this law.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have many good managers of our coastal activities all over the Country. One of them from Florida who I am very proud of, and I understand is here today, Gary Lytton, from Rookery Bay in my District, who has been recognized for the works he has done. We have many such people. We are proud of all of them.
The real purpose for me testifying today is to talk about a consistency proposal which I hope you would consider, the Subcommittee would consider, is legislation which would strengthen the CZMA.
It is simply this. In order for the states to do a better job of coming up with their conclusions on proposals, particularly outer continental shelf oil and gas proposals, it would be useful if they had the advantage of the results of the environmental impact studies that are required for those types of activities.
As it works now, if a state has a consistency review to deal with an OCS proposal, the process starts simultaneously. The Federal Government has 2 years to do its work and the state only 6 months.
Obviously, in all likelihood the state is therefore not going to have a final EIS to work from. What we are proposing is that the starting for the state's 6 month clock to begin tolling is at that time when the Federal EIS is completed.
That would give the state managers, the state authorities, and elected officials the opportunity to review the matter and have the advantage of the results of the EIS. I think this would strengthen this part of the Act.
It would make a great deal of difference in the State of Florida. We have cases actually active now that show us this would be a very good improvement. So, I ask the Subcommittee to consider this favorably and of course we will stand by to present all of the details on that.
On the subject of the personal watercraft, I join the Chairman in his crusade. We have had, regrettably, a number of deaths in Florida, which of course has a very high recreational boating use and a lot of boating activity in the littoral zones.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is a subject that has been attempted to be regulated in different ways by different communities in different states with varying degrees of success. I do think it has certainly risen to the level of coming to the attention under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act.
I wish you well in your efforts to find a better way to deal with this problem. Truthfully, it is not just an environmental concern, although I agree with everything the Chairman said and associate myself very much with his remarks on that because we have seen the kinds of damage he speaks of in what I will call estuarine areas in Florida.
Also, there is a public safety piece of this, which I am aware of, having been a mayor of a community where we have run into these problems. I also want to very much emphasize, again, the wholehearted support of the people of Florida for what the Coastal Zone Management Act has done and has provided.
Truthfully, our wealth in Florida is our beaches. It drives the economy. Shore line protection is a very important point for us. So, to have this kind of hearing going on, the reauthorization of this bill, the strengthening and improving of it, is very good news for the people of Florida.
I want to thank the Chairman and the Ranking Member very much for undertaking this.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Goss follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. PORTER GOSS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to be here this morning to discuss the Coastal Zone Management Act. As my colleagues know, I have been a longtime vocal supporter of the Coastal Zone Management Actit is a rare example of a Federal environmental program that is both voluntary and effective.
CZMA is a cooperative effort that recognizes states as full partnerssharing the costs and responsibilities for setting standards geared toward protecting local coastal environments. It provides the flexibility for Michigan to do what's best for the Great Lakes, for instance, while allowing Florida to establish a program that works for the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. The success of CZMA can be measured by the fact that since its creation in 1972, 34 of 35 states eligible for the program have become involved. Together, these programs protect more than 99 percent of the nation's 95,000 miles of oceanic and Great Lakes coastline.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Florida has been an active participant and beneficiary of this program. Indeed, I am pleased that one of our coastal managers is here this morning to share his thoughts with the Committee. Gary Lytton manages the Rookery Bay Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. The reserve has proven itself a tremendous asset and its work has value far beyond Southwest Florida.
Mr. Chairman, this morning I would like to discuss the consistency provisions of CZMA, which are of critical importance to my home state of Florida, particularly with regard to the issue of oil and gas exploration. CZMA provides states the opportunity to review Federal actions and permits for activities off state coasts, and in the case of OCS drilling permits, gives the state the authority to make the determination whether or not these activities are consistent with the state's Coastal Zone Management Plan. Florida has spent a great deal of time and effort developing a plan that protects both our unique environment and the state's largest industrytourism. CZMA has proven itself to be one of the state's most effective tools in dealing with this issue.
Having said that, I believe we can make some improvements in the consistency provisions. Currently, a state's consistency review of development and production plans under CZMA must be completed within a set timeline and states are not permitted to delay beyond those deadlines. That timeline runs out in six months, well before the Environmental Impact Statements required for oil and gas development under the OCS Lands Act are completed, a process that tends to take approximately two years. In other words, the state is forced to determine whether development of a proposed site is consistent with the State's Coastal Zone Management Plan before having an opportunity to review the environmental impact statements that are developed to analyze primary, secondary and cumulative effects of the proposed site. It seems to me that the detailed information contained in the environmental impact statements is precisely the kind of information a state must have in order to make an accurate and responsible determination of consistency.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The State of Florida is currently experiencing this problem firsthand, given the proposed development of a natural gas site off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. As a result of the state's experiences, first Governor Lawton Chiles and now Governor Jeb Bush have supported revisions to CZMA that would allow the states to review the EIS information prior to making a consistency determination.
After extensive consultations, I have introduced legislation that will make this common-sense change. H.R. 720 is a very straightforward piece of legislationindeed, it is barely a page and a half long. In simple terms, the bill will prevent the timeline on a consistency determination from beginning until after the state has received the EIS information regarding the proposed site. Once the state has received this information, it will be under the time constraints already outlined in CZMA.
I believe this legislation will ensure that states making consistency determinations for proposed oil and gas activity will have all necessary information to make an informed decision about whether the proposed activity is consistent with the state's Coastal Zone Management plan. This change is consistent with the intent of CZMA and I am hopeful the Committee will look favorably on it.
Once again, Mr. Chairman, I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss the Coastal Zone Management Act, a wonderfully successful piece of legislation, and offer my thoughts on ways to strengthen it. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Goss, thank you very much for your very fine articulate testimony. We appreciate your being with us this morning. Mr. Faleomavaega, do you have any questions for Mr. Goss?
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I want to thank the gentleman from Florida, too, for his comments. More specifically, if we do have some problems with the current law, as you stated earlier, that the states are not given sufficient time to review EIS's which have been put forth.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think that is something that definitely we need to examine a little closer. I thank the gentleman for his observation.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Gilchrest.
STATEMENT OF HON. WAYNE T. GILCHREST, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Mr. GILCHREST. Good morning, Porter. Maybe you and I can exchange visits sometime. I can commute in with you and you can commute in with me.
Mr. GOSS. I would love to live where you live, Mr. Gilchrest, but I do not want your commute.
Mr. GILCHREST. We are still waiting for you to come out there and ride that old horse.
Mr. GOSS. I will.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. He actually lives on Turner's Creek, which is off the Sassafras River in a very lovely anchorage, I might add.
Mr. GILCHREST. I have heard.
Mr. GOSS. Jim is coming over with his sailboat sometime late spring. All of our colleagues who are now here this morning could jump on the sailboat in Havre D'Grace and come down to Turner's Creek and spend a day down there.
Mr. GILCHREST. It sounds like a good place to examine this whole issue. We try to protect those areas. You know, very quickly though, Porter, we appreciate your testimony.
This may be already happening, but an exchange of information between different states that are now beginning the process of implementing their management regimes or have already implemented their coastal zone management regimes, maybe it would be good for us to get together and exchange information with states that are in the process or who have completed that to see what the successes are and what the difficulties are in doing that.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GOSS. I would certainly endorse that. I can tell you that the State of Florida borrowed a great deal of its Coastal Zone Management Planning Process in the 1970s and the 1980s from the State of Oregon.
We had a very fine manager. He happened to be able to be hired away from Oregon after he had done their plan. He came to Florida. We listened very closely to what he said and did a lot of the work in Florida, which has subsequently paid off very well.
A part of the beauty of this Act is it provides for that kind of exchange, if somebody will take the initiative. It also provides the flexibility to deal with the differences between the Great Lakes, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, and wherever else. I think that is an excellent suggestion.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Porter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Vento.
STATEMENT OF HON. BRUCE F. VENTO, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MINNESOTA
Mr. VENTO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Last night, I read the staff material on this. I am sorry, Porter, that I was not able to be here to hear your statement.
I understand that what you are proposing is that, in the statute you formally require the EIS to be transmitted to the state prior to the consideration of its plan through the process of developing it.
Mr. GOSS. That is correct.
Mr. VENTO. The issue here is that they are not getting, in other words, NOAA is required to share all of the information. They are not sharing the EIS. They are developing that simultaneously. Is that the concern?
Mr. GOSS. The problem is that they have 2 years to do the EIS and the states only have 6 months to do the consistency review. So, obviously unless the Federal Government happens to get the whole EIS done in 6 months, the states do not have the advantage of it.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. VENTO. The problem, of course, is this would obviously cause a delay in terms of the plan coming forth from the state.
Mr. GOSS. It could or it could not. It would depend on how much of the time the Federal Government took. If the Federal Government routinely takes the 2 years, then yes, it could add as much as 6 months onto the end of it. My feeling is once the state has the material, the EIS, the state is not going to need the full 6 months. So, I am not sure that that is true.
Mr. VENTO. You raise an important point about coordination. I do not know enough about it. I think that if it were to mean that the plan would be substantially late. I know there has been a flash point about some of these plans because they obviously mandate a sort of conduct in terms of the development, utilization, and protection of these resources.
I think it makes sense to try and coordinate this so that the information does not have to be developed independently. In many instances, as you know of course, we delegate the states to do the EIS or do much of this planning.
So, there may be that there is some agreement, a memorandum of understanding, that could be developed. I do not know enough, as I said, about this law. This is kind of a new topic to me.
I would be interested in learning more about that. There is no real reason that they should not have as much information as available. The EIS certainly is the process for developing that.
Mr. GOSS. The purpose, Mr. Vento, is obviously to get a good result and not to cause delay. I would point out that the Minerals Management Service has now issued proposed regulations, or at least draft regulations, that would basically allow a state to review the draft EIS before making its consistency determination which is what I am asking.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, the question is then this need has already been recognized and I am told that this happened in just this last week and it may have something to do with the fact that this proposal is here.
We believe the proposal is sound. I do not think it will cause undue delay. I think it will get better results. Certainly from the Florida perspective it will. The Minerals Management Service has drafted some regulations to give this thing a try.
I still think we ought to put it into law to make sure that the states have the opportunity to have the EIS and have their time start tolling once the EIS is completed. As I say, I do not think it is going to add a significant percentage of time to the process.
Mr. VENTO. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Porter, thank you for being with us this morning.
Mr. GOSS. Thank you, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. We will excuse you at this point.
We will now move to hear from the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the Department of Commerce, Mr. Terry Garcia. We are glad you were able to be here this morning.
STATEMENT OF TERRY D. GARCIA, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERE, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Mr. GARCIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is always a pleasure. Let me start by apologizing to the Subcommittee for the fact that my written statement was late. One of the frustrations that I continue to have is with the clearance process.
I will commit to you and to the other members that we will do our best to make sure that this does not happen in the future. Re-invention has its limits I am afraid. We will continue to work to make the system more efficient.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would ask that the written statement be placed in the record. I have a few oral comments that I would like to make to focus on several issues of primary importance that we would like to draw to the attention of the Subcommittee.
First of all, I want to again thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to present testimony regarding the Coastal Zone Management Act and to express the Administration's steadfast and continuing support for programs authorized under the Act; the National Coastal Zone Management Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
The CZMA is one of the Nation's landmark natural resource management laws and stands today as our most successful voluntary tool, allowing comprehensive and cooperative management of our Country's coastline.
I commend you, Mr. Chairman, and this Subcommittee for holding this hearing. I urge the Subcommittee to move expeditiously in approving legislation to reauthorize the CZMA.
The importance of our Nation's coastal regions to the economy of the United States and its value to the environmental health of the Country should be a reminder to all of us as to the importance of CZMA.
The 425 coastal counties generate $1.3 trillion of the GNP and coastal industries account for over 1/3 of the national employment or 28.3 million jobs. In 1995, just under a billion tons of cargo worth $620 billion moved through coastal ports and harbors.
Moreover, coastal estuaries are among the most biologically productive regions in the Nation, as well as providing recreational opportunities for more than 180 million Americans each year.
Quite frankly, however, Mr. Chairman, our Country's coastal resources continue to be under siege. The need for the CZMA and its programs is greater now than ever.
The Administration's support for the CZMA was recently reinforced when the President announced his Lands Legacy Initiative. Under this initiative, which is a part of the President's fiscal year 2000 budget request, NOAA would receive an additional $105 million over current funding levels.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A significant portion of these funds is targeted for coastal zone management and the National Estuarine Research Reserve Programs to protect America's valuable ocean and coastal resources, and to strengthen our partnerships with state and local communities.
These funds will address the following three critical coastal concerns. It is these concerns that I would like to focus on today.
First, smart growth. Coastal communities, the most densely populated and fastest growing areas of the Nation are experiencing increased pressure as 3,600 people each day move to the coast.
Forty percent of new commercial development and 46 percent of new residential development is occurring in coastal communities. This population growth and resulting new development encroaches upon and diminishes natural and agricultural areas at the urban fringe and fuels sprawl.
Sprawl has impacted coastal communities by degrading water quality and marine resources, fragmenting coastal habitat, and reducing the quality of life for coastal residents. Many coastal communities do not have the capacity to confront successfully this coastal growth and its impacts on marine and coastal resources. Twenty-eight million dollars of the new funding that is proposed through the Lands Legacy Initiative for the Coastal Zone Management Program is to develop smart growth strategies and land use planning innovations, revitalize waterfronts, and improve public access to the coast.
With this proposed funding, coastal communities will be offered a comprehensive package of financial and technical assistance for planning through implementation. In addition, to ensure protection of our pristine estuary resources from the ever-growing pressures of urban sprawl, the Lands Legacy Initiative includes an increase of $14.7 million for the NERRS to purchase buffers, boundaries, and easements from willing sellers.
The second issue is protection of coastal habitat. Coastal habitats including mangroves, wetlands, estuaries, sea grass beds, and coral reefs provide critical spawning and nursery areas for living marine resources.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Wetlands serve as filters for land-based contaminants, and together with coral reefs, buffer against storm surges and help prevent coastal erosion.
In the Southeast, over 90 percent of the commercial catch and 50 percent of the recreational catch are fish and shell fish dependent upon wetlands. Human activities have changed, degraded or destroyed coastal habitats threatening many species of economic and recreational importance. Of significant importance is the protection of coral reefs where approximately 50 percent of all federally managed marine fisheries spend a part of their life cycle.
However, coral reefs are being seriously degraded by pollution and sedimentation, development and over-use, and increased ocean temperatures and salinity. It is estimated that 10 percent of the earth's coral reefs have already been seriously degraded and a much greater percentage are threatened.
Without aggressive conservation and protection measures, this decline is likely to escalate and may not be reversed. I would also note that next week, the Coral Reef Task Force is meeting in Hawaii to take up this very critical issue.
Under the Lands Legacy Initiative, more emphasis and action is given to estuaries and habitat protection, including funding for research monitoring, assessment, and effective resource community-based management measures to restore, protect, and conserve coastal habitat.
Seed money would be provided to catalyze cooperative restoration projects and to leverage additional funding to produce significant on the ground restoration.
The final point is controlling polluted run-off. Development pressures on the coasts can lead to problems associated with excess polluted run-off. These problems include cumulative sources, such as run-off from urban streets and parking areas, agriculture, forest harvesting activities, marinas, and recreational boating, and impacts from the construction and maintenance of dams, channels, and other alterations of natural systems.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Polluted run-off is a prime suspect in contributing to shell fish harvesting restrictions and conditions. This Subcommittee is well aware of harmful algal blooms and Pfiesteria.
Polluted coastal waters can result in closure of beaches to swimming. In 1995, for example, U.S. ocean, bay, and Great Lakes beaches were closed or advisories were issued against swimming on more than 3,500 occasions.
Under the President's Clean Water Action Plan, $12 million in funding, an increase of $4 million over fiscal year 2000, is requested under the Coastal Zone Management Act to fully develop and implement on the ground, state-polluted run-off control measures, and leverage other state and local resources working to control the flow of polluted run off into coastal waters and its impact on coastal habitats and human health.
Mr. Chairman, there is no better testament to the success of the Federal, State, and local partnership forged by the CZMA, than the fact that 32 of 35 eligible coastal States, Commonwealths, and Territories have received Federal approval of their Coastal Zone Management Plans and that two more states, Minnesota and Indiana, are seeking to join the national program in the months ahead.
Strong partnership developed with the States through the CZMA is also seen in the growth and importance of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. There are now 23 federally-designated reserves. Most recently, New Jersey and Alaska have joined the system with new reserves.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, as it was written within the CZMA more than 25 years ago, it is and should continue to be the national policy to preserve, protect, develop, and, where possible, to restore or enhance the resources of the Nation's coastal zones for this and succeeding generations.
I urge your active support for the reauthorization of CZMA. On behalf of the Administration, thank you again for this opportunity. I look forward to your questions and comments and to working with the Subcommittee as we move forward to develop a reauthorization.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Garcia may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for a very good testimony. Let me just ask, with regard to CZMA, do you see any weaknesses that we ought to be addressing that we have not addressed in our reauthorization?
Mr. GARCIA. Let me first, again, say that we strongly believe that CZMA has been a very successful program. We have, however, over the years learned a number of things.
There are several areas where we could improve CZMA with regard to habitat protection, controlling polluted run-off, ensuring that the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, is more strongly linked to the management programs of the states.
The Administration is preparing legislation for reauthorizing CZMA. We would like to work with the Subcommittee and its members in developing that proposal so that we can, together, strengthen this vitally important Act.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Would you care to comment on the personal watercraft issue?
Mr. GARCIA. I will comment on it, Mr. Chairman.
It is obviously a difficult issue. It has generated a lot of interest and controversy around the country. This is an issue that ultimately is going to have to be dealt with by the states.
We would be happy to work with you and work through this issue. I do not have any other points that I would make at this time. But I will concede to you that it is an issue of great importance.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. Mr. Faleomavaega.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do want to thank Secretary Garcia for a very comprehensive statement. This President's Land Legacy Initiative, Mr. Secretary, there is a very broad brush that he has painted on this thing.
Have I gathered that only $105 million goes to NOAA out of this billion dollar proposed package? Are there some other grant programs that are added to it or am I misreading your statement here?
Mr. GARCIA. You are correct that out of the billion dollars that are proposed for the Lands Legacy that $105 million would go to NOAA. There are, of course, other programs. These monies would augment and complement existing NOAA and Administration efforts to deal with some of the critical coastal issues.
We think it is a substantial investment in these resources. As I had said in my testimony, the importance of these resources to the economy and to human health can simply not be over-stated. The Lands Legacy is designed to deploy resources in communities for on the ground projects. I would just urge the Subcommittee and the members to very seriously review our request.
I would urge your support for it. It is designed to do what we all know needs to be done, and that is to get resources to states and communities to work with us so that we can develop the partnerships that are going to be needed to address such problems as coral reef degradation, habitat degradation, polluted run-off, the problems of Pfiesteria that this Subcommittee dealt with several times last year, and harmful algal blooms.
So, I would commend it to you. We would be happy to come back to the Subcommittee to present a detailed analysis for you of the request and of the specific programs that would be funded by that particular request.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Is the Administration planning to offer any proposals in structural changes in the current Coastal Zone Management Act or are you just going to wait until the Congress comes up with its own proposed changes?
Mr. GARCIA. No, sir. We are preparing a proposed reauthorization bill.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Do you also handle the weather observation stations that we have nationally.
Mr. GARCIA. We do.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Correct me if I am wrong. Is the Administration proposing any cutbacks on the capabilities in providing weather station resources?
Mr. GARCIA. No, Congressman. We have been engaged over the last several years in a process of modernizing the Weather Service which has involved the closure of some offices.
That is a consolidation of offices. It is a recognition that we have deployed new technologies that will allow us to better predict and forecast weather events.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. The gentleman from Maryland.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am not sure what the status of the legislation is that this Subcommittee is developing on the recommendations to develop a structure to collect hard data on the success of the CZMA Program.
Is there a draft bill that we are going to hold hearings on, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. SAXTON. The bill is currently being drafted. We will be holding hearings, yes.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. Do you have any specific recommendations today, Mr. Garcia, to give to us as to how we would want to develop a structure so that sufficient data, hard data, could be collected and then be evaluated on the program? You may have said it. I apologize for being on the phone.
Mr. GARCIA. I do address it in the written statement. We have taken several steps over the last year or so to improve the collection of data so that we can evaluate the effectiveness of the CZMA Program and the various programs within the states to ensure that the purpose of the Act is being fulfilled.
I think that we have made substantial progress. We have instituted within the agency an evaluation of the programs. We have prepared an effectiveness report. Our biennial report on the Coastal Zone Management Program I believe is due to be delivered within days, perhaps today, to the Subcommittee which contains information on the effectiveness of the program.
Mr. GILCHREST. Do you feel that legislation is needed in order to collect sufficient data?
Mr. GARCIA. No.
Mr. GILCHREST. Oh, you do not?
Mr. GARCIA. We feel the legislation is needed to make some improvements in the Act. I want to be careful not to say that we feel there are any glaring deficiencies in the Act.
Rather, there are some areas that could be enhanced and improved. When we have finishedthe Administration's legislation is now in the clearance process. We are receiving comments from other agencies.
As soon as OMB has completed its process, we would like to sit down with the staff of the Subcommittee and the staff of the individual members to talk about these issues to see if we cannot jointly come up with recommendations on how to improve the Act. Effectiveness may be one of those. There may be some other things that we have not thought of.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. Are one of the things that you would recommend in improving the Act that you want to work with us on is collecting hard data about protecting more acreage and improving the quality of small estuaries, or bay grasses, and a whole range of things?
Mr. GARCIA. Yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Apparently, there is not much more than anecdotal information.
Mr. GARCIA. I would not say that. I would agree with you that collecting data is something that we obviously as a science agency have a deep and abiding interest in.
Mr. GILCHREST. Who do you collect it from; just from the states? So, you collect that data from the state authorities?
Mr. GARCIA. Correct; from the NERRS system, from our own offices, and combine that information to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is there any other area of the Act that you would recommend needs improvement through legislation?
Mr. GARCIA. There are several. Again, these are not glaring deficiencies, but rather fine tuning of the Act. Ensuring that the NERRS Program, for example, links to the management programs are strengthened.
The NERRS Program provides us with valuable information on some very pristine resources around the country. We need that information and we need to link it to these management programs that are now in place.
We also need to make sure that the authorities under the Act for controlling run-off pollution are retained and, if necessary, strengthened on habitat concerns.
Mr. GILCHREST. When some of this $100 million filters down into this particular Act, there may be a way to do that now. Is there a way or could there or should there be a way in this Act similar to, let us say, the other part of the Lands Legacy Program that potential, as far as the purchase of easements or the purchase of landis it now included in the Act?
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GARCIA. Yes, it is. For the NERRS Program, there is $14.7 million that we are proposing to add to the program for the purpose of allowing states to purchase easements, buffers from willing sellers.
Mr. GILCHREST. How much is in the program now?
Mr. GARCIA. It is $4.3 million.
Mr. GILCHREST. Four million dollars. Is that just for Maryland?
Mr. GARCIA. Among others.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Vento.
Mr. VENTO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
There are a couple of questions here. I have one that is sort of technical. I understand that Dr. Hershman is presenting a report today on the effectiveness. NOAA commissioned a conference on the effectiveness program.
Do you have any comments on the outcome data? I mean, there is a suggestion that is based primarily on assessments of policies, process, and tools rather than actual outcome data. I do not want you to go into a dissertation on this, but do you have any comment on that particular observation?
Mr. GARCIA. I do not know that, that is quite accurate. I will let the next witness speak to that. Our conclusion from the report is that this program is generally very effective in accomplishing the goals of the CZMA.
Again, while there are some changes that should be made in the program, overall it has done its job. It has established or helped to establish and strengthen the necessary partnerships that we need to make with states and communities to deal with these coastal resources. So, we are generally quite pleased with the direction of the program and the results that this program has produced.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. VENTO. Mr. Secretary, there are a number of different requirements or laws obviously with regard to the Coastal Zone Management Act and one is voluntary participation.
In enhancing that plan, of course, we started out with, and you know pretty soon Minnesota is going to be involved with this.
Mr. GARCIA. Right.
Mr. VENTO. I am from Minnesota, as you know. That will affect our Great Lake Superior. In any case, by additional requirements to it, for instance, there is a suggestion that the plan ought to include non-point pollution type of issues.
I think one of the suggestions that is being made here is that it ought to include personal watercraft type of restrictions, or limits, or at least guidance that would come back.
Obviously, you have been asked about that. Some states no doubt are ready and have exercised some responsibility along both these lines. Do you have any comment about the non-point pollution requirement?
Mr. GARCIA. Well, yes. On non-point I would just say that it is already in the Act. There is authority for the Non-Point Pollution Program. We have developed with States, and Congress has funded, Non-Point Pollution Programs around the country.
My point was simply that we need to retain that authority. We need to focus this Act on dealing with the habitat issues associated with non-point pollution, the degradation of habitat.
We have seen the consequences over the years of non-point pollution or of run-off pollution into bays and estuaries, into our coastal waters. The effects have frankly been staggering to the economy.
Unfortunately, we are seeing the problem continue to grow. So, it is a problem that must be dealt with. We just happen to think that the best way to deal with this is through programs such as the CZMA Program which develops partnerships with these communities so that each community is allowed to develop a program that best suits its needs and its citizens' desires.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Simply put, it is in the Act now. We would like to see it stay in the Act. We think it is critical. We would propose that we simply look at the current focus of the Non-Point Program to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the coastal states.
Mr. VENTO. Your concern, I guess reading between the lines, is whether or not there has been adequate funding for that and whether or not the plans that are coming back actually sufficiently address the non-point pollution. Is that correct?
Mr. GARCIA. That is correct.
Mr. VENTO. It may, in some cases, not address it or need to be readdressed as we learn more about dirty diatoms. Is that correct?
Mr. GARCIA. Among others. We do have a request for $22 million under the Clean Water Initiative to deal with, among others, non-point pollution and harmful algal blooms.
Mr. VENTO. On the issue of the personal watercraft, which apparently is going to be a special topic today, we have been through this in the State of Minnesota with all of our lakes.
The issue here, of course, is that we had a permitting process which assessed a $50 fee. We have come to find out that our new Governor has four or five of these. So, as you might imagine, he is not
Mr. SAXTON. They are probably big ones too.
Mr. VENTO. Well, they have got to be. He uses two at a time, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. One for each foot, I suppose.
Mr. VENTO. In any case, I think that one of the problems that this breaks down on, of course, we know that there is wave action. There is turbidity. I read some of the terms in here that are caused because they do not have much of a draft, obviously, and they can move around pretty quickly; besides being a pain in the neck to those of us that are fishermen. They have this $50 fee, obviously, with the idea of using those dollars to try and provide some sort of enforcement mechanism.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I suspect that we could ask in the Coastal Zone Management Act for the states to address this particular issue. I do not know exactly how the Chairman anticipates dealing with this.
That might be a reasonable way. Do we actually deal with other type of watercraft? For instance, if we have anchoring of various types of craft near a reef, and in some cases we see damage occurring, would it not be reasonable then to look in terms of actual damages that occur and ask for states to mitigate or to avoid that by virtue of their regulatory process and as a part of their plan in terms of coastal zone management?
Is that addressed at all today? I mean, obviously, you addressed the issue with regard to those that would be anchored in terms of damaging coral reef and so forth.
Mr. GARCIA. I do not know whether other vessels are specifically addressed in CZMA. I think not. I am sure my staff will throw something at me if I am wrong. Other statutes do address the issue that you are raising.
Obviously if some activity, whether it is caused by a personal watercraft or other vessel is damaging, for example, a coral reef, there are other statutes that would govern the ability of the Federal Government or of states to seek redress in that case.
Mr. VENTO. So, we are indemnified. You are actually involved in suits on occasion where there is coral reef damage that occurs as a result of some activity in these areas through the states that are involved.
Mr. GARCIA. Absolutely; both under our Marine Sanctuaries Act and under the Oil Pollution Act, and under various other statutes. There is authority to seek redress for injuries to natural resources, whether it is coral reefs, or critical habitat for fisheries, or simply coastal areas that have been impacted by some human activity.
Mr. VENTO. I think the problem here, Mr. Chairman, is it is a little tougher to measure some of this.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you.
Mr. GARCIA. If I could make one other point.
Congressman, you had been engaged in a discussion with Congressman Goss on this; just the issue of the EISs and the clock, when it starts running.
I believe, and will provide more information to the Subcommittee, that this can be dealt with administratively in the state plans. A statutory amendment or change would not be necessary to address the concern that the Congressman had raised. We would be happy to work with the Subcommittee to work through that particular issue.
[The information referred to follows:]
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Activities and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documents; Starting the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Federal Consistency Review Period (Representative Porter Goss (R. FL) proposal).
NOAA does not recommend amending the CZMA to require that environmental impact statements (EISs) prepared by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) for an applicant's proposal to drill for oil and gas on the outer continental shelf must be completed prior to the start of the CZMA Federal consistency review period. A statutory change is not required to address this issue. States may individually, pursuant to NOAA regulations, amend their federally approved coastal management programs to require that a draft EIS (or final EIS) is data and information that is necessary to start the state's Federal consistency review. This would be a routine program change, under 15 C.F.R. part 923, subpart H, that could be developed and approved within 4-6 weeks. In fact, a recent rule proposed by MMS acknowledges a state's ability to so change its coastal management program.
Moreover, the coordination of NEPA documents and CZMA Federal consistency reviews may vary greatly depending on the state and the Federal agency(ies) involved. Coastal states have informed NOAA that they want flexibility as to how they coordinate NEPA and Federal consistency reviews. Thus, some states may want to begin a consistency review prior to the completion of a draft or final EIS, or make some other arrangement to obtain information. Thus, since states want such flexibility and it is fairly easy for a state to amend its program to include NEPA documents as necessary information requirements needed for its consistency review, a statutory change is not desired or needed.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. VENTO. I thought that, Mr. Chairman, as I read further under Porter's comments that the issue is I think that they feel like they have to come up this very quickly.
In fact, the staff analysis said it is 90 days. I do not know if it is 90 working days. Porter was saying it was 6 months. So, I do not know how you guys reconcile those two numbers.
In any case, I think the concern is that they quickly have to come up with this in a short period of time. Then the Minerals Management AdministrationI guess I misspoke when I said it was NOAA.
They can string this out for 2 years. So, a lot of issues may come up that they did not even have a chance to look at, in terms of the consistency.
Mr. GARCIA. To be frank, I think the issue is that some states like the system as it is. Others feel that they need to modify the timing.
My point is only that I believe that we can take care of this administratively through modifications of those state plans where the state feels that it needs more time rather than making a statutory change.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for being with us this morning. We appreciate your input as always. We also appreciate your reference to the timing on the receipt of your material.
We appreciate your intent to try to get that to us earlier.
Mr. GARCIA. We will strive to do better.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Now, we will move on to our next panel. It consist of Ms. Jacqueline Savitz, who is the Executive Director of the Coast Alliance; Mr. Howard Park, who is a Consultant with the Personal Watercraft Industry Association; and Mr. Thomas Tote, who with the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, a marine conservation group from my State.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Welcome aboard. Ms. Savitz, you can proceed at your will.
STATEMENT OF JACQUELINE SAVITZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COAST ALLIANCE
Ms. SAVITZ. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning, members of the Subcommittee. My name is Jackie Savitz and I am the Executive Director of the Coast Alliance, a national environmental coalition that works to protect our Nation's priceless coastal resources.
As you know, Coast Alliance leads a network of over 400 conservation groups around the coasts, including the Great Lakes. We appreciate the opportunity to offer testimony today on the Reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act, on behalf of the Coast Alliance and about a dozen other coastal conservation organizations.
The Alliance has a long track record with the Coastal Zone Management Act. We have consistently supported the reauthorizations. We have worked to educate the public about the value of the related Coastal Non-Point Source Pollution Control Program.
We have worked with NOAA and the EPA to maintain the consistency aspects of the Act and the enforceability aspects of the Coastal Non-Point Program. This week we released a report entitled ''Pointless Pollution: Preventing Polluted Run-off and Protecting America's Coasts.''
I have asked that it be distributed to this Subcommittee. This report was released by 40 organizations and 15 coastal states this week. It focuses on the number one threat to the coasts, polluted run-off, and on the need to continue to move forward with the Coastal Non-Point Program.
Since the Act was created in 1972, there has been little respite from human impacts in coastal areas. It is expected that by 2015, 25 million more people will move to the coasts. Where will our already crowded coasts put these 25 million people?
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What impact will these new residents have? The answers, and our greatest hope for the coasts, lie in a carefully crafted and well-defined Coastal Zone Management Act. Coast Alliance believes that the Act has provided much needed attention to coastal issues, promoted inter-governmental coordination, and comprehensive solutions.
However, it has not sufficiently addressed coastal pollution. Through reauthorization, Congress should give the Coastal Non-Point Program a chance to be effectively implemented.
As Congress embarks on this important task, Coast Alliance and its affiliated organizations believe that the Act should reflect the following principles.
First, since polluted run-off is the number one cause of water quality impairment threatening coastal economies and aquatic resources, the Coastal Non-Point Program must be integrated into the Act, and sufficient funds must be authorized for its support. Second, the program's penalty provisions and its requirement for enforceable mechanisms should be maintained.
Third, any new projects or grant programs supported through appropriations under this Act, should be environmentally protective. While the impacts of some projects like beach re-nourishment, dredging, shore line stabilization may be a matter of debatethere are certainly many sources of funding available for those programs.
Therefore, the financial resources made available under the Coastal Zone Management Act should be focused on model projects that demonstrate agreed upon benefits to coastal resources, not those with definite or potential ecological impacts.
We feel strongly that Congress should only fund projects that serve as models of environmental protection through this Act to minimize rather than facilitate the impacts of growth.
As for run-off, besides contributing to the closure of nearly 3 million acres of the Nation's shellfish beds, polluted run-off is credited with degrading at least 1/3 of surveyed rivers and streams, and causing a dead zone covering more than 6,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico every year.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Polluted run-off also promoted the toxic Pfiesteria outbreaks on the mid-Atlantic coast. It made bathers sick on beaches in California and clogged important shipping channels in the Great Lakes and elsewhere. However, compared to factories and sewage treatment plants, this source of pollution is essentially unregulated.
The Coastal Non-Point Program can help us begin to solve these problems. It is a policy tool that Congress created. It can stop run-off from taking its tool on local waterways. Coast Alliance has been working closely with citizens, and State and Federal Government agencies to ensure that the Federal investment in this program is well-spent.
We also have worked hard to help ensure adequate funding for the program. However, to date, the funding levels do not reflect the need or the degree to which run-off impairs the coasts.
Dr. Hershman's study, which was mentioned earlier, found that one failure of the CZMA Program, according to its senior managers, was that it had not adequately addressed water quality protection, watershed management or non-point pollution.
To ensure that its investment in the program pays off, Congress must incorporate the Coastal Non-Point Program into the Coastal Zone Management Act and provide funding to ensure its implementation.
In summary, it simply does not make sense with the increased recognition of run-off related impacts and the increased environmental awareness on the part of the public to pass a coastal management law that does not explicitly provide for environmentally sound projects, and does not reiterate our commitment to controlling polluted run-off.
Development and run-off pollution are the two greatest threats to the coasts. The Coastal Non-Point Program needs to be given a chance to work.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and members of this Subcommittee for giving us the opportunity to speak today.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Ms. Savitz may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. Howard Park, a representative of PWC Industry. Welcome, sir. We are very anxious to hear what you have to say.
STATEMENT OF HOWARD PARK, CONSULTANT, PERSONAL WATERCRAFT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
Mr. PARK. Thank you.
First, I would like to ask that my written statement be entered into the record with just one correction. There is a reference on the first page on a New Jersey bill that we support to deal with some of the concerns in Barnegat Bay.
I had given the wrong number for that bill. The bills we do support are Assembly Bill 2520 and Senate Bill 1384, not Assembly Bill 653 as I had said in my statement.
We know that there are a lot of problems and challenges with personal watercraft use and a lot of conflicts with sailors like yourself and other people who use the waterways.
We very much do want to work with government at all levels to address these problems. We feel that generally the best place is the state and local level. We have spearheaded efforts to reduce sound emissions from personal watercraft.
This year, one member company has new technology that reduces sound by 70 percent. One company is claiming 50 percent for another technology. We are proud of the progress we have made in that area. We want to continue it.
We also believe, just sort of in summary, that the language in this bill, especially as it concerns the definition of sensitive areas, is too broad. We would like, again, to work with you on it.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, it has always been our position that personal watercraft do not belong in shallow waters under 2 feet. All of our safety materials and owner's manuals say do not operate in areas under 2 feet in depth.
So, we have no problem with rules or regulations that incorporate that. You can do damage to a personal watercraft if you operate in shallow areas because it can take in aquatic vegetation, sand, or other things. That is not good for the engines. So, we do not support operating in shallow waters.
It is not correct, however, that only personal watercraft can access those waters. Jet boats, which are not defined as personal watercraft, can also access many shallow areas as can some other types of vessels.
Many of those types of vessels are becoming more popular. So, that is something that we would like you to consider. There has been considerable research into the effects of personal watercraft on vegetation and wildlife.
I know there was a study done up at Barnegat Bay. I would also like you to note some other studies that have been done.
I have some of this material that I would like to enter into the record that comes to opposite conclusions from the study that was done in Barnegat Bay.
[The material referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. PARK. I would like to read just two sentences from Dr. James Rogers, who is a biologist with the Florida Game Fresh Water Fish Commission, who has conducted extensive research into this issue.
According to him, ''a PWC moving at idle speed obliquely to the birds should produce the same flushing response as an outboard motor boat. Similarly, a fast moving motor boat headed directly at the birds with a deep V-bow throwing white spray should produce a flushing response similar to that of a PWC being operated in a similar manner.''
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC There has been work done in this area. I hope the Subcommittee and the staff takes a look at it. To address a little more specifically your concern about the language in the bill under discussion, it defines sensitive area as any area in the coastal zone that contains living marine resources and birds that may be impacted during the operation of a PWC.
We would like to see that narrowed. We would like to see it be something that could be measured; a definition that the boaters could know where they are going and what that does include. We think that the current definition, as I have said is a little broad.
I started off by talking about conflicts. We really feel that we are taking steps to address these conflicts with PWC use.
I mentioned the sound reduction. That has just been introduced this year. So, you will not be able to really notice it on the water for a while. As the newer craft become out there and older ones are phased out, we think it will make a big difference.
We also support mandatory education for personal watercraft operators. New Jersey was the second State to adopt mandatory education. There was a pretty significant accident decline in the year after that was adopted in New Jersey. Connecticut has also seen similar results.
We also support tough model legislation on controlling business that rent personal watercraft. We have an agreement with the EPA to reduce emissions from personal watercraft. We have loaned personal watercraft to well over 1,500 law enforcement agencies so they can enforce the laws on the water.
A lot of the marine law enforcement has been cut back. We also support a minimum age of 16 for personal watercraft operation. Only about eight states have adopted 16. Most are much lower.
Also, Mr. Vento mentioned before the concept of fees to support law enforcement or other impacts of personal watercraft. We have supported that concept. If it is earmarked for law enforcement, not just a tax, but if it is earmarked for activities that would help reduce impact, or law enforcement, or education, or other types of activities that would help deal with some of the challenges.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I do not know about Governor Ventura, but our association did not oppose those fees in Minnesota. I believe they were imposed on some other boats too.
I see the red light. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Park may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Park.
We greatly appreciate your openness on this issue. We look forward to working with you. I have to apologize to Mr. Fote; however, we are about half-way through the time period that we have to get to the floor for a vote.
So, we are going to have to recess temporarily. We will try to be back within 10 or 15 minutes.
Mr. SAXTON. We will proceed in the manner in which we were previously with Mr. Tom Fote, who isare you President of the Jersey Coast Anglers or you were President?
Mr. FOTE. I was President. Now, I am the Legislative Chairman for the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen Clubs. They are non-paid jobs. They basically dump things on me.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. We have also shared some time on a boat together. So, welcome to the Subcommittee room. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS FOTE, JERSEY COAST ANGLERS ASSOCIATION
Mr. FOTE. I would like to thank Congressman Saxton and the Subcommittee for giving me this opportunity to testify on this important subject.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would be remiss if I did not thank Congressman Saxton and this Subcommittee for all of their hard work in protecting the marine resource and assisting on fair and equitable treatment for everyone in fisheries management plans.
If you have been on a lake, river, bay, or ocean lately you realize there is a strong need for federally-mandated regulations for the approximately one million personal watercraft that are on U.S. waters.
The manufacturers estimate about 130,000 are sold each year. At this time, at least half of the states in this country have some form of proposed or disputed regulation restrictions or guidelines for the use of personal watercraft.
This is a growing problem that needs to be addressed federally. I have provided a list of the states who have restricted uses. The number is growing daily. Each region should not have to defend its ecosystem separately to regulate and document the misuses of personal watercraft.
With federally-mandated guidelines, each state could modify the guidelines to fit the needs of that particular region and body of water. No matter where you go in the U.S., local legislators are trying to find a suitable definition and Constitutionally-correct control for these crafts.
I have included two of these definitions in my written testimony. In New Jersey, the Barnegat Bay Watershed Association has been working in conjunction with several groups and the industry to negotiate with local and state legislators and state agencies to define and identify key areas of concern regarding personal watercraft.
In 1993, the Watershed Management Plan for Barnegat Bay included 12 action plan items to address personal watercraft. These action items included: increasing the presence of New Jersey Marine Law Enforcement Offices on Barnegat Bay during the peak boating season, posting No Wake Zones where vessel wakes are documented to be causing erosion of natural shore lines, identifying special use areas, and improving public awareness of existing vessel speed, and operating regulations.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC These types of actions are applicable on a Federal level. I have attached an August 7, 1998, letter prepared by the Barnegat Bay Watershed Association to Governor Christine Todd-Whitman.
It identifies seven recommendations for protecting the public safety and preventing environmental damage by use of a personal watercraft. The results are in a research paper entitled ''Issues and Problems Associated With Personal Watercraft on Barnegat Bay'' by Melissa R. Chinn, which is included in my written testimony.
It details the environmental concerns of operating personal watercraft. The study by Dr. Joanna Burger entitled, ''Effects of Motorboats and Personal Watercraft on Flight Behavior Over a Colony of Common Terns,'' which I have included in my written testimony.
We urge Congress to review the attached documents and look toward creating Federal guidelines for the following issues. Environmentally, we need to restrict shallow water uses in sensitive habitat.
It is documented that when operating a personal watercraft in shallow waters, bottom sediments are suspended there and causes increasing turbidity and decreases light penetration and oxygen to aquatic life.
Operating personal watercraft close to birds, closer to shore near Colonial Water Nesting sites disturb the birds causing them to fly away from the nests and exposing the eggs to increased amounts of harsh sun rays, and also leaving them wide open to predators.
Peak use of personal watercraft corresponds with the nesting season for a variety of Colonial Water Birds that nest in Barnegat Bay, as well as other New Jersey estuaries, and as a matter of fact up and down the coast.
Education. We need a broader voter education curriculum for personal watercraft users. A recent death on a personal watercraft in Barnegat Bay was directly related to a lack of education and an unlicensed driver. I included that article in my written testimony.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One out of 10 accidents on water in 1997 were related to personal watercraft use. Fatalities involving personal watercraft have increased from 20 in 1988 to 83 in 1997. Although the average age of the owners is in the mid-40s, the operators involved in accidents are usually in their teens to mid-30s. More education and stiffer penalties for unlicensed users are clearly necessary.
Enforcement. To ensure the above happens, we need increased funding for our enforcement agents to patrol the water ways entailing the use of personal watercraft. Without more law enforcement on the water, all of the laws you pass will not make one bit of difference.
This legislation should include law enforcement grants for pilot projects to encourage local municipalities. They would allow local government to have an increased law enforcement presence on the water.
If all states require licenses and these licenses were treated like automobile privileges, such as fining those without a license, and confiscating the vessel of those operating personal watercraft without a license, personal watercraft problems would be greatly diminished.
A harsher penalty, such as paying for towing the vessel once it is confiscated, and regular enforcement to ensure the safe and appropriate use of personal watercraft by licensed users is recommended.
It is clear that this is a national growing issue. Congress can begin by focusing its attention on the coastal zone by strengthening laws that control personal watercraft in environmentally sensitive areas.
However, the problems are not isolated to coastal areas, as many inland fresh water lakes are encountering the same types of concerns. For the safety of the users, other boaters, and for the environment, we urge Congress to focus on the issues by synthesizing all state initiatives into one guiding piece of legislation, which every state can implement to their needs.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Two personal notes; one, we are affiliated with Coastal Alliance. We agree with all of their comments. Over the years in testifying before this Subcommittee, it has always been fun and very easy because of the work Sharon McKenna has been doing.
I hear she is leaving. Today is her last Subcommittee. I wish to thank her. The State of New Jersey wishes to thank her, the groups that are involved, when they come before this Subcommittee for all of the help she gives them. So, thank you, Congressman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fote may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Fote.
You are right. We will miss her. We have said that many times, but I have sneaky suspicion that she will not be a stranger.
Mr. FOTE. Well, we are going to go fishing in New Jersey.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. Mr. Fote, the issue that you concentrated on, that being, of course, personal watercraft and their use, it is fairly obvious that there are some issues to be addressed, including safety, noise, et cetera.
Our concern, obviously, involves those issues. Our concern for the purposes of this hearing had to do with the environmental impact, or the potential environmental impact brought about by the use or misuse of personal watercraft.
Can you comment relative to what your feelings are on those issues?
Mr. FOTE. Yes. An example is Barnegat Bay. We have basically spent a lot of time, money, and energy in increasing the population of Ospreys. Fifteen years ago, there were no Ospreys in Barnegat Bay.
Now, they are starting to come back. We found that the personal watercraft or jet skis as I call them, start running around the nesting areas. The birds get off the eggs.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Those birds are not having chicks. We had the worst year last year. Pete McLane has documented it. Pete has done a lot of work on Barnegat Bay. That is one of the other concerns.
There is a picture I included in my testimony that shows what a personal watercraft is. You know, a motorboat runs from one location to another location. Usually it stops, fishes, crabs, does something.
Personal watercraft, the idea is to run the vehicle; run, run, run, run. There is a picture in there that just basically shows it going around, and around, and around. Well, we have a corresponding picture that shows the submerged aquatic vegetation after he got away from there.
It was going in that round circle that had went around and around. When you stir up the sediment, you also affect the clams in that area. So, the clams basically, the algae that is supposed to be feeding them is basically destroyed. That is what we are worried about.
Now, outboard motors do the same thing. I will agree with you that they will do some of that, but they are not running constantly. They are going from one location to another.
When you have got it going with jet propulsion, it keeps sucking in the algae, small embryos of the fish out there, the small embryos of the clams out there, suck them through the intake and heating them up and killing them. That is a concern.
The safety issues, yes. There are a lot of them. A couple of deaths in States like Florida have had and we have had. We have got to be concerned on how we deal with it.
We are not looking to put an industry out of business. The industry has been working hard. I think the thing about the license would very much help. One of the areas which we broke through and which you are doing a lot of work in Barnegat Bay with, the bay next to the ocean again; that one area there.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The jet skis started using it. There is only a foot of water. All of the wildlife is being destroyed there. It also helps to reinforce the cut, because every time they go through there, they push the water into the sod banks which makes the cut larger and larger.
Those are our concerns.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Tom.
Mr. Park, just so you know, I am a sailor, but my daughter and my son-in-law are both personal watercraft users. So, I just do not want you to think that I have a totally one sided point of view on this issue.
The personal watercraft industry, I think, Mr. Park, should be commended for your efforts to improve operator safety and awareness. I think that is extremely commendable. We appreciate that very much.
Mr. PARK. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. A large percentage of users do not appear to be following the recommended guidelines, particularly with regard to the shallow water issue and the use in those issues. Other than prohibiting uses in sensitive areas, what else can be done to try to modify this behavior?
Mr. PARK. Well, one thing, obviously, is mandatory education. We were the first group in the marine industry to support mandatory education. That position has now been adopted by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
I know that in Connecticut, which has the longest track record in requiring education, that they have seen a decline in complaints and a decline in accidents. Minnesota had a very aggressive personal watercraft education campaign where they mailed video tapes to all of the operators in the State.
They had a 50 percent decline in accidents last year. As I said before, operation in a shallow area under 2 feet in depth should not be allowed. Neither should other boats that can access such areas.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We would like to work with you on implementing that. We support legislation in the states to implement that.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Ms. Savitz, obviously, we know the situation in New Jersey, that is Mr. Fote and I do and others that work for me know the situation in New Jersey. I am curious to know what your perspective would be from a more national viewpoint.
Ms. SAVITZ. Well, Chairman Saxton, we are obviously not working on this issue as closely as these gentlemen are. My experience with a jet ski was actually in New Jersey as well growing up on Long Beach Island.
It is pretty well-recognized that there are impacts to wetlands and shallow water habitats. We commend your continued work to protect those coastal areas.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. Mr. Faleomavaega.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to ask Ms. Savitz to be the arbitrator between Mr. Park and Mr. Fote. I would like to ask Mr. Park, we are required to have licenses for dogs, for mopeds; just about everything that goes on the road.
Do you think that maybe we also should have licensing requirements for PWCs?
Mr. PARK. We favor certification requirements that you must pass a course or an equivalency test. We favor that the certificate could be revoked any time. The only difference is when you kind of get caught up in the semantics with this, we would not favor something that you would have to renew, you know, go to some office and stand in line every 5 years to renew the so-called license. I think the certification would accomplish the same goal.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. As I recall, we had small water skis. Now we have huge ones. I mean theirs are as big as boats.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PARK. That is right. There has been a craft introduced this year that can accommodate up to four people. The lines between boats and so-called personal watercraft has really been blurred lately. That is true.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Do you think it is proper also that the government should be involved in, or state governments for that matter, in allocating certain areas where it is required that they can then use the PWCs or do you think they should go anywhere they want?
Mr. PARK. I do not think they should go anywhere they want. I think they should go to areas where other forms of relatively high speed motorized boating is appropriate, but not in areas where it is not appropriate.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. So, they should be properly regulated as far as the use of PWCs.
Mr. PARK. Yes. Mr. Fote talked about 25 states. I believe it is now about 47 states. I could be off by one or two that specifically regulate personal watercraft in some form.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Do you think that we should do this by way of providing some kind of national legislation or the states themselves should be able to do this on their own?
Mr. PARK. I think the states should be able to do it on their own. It is time that the states have responded.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Fote, do you agree with that?
Mr. FOTE. My sister is a County Commissioner in Chelan County in Washington State. She is calling me up and I am sending her all of information on jet skis. The problem is every time you pass a regulation they wind up in court.
California has done it a number of times, Oregon, Washington State. We need you to setup a definition. We need you to setup what a sensitive area's control. We are not asking you to define it in a very particular way, just on a broad base to give the states some guidelines so when they go and put their regulations in, they have some ground to stand upon.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The definitions are important because California has lawsuits that are going on. There are about 20 of them right now in individual states. That is what we are looking for, a Federal law that would give us a definition so we could stand up in court.
The industry and us are not far apart. I am involved with marine trades. Jersey Coast Anglers Association represents 60 fishing clubs. So, we are involved with them all of the time. We are trying to work together. The marine trades are working very hard. It is the unlicensed persons.
A simple example is I have a house on the water. The person next to me lives on the water also. He throws a party on the weekend. You have got 40 guests. They have not been trained. They do not know any of the rules and they all just get the keys and they jump on the jet skis.
He does not support that. I do not support that. The problem is they are the ones that go out and cause trouble. That is what the two deaths on Barnegat Bay were. Well, that is what I am saying.
If you license them, if you can confiscate the vehicle, like you would not give your 14 year old nephew the keys to your car. You should not give him the keys to the jet ski.
If you had to pay a $250 towing bill because it got confiscated, you would think twice before you gave him the keys to the car. If you lost your insurance because you gave him the key, you would also think twice before.
That would eliminate a lot of the problems. Both of us support that position. They should be trained. They should be certified. If you are on the water without a certificationbecause we are working in New Jersey doing aquatic education.
So, you will learn these things. You have got to make them responsible for going to the school. If you do not have them going to school, all of the trainingthe other point I really want to make is that we need law enforcement on the water. Every time we pass a law, and he agrees with me 100 percent.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Barnegat Bay, we do not have enough law enforcement. You should be basicallywhere you really could help is funding some local municipality grants. Give them some money to hire local law enforcement.
I guarantee you that industry will come up with the jet skis to supply those law enforcement officials so they could come out and enforce the laws, but we need some money there. Once it is proved to the municipalities that this can be done because it is very effective, then they will support us.
They will pickup the funds, you know, a 3 year grid. That is it. Then you take it over and operate it.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I think, Mr. Fote, your point is well-taken. I am sure the Chairman and certainly myself if there is such a strong feeling among the states, you know, sometimes we get the impression that the states are telling the Congress, get off our backs. Let us do it ourselves.
As you well know, Mr. Fote, there have been countless examples where the Congress has enacted laws and we still end up in court.
Mr. FOTE. Well, on this one, you got Commissioner Shinn coming up after I am, so you can ask him. He is the Commissioner of New Jersey. We are working on the Barnegat Bay Estuarine Program. Some of the environmentalists wanted to put three opening shuttersof a jet ski getting shot or blown up as the opening to the video.
We do not want things like that. I think the states will work closely with you and they really want the regulations and the help from Congress.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Fote, I am sure that the Chairman and certainly myself will be more than willing to help in any way that we can. If you have some good wording, or language, or a draft, or whatever that maybe you and Mr. Park could work out, maybe that is something we can look at.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. Savitz, I have got one question for you. With reference to the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Control Program, I think your statement suggest that we ought to incorporate that program into the Coastal Zone Management Act? Can you elaborate why we should do this?
Ms. SAVITZ. Well, thank you for asking. I just want to note that my arbitration skills were very well displayed. They did not fight at all.
The Coastal Non-Point Program really has not been given a chance to work. It was setup by Congress in 1990 because of a recognition that existing programs were not working and that our coasts were continually being barraged by non-point source pollution.
The way the program is setup is that states develop these plans to control run-off and then eventually implement them. After a while, we have progress. As you know, things do not happen over night.
States have all developed these plans, or the states that are participating in the Coastal Zone Program have. It is time to start putting them into practice. So, we have moved pretty far down the road, but we have not actually seen the benefits of that work yet.
We feel very strongly about this program. We think it is something that can be done that can really make a difference on the coast and really provide some of the kinds of outcomes that are being looked for. We are concerned about the state of the program, if it is not taken up and reauthorized.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Mr. Vento.
Mr. VENTO. Well, on that point, is the reauthorization expired for the non-point? Does it expire? Is that the point?
Ms. SAVITZ. The funding authorization has expired.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. VENTO. So, that is why it should be taken because it is an integral part. I mean, that obviously touches on a couple of different areas of responsibility I guess in Congress.
It is integral to what happens in terms of these coastal zone management of plan and the outcome. That is your point?
Ms. SAVITZ. Exactly. Thank you.
Mr. VENTO. I am just trying to understand it. You probably made it well the first time. On the personal watercraft, I think there is a lot of agreement here in terms of having this as a part of the plan, some way to deal with it, and have the states address it.
So, I do not know that you need to get into anything more on it than that as long as there is agreement. Obviously, definition of sensitive areas has to take in safety and other areas.
Some of this is common sense, I guess, they cannot go where there are swimming areas and so forth. I suppose the issue you get into is whether they are treated differently than other types of watercraft.
I think they probably need to be in order to effectively deal with them which is one of the problems. I think one of our problems in Minnesota is we have got sort of a split personality on this is because we have produced some of these products too.
So, I do not know. I hear comments, Mr. Fote, about law enforcement. I think you are exactly with regards to licensure and so forth, but most of those issues can be left up to the states.
There has been an increasing interest both in personal watercraft and I might say snowmobiles in Minnesota in terms of licensure and treating them more in terms of training. There is also a big pollution problem that occurs with these because of the amount of fuel with the two-cycle engine where it throws a lot of fuel out.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I know that, that occurs with other types of outboard motors as well, but these tend to be going at a high performance rate most of the time. So, they tend to throw out a lot more.
It is mostly for recreation and it is not from point-to-point where you stop and so forth. The same is true, incidently, of air quality problems in automobiles. It is very serious, putting out 50 times more than a car puts out.
Mr. PARK. Can I comment briefly?
Mr. VENTO. Yes, yes.
Mr. PARK. There is an agreement with the EPA to phase in the cleaner engines gradually by 2006. I just wanted to note that for the record on the pollution issue.
You also talked about treating them differently than other boats. With the definition blurring between a personal watercraft and other types of boats, I would hope that is something that you would take into account, if you do believe they should be treated differently. Many of the same types of activities can occur with other types of boats that are not defined as personal watercraft. Again, we would like to work with you on that.
Mr. VENTO. Yes. Well, I understand the Chairman will have to make that. I understand that they probably have to have rules to just keep all of these, especially this type of craft, because there are so many other types of craft that can also get into shallow waters that are motorized.
Obviously, in the case of the fuel, you have such an accumulation, such an intensity of use in some of these bays, you could literally have a situation where it is having an impact in terms of the ecosystem.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you very much for traveling as far as you each did to come and visit with us today. We appreciate your perspectives. Now, we will move on to the next panel.
The first witness on our fourth and final panel is Mr. Robert Shinn, who is no stranger to those of us who have known him for many, many years. He not only until very recently had a house on the water on Barnegat Bay, but also has served as the mayor of a small community, as a Tree Holder on the County level, which for those of you who do not know, a Tree Holder is the legislator on the County level in New Jersey, and is now the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection in the Whitman Administration in New Jersey. Also, Dr. Marc Hershman, Director and Professor, the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington; Ms. Sarah Cooksey, President of the Coastal States Organization, also no stranger to us; and Mr. Gary Lytton, President, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association.
Welcome aboard. Bob, you may begin. Welcome.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT C. SHINN, JR., COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Mr. SHINN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of this Subcommittee for the opportunity to appear before you today and the importance of this issue to the residents of New Jersey.
Before I go on with my testimony, I just have to compliment you, Mr. Chairman on the lens from the lighthouse. I am a lighthouse fan. I was sitting in the audience and I was struck by the potential of the magnification of the lens verses these lights.
I was thinking if that light was situation in the middle of that globe, you would have a lot more magnification of the yellow and red light and it may, in essence, save the Subcommittee time in testimony. It might be a thought. It certainly would enhance the lens which is gorgeous.
Mr. SAXTON. That is a great suggestion. It would only take 100 years around here to get something like that done.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SHINN. I also want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for focusing on this issue and for your support and diligence in working with all sorts of issues in New Jersey from the Jacques Cousteau Research Center to dredging the Tuckeren Seaport Project and working through the issues with us that are very controversial. You have made a great difference and a great contribution to our efforts. I thank you for that.
It was just roughly 10 years ago that, and I know you remember it well, Mr. Chairman, that we had 803 beach closings in New Jersey. We had an intensive monitoring program in New Jersey.
I can tell you, it created absolute chaos in the legislature. Our tourism took a nose dive. Sometimes it is hard to find indicators of progress. This last summer, we had three beach closings in New Jersey, with a more intense monitoring program than we had in 1988.
So, a 10 year time frame, and if you think of 1988 from an economic perspective, we had good economic times in 1988. Good economic times puts pressure on the environment because you have more traveling with cars.
You have more industry, more activity. People go on vacations more, et cetera. I think it is a pretty good indicator that we have made significant progress in good economic times with minimizing our impact on the coast.
Not to say we do not have a lot more work to do because we do. At the same time, we have decreased our bad air days in New Jersey under the One Hour Ozone Standard. In 1998, again, in good economic times we had 45 one hour violations of the Ozone Standard.
This past year, we had 4. So, we are pretty proud of that record ourselves. So, we are making a significant progress in both air and water quality.
I want to state up front that the Coastal Zone Management Act is a Federal-State partnership that works and works quite well. The flexibility it offers the states in meeting their priorities, while maintaining non-obtrusive Federal oversight has served as a model for Federal and State voluntary agreements.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In fact, it is the same kind of results-based performance partnership that we are striving to achieve with EPA through our National Environmental Performance Partnership Process.
We have not quite got to where we want to be, yet, but we are trying awful hard on both sides. I think we are making significant progress. I also wanted to point out that the Coastal Zone Management Act was 20 years ahead of the curve in its effort to promote the principles of sustainability by balancing the goals of a vibrant economy and a healthy natural resource.
I can tell you that it has only been about 5 short years ago that we integrated in our mission statement in New Jersey the integration of environmental quality and economic prosperity.
That was quite controversial at that time. The Coastal Zone Management Act was really ahead of that and recognized that compatibility before certainly we did as a state and many states did not.
Although New Jersey is a small State, it has an extensive coast line zone with nearly 1,800 miles of tidal shore line. Most of our 20 major watersheds containing 6,450 miles of rivers drain directly into tidal waters.
Our coastal zone is the lifeline of some of New Jersey's largest industries, including recreation, tourism, shipping, commercial fishing, and shell fishing. Needless to say, our coast is a vital economic and environment resource to New Jersey.
Managing this resource for sustainability poses major challenges, as you know; the challenges of promoting smart growth, a vibrant economy, a clean environment, and ample open spaces, and a healthy and abundant natural resources.
In fact, our report to the public this year on our cover is a picture of our coast line. Our coast line is our major tourist attraction and our major promotion of the State of New Jersey.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Take for example the Barnegat Bay region in your District. The Barnegat Bay is 42 miles in length. It is a relatively shallow, low flushing bay making it especially vulnerable to pollution.
Its watershed drains 550 square miles of land. In 1995, the U.S. EPA designated Barnegat Bay as a National Estuary ordering the southern end of the Barnegat Bay as, of course, you know the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Preserve at Mollica River and Great Bay, so designated by NOAA in 1997; thank to your efforts.
The Mollica River Great Bay System is considered one of the most pristine coastal estuaries of the coast and provides excellent scientific baseline data for managing Barnegat Bay, which has much greater development pressures and much greater indicators of those pressures.
It looks like I am getting the hook. So, I will try to expedite my testimony to the close. I just want to say that New Jersey has been very advanced over the past 2 years in putting its Watershed Management Program together and basing it on a Geographic Information System, or GIS as you noted.
It is well on its way. We have both our coastal program funding. We have our corporate business tax funding. We are working in 96 individual watersheds in New Jersey. We have ourProgram and our State Planning Program in place.
We have the new Governor's commitment for $98 million a year for a 10 year period for the million acre acquisition, and then another $98 million a year for up to 20 years for debt service satisfaction.
Acquisition is a major part of this. Flexibility is a major part of it. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. We need to enhance partnerships. I think you have got a good history of doing that. So, my suggestion is not to make major changes.
Let us just fine tune what is working well and we are finally into the non-point pollution business and smart watershed planning. Let us continue it.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Shinn may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Let us move now to Dr. Hershman.
STATEMENT OF MARC J. HERSHMAN, DIRECTOR AND PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF MARINE AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Dr. HERSHMAN. Thank you very much for permitting me to come and tell you about a study that was commissioned by the Federal Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management within NOAA.
This study was called the Coastal Zone Management Effectiveness Study. It was undertaken between 1995 and 1997. Our goal was to determine how well the state management programs were implementing the goals of the Coastal Zone Management Act.
We studied five of the core objectives of the Coastal Zone Management Act: protection of estuaries and wetlands; protection of beaches, dunes, bluffs, and rocky shores; providing public access to the shore; revitalizing urban waterfronts, and accommodating seaport development as an example of a coastal-dependent use.
In carrying out the study, we examined all of the 29 state programs that were approved at the time that we were doing the study. We reviewed documents and data and conducted interviews with state officials.
We sought information on governmental processes, but we also tried to seek information of on the ground outcomes of the program efforts. This was the way our study differed from many that had been done in the past.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Detailed state profiles were developed. There are five national technical reports on file with the OCRM, which soon will be on their Home Page. Article-length summaries will be published in Coastal Management journal in Spring of 1999.
We have three major conclusions which I would like to share with you briefly. Our team included six investigators. I am joined here today by Virginia Lee, from the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program, one of the other co-PIs and co-author.
Our team concluded that state CZM Programs are effectively implementing the five CZMA objectives we examined. This conclusion is based on policies, processes, and tools used, and only on limited outcome data and case examples that we could find.
Here are some examples of conclusions. For about 1/3 of the states, there was sufficient outcome data to show effectiveness in protecting wetlands and estuaries. These 12 states, for which we had adequate data, we believe are representative of all states. This is an area where we think the CZMA is achieving its goal.
Beach and dune resources are being protected based on the high number of regulatory tools in use, and the fact that these tools are being upgraded year-by-year. In fact, there have been over 60 upgrades over the history of the program. Beach and dune protection is the most difficult area to show outcomes on because the protection of the resource must be balanced with pressures to provide recreational opportunity and to protect private property rights.
Public access to the coast is being advanced using regulatory acquisition, technical assistance, education and outreach programs. Roughly, 455 public access related projects were funded in the late 1980s. Coastal managers estimate over 12,000 public access sites are available in 26 of the 29 states.
Over 303 Urban Waterfront Revitalization Districts in the U.S. have benefited from Coastal Zone Management Program funds and design assistance. On average, these districts are half-way to full revitalization. ''Half-way'' means that infrastructure has been improved and at least one redevelopment project has been completed.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Of 12 ''port-active'' states, where large scale general cargo ports operate, there are specific policies and regulatory tools to expedite port development, including financial grants, specific port development zones, and expedited regulatory reviews.
Despite these findings which indicate substantial achievement of goals, we believe there are insufficient data for systematic outcome-based performance evaluation of the state programs.
What we need is a common set of outcome indicators that would link state management activities to the national CZMA objectives. Outcome indicators must be developed that balance State and Federal perspectives.
Our study suggest many possible indicators, a selected number of which could be adopted. For example, one measure of wetlands protection could be the area of annual permitted loss per year as a percent of all regulated wetlands. Over a 5 year period, the trends in wetland loss would indicate whether we are moving forward in the protection area.
An indicator of beach and dune protection could be stewardship projects induced by the CZM Program providing access ways, dune cross overs, and designated protected areas.
Progress in waterfront revitalization could be tracked through an accounting of stages reached in the revitalization process, and the scope of the CZM goals achieved.
We believe the time is ripe for Congress to initiate a national outcome monitoring and performance evaluation system. The OCRM should take the lead in implementing this process. Systematic outcome monitoring reporting and evaluation needs external stimulus and leadership.
Coastal managers are already over-burdened with implementation tasks and they face political, legal, and financial pressures administering their programs. Congressional leadership will encourage a common set of indicators allowing comparisons across states and conclusions about national performance.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In this way, on the ground outcomes from the national investment in CZM can be credibly measured. The rest of the testimony, I will ask to be included in the record, if that is possible.
Thank you very much for giving us an opportunity to present the findings of this study.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Hershman may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, sir. Ms. Cooksey.
STATEMENT OF SARAH W. COOKSEY, PRESIDENT, COASTAL STATES ORGANIZATION
Ms. COOKSEY. Thank you, Chairman Saxton and other members of the Subcommittee for the invitation to testify. I am the Administrator of Delaware's Coastal Management Programs, where we have one of the oldest CZM Programs and one of the newest reserves.
Today, I am testifying in my role as Chair of the Coastal States Organization, which you have said you are very familiar with.
My written statement includes specific draft legislative amendments which we hope you will include in CZMA reauthorization. Please include it in the record.
This morning you have heard testimony from many people representing many different interests. I am here to represent the people that are working in the trenches making the day-to-day decisions that will have long-term impacts on the uses of the Nation's coastal zone.
For example, communities in North Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico that need tools to make tough decisions regarding where to allow building after hurricanes have hit. Communities in Louisiana and other states that need assistance to protect and restore wetlands.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC States from Oregon to Maryland need to provide better assistance to communities to help them help themselves to make better informed local decisions regarding the cumulative impact of the hundreds of coastal management decisions that are being made every day.
I will focus my oral comments and recommendations on amendments that will build on the CZMA's inherent strengths, and that will provide coastal managers and communities with three important things.
We need tools to assist communities to address the unprecedented growth and development in these precious areas. We need to improve management oriented research, technical assistance, and support so that science is used to make better informed decisions regarding coastal issues.
We also need to increase support for the administration and enhancement of coastal zone programs to further the protection and restoration of coastal resources while allowing for reasonable coastal dependent growth.
This morning we have all talked about all of the good things in the CZMA. I am not going to repeat them. You know that the term ''smart growth'' and ''sustainable development'' were movements 20 years ago before the terminology became into vogue.
Again, there are three fundamental issues which the CZMA can help us address. They are the pervasive and persistent affects of land-based sources of coastal pollution. The cumulative and secondary impact of increased development in coastal areas on habitat and water quality, and the potential for inefficient investment in public infrastructure resulting from urban sprawl.
The CZMA should be amended to include a new section to provide dedicated support to states to assist in the development and implementation of local community-based solutions to the impacts of coastal uses and resources caused by increased development and urban sprawl.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In 1998 alone, 124 ballot initiatives were approved by voters calling for improved management of development and conservation of open space. I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Commissioner Shinn and Governor Whitman in these areas.
Last year, Congress approved billions of dollars for highway development. In the State of Delaware, a significant portion of these funds will undoubtedly go, as they should go, to improve access to our increasingly popular coastal resource communities.
Those communities, however, will need our assistance if they are going to properly understand, plan for, and reduce potential impacts. In Delaware alone, $700 million was spent to manage 10 summer weekend traffic tie-ups and only $1 million was spent on beach nourishment.
While the development of computer generated Geographical Information Systems, GIS, have expanded greatly the ability to identify the relation of existing development, future growth patterns and natural resources, few local governments have the capacity to utilize these or other sophisticated tools to plan to accommodate the inevitable future growth of these communities, while preserving the quality of life and ecosystem vitality.
I have brought with me a brief description of GIS projects in Delaware that were undertaken with Kent County, which is designed to build their capacity to create build-out scenarios, determine prime areas for environmentally compatible development, and to control urban sprawl.
This project has also resulted in decreasing preliminary permit review time from weeks to hours. We would like to expand this to other counties, but we cannot because of the lack of adequate resources.
We recommend that $30 million be authorized to support these community growth management projects. This is consistent with the levels recommended in the Administration's Land Legacy Initiative.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We can also improve NOAA's commitment to the application of science and research to on the ground decision-making. This was clearly demonstrated last year during the Pfiesteria crisis.
Current provisions under section 310 of the CZMA calling for management oriented research and technical assistance from NOAA to the states should be strengthened. The Secretary should be required to provide a report and recommendation to this Subcommittee regarding the effectiveness of NOAA in providing such research and assistance.
Finally, despite clear national benefits, Federal support for coastal zone management has not kept pace with growing challenges. Finding for state coastal programs in real terms has declined due to inflation and the addition of new States: Texas, Ohio, Georgia.
The member from Minnesota soon will have a new CZM Program. In larger states, grants have been kept at $2 million a year for the past 8 years. The states recommend increasing authorization levels for base programs for administration and enhancement to $75 million in order to address this shortfall.
This increase will also help states address polluted run-off, including intrastate and state local coordination of initiatives to address the causes and impacts of non-point pollution; particularly as they relate to land use and linking water quality with other coastal resource protection.
In addition, the CZM provides great general authority to undertake projects to preserve, restore, and provide public access to special areas of the state with conservation, recreation, ecological, and aesthetic value. Current limitations on the use of these funds should be removed and specific funding authorized to enable states to address preservation and restoration of these priority areas.
CSO has proposed a modest annual funding increase of $12 million. I have included specific projects in Delaware where we have worked together with parties that commonly disagree, agricultures, developers, and environmentalists, to show the processes that are in place in the CZMA can be effective.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Before I conclude, Mr. Saxton, I would like to briefly address two issues of which I know you are concerned. First, the personal watercraft that we have talked about a little bit this morning.
Many states are struggling with the impact of personal watercraft, as well as other recreational watercraft in sensitive coastal areas. CZM Programs are most effective when we are able to work collaboratively with communities.
If the Subcommittee considers amendments to the CZMA to address personal watercraft, we suggest that state programs be permitted to work with communities to identify those areas where personal watercraft or other watercraft should be restricted.
In the long run, the effectiveness of any restrictions will depend upon adequate enforcement and to have adequate enforcement you need the support of the local community. I would also like to bring your attention to Delaware's Environmental Indicators Project, which I have a handout on.
We are seeking to identify environmental goals and prioritize environmental indicators to assess and track our progress in meeting these goals. Other states have similar projects which seek to focus on outcome rather than process goals.
The states would like to work with your staff and NOAA to design appropriate outcome indicators for the CZMA. In summary, the CZMA should be amended to take advantage of its inherent strengths.
I thank you very much for the opportunity to testimony. I look forward to working with you on this.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Cooksey may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much, Ms. Cooksey. Mr. Lytton.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF GARY D. LYTTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE ASSOCIATION
Mr. LYTTON. Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, my name is Gary Lytton. I am the President of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association which represents the interests of the managers and staff of the 23 designated and 4 proposed research reserves in the national system.
I am the Director of the Rookery Bay National Research Reserve in Southwest Florida. I work for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today to provide comments on the reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act.
I request that my written testimony be included as a part of the record. Mr. Chairman, one of the most significant challenges in coastal management that we face is the increasingly important need to link relevant science- based information to the needs of coastal communities that are faced with making local decisions that have long term and profound consequences on the coast.
We see that the CZMA is providing a very important framework for Federal, State, and local governments to address that need. The reauthorization of the Act provides a significant opportunity to address local decisions by coastal communities, by improving our ability to assess specific information needs at the local level, to strengthen the capacity of the Federal-State partnership to support relevant science meeting the needs of our coastal communities, and lastly to improve the delivery of science-based information and technology to coastal communities.
The Research Reserve System is designed to promote informed coastal decisions. As I mentioned, we have 23 designated sites and 4 proposed sites. It is important to recognize that research reserves represent biogeographic regions that are dealing with common issues and resources.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Each research reserve represents a biogeographic region with similar issues. We, in the last several years, have developed technical training workshops targeting local decision makers to help improve decision-making at the local level.
We developed graduate research fellowship projects, as many as two, at each one of the research reserves that address non-point issues and other science information needs relevant to local and regional communities.
Lastly, we have developed a system wide monitoring program that is enabling us to assess changes in estuaries relevant to land use activities within our watersheds. I would like to also point out that resource stewardship and education and training have become very important components of the National Research Reserve's Core Mission. Some of our specific recommendations deal with changing some of the language in section 315 to reflect that.
In fact, we have five specific recommendations that I will quickly review with you. We would recommend revision of the section 315 language to recognize the role of resource stewardship, restoration, education, and training, and the NERRS Core Mission.
Secondly, we are proposing in addition to section 315 to recognize the need for a construction and acquisition fund to support the research reserves at the site level. There is this significant need to continue to complete the core research education and training facilities at our research reserves.
Also, to acquire priority core lands in our reserves. Thirdly, we are asking for increased support for research reserves through increased authorization levels in section 318. Specifically, our association is recommending $12 million for section 315 operational funds in fiscal year 2000.
Then an additional $12 million for construction and acquisition funds in a construction fund in section 315. We feel very strongly that these levels will help us meet our needs in completing our mission in the research reserves. Just quickly, I will mention that in 1993 an independent panel recommended a minimum of $10 million to operate research reserves when we had 22 sites. We are now moving to 25 sites.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We also strongly support the Administration's efforts in the Land Legacy Initiative to increase levels for research reserves.
The fourth point I will quickly mention is that research reserves are developing a new initiative that we are calling coastal institutes that will strengthen the research reserve capacity to deliver quality technical training delivered to coastal decision makers.
We see coastal institutes as an opportunity to increase our partnership with our state CZM colleagues and also with NOAA. We look forward to working with you to develop the coastal institute initiative.
Lastly, I will mention that research reserves are strongly supportive of the concept of measurable objectives for the CZMA. We look forward to working with our state CZM colleagues and also with NOAA to develop relevant outcome indicators that reflect the direction of the Research Reserves Program and its role in the CZMA.
I do want to quickly mention that research reserve managers are also dealing with the issue of personal watercraft. I will give you an example. In Rookery Bay in Southwest Florida, we have developed a cooperative research project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify the science-based information relevant to not just personal watercraft, but to air boats and conventional watercraft operating in shallow water environments.
We see this research effort to basically increase our understanding of the nature of the environmental impacts of these watercraft in these shallow water environments. The results of our research would then be shared with our state CZM Programs with our state and local agencies to help develop management recommendations to address this issue.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to give comments. I will be glad to answer any questions you might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Lytton may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
We are going to go to Mr. Faleomavaega, the gentleman from American Samoa.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. John Wayne, if it is all right with you.
Mr. SAXTON. John Wayne.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Commissioner Shinn, I was listening to your testimony which I appreciate very much. Do I gather from all of the four witnesses on the panel, and any of you can respond, that pretty much you are satisfied with the way the CZMA authorization law is being written.
Do you recommend major surgery in any specific area, besides increasing the funding level, a little trimming here and there, and refinement there?
Is there a major portion of the current law that you feel very strongly about that there should be some major changes?
Mr. SHINN. I feel very strongly that we do not need major surgery. I think we have got a very successful program. I think we do need a common set of indicators in the system. I do not think we ought to convert the whole system to something different to gain that.
We use indicators in New Jersey. We set goals and we look at indicators for water quality improvements. Certainly beach closings is one of our indicators.
I think if we change the system too much, we are going to lose the foresightedness of this system that is built into it now. It is highly cooperative. I think there was a lot of vision in the Coastal Zone Management Act.
We are using it very beneficially now. So, finally we are getting coordination among our programs for a successful result. We really do not want to see major changes because it is finally working very well.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Well, now that we have no problems on the east coast, how about the west coast, Dr. Hershman.
Dr. HERSHMAN. I do not believe major changes are necessary at all. I agree with the Commissioner very much that we have a program that has been 20 years in evolution now.
It is a relatively stable program. Funding levels have gone up and down, but within a relatively narrow range. It has shown a lot of resilience to deal with new issues that have come along. In the 1970s, it was oil and gas. In the 1980s, it was restoration. In the 1990s, it is water quality. To me, it is a mechanism that is really working well. Keeping that structure in place is very important.
The other thing that is extremely important is allowing the flexibility at the state level for each state or territory to respond in a way that is appropriate for it with some guidance at the national level. So, I think we are talking about fine tuning the Act.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Ms. Cooksey.
Ms. COOKSEY. I just would like to add that in general I agree. I think as we move, I would like the analogy on the decade now that we are moving into the next millennium. I think we recognize that the easy tasks have been handled.
Now, we are dealing with the more difficult decisions that have to be made in my opinion to be successful. You need to get buy-in from the local communities. That is what we are focusing on. We think you get more bang for the buck that way.
Mr. LYTTON. I would agree with the other comments. Major surgery is not necessary. The frame work is in place. It is a model that works. I would also agree that we really need to do refinements here that would increase our ability to work more closely with coastal communities.
Again, in my opinion, that is where the decisions are made that have perhaps the most profound impacts on our coastal resources. That is where we need to move in the reauthorization.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. As you know, we discussed earlier, Mr. Park and Mr. Fote's concerns, about the PWC. Should this be incorporated into the CZMA in some way or somehow by the Congress?
Should we put in some form of regulatory format as far as addressing the problems that have been addressed earlier by the PWCs? Should this be left entirely to the states and do not let the Congress do this?
Dr. HERSHMAN. I would argue to leave it to the states and for Congress not to get involved. The reason for that is that it is so much a local issue. The way the draft is written at this stage, it requires each state to respond with rules and then provides definitions which I think will cause difficulties.
I agree with the comment that was made earlier. The amendments are out of character with the National Act. The Act has really not included this kind of specific standard on the states, as many of the EPA statutes have. So, I would be cautious in this area.
Mr. SAXTON. May I just ask, our motivation for doing this in this bill is that my experience at least has been that our State legislature has had a difficult time dealing with this issue.
Our motive was not to do it for the states, but to try to provide a little extra push to make it more feasible for something to happen in the state legislatures. Is there a different way that we could go about doing this?
Obviously, something needs to be done in order to facilitate the kinds of things that have been talked about here today to have them happen on the state level. So, we do not want to mandate. We do not want to burden. We do not want to provide for concrete types of steps to be taken.
We want to encourage progress to be made in this area. How can we do that if we do not address it in this bill or in some other vehicle that we have at our disposal?
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. HERSHMAN. The draft that I saw calls for requiring an inclusion in the program of an enforceable policy on this area with the definitions involved. That is a departure from the way the CZMA has operated in the past.
In the past, there have been requirements to study particular areas, come up with an assessment of them. Certainly the 309 assessment process was one of those in which states could identify areas of particular concern and then develop strategies for that and there were extra funds available for that.
I guess I go back to the point I made earlier, the initiative has always been with the state to define the specific problem within the broad parameters laid out in the Federal Act.
I think that is one of the strengths of the program. I do not have an alternative to propose at this time. I would certainly be happy to think more about it and see if one comes to mind.
Mr. SAXTON. I am sorry.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. No, Mr. Chairman.
I am trying to follow the Chairman's train of thought here. Not necessarily on a regulatory basis, but giving some sense of guidelines for the states to follow, but not mandating the states to do so because of the varieties of circumstances that the states are involved.
It is too bad the National Governors Association met recently. Maybe the Governors among the 50 States could have put their heads together, come out with some kind of a resolution or exchange ideas or problems that maybe they cannot resolve at that level. I do not know.
I just wanted to raise that question with the members of the panel. If we are in a position to address the issue from the Congress, or could this be done more effectively among the various states. I just wanted just to raise that issue.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Let me just bring up an issue that has been discussed throughout the testimony today. Mr. Shinn mentioned correctly that our State, in fact the Northeast, has made great progress in terms of the ocean environment.
Ms. Cooksey also said that we have made progress, but we have dealt with the easy problems which she is correct about. Obviously when you can see a source of pollution, and fashion a response to the problem, and have the resources to do it with, then it gets done. We have done that. We have upgraded waste water treatment systems in the Northeast. We have prohibited chemical dumping in the ocean.
We have prohibited sludge dumping in the ocean. We have been able to control floatables, to a large degree, in the Northeast. These are all problems that you can see and unfortunately experience from time-to-time.
We have had the political will therefore to identify them, to develop the resource base to deal with them, and we have dealt with them. The issues that we have not been successful and the more difficult issues that Ms. Cooksey referred to I think are generally referred to as non-point sources of pollution.
It is our desire to provide an incentive to deal with them as well on the state level. What we have done to-date has been moderately, I guess, successful. That is probably being generous.
What do you think? Is there a way that we can better address this issue in CZM? If so, elaborate for us.
Bob, would you like to start?
Mr. SHINN. I think that is a very thought provoking suggestion because what we are finding is that more and more the impacts, as we regulate sewage treatment plants and get into secondary and tertiary treatment, et cetera, where the investment, once you got beyond tertiary treatment to get that last 3 or 4 percent of treatment processes, is huge. You never get to 100 percent.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We did a specific study in the Barnegat Bay on phosphorous and the origins of phosphorous. I think we had more than 12,000 data points. It was more data points than we have ever had in any study.
The conclusion was that 91 percent of the phosphorous was coming from fertilizers and pesticides relative to individual lawns in the Barnegat Bay system. So, I think a part of the mission ahead of us, if we are going to solve our non-point problems, is really a strong educational program.
That needs to be in our school system. Certainly, GIS is something that I see a great future for in environmental education in school settings. I think that is a challenge that is hard to get our arms around as an environmental agency because we are not traditionally ''educators.''
Now, we have got a mandatory curriculum in New Jersey that the legislature passed last year. I think that is a good first step. I think environmental education and knowing the individual's impact, we like to think of pollution as someone else polluting our resource.
We like to point across the way. It is sort of we found the enemy and it is us. I think the secret to that is education in our school systems, much the way we got good buy-in for recycling.
I think non-point pollution, which is sort of a little bit of a mysterious word generally, needs to be defined as to what that is and what part individuals play in that.
When you find out it is the car you drive, and maybe some litter that happens inadvertently, and lack of recycling and the way we apply fertilizers and pesticides, and some of the chemicals we use, it is not recognized that the things we do and the drainage from our homes end up in the river, the bay, or the ocean.
It is the only place they can go. So, the whole watershed debate is very, very interesting. If guess if you had a perfect world, you would go back to those 566 municipalities in New Jersey and design them around 96 watersheds.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Everyone would have a lot better feeling about how their basin drains and a lot more recognition. Of course, that is impossible. Just thinking in that context leads you down a path that really ends up with environmental education at the end of this to really solve our problems in a partnership way.
Ms. COOKSEY. I will comment just briefly. I agree with what the Commissioner said. However, I also think we just need to use every single tool we have. I think it is going to take a long time. I think it is going to take a lot of money to clean it up.
I think we need research into treatment. We all know that no matter what your land use is, whether it is agricultural or urban, it contributes. We need to come up with something to implement change.
We have books on best management practices, but I think we need more work in that area. I think we are going to have to spend money in my State for the agricultural community to help them along.
We do not have enough resources right now to do it. Our plan is to base it on a watershed based by impact. It is going to be tough.
Mr. LYTTON. Mr. Chairman, I think there are two contributions that the National Research Reserves can bring to the table on non-point pollution.
The first is going back to our system wide monitoring program. We have all 25 sites as we develop our national system. We are developing the capability to assess change in water quality linked directly to land use activities within our watersheds.
As we increase our understanding of the linkage between those changes, we can work more efficiently with our coastal communities to help them deal with their non-point issues.
The second and perhaps more to the point, I agree with Mr. Shinn on environmental education. Research reserves do have professional staff that not only do environmental education for K-12, but we have taken on technical training as a very important part of our mission. Specifically, we target decision makers, including land use planners, the regulatory agencies and coastal managers that deal with non-point issues.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is very important that we take the science that Sarah was talking about and link that to the decision makers that are dealing with non-point. Research reserves, again, are well-placed to help us get there.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
The gentleman from American Samoa.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank the members of the panel for traveling such long distances to come and to testify in our Subcommittee this morning.
I sincerely hope that whatever our Subcommittee will produce as a part of the authorization to the CZMA will be to their satisfaction. If not, we look forward to hearing from them as well.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you for coming long distances to be with us today. We appreciate it very much. We also appreciate the fact that you have hung in here with us for the better part of 3 hours.
We do not always have hearings that last this long, but this one was very interesting, and the part that you all played in helping us to understand this issue a little better is much appreciated.
[The prepared statement of the NOIA may be found at the end of the hearing.]
[The prepared statement of Mr. Pallone follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK PALLONE, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this oversight hearing on the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). I am pleased to see that you have invited two distinguished individuals from New Jersey to testify today. Tom Fote of the New Jersey Coast Anglers Association is respected throughout the state for his expertise in coastal issues. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Shinn has worked at the local, county, and state levels of government, and has devoted much of his career in public service to resource management.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Congress last authorized the CZMA in 1996, and the current authorization expires at the end of this fiscal year. As the Committee works to develop a CZMA reauthorization measure, I want to express my hope that it reflect our strong commitment to the protection, enjoyment, and responsible management of our coast.
As a native of the New Jersey shore, I know firsthand the importance of safeguarding our coastal resources. The CZMA gives states the resources necessary to protect the fisheries, wildlife, and coastal interests that are so important to our states' economies.
The CZMA governs important aspects of our coastal resourcesfar too many to be included in my statement today. However, Mr. Chairman, I want to highlight a few that are of particular concern to me.
The CZMA was amended in 1990 to incorporate the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, also known as Section 6217. Nonpoint source pollution is one of the most significant sources of water pollution affecting our nation's coastal waters. It contributes to beach closures, threatens our commercial and recreational fisheries, compromises public health, and has an overall negative effect on coastal tourism. States and the Federal Government have devoted much time and effort into developing plans to curb contaminated runoff into our coastal waters. I hope today's witnesses will address the benefits of including a sufficiently funded Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program in a CZMA reauthorization measure.
Living in a coastal community has allowed me and my family unlimited opportunities to enjoy the shore. Sadly, the public's access to our nation's beaches is declining. More than twenty five years ago public access to the shoreline was established as a focal point for coastal zone management. Resource Management Improvement Grants under Section 306A and Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants under Section 309 provide funds for states to encourage public access. Despite substantial accomplishments, however, the goal of a highly accessible coast remains unfulfilled. I am particularly interested in learning more about states' efforts to enhance universal public coastline access and in knowing how changes to these grants will affect access programs.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, the use of personal watercraft is of growing concern. I have recently received letters from constituents expressing their concerns about ''jet ski'' use within inshore waters. I would like to hear from those closely involved in this issue. This relatively new form of coastal recreation presents many questions. What are the effects of personal watercraft on wildlife and fisheries? Do ''jet skis'' in fact detract from coastal aesthetics and add to noise pollution? What constitutes a ''no wake'' speed when these small craft are designed to skim over water at high speeds. Answers to these questions are needed to help us decide if we should address this issue in a reauthorization measure.
In closing Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding this hearing on something that is so very important to us all. I look forward to working with you to develop a thoughtfully crafted Coastal Zone Nanagement reauthorization.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
[Additional material submitted for the record follows.]
STATEMENT OF HOWARD PARK, CONSULTANT, PERSONAL WATERCRAFT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
Thank you for the opportunity to address the Subcommittee today. My name is Howard Park and I represent the Personal Watercraft Industry Association. PWIA represents the five major manufacturers of personal watercraft (PWC), Arctic Cat Inc. based in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Bombardier Motor Corp. of America, based in Melbourne, Florida, Kawasaki Motors Corp.USA, based in Irvine, California, Polaris Industries, Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Yamaha Motor Corp.USA of Cypress, California. PWC are often referred to as ''Jet Skis,'' Kawasaki's brand name and a trademark of that company. Three PWIA member companies also make motors for larger types of boats.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This is the first time that I have ever testified before Congress. My colleagues and I have, however, testified in numerous states on countless occasions. We believe that regulation of PWC and other forms of boating belongs at the state and local level. Apparently, the concerns that led to inclusion of PWC regulation in this legislation before the Subcommittee originated with concerns about PWC operation in Barnegat Bay, in New Jersey. Prior to seeing the language of the bill before you, we were (and still are) in support of state legislation, Assembly Bill 653, to keep PWC out of shallow areas of Barnegat Bay. It is early in the legislative session in New Jersey, regardless of the outcome of the legislation before this Subcommittee, we would welcome the opportunity to work with those who are concerned with the issue in New Jersey.
It has always been our position that PWC (and other motorized boats) should not operate in shallow waters less than two feet in depth. We have never opposedand in fact supportlegislation that prohibits such operation. Our safety materials reflect this position. There is no basis to suggest that PWC should be singled out for such prohibitions. No motorized boat should operate in such shallow waters. Some say that only PWC should be prohibited from operating in shallow waters because only PWC can access such areas. That is simply false. Many types of jet-propelled boats and hovercraft, not defined as PWC, can access waters of two feet or less in depth.
There has been considerable research into the effects of PWC, boating and other human activities on wildlife and aquatic vegetation. Probably the most extensive studies of this subject were conducted for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council. Neither study found any basis to single out PWC for special regulations.
In addition, according to Dr. James Rodgers, a biologist with the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, who has conducted extensive research into this issue, ''A PWC moving at idle speed obliquely to the birds should produce the same flushing response as an outboard motorboat. Similarly, a fast moving motorboat heading directly at the birds with a deep V bow throwing white spray should produce a flushing response similar to that of a PWC being operated in a similar manner.''
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will leave copies of several studies related to wildlife disturbance with Committee staff and I have a limited number of copies for members. In any case, our recent progress with noise reduction technology promises to reduce any disturbance that PWC operation may cause.
Our most serious concern is that the bill would require that personal watercraft (PWC) be operated at no-wake speed or less in ''sensitive'' areas, defined as ''any area in the coastal zone that contains living marine resources and birds that may be impacted during the operation of a PWC.'' PWC should not be operated in areas where they have a negative impact on the resourcewhere good science supports such a conclusionwe have no problem with that. We believe that all boats should always be operated in an environmentally responsible manner.
We do have a serious concern, however, with the extremely broad definition of ''sensitive area'' in this bill which can be interpreted to include any area with any marine life, even microscopic organisms. Thus, this bill could cover the entire coastal zone and all the waters within it. We are especially concerned that this would be interpreted by the media and the public as a ''ban'' on PWC operation. This would have a chilling effect on our industry and the rights of over 5 million PWC owners and operators.
We believe that the approach of segregating one type of vessel is unreasonable and not supported by good science.
We know there are sincere concerns about PWC operation. The steps we are taking to meet these concerns include:
new technology introduced in the past year which reduces sound emissions from PWC by 50 percent;
our support of mandatory education for PWC operators, several states have adopted legislation based on our model;
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC tough model legislation, at the state level, to regulate businesses that rent PWC;
under a voluntary agreement reached with the EPA, spending at least tens of millions of dollars (so far) to develop cleaner engines that meet or exceed EPA targets;
lending, free of charge, over 1,500 PWC each year to law enforcement agencies to assist them in on-water enforcement and rescue efforts;
supplying free print and video safety materials with each PWC that is sold and many thousands of these materials to law enforcement and education institutions;
supporting a minimum age of 16 for PWC operation.
Our model legislation for regulation of PWC is tougher than all but a small handful of states.
Thank you. I would like to submit several written materials for the record and I would be pleased to answer questions.
INSERT OFFSET FOLIOS 38 TO 41 HERE
STATEMENT OF MARC J. HERSHMAN, JAMES W. GOOD, TINA BERND-COHEN, ROBERT F. GOODWIN, VIRGINIA LEE, AND PAM POGUE(see footnote 1)
The Federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1972. It provides a national framework for improved state management of the coastal lands and waters of the nation's coastal zone.
The Coastal Zone Management Effectiveness Study was undertaken between 1995 and 1997 to determine how well state coastal management programs in the U.S. were implementing the CZMA. The study was commissioned by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management (OCRM) within NOAA, and carried out through the National Sea Grant Program, also within NOAA.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We studied five of the core objectives of the CZMA:
protection of estuaries and coastal wetlands
protection of beaches, dunes, bluffs and rocky shores
provision of public access to the shore
revitalization of urban waterfronts
accommodation of seaport development (a coastal dependent use)
In carrying out the study we examined systematically all of the 29 state programs that were approved at the time, reviewed documents and data, and conducted interviews with state officials. We sought information on the governmental processes as well as ''on the-ground'' outcomes of the program efforts. Detailed state profiles, five national technical reports, and article-length summaries are on file with OCRM and will be on their Home Page. The articles will be published in the Spring of 1999 in Coastal Management journal.
We offer three major conclusions:
State CZM programs are effectively implementing the five CZMA objectives examined. However, this conclusion is based on assessment of the policies, processes and tools used, and on only limited outcome data and case examples that were available.
For about one-third of the states there was sufficient outcome data to show effectiveness in protecting coastal wetlands and estuaries. If these states are ''representative'' of all states, then outcome data shows that this CZMA objective is being met.
Beach and dune resources are being protected based on the number of regulatory tools in use and the upgrades to these tools over the years. Beach and dune protection must be balanced with pressures to provide recreational opportunity and to protect private property rights.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Public access to the coast is being advanced using regulatory, acquisition, technical assistance and education/outreach programs. Roughly 455 public access-related projects were funded by coastal programs in the late 1980s, and an estimated 12,000 public access sites are available in 26 of the 29 states.
Over 303 urban waterfront revitalization districts in the U.S. have benefited from CZM program funds and design assistance. On average these districts are halfway to full revitalizationinfrastructure has been improved and at least one redevelopment project has been completed.
Twelve ''port-active'' states, where large scale general cargo ports operate, use special policies and regulatory tools to expedite port development, including financial grants, specific port development zones, and expedited regulatory reviews.
There are insufficient data for systematic, outcome-based performance evaluation of state CZM programs. Needed is a common set of outcome indicators that would link state management activities to national CZMA objectives.
Outcome indicators must be developed that balance state and Federal perspectives. Our study suggests many possible indicators, a selected number of which could be adopted. For example one measure of wetlands protection could be the area of annual permitted loss per year as a percent of all regulated wetlands. A measure of beach and dune protection could be a count of stewardship projects induced by the CZM program which provide beach accessways, dune crossovers, and designated protected areas. And, progress in waterfront revitalization could be tracked through an accounting of stages reached in the revitalization process and the scope of CZM goals achieved.
The time is ripe for Congress to initiate a national outcome monitoring and performance evaluation system. OCRM should take the lead in implementing the process.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Systematic outcome monitoring, reporting and evaluation will not occur without external stimulus and leadership. Coastal managers are already over-burdened with implementation tasks and they face political and legal pressures administering their programs. Congressional leadership will encourage a common set of indicators allowing comparisons across states and conclusions about national performance. In this way on-the-ground outcomes from the national investment in CZM can be credibly measured.
SUMMARIES OF THE FIVE NATIONAL STUDIES OF THE CZME(see footnote 2)
Protecting Estuaries and Coastal Wetlands. Good et al. (1999) found sufficient outcome data to make ''probable'' effectiveness determinations for about one-third of the states examined. Of these, they found that 80 percent were performing at expected or higher levels in protecting wetland and estuary resources considering issue importance and strength of processes used in the state. If these states can be shown to be representative, they argue, then the national program as a whole can be considered effective for this objective.
Good et al. (1999) followed a four-step process in their study, first examining issue importance, next the potential effectiveness of CMPs based on process indicators, then outcome effectiveness based on on-the-ground outcome indicators, and finally, overall performance based on a comparison of outcome effectiveness with issue importance and potential effectiveness.
To rate and compare the importance of estuary and coastal wetland protection as a CZM issue in each state, the authors chose seven issue importance indicatorsthree environmental, two social-demographic, and two perception-based. To them, issue importance serves as context for determining the level of program performance.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Next, Good et al. (1999) defined a ''model state CMP'' for estuary and wetland protection based on the most important processes and tools identified by all the states. From the model CMP, criteria were developed and applied to estimate the potential effectiveness of each state program ''on paper.'' Potential effectiveness ratings increased as the state approached the model.
Outcome indicators were defined as ''measures of on-the-ground protection provided by the CZM processes and tools.'' An example is the area of wetland compensatory mitigation required in a CZM regulatory program as documented in the permit process. This indicator, along with other measures of regulatory, planning, acquisition, and nonregulatory outcomes, were used to estimate outcome effectiveness. The authors found data sufficient to make at least ''probable'' outcome effectiveness determinations for just 12 of the 29 CMPs. They rated ten of these 12 (83 percent) as either ''effective'' or ''very effective'' using model-based rating criteria.
Finally, Good et al. (1999) compare outcome effectiveness ratings with issue importance and potential effectiveness ratings in order to place program performance in the unique context of each state. To rate overall performance, they compare outcome effectiveness results with the seriousness of the problem in the state (issue importance) and with the ability of the state's decision-making institutions to deal with the issue (potential effectiveness). As they put it, this allows a determination of overall performance for a state that suits its particular situation, rather than a determination based on a ''one size fits all'' approach. Thus a state with a low issue importance rating is not held to the same standard as one that rates that issue as high.
Protecting Beaches and Dunes. Bernd-Cohen and Gordon (1999) conclude, based on process indicators and case examples, that coastal programs are effectively addressing the goal of protecting beach and dune resources. To support their conclusion they cite to the wide range of tools in use, the progressive upgrading of these tools over the years, and numerous case examples of sophisticated tools now in use. Outcome data were inconclusive and available in only a few states.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The authors outline 26 tools used by the states to protect beaches and dunes, from which they derive ten key ''process indicators of effectiveness.'' The majority of these indicators are regulatory, including controls over construction and public access where these may damage natural resources. They highlight one commonly used device, coastal setback regulations, to show its potential utility to protect resources and reduce hazards. However, they also point out that a carefully developed setback law often includes many exceptions designed to enhance recreation or protect private property rights. And because outcome data that show the results of implementation are inconclusive and revealed mostly in case study examples, they cannot make definitive conclusions about the effectiveness of setbacks, or other regulatory and planning devices, that are designed to protect the resources.
Bernd-Cohen and Gordon (1998) highlight the wide range of tools in use, including regulatory programs, planning coupled with regulations, stewardship of publicly owned lands, research and public education. They point out that CZM programs have progressively upgraded their management tools to improve how they deal with development impacts and long-term effects. And, they present case examples that show some highly sophisticated tools now in use to address the technical and legal issues. These achievements, when viewed against the backdrop of conflicting policies and multiple governmental programs concerned with beach and dune resources, suggest to them good progress toward the protection goal.
The authors believe that meaningful outcome monitoring and evaluation are possible for this topic area. The outcome data collected, though inconclusive, suggest that states are both capable and desirous of more rigorous documentation of results. Bernd Cohen and Gordon (1998) present a list of outcome effectiveness indicators that, if systematically monitored and reported across all states, could serve as the basis for a national performance evaluation system for this issue area.
Providing Public Access to the Coast. Pogue and Lee (1999) conclude that state CZM programs are national leaders in improving access to the coast, first through a wide range of acquisition, regulatory and planning tools, and more recently through innovative technical assistance and public education and outreach programs.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The authors note that the CZMA was the first Federal law to establish a public access policy for the U.S., and that the state CZM programs are in the forefront implementing this goal. States use a wide range of tools to achieve the goal including acquisition, regulatory and land use requirements, technical assistance and public education and outreach. The diversity of approaches is illustrated through a variety of case examples.
Although hard numbers for measuring outcomes were not available, Pogue and Lee (1998) note that $35 million (unadjusted 1988 $$) were spent on 455 public access related projects between 1985 and 1988, roughly 12 percent of the total CZM funding available in that period. The authors report an estimate of over 12,000 public access sites available in 26 of the 29 states, though the linkage with CZM program actions could not be studied. The states with the most sites tend to have the greatest number of processes available for promoting access. The authors note a policy shift in the 1990s away from direct acquisition and regulation toward technical assistance and public outreacha recognition of the overall decrease in funds available for access. Innovative approaches such as design standards, legal research and signage are highlighted. They also stress the role of CZM programs in balancing resource protection needs with growing public demand for beach recreation opportunities.
Chief among their recommendations is that CZM programs conduct needs assessments to determine the kind of access needed in the future and where it should be located. And, due to the creativity and innovation used to achieve access they argue for a clearinghouse, or register, for documenting and sharing information on innovative tools and programs.
Revitalizing Waterfronts. Goodwin (1999) found 303 urban waterfront districts which have benefited from state CZM programs. Districts on average are roughly halfway to full revitalization (infrastructure has been improved and at least one redevelopment project is completed). Fourteen coastal programs are determined to be the most effective in waterfront revitalization because of their on-the-ground outcomes and the close linkage between CZM policies, processes and the outcomes. Revitalization is occuring mostly in those areas of the country experiencing industrial changethe rust belt, the Pacific Northwest, and New England.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Goodwin (1999) found that providing funds for waterfront planning and public improvements was considered the most important of all the tools used by coastal managers to revitalize waterfronts. He documents CZM funds of over $30 million leveraging over $430 million of non-CZM funds, an amount he believes is an underestimate. In addition to identifying funding and the wide range of additional tools used by the coastal management programs, he defines key process outcomes such as adopted waterfront revitalization plans and design studies performed to achieve on-the-ground outcomes. Goodwin develops an ideal waterfront revitalization program and determines, in a similar way to Good, et al. (1999), the degree to which each of the states approaches the ideal.
Outcomes themselves were in three forms: extent of revitalization in the state measured by the number of districts involved; stage of revitalization achieved in each district; and scope of resulting on-the-ground improvements that revitalize and achieve coastal management goals. For example he shows the number of districts where revitalization is complete, the number having reached certain milestones such as completed plans, infrastructure, or projects, and the number of districts achieving different types of uses.
Goodwin finds that the greatest needs nationally are to formulate an urban waterfront data base that would describe the amount of waterfront revitalization that has occurred and that still remains unfinished, and to elevate waterfront revitalization to a national objective under section 309 of the CZMA.
Accommodating Seaport Development. Hershman (1999) concluded that 12 ''port-active'' states are effectively achieving the goal of the Act because of their specific policies and management tools which facilitate port development, and because of preliminary evidence of ''organizational learning'' in CZM and port agencies derived from case studies in ten of the twelve states.
Seaport development is one of the coastal dependent uses to which CZM programs are to give priority consideration. Hershman focused on large-scale general cargo ports because of the role they play in global trade and their importance to the nation, as well as the state in which they are located. He found that most states give port development only general consideration in policies and procedures, similar to any other coastal developer, but that twelve states stand out as ''port-active'' states. These states have significant port facilities from a national perspective (or relative to their size), and correspondingly these CZM programs have more specific policies and techniques to help review and facilitate port development. These specific tools include financial grants, specific port zones, expedited regulatory processes, and other tools.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC According to Hershman, measuring outcomes in meeting the seaport development goal is problematic; whether a port is built or not is dependent primarily on economic and locational factors. CZM can influence the timing, shape and manner of port development, but this depends on the context in every case and normally reflects other CZM objectives such as wetland protection or public access. He relies, therefore, on the notion of ''organizational learning,'' where the manner in which the port and CZM organizations interact to accommodate their mutual needs becomes a measure of effectiveness. If what they learn from each other results in changed objectives within each organization and helps resolve differences, then the port and CZM organization are being effective in meeting the objectives of a multi-purpose Act like the CZMA. Through case examples he suggests that they are, in effect, beginning to integrate the multiple objectives of the CZMA within each organization.
Bernd-Cohen, T., and M. Gordon, 1999. State coastal program effectiveness in protecting natural beaches, dunes, bluffs and rocky shores''. Coastal Management 27: -.
Good, J. W. J. W. Weber, and J.W. Charland, 1999. Protecting estuaries and coastal wetlands through state coastal management programs. Coastal Management 27: to .
Goodwin, R. F., 1999. Redeveloping deteriorated urban waterfronts: The effectiveness of U.S. coastal management programs. Coastal Management 27: to .
Hershman, M. J., J. Good, T. Bernd-Cohen, R. Goodwin, V. Lee, P. Pogue, 1999. The effectiveness of coastal zone management in the United States. Coastal Management 27: to .
Hershman, M. J., 1999. Seaport development and coastal management programs: A national overview. Coastal Management 27: to .
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Pogue, P, and V. Lee, 1999. Effectiveness of state coastal management programs in providing public access to the shore: A national overview. Coastal Management 27: to .
STATEMENT OF NATIONAL OCEAN INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION AND THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Subcommittee. We appreciate this opportunity to provide our views on reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
This statement is being made today on behalf of the members of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). The over 270 members of NOIA constitute the only trade association representing all segments of the domestic offshore oil and gas business, including drillers, producers, service companies and equipment manufacturers. The API represents over 400 companies involved in all aspects of the exploration, production, transportation, refining and the marketing of oil and natural gas.
Together these associations represent an important and nationally significant marine business. A business that has provided the energy necessary to fuel the nation's growing economy. A business that has contributed significant reserves to the Federal Treasury ($5.2 billion FY 1997 from bonus bids, rents and royalties alone) and employs hundreds of thousands of American workers. In addition, it is a business that has conducted its operations in an environmentally responsible manner.
As an important coastal and marine stakeholder, the oil and gas business holds significant interest in the CZMA. While we support the Act's goal to formulate a comprehensive and coordinated management program to achieve marine economic development and coastal resource protection, we believe improvements can be made that can benefit the coastal environment as well as all coastal and marine stakeholders.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, NOIA and API testified before this Subcommittee in 1995, during a hearing on your bill that reauthorized the CZMA (H.R. 1965). During that hearing we raised concerns over the Act's failure to satisfy a key national objective to coordinate and simplify the ''administrative procedures to ensure expedited governmental decision-making'' for multiple-use coastal resource management.
Our comments and experience with the timeliness of appeals for comprehensive federally approved plans for oil and gas exploratory drilling, pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), proved the CZMA process is ''complex and anything but expedited.'' Through your leadership, Mr. Chairman, the Subcommittee responded to these concerns by adding much-needed statute of limitations for the Commerce Secretary's review. NOAA is now in the process of promulgating regulations to implement this streamlining measure.
Today we would like to comment briefly on several other areas where we believe this Subcommittee can enhance and improve certain aspects of the CZMA. Highlighted below are a few recommendations. They are not inclusive, but rather illustrate areas where we wish to work with you and the Subcommittee during the 1999 CZMA reauthorization process to improve the implementation of the Act.
Federal agencies, states and the business community agree that many Federal activities have only a de minimis impact on coastal uses. Requiring extensive consistency determinations for each and every activity regardless of the significance of the environmental impacts adds undue cost and resource expenses to coastal managers and Federal agencies. As an example, certain Federal activities involve no more than the publication of schedules or calendars of anticipated actions or other like policy documents. It appears unnecessary to require an extensive consistency determination for these actions.
We suggest that the Subcommittee seek adoption of a legislative solution to this matter. A process to limit the required review of de minimis Federal activities similar to the categorical exclusion process in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may be one area to explore.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We endorse your suggestion to evaluate the effectiveness of state coastal zone management programs and their level of achievement in meeting the objectives of the CZMA. We expect that such a review might find several programs simply do not meet CZMA's national objective of ''priority consideration for coastal dependent uses and energy facility siting.''
We recommend that you consider addition of language requiring NOAA to consult with ocean and coastal stakeholders, including the oil and gas exploration, marine transportation and other commercial users of coastal and marine resources, as it prepares such an evaluation.
Similarly, we suggest that the Subcommittee emphasize economic development opportunities under the Act. The added pressures of population and infrastructure on the coastline are well documented. Given this fact, it seems the Act should emphasize sound coastal multiple-use development. This might be best accomplished through a better articulation of the Act's national multiple-use objectives.
The Act offers a significant opportunity to base coastal management decisions on sound science. Too often, in our experience, CZMA decisions objecting to offshore oil and gas operations have been made absent equal attention to science, engineering capabilities and economics. The CZMA should be used to link both scientific expertise, technical practicability and coastal and ocean policy making. It is in our collective best interest to ensure that this link is made.
During state CZMA reviews of oil and gas operations, the states are provided with a large flow of information, including environmental impact analyses already conducted under NEPA and the OCSLA, and other necessary information. Working with the Federal permitting authorities, the states are also given opportunities for direct and detailed comment and consultation during the development of this information under the OCSLA process. In addition, the oil and gas business and the states currently communicate on an ongoing basis with respect to aspects of the operations and the regulating policies of the coastal zone management plan.
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCThis information gathering and dissemination process is an open, exhaustive, complete and costly process. We believe it should not be expanded as it would result in redundancies and further delays in the CZMA review process and no additional understanding of the environmental impacts would be gained.
Mr. Chairman, the members of NOIA and API appreciate this opportunity to comment on the Coastal Zone Management Act and look forward to working with you and the members of the Subcommittee as you prepare legislation to reauthorize the CZMA.
RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM REP. ENI F. H. FALEMAVAEGA
The reauthorized Coastal Zone Management Act introduced changes to the structure of the grant program, incorporating Resource Management Improvement Grants and Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants into one section, Costal Community Conservation Grants.
Does the Administration support this change? Why or why not?
What do you see as the drawbacks and benefits to this structural change? Do you think it will result in more money going into on-the-ground, outcome-based projects.
NOAA's Office of Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) met with Committee staff on March 3, 1999, to discuss the latest draft of the bill which now differs from the version for which you requested comments. NOAA's views on both versions follow.
Page 97 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The initial draft bill combined Resource Management Improvement Grants and Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants into one section, titled Community Conservation Grants. This combination of two very distinct program purposes could have posed problems for some state, territorial and commonwealth Coastal Zone Management (CZM) programs by forcing them to select between the immediate need to support high priority community projects versus long term program improvements.
The revised draft bill reviewed on March 3rd no longer combines these sections. It establishes separate authorizations for core Coastal Zone Management Program Administration Grants (section 306), Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants (section 309), and Coastal Community Conservation Grants (a
revised section 306A). These revisions continue to provide CZM Programs with the ability to address all of these significant issues including funding for addressing the type of on-the-ground, outcome-based projects NOAA is seeking through the Lands Legacy Initiative.
NOAA believes that Section 310, Providing for Community-Based Solutions for Growth Management and Resource Protection, is the appropriate place to accomplish the Coastal Community Conservation Grants instead of the revised Section 306A. Our goal is to encourage states to participate in coastal community conservation. By requiring a match as set out in the committees Section 306A, we are concerned that states will have difficulty participating. We have already witnessed the problems States encounter in raising funds to participate in the current Section 306 basic grants program. For that reason we urge the Committee not to require a match for the Community Project planning and include it in Section 310.
The newly required section 309 match, however, may pose a problem for some CZM Programs and discourage experimentation in program improvement. Overall, the March 3 draft appears to meet many of the objectives important to NOAA.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCLETTER TO MR. GARCIA FROM MR. YOUNG
Dear Mr. Garcia:
Thank you for your testimony at the hearing on the Coastal Zone Management Act on Thursday, February 25. I have some additional questions regarding the Act's reauthorization. Please submit your written answers by March 12, so that they may be included in the record and also considered when the reauthorization bill comes before the full Committee on Resources.
During the hearing, the final panel of witnesses agreed that the Coastal Zone Management Act has been successful in creating Federal-state partnerships that work fairly well. The reauthorization bill that will be introduced changes the structure of the grant program, incorporating Resource Management Improvement Grants and Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants into one section, Coastal Community Conservation Grants. The proposed grant system requires matching funds and must be implemented in conjunction with a ''qualified local entity.''
Does the Administration support this change? Why or why not?
What do you see as the drawbacks and benefits to this structural change? Do you think it will result in more money going into on-the-ground, outcome-based projects?
Thank you for your prompt response.
RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM MR. FALEOMAVAEGA FROM MARC J. HERSHMAN
Dear Mr. Faleomavaega:
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This letter responds to your questions about the proposal to combine the enhancement grants (old 309) and resource improvement grants (306a) portions of the CZMA into one section dealing with Coastal Community Conservation Grants. The intent appears to be to push more funds down to the local level for ''bricks and mortar'' projects or for specific policy or planning initiatives.
I am concerned that many of the problems identified in Sec. 4 (b) of the discussion draft (CZMA99.004) require a statewide perspective and approach. The structure of the grants would emphasize local entities to the exclusion, or diminishing, of the state's role. I assume that states are not precluded from participating in any of these grants but if the Act were to emphasize the use of ''qualified local entities'' for implementation then it would likely result in a competitive grants program with insufficient state oversight and ad hoc implementation.
For example, the eligible projects for which this money can be spent include shellfish production, access to coastal waters, protection of estuaries, reefs and SAV, effects of SLR, marine debris, plans for cumulative impacts, plans for ocean resources, plans for key energy and government facilities, and aquaculture. In many states these issues must be addressed from a state perspective because the resources are controlled by state agencies, the effects and impacts are of concern beyond the boundaries of a local government, and there is local competition to include or exclude the uses. In each case the state is needed to provide a more objective process of decision, or to propose solutions that are statewide in application and can benefit many local entities.
I believe it would be very helpful to re-invest in the old 306a process and to give local governments a pot of funds for special ''brick and mortar'' projects. But linking that mechanism with the broader goals of the enhancement grants program seems to mix two different program objectives.
Page 100 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If there is a strong interest in getting more ''on-the-ground'' projects at the local level then I would suggest revisiting the enhancement objectives and writing them in a way that makes it clear what type of specific locally based projects would advance those objectives. A good example that you now have is ''providing clutch material'' which can enhance shellfish production.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Marc J. Hershman
INSERT OFFSET FOLIOS 1 TO 37 AND 42 TO 82 HERE
(Footnote 1 return)
Marc J. Hershman is Director and Professor, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle. James W. Good is Sea Grant Coastal Resource Specialist and Professor, Marine Resources Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis. Tina Bernd-Cohen is Coastal Consultant, Helena, Montana. Robert F. Goodwin is Coastal Resource Specialist and Affiliate Professor, Washington Sea Grant and School of Marine Affairs, Unversity of Washington, Seattle. Virgnia Lee is U.S. Program Manager, Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant, University of Rhode Island. Pam Pogue is a Project Manager, Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI.
(Footnote 2 return)
An Overview article surmmarizing the entire study is at Hershman, et al., 1999.