Sanctuary police want voluntary compliance, but will fine up to $109,000 per day for 'violations'

from MBNMS Enforcement site

Monterrey Bank National Marine Sanctuary


Enforcement of Sanctuary regulations and marine protection laws is accomplished by cooperative agreements and coordination efforts among several Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the California Highway Patrol, and local harbormasters and police. The U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Game conduct regular patrols within the Sanctuary from the land, sea, and air. State Parks Rangers conduct beach patrols. The Sanctuary conducts sea and air surveillance patrols to monitor permitted activities and to investigate incidents within the Sanctuary. Sanctuary enforcement targets activities that violate Sanctuary prohibitions and environmental protection laws.


Violation of Sanctuary regulations is punishable by civil penalties of up to $109,000 per day of violation. In addition to fines, violators may also be required to pay for environmental damage and remediation costs. Any property involved in a violation (e.g. boats, equipment, tools) may be seized and held by enforcement officials, pending legal action. In many cases, violation of Sanctuary regulations also includes violation of other Federal and State laws and carries the potential for additional fines, property seizures, detainment, and criminal prosecution.

The Sanctuary develops and promotes many educational programs to inform the public about activities that can harm the marine environment and Sanctuary resources. The Sanctuary strongly encourages public participation and vigilance in protecting the Sanctuary from threats such as oil spills, toxic discharges, wildlife harassment, habitat alteration, unauthorized resource extraction, [picking up seashells?]  and damage or removal of historical artifacts. Public involvement is the only way that we can truly protect these resources over the long-term, and Central California coastal communities have proven their commitment to protecting the Sanctuary. Many citizens contact the Sanctuary and other government agencies to report activities that may be violations or threats to Sanctuary resources. These "eyes on the coast" are a valuable asset to guard and protect the ocean resources important to us all.

If you observe an activity that is an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment, you should locate a telephone, dial 911, and provide as many details as possible about the observed activity. Documentation Guidelines are available at this website. For general Sanctuary violations that are non-emergencies: call the Sanctuary office at (831) 647-4201 during regular office hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm Mon. - Fri.). After hours, holidays and weekends, call the U.S. Coast Guard:

o Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo counties . . (831) 647-7303; or

o Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties . . . . . . .(415) 399-3447.

To report any kind of incident, you can also call the Save Our Shores Hotline (1-800-9-SHORES) and register your report; it will be forwarded to the appropriate agency.

To report a sick or injured marine mammal or sea turtle, contact your local animal control (SPCA) office or the Marine Mammal Center at 415-289-7350.

To report a dead marine mammal or sea turtle, contact one of the following:

o San Francisco area . . 415-750-7176 California Academy of Sciences

o Santa Cruz county . . 831-459-2883 Long Marine Laboratory

o Monterey county . . . 831-755-8660 Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

o San Luis Obispo County . . . 805-687-4065 (ext.320) Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

To report an injured seabird, contact your local animal control (SPCA) office.

The Sanctuary's enforcement philosophy is to prevent damage to marine resources through public education and voluntary compliance.

If you have additional questions regarding enforcement activities in the Sanctuary contact:

Mr. Scott Kathey
MBNMS Enforcement Coordinator
299 Foam Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: (831) 647-4251 / Fax: (831) 647-4250

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]


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