California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Master Plan Science Advisory Team: Charter

Charter of the Master Plan Science Advisory Team

Official Name: This Team officially will be designated as the California MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team to the California Department of Fish and Game and the Blue Ribbon Task Force (hereinafter the Science Team).

Background: The Department of Fish and Game was tasked by the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) to prepare a Master Plan and recommend alternative networks of marine protected areas within the state's coastal waters for proposed adoption by the Fish and Game Commission, to improve the protection of the state's marine life, habitat and ecosystems. The MLPA directs the Department of Fish and Game to appoint a master plan team to advise and assist in the preparation of the Master Plan. The statute identifies the composition of the master plan team, but also allows for the contribution of other experts to the Master Plan development process.

Due to the complexities presented by the task of drafting a Master Plan, this Initiative will enhance the scientific expertise required by the MLPA by adding to the master plan team, described in statute, members with biological and socioeconomic expertise. In addition, because the policy considerations of the Master Plan will be addressed by the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Initiative is focusing the charge of the master plan team to the scientific considerations involved in drafting the programmatic portion of the Master Plan and designing networks of marine protected areas. The master plan team is therefore renamed the Master Plan Science Advisory Team (Science Team) to reflect this enhanced expertise and scientific focus.

Membership: The MLPA requires a Master Plan Team including staff from the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the State Water Resources Control Board, one member appointed from a list provided by Sea Grant, and five to seven scientists, one of whom may have expertise in economics and culture of California coastal communities. The Science Team will include those members identified in statute and up to eight additional scientists knowledgeable in marine ecology, fisheries science, marine protected areas, economics and the social sciences. The Director of the Department will appoint the members of the Science Team. In considering members for the Science Team, the Director may consult with the Secretary for Resources, the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, and the President of the Fish and Game Commission. The Director shall designate one member to serve as Chair of the Science Team. The Chair shall assign four to six members to serve as the Science Sub-Team to the Central Coast MLPA Project.

Term: Each member shall serve for the duration of the Initiative, through November 2006. Each member, including the Chair, shall serve at the pleasure of the Director of the Department.

Charge: The charge to the Science Team is to provide the scientific knowledge and judgment necessary to assist the Blue Ribbon Task Force with meeting the objectives of the Initiative. Principally, the Science Team is charged with assisting the Blue Ribbon Task Force in developing a draft Master Plan Framework by reviewing and commenting on scientific papers, reviewing draft Master Plan documents, and addressing scientific issues presented by those documents. In the course of developing recommendations for the draft Master Plan, members shall refrain from making policy judgments; rather, where available science presents either options or uncertainty, the Science Team shall frame and refer those policy questions to the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

The Science Team will be supported by the Senior MLPA Project Manager and the Department of Fish and Game's Statewide Technical Advisor.

The Science Team will convene regular, open meetings that may be attended by interested members of the public. The Science Team reports to the Director of the Department of Fish and Game and the Blue Ribbon Task Force, and will report its findings and recommendations to the Task Force at the Task Force's regular, open meetings. The Chair may convene sub-teams of the members as necessary to address specific scientific issues. A sub-team of the Science Team will also serve the Central Coast MLPA Project. Each sub-team will report the results of its work to the full Science Team at the Science Team open meetings.

Attendance: The members of the Science Team are each expected to attend all regular meetings of the Science Team. The Chair of the Science Team is expected to attend all regular meetings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which shall be scheduled as two-day working meetings approximately every eight weeks from September 2004 through November 2006. Other members of the Science Team may attend Task Force meetings. The Chair of the Science Team may also assign members to sub-teams, and those members are expected to fulfill all assignments of those sub-teams including attending any additional scheduled meetings. A member of the Central Coast Science Advisory Sub-Team shall also attend regularly scheduled meetings of the Central Coast MLPA Stakeholder Group to provide scientific summaries, answer scientific questions, and advise on relevant scientific merits of various network proposals. Members will be responsible to review all relevant materials in advance of each meeting.

Remuneration: Members of the Science Team will, upon request, be reimbursed by the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation for actual travel expenditures related to the Initiative, but not for time.