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Harvey, Janell M.
h [electronic resource] :
an analysis of strategies for the protection of Biscayne National Park /
by Janell M. Harvey.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (M.S.)--University of South Florida, 2004.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 81 pages.
ABSTRACT: Biscayne National Park is located off the southeast coast of Florida and attracts approximately half a million visitors annually. Managers of Biscayne National Park are proposing a new General Management Plan (GMP) in order to update the recreational and commercial use of resources in the park. A Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is also being drafted simultaneously in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in order to address concerns associated with management of fish stocks within the park. The proposed plan alternatives of the GMP and the recommendations of the FMP were developed in response to the negative impacts on the park's marine ecosystem due to exponential population growth of the adjacent Miami metropolitan area. Problems associated with decreasing water quality, habitat degradation, and species exploitation contribute to the diminishing integrity of resources in the park and surrounding area.Currently commercial and recreational fishing are allowed in most of Biscayne National Park. The National Park Service's proposed alternatives are highly complex in order to make an attempt at appeasing stakeholder interests. In addition the recommendations of the FMP join the GMP alternatives in omitting marine reserves, a management practice that is widely thought by the scientific community to be an important step in marine resource rehabilitation. At present, there is a noticeable absence of scientific information and lack of participation of scientists in management decisions. Biscayne National Park would ultimately benefit by incorporating marine reserves into the park, and adjusting them based on scientific studies conducted by an appointed Scientific Advisory Board. Partnerships with state, federal, and international agencies could promote the idea of being a part of a marine reserve network for optimal resource protection in the Caribbean.An increase in revenue from a permit system and entrance fees would also promote enforcement and protection of park resources. Simple but strong regulation in the park could also help alleviate enforcement problems. In addition education of park resource users should be expanded inside and outside the park.
Adviser: Oches, Rick.
marine management plan.
x Environmental Science and Policy
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Protecting Biscayne: An Analysis of Strategies for the Protection of Biscayne National Park by Janell M. Harvey A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Master of Science Department of Environmental Science and Policy College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Rick Oches, Ph.D. Frank Muller-Karger, Ph.D. John Ogden, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 4, 2004 Keywords: marine reserve, marine m anagement plan, mari ne policy, fishery management, ecosystem management Copyright 2004 Janell M. Harvey
i Table of Contents List of Tables ii List of Figures iii Abstract v Chapter I Biscayne National Park Introduction 1 General Management Plan and Fis hery Management Plan Introduction 3 Introduction of Threats to Park Resources 5 Water Quality Concerns 6 Habitat Degradation 11 Species Exploitation 15 Chapter II General Management Plan Process 20 Proposed Zone Analysis 22 General Management Pl an Draft Alternatives 24 Public Comment Analysis 26 Chapter III Fishery Management Plan Process 30 Fishery Issue Identification 32 Public Comment Analysis 37 Chapter IV Analysis of Challenges in Management 42 Multiple Criteria Analys is of Management Decisions 43 Recommendations and Conclusions 52 References 55 Appendix A-Tables 62 Appendix B-Figures 63
ii List of Tables Table 1 Comparison in Acres of Zone Delineations in GMP Alternatives 62 Table 2 Summary of Public Comment Returns-FMP 62
iii List of Figures Figure 1 Florida Marine Resource Protec tion Areas, including Biscayne National Park 63 Figure 2 Biscayne National Park-GMP Al ternative 1-Current Regulations 64 Figure 3 Biscayne National Park -GMP Alternative 2 65 Figure 4 Biscayne National Park -GMP Alternative 3 66 Figure 5 Biscayne National ParkGMP Alternative 4 67 Figure 6 Biscayne National Park -GMP Alternative 5 68 Figure 7 BNP Visitor Services and Park Administration, Difference in acres between Alternatives 69 Figure 8 BNP Dredged Navigation Chann els, Difference in acres between Alternatives 69 Figure 9 BNP Multi-Use Zone-Water, Difference in acres between Alternatives 70 Figure 10 BNP Multi-Use Zone Land, Difference in acres between Alternatives 70 Figure 11 BNP Noncombustion Engine Use Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives 71 Figure 12 BNP Access by Permit Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives 71 Figure 13 BNP Nature Observation Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives 72 Figure 14 BNP Sensitive Underwater Arc heological Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives 72 Figure 15 BNP Sensitive Resource Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives 73
iv Figure 16 BNP Slow Speed Zone, Diffe rence in acres between Alternatives 73 Figure 17 Fishery Management Plan Public Comments 74
v Protecting Biscayne: An Analysis of Strategies for the Ma nagement of Biscayne National Park Janell M. Harvey ABSTRACT Biscayne National Park is located off the southeast coast of Florida and attracts approximately half a million visitors annually. Managers of Biscayne National Park are proposing a new Gener al Management Plan (GMP) in order to update the recreational and commercial use of resources in the park. A Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is also being dra fted simultaneously in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conserva tion Commission in order to address concerns associated with management of fish stocks within the park. The proposed plan alternatives of the GMP and the recommendations of the FMP were developed in response to the negative impacts on the parks marine ecosystem due to exponential popula tion growth of the adjacent Miami metropolitan area. Problems associated with decreasing water quality, habitat degradation, and species exploitation contri bute to the diminishing integrity of resources in the park and surrounding area. Currently commercial and recreational fishing are allowed in most of Biscayne National Park. The National Park Services proposed alternatives are highly complex in order to make an attempt at appeasing st akeholder interests. In addition the recommendations of the FMP join the GMP alternatives in omitting marine
vi reserves, a management practice that is widely thought by the scientific community to be an important step in marine resource rehabilitation. At present, there is a noticeable abs ence of scientific information and lack of participation of scientists in managem ent decisions. Biscayne National Park would ultimately benefit by incorporating marine reserves into the park, and adjusting them based on scientific studies conducted by an appointed Scientific Advisory Board. Partnerships with state, federal, and internat ional agencies could promote the idea of being a part of a marine reserve network for optimal resource protection in the Caribbean. An increas e in revenue from a permit system and entrance fees would also pr omote enforcement and protec tion of park resources. Simple but strong regulation in the park could also help alleviate enforcement problems. In addition education of par k resource users should be expanded inside and outside the park.
1 Chapter I Biscayne National Park Introduction Biscayne National Park is a unique charge for the National Park Service because it primarily encompasses mari ne ecosystems (95%) in addition to roughly 5 percent terrestrial territory. T he park was originally established as a National Monument on Oct ober 18, 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, who agreed with other officials in the adminis tration that the ar ea was culturally significant. Subsequently the park was a cknowledged to be part of an important ecosystem, and Biscayne Bay was recognized to be the northernmost component of the third longest reef system in the world, stretching south through the Florida Keys to the Dry Tortugas (Figure 1). The National Monument was expanded in 1974, and in 1980 it was designated Biscayne National Park by ena bling legislation, Public Law 96-287 (National Park Service 2004f). This stat ute was enacted after the National Park Service gained additional acreag e from the State of Flori da, in an acquisition that resulted in its current 172,924 acres (F igure 1). Currently the park averages approximately 500,000 visitors annually, and does not require an access fee to enter. The Dante Fascell Visitor Center, along with park administration offices, is located at the entrance at Convoy Point. Guests of the park are welcomed into the gift shop and information center where videos about the park can be viewed.
2 Other recreational options include sightseei ng in a glass bottom boat in the park, snorkeling, and diving with the contracted operator in the park. In addition visitors have the opportunity to rent canoes and ka yaks in order to explore the park. These are ways explore the parks ex tensive marine ecosystems. The park includes 9,100 acres of shoreline, where mangrove forests can be found, and 72,000 acres of sensitive marine ecosystem s including coral reefs and sea grass beds (National Park Service 2004h). Of the 9,100 shoreline acres, 4,2 50 acres encompass approximately 42 keys or islands. Camping is allowed on Bo ca Chita and Elliot Keys for a fee and transportation to the keys are provided by park staff from November to May. Because there is no visibl e boundary around the park, the majority of guests do not enter through the Visitors Center, but instead enter by boat from different docks and marinas in the area (National Park Service 2004h). Several endangered and threatened species in the park include the Florida manatee, green, haw ksbill, loggerhead, and leat herback sea turtles, the American crocodile, the bald eagle, and the Schaus swallowtail butterfly (Kenney Aug 2 2004). Fishing regulations do not differ in the park from the rest of state controlled waters, and recreational and commercial fishing are allowed in most areas. However, boaters must be adept at reading maps (Figur e 2) because there are many shallow reefs in the park as well as sensitive cultural sites such as the Lagare Anchorage, which only allows stopping for emergency reasons (National Park Service 2004h).
3 General Management Plan and Fishery Management Plan Introduction As detailed in its enabling legislation, the National Park Service is charged with managing Biscayne in a way that preserves and protects for the education, inspiration, recreation, and enjoyment of present and future generations (National Park Service 2004f). Because of this responsibility, and also in response to increasing negative impacts on the resources in the park, managers are currently re-evaluating the Biscayne National Park General Management Plan. The General Management Plan has five draft alternatives that are subject to public commentary. The alternatives were developed by a consortium of national park staff from t he national level, the regional level, and the local park level. The alternatives range from no c hange to significant change and divide the park into ten different types of zones, wh ich indicate where specific uses will be accommodated (DeLaura Aug 2 2004). Park staff biologists are also dev eloping a new Fishery Management Plan in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A Fisheries Management Plan Working Group wa s formed as a means of including stakeholder participation in the fi nal recommendation document, and was coordinated by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (Kellison 2004). The formation of new management objecti ves is especially important at this time because the resources found wit hin the park are increasingly stressed by the surging population levels of t he adjacent Miami-metr o area. Stakeholder groups such as commercial fisherm en, recreational fishermen, divers,
4 environmental groups and others, all have differing agendas for the use of park resources. Because of the role public comment and opinion plays in the formation of management plans, pursuant to NEPA, these different agendas will ultimately influence the path the park will take in its endeavor to preserve the area within its boundaries. This is a classic case of The Tragedy of the Commons in which complete freedom in the common area will bring ruin to all. In his seminal article, Hardin (1968) explained that rational indi viduals will seek to maximize their utility through copious amounts of resource consumption, even though such behavior will result in collectively irrational behavior, namely the destruction of the resource base. Managers have the opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and inject state-of-the-art science into their management plans to av oid future disintegration of the ecosystems protected within Biscayne National Park boundaries. It is evident that current regulations within the park are not worki ng because the state of the marine ecosystems within the park continues to decline. Porter et al. (1993) monitored the park for many years and documented a decline in coral species. In addition Ault et al. (2001) have noted severe habitat degradation and fish population loss in Biscayne National Park. My hypothesis is that the current General Management Plan alternatives are largely reactive instead of proactiv e and therefore will be ineffective in their ability to manage resources fo r the future. An examinat ion of stakeholder group interests is considered in this study, in an effort to delineate the influences
5 affecting management decisions. The stra tegies used by managers of Biscayne National Park in developing the Gener al and Fishery Management Plans are analyzed in this study. The Fishery M anagement Plan falls short in its endeavor to manage fish stocks because its recommen dations include too many individual agendas and not enough incorporation of sc ience into management applications, generating suboptimal outcomes. Acco rdingly, recommendations for the proposed management plans are outlined, which could eventually improve resource protection in the park if considered and implemented. Ocean and coastal resources are an ex tremely important part of human society, and contribute a significant amount to the U.S. economy (U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy 2004). Ultimately it is important that the National Park Service fulfill its function to the citizens of the United States and protect the public resources entrusted to their care. This will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy Biscayne National Park. Introduction of Threats to Park Resources Threats to Biscayne National Park resources emanate from exponential population growth of neighb oring metropolitan areas whic h lead to a decline in water quality from pollution and an increas e in demand for fish from water within and surrounding the park. The population of the adjacent Miami-Dade County has increased from around 5000 residents at the beginning of the twentieth century, to just over 2.2 million by 2000 (US Census Bureau 2004). Other complicating problems include global climate change which can stress marine
6 ecosystems and contribute to bleaching even ts and disease proliferation. Marine resource degradation in the park and the surrounding Florida Keys has been growing at a steady rate. Several of these issues could be positively amended with strong policy objectives in the redeveloped General Management Plan and Fishery Management Plan. There have bee n more scientific studies conducted on neighboring ecosystems in the Flor ida Keys and the Caribbean than Biscayne National Park itself, but reports have shown that ecosystems throughout the Caribbean are interrelated, and what affects one reef tract could very well affect another (Roberts 1997). This means t hat impacts on neighboring reef ecosystems will ultimately have an impac t on the reef systems in Biscayne National Park and vice versa. Water Quality Concerns Declining water quality is one of the ma jor concerns confronting the park. Park staff biologists have noticed an increas e in pollution in park waters. This is a problem that could only be partially addressed in the Management Plan, but would also require a massive cooperative effort with other state agencies such as the Department of Environmental Pr otection and the South Florida Water Management District (Mayr June 29 2004). Pollutants affecting the marine ecosystems of the park come from many sources including land based runoff, and discharge from cargo ships and passenger vessels (Kenney Aug 2 2004). Freshwater flow from land based sources carries pollutants and affects marine ecosystem structure and health.
7 Biscayne Bay has been altered in structure over the past decades of urbanization. Approximately 19 freshwater canals were built to provide drainage of wetland areas for residential and commerc ial expansion. This has changed the nutrient capacity, as well as temperat ure and salinity of water in Biscayne Bay (Serafy et al. 1997). In 1999 Porter et al. analyzed the effects a change in salinity and temperature would have on the Fl orida Keys reef system. They acknowledged that it was a simplistic model, in reality there would be many more stressors than two. However, with only tw o stressors they proved that such a variation could have a profound negative effe ct on the coral reef ecosystem. The hydrology of freshwater inflow into Biscayne has changed significantly over the last decades, and therefore would be prone to such changes in salinity and temperature. Such changes were documented in Wang et al. (2003) that showed salinity in Biscayne Bay is indeed altered by the freshwater inflow from canals. Additionally, ongoing freshwater flow from Everglades restoration will continue to negatively affect the marine ecosystem. Discharges from vessels in Biscayne National Park and the surrounding area consist of industrial effluents, untreated sewage, oil, and assorted chemicals. The editor of Boating World recognized this problem in Biscayne National Park, and subsequently rallied r eaders to educate themselves on the issue with the National Clean Boating Campai gn. In addition, tips were given in the article to improve conditions in the park such as using biodegradable cleaners, avoid overfilling y our fuel tank, using facilit ies before leaving the dock, and keeping your boat engine maintained properly (McNally 2004).
8 The Clean Water Act of 1977 (CWA) was enacted to prevent land and vessel based environmental hazards and to protect the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of waters under U.S. jurisd iction. In 1987 the CWA was amended to acknowledge the regional differ ences in pollutant management. This was very important for marine ecosystem s at risk because it recognized that certain organisms, like coral reefs, we re extremely sensitive to pollutants (Christie and Hildreth 1999; Klein and Orlando 1994). However, the Clean Water Act is not a lways effective because it is difficult to enforce. For example, it is impossi ble to initiate pollution clean-up when origination of the pollutant cannot be identified (Klein and Orlando 1994). Because of the transboundary nature of oc ean water, pollutants from the Miami metropolitan area affect Biscayne National Park in various ways, including compromised coral reef health (Kellison June 29 2004). High levels of non-point source pollu tants are found near coastlines due to the increase in residential and comme rcial developments in these areas. Agriculture in the area also has a significant negative effect on marine ecosystems. Finkl and Charlier (2003) documented that increased nitrogen and phosphorus runoff into Biscayne from the ad jacent agricultural industry, mostly sugar cane, and urbanization of the area contributed to the degradation of its coral reefs. Increased building around the park gener ates sedimentation runoff as well. Also, an increase in boat traffic and dredging exacerbates turbidity of particulate matter within the water co lumn of the park. Sedimentation and
9 turbidity limits the amount of sunlight available to a r eef, making it more difficult for coral species to survive, as well as affecting the ability of bottom communities to thrive. It has been noted by park staf f that problems with sedimentation and turbidity adversely affect the ecos ystems within BNP (Kenney Aug 2 2004). The nutrient load from coastal dev elopments discharged into the ocean includes sewage, atmospheric trans-boundary pollution, fertilizers, agricultural runoff, and contaminated debris. Pollution contributes to high stress levels and die-offs in corals, which in turn af fects other organisms throughout the entire ecosystem, and ultimately threatens human health and well-being (United States Coral Reef Task Force 2000). Pollutant and phosphorus injection into the water column also contributes to the proliferation of toxic blooms of algae in the park, or eutrophication. Levels of phos phorus in the park continue to be low to moderate, but have the potential to rise with in creasing population and run-off (Kenney Aug 2 2004). Overall water quality has improved over the past three decades in Biscayne Bay due to substantial effort s by state governments like the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and federal legislation like the Clean Water Act. In Biscayne National Park the National Park Service used a SFWMD assessment of Biscayne Bay water quality from 1995, the Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan for Biscayne Bay to assess water quality in the park. In that assessment t here were notable concerns in several areas (Kenney Aug 2 2004).
10 Sewage contamination is a chronic problem in the watershed, and contributes to the high elev ations of coliform bacteria levels in the freshwater inflows into the water shed of Biscayne Ba y, which are potentially toxic to marine ecosystems. The properties of saltwater reduce this toxicity but there have been strains found to be unusually resistant. The toxic metal levels in the water shed are compliant with federal standards, but are still considered potentially hazardous to Biscayne National Park res ources. High levels of zinc, copper, cadmium, and lead do not occur natur ally in the ecosystem, and provide evidence of run-off contaminants fr om land based sources near the park. Additionally, concentrations of nitrate and nitrite, forms of nitrogen derived from pollutants, are low in the open waters of Biscayne Bay. Conversely they are high in places of freshwater inflow and have the ability to become quite toxic in an unbalanced ecosystem, already stressed by other negative impacts. Legislation regulating pollutants has historically been inadequate in developing suitable levels for the different marine ecosystem s found in the park. Therefore pollution must be kept below levels that are cu rrently accepted as adequate for the area (Kenney Aug 2 2004). A study by Andrefouet et al (2001) used operational satellite ocean color data to analyze the effect of land based pollutants on marine ecosystems. This study showed that that there is a di rect correlation between water quality and land based flooding events. This is important because it uses new technology to provide managers with verification that coastlines and marine ecosystems are indeed connected.
11 There are more emerging problems with pollutants that will require further study to understand their full effects on marine ecosystems, such as pharmaceuticals, hormones and hygiene pro ducts. Most wastewater treatment plants in South Florida ar e not yet equipped to remove such contaminants, and therefore they carry the po ssibility of entering park waters and affecting marine organisms. Some known consequences of their injection into the water column include endocrine system disruption in some marine species and mutation of unicellular organisms in the water (Snyder et al 2003). According to Alleman (2004), an ongoing study by SWFMD scientists monitors the fresh water influx into Bi scayne Bay for pollutants. Total phosphorus and nitrogen levels have held steady for the past few decades at most of the monitoring sites along the bay, but seem to be rising in several discharge areas, causing concern among scientists. SFWMD sci entists target pollutant levels need to be consistent with past trends, or declinin g. Several monitoring test sites show that this is not the case, and ce rtain levels are slowly rising. Habitat Degradation Ignorance and negligence on the part of re source users is a large problem in Biscayne National Park. Damage from careless boating, anchor scarring, and derelict debris from fishermen all create problems for the habitats within the park (Kenney Aug 2 2004). The General Management Plan and Fisheries Management Plan give managers of the par k an opportunity to deal with these problems by limiting what types of boats can enter the park and where they can
12 travel, as well as implementing regulation that could reduce abandoned lobster and crab traps and other debris such as fishing line. Imprudent boating, as well as reckless anchoring, is responsible for much damage to coral reefs and sea grass beds in the park. Boats are often maneuvered into shallow reefs because maps and depth finders are disregarded or read inaccurately. Ship groundings are a common occurrence in the Florida Keys and contribute a significant am ount of damage to fragile marine ecosystems in the park. One accident in 2002 involved the grounding of a newly purchased forty-nine-foot yacht on a r eef where it subsequently sank, spilling 600 gallons of diesel fuel on the surrounding ecosystem. The fact that a Coast Guard Auxiliary member was on board at the time of the collision only made the situation more frustrating (Figueras 2003). The editor of Boating World acknowledged that Biscayne National Park is suffering at the hands of careless boaters and pleaded to their readers to take be more careful in the park to ensure its future (McNally 2004). According to the National Park Service Resource Protection Act, similar to what is stipulated in the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA of 1972) those who are found negligent in such incidents will be financially responsible for rehabilitation of the area. In 1996 the cargo ship Igloo Moon ran aground on a reef in the park. Federal courts awar ded one million dollars in damages to the park to be used for restoration of the af fected area. The statute, however, does not provide for the use of recovered f unds for proactive projects designed to prevent injuries to resources before they occur, such as the installation of
13 navigational aids to prevent groundings (Legal Information Institute 2004; National Park Service 2004h). Reefs are also affected by reckless eco-tourism as uneducated divers and snorkelers touch reef or ganisms, damaging them irre vocably. The amount of damage that this inflicts upon reefs is undocumented in the par k, but a project conducted in the Florida Keys (Talge 1991) showed that divers do have a significant negative impact when they come into contact with species of coral. There are projects underway, such as PADIs Project Aware, to educate nonconsumptive users such as divers and s norkelers about this problem. This is a difficult predicament in an era wher e the sheer scale of usage of marine ecosystems is increasing dramatically, re sulting directly from the exponential growth of human population (Levin 1999). Another factor affecting the park and all marine ecosystems is global climate change (McCarthy et al. 2001). This is an exogenous factor that could not be changed through policy regulation by Bisc ayne National Park staff, but only addressed through cooperative internati onal treaties. Gl obal climate change causes mass bleaching events in coral reefs worldwide (Hughes et al. 2003). An increase in hurricane frequency and intensity has also been attributed to climate change. Corals become ac utely stressed from abrupt change in temperature and salinity, triggering symptoms such as an increase in the incidence of disease. Stress in corals, and a rise in recorded coral diseases, has been scientifically linked to human actions and global climate change (Reaser et al. 2000; Harvell et al. 1999). Heating of the atmos phere due to accumulation of
14 greenhouse gases results in the therma l heating and expansion of the oceans, changing the temperatur e and salinity (Reaser et al. 2000; McCarthy et al 2001). The balance of evidence points to the conclusion that accelerated climate change is anthropogenic in origin, and contributes to adverse coral health (Hughes et al. 2003; Reaser et al. 2000). In addition increasingly severe hurricanes affect marine ecosystems. Bisca yne National Park sustained a direct hit by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, one of the most devastating hurricanes of the twentieth century. Miller et al. (1993) documented that the corals in the park were severely damaged by this event. Engle and Summers (1999) argue that there are specific latitudinal gradients that certain marine ecosystems, including those found in Biscayne Bay, rely on for stability. If the temperatures were to change rapidly due to different climate change scenarios, the overall health of such systems could be dramatically compromised. A study by Porter et al. (1999) examined the effect of varied levels of temperature and salinity on corals in the Florida Keys. They found that these two stressors had a considerable negative impact on coral health. They also considered the high probability that these stressors would be combined with a multitude of others in a realistic scenario, thereby exacerbating the negative effects even further (Porter et al. 1999). Porter et al. (1993) also presented their findings on coral health in Biscayne National Park from 1984-1991. Empirical evidence from the study showed a significant loss of coral s pecies from bleaching and black-band
15 disease. In addition they documented a di minishing number of total living coral communities in the park. Presented with such evidence it seem s reasonable to conclude that human impacts on the environment are partia lly responsible for increased levels of stress on marine ecosystems. Bisca yne National Park is vulnerable to a multitude of factors responsible for habi tat degradation. Such combinations of environmental stressors are extremel y detrimental and will persist without management changes. Species Exploitation The over-exploitation of fish stocks in the park is a problem which must be addressed within Biscayne National Park Policy. Recreational and commercial fishing is allowed in most areas of t he park. Moreover, the population of the Miami metropolitan area has exponentially grown over the last century. The inexorable growth of human populati on increases aggregate demand for marine resources, including fish species. Re moval of fish at current levels has contributed to the population decline of many species to levels exceeding their regenerative capacity. Dimin ished genetic variation is a side affect from overfishing, compromising the phenotypic in tegrity of many species (Vincent and Sadovy 1998). Historically fishery management and pol icy making have not reflected the scientific evidence of drastic populat ion and ecosystem degradation due to overfishing. This is largely due to polit ical influence and stakehol der control. This
16 problem has made fisheries vulnerable and prone to collapse. Agencies set the maximum sustainable yield numbers, wh ich designate how much the fishing industry can harvest, according to obs olete and non-consilient models (Wilson 1998), based upon an expansive list of spec ies that are often ecologically unrelated (Vincent and Sadovy 1998). Most regulations have been designed to prevent overfishing by only the commercial fishing industry and have neglected to recognize the negative impact that recreational fishing has on biodiversity. Recreational fishing has risen by 20% in the last twenty years and is having a significant negative impact on fish populations (Coleman et al. 2004). This sub-optimal fisheries management policy has compromised species populations and in tegrity on a broad scale, and fails to recognize the impact that all fishing has on species populations. Current policies neither take into consideration the divers e aspects of individual species such as spawning and mating behavior, nor realistically account for actual populations of wild stocks. Characteristics such as reproductive behavior and spawning capacity vary between individual species greatly, and are not accounted for in maximum sustainable yield models. Vincent and Sadovy (1998) believe that by combining behavioral ecological principles with strict conservation effort s, it might be possible to develop the models necessary for succe ssful fishery management in the U.S. and internationally. The task of formulating new ways to manage fish populations effectively needs to include innovative i deas ranging from behavioral ecology to
17 the latest mapping technology. Without significant modification, fishery management practices will be responsible for the bleak future of fish populations. Recreational fishing has increased in Biscayne National Park since the last General Management plan was implem ented in the early 1980s. Milton and Thunberg (1993) estimated that recreational fishing participants in South Florida, particularly in Miami-Dade County, woul d increase by 18.7 percent in 2010, and actual fishing trips by these same parti cipants would increase by 39% in 2010. Also, the number of licensed recreational boats in South Florida has increased between 1964 and 1998 by 444% (Ault et al. 2001). In addition fishing techniques have progressed with technology, making it easier for fishermen to find fish and catch them (Kenney Aug 2 2004; Kellison Oct 12 2004). This is believed to be one of the leading contributors to a declin e in fish population in the park (Ault Sept 17 2004; Suman Sept 17 2004) In 2001 Ault et al. studied fish populations and average sizes needed for efficient reproduction in Biscayne National Park. It was found that commercial fishing, which is allowed in most of the park, had increased between 1964 and 1998 by 197%. They found that Biscayne Bay is essential nursery habitat for many macroinvertebrate and coral reef fish species of the Florida Keys. Many of the species studied were found to be chronically overfished and undersized for maximum spawning potential. The overall biomass for several fish stocks is perilously low. Some specific examples include groupers, which are three to ten times lower than what is a cceptable for a maximum sustainable yield, a baseline which is already formulated on low population levels. Several snapper
18 species are averaging as much as 70% sm aller than what is legally required for harvest. Overall the study was conducted on 35 species of native Florida fish that are economically important to the area. They found that 7 of 13 snapper species, 13 of 16 grouper species, and 2 out of 5 grunt species are below the 30% spawning potential minimum (Ault et al. 2001). This means that many critical species in the park are chronically overfished and will have a difficult time recovering and maintaining their place in the ecosystem without significant policy change (Ault Sept 17 2004). Overall, the findi ngs of the study are of significant concern to staff in t he park (Kenney Aug 2 2004) There is significant scientific evidence that over-exploitation of fish stocks disturbs the biodiversity and integrity of marine ecosystems, heightening negative implications for long term coral reef endurance. Myers and Worm (2003) suggested that predatory fish communi ties worldwide have been seriously depleted due to industrialized fishing pr actices. They argue that management decisions for harvest limits were dev eloped well after stocks had already been exhausted and depleted. Ther efore current models are not based on maintaining the original populations of such spec ies and the baseline that conservation managers strive for may be well below the actual populations needed to maintain true biodiversity of marine ecosystems. Th ey also conclude that this trend may be very difficult to reverse without drastic measures (Myers and Worm 2003). Current regulations in the park ar e mandated by the FWC and consist of seasonal closures and size and bag limits for various species. These practices often account for sub-optimal maintenance of biodiversity of marine ecosystems.
19 In addition they are extremely complicat ed and fishermen do not often take the time to educate themselves on the idiosyncrasies (Ault Sept 17 2004; Suman Sept 17 2004).
20 Chapter II General Management Plan Process According to the National Environm ental Policy Act (NEPA), federal agencies have the obligation to use an in terdisciplinary approach when making decisions that affect environmental quality. In addition NEPA mandates that care should be taken to give adequate consideration to qualitative environmental values, along with quantifiable aspects such as the economic and technological facets of such decisions. NEPA also requires that specific procedures be used in the event that management policy is c hanged when dealing wit h public lands, such as making recommendations open for public comment prior to final drafting and implementation, as well as respond ing to the comments of cooperating agencies (National Park Service 2004e). Three public meetings were held on Dec 3, 4, and 5, 2003 in Key Largo, Miami, and Homestead, respectively, to outline the General Management Plan Alternatives to the public and to obtai n public comments. One hundred and four citizens attended those meetings (National Park Service 2004c). The public was also invited to submit letters and emails to the National Park Service to give their opinions of the alternatives. This is the foundation for the process used in redeveloping the General Management Plan (GMP) fo r Biscayne National Park. Principal stakeholders in the GMP includ e Commercial fisherman, recreational fisherman, divers, and environmentalists (National Park Service Nov 2003).
21 The National Park Service has drafted five alternatives (Table 1) that will eventually will be revised and put through a process called Choosing by Advantage. The benefits of each alternat ive will be weighed against the costs, and a final plan will be chosen. A team fr om the NPS Denver Service Center, the Southeast Regional Office of the NPS, and staff from Biscayne National Park were brought together in several instances in order to draft the original alternatives. Each alternative has increasingly more regulation (Table 1) and includes the delineation of zones that mandate usage of park resources (DeLaura Aug 2 2004). In the previous General Management Plan there were a limited number of zones in the park used to demarcate ar eas where visitors could partake in different uses of park resour ces. Because of this almost the entire park is readily accessible to visitors without restri ction of use. The proposed alternatives, once decided upon and implemented, will change this. Under the proposed plan, more zones wi ll be created with t he intention of finding the right balance bet ween regulation and resource protection and visitor enhancement. Zone segregation has gener ated controversy and acrimony between different stakeholders. Each group has an agenda for uses of the park, and opinions differ as to w hether the alternatives and the zones they create are too restrictive or not restrictive enough. When the park was expanded from a national monument to a national park and mo re state waters were added to the boundaries, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission maintained a certain degree of control over fishing regulation in the park. The current
22 commissioners are against the use of no-take zones in fishing regulation in the State of Florida (Mayr June 29 2004). Proposed Zone Analysis The first proposed zone considered is the Visitors Services and Park Administration Zone (Figures 2-7). This has actually always existed, but the new alternatives will expand the area used for educational purposes. This zone encourages visitors to enter the park thr ough the main park entrances in order to learn about the area. Opportunities for activity woul d include recreational fishing, but commercial fishing would not be allo wed. Boating is allowed in and around this zone, although type and speed would be controlled. Swimming, camping and hiking would not be restricted (N ational Park Service Nov 2003). The Dredged Navigation Channels within the park (Figures 2-6, 8) are zones that have existed for some time and would only change slightly in any of the five alternatives. Depths in the channels are 7 feet in the Intracoastal Waterway, 7.5 feet at Turkey Point, and 4.5 feet at Black Point and Homestead Bayfront. Commercial or recreational fi shing permits are not needed in these channels, and are allowed in these areas as long as boat tra ffic is not impeded (National Park Service Nov 2003). The Multi-Use Zone would constitute t he majority of acres in the park under any alternative. This zone would gi ve park visitors the opportunity to participate in a full range of recreational pos sibilities (Figures 26, 9, 10) including swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, and camping. Commercial and
23 recreational fishing would be allowed, while boating type, size, and speed would be prone to regulation (National Park Service Nov 2003). One zone that varies significantly betw een alternatives (Figures 2-6, 11) is the Noncombustion Engine Use zone. In addition to engine type in boats, commercial fishing would be regulated. All other activities such as swimming, diving, snorkeling, and recreational fishing would be permitted (National Park Service Nov 2003). The Access by Permit zone (Figures 2-6, 12) was formed to minimize crowding and visitor use impact on sensitiv e resources. It would limit group size in commercial operations such as diving, but would allow all ac tivities including swimming, diving, snorkeling, camping and picnicking. Boating size, type and speed would also be controlled. Commercial and recreational fishing would be permitted (National Park Service Nov 2003). The Nature Observation zone (Figures 2-6, 13) was designated to restore corrupted natural and cultural resources. Commercial services would be limited, and boating would be regulated. However, all activities are acceptable in this zone, including recreational and commercial fishing, ostensibly undermining the main purpose of the zone (National Park Service Nov 2003). The Sensitive Underwater Archeol ogical zone is one of the more restrictive zones included t he alternatives (Figures 26, 14). It was created to preserve critical underwater cultural si tes pursuant to the National Park Service Shipwreck Act guidelines. Access to the zone would be limited to drifting and active transit only. Recreational h ook and line fishing would be allowed.
24 Commercial services would be limited, as would boat type size and speed. In addition, swimming and diving would not be allowed (National Park Service Nov 2003). The last two zones considered in t he alternatives are the Sensitive Resource Zone and the Slow Speed Zone (Figures 2-6, 15, 16). The Sensitive Resource Zone is by far the most restrict ive of all the zones. Visitors would not be given access the zone to partake in any recreational activity, and use would be highly restricted. Permits would allow some non-invasive research activities. Commercial and recreational fishing would not be allowed. In addition the slow speed zone helps protect slow moving an imals like manatees, and critical habitat such as sea grass beds (National Park Service Nov 2003). General Management Plan Draft Alternatives The five alternatives incorporate these different zones into diverse levels of management. One will ultimately be c hosen and implemented in the park until a future date when NPS staff will undergo t he same process once again, usually about every ten years (DeLaura Aug 2 2004). Alternative one (Figure 2) is consider ed the no change alternative. Park regulations would remain the same, concurrent with the General Management Plan implemented in the early 1980s. Curr ently, there are four different zones designating uses of park marine areas. These are slightly different from the zones in alternatives two through fi ve because alternative one applies to the General Management Plan drafted in 1983 (DeLaura Aug 2 2004).The slow
25 speed zones or no wake zones in the park currently consist of approximately 3, 295 acres and are necessary for manatee protection and sea grass habitat protection. The 2,606 acres of dredged cha nnel would remain the same, without new or deeper dredging. Currently there are a few closed areas in the park. Included is the Legare Anchorage shipwreck area. B oats are allowed to travel through this locale, but stopping for any recreational reason is prohibited. This encompasses the area where British merchant ship H.M.S. Fo wey sank in 1748, and is considered a protected archeological site (National Park Service 2004h). The surrounding waters and lands of the Sandwich Cove Islands, Arsenicker Key and West Arsenicker Key, Soldier Key, and parts of Sands Key are also closed to visitors for various reasons. Some contain sensit ive cultural resources, while others protect bird rookeries and some sensitiv e species. Fishing regulations would remain analogous with state regulations, and would be patrolled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (National Park Service Nov 2003). Alternative two (Figure 3) is the first of the alternatives that incorporates five additional zones never before used pr eviously in the General Management Plan. Visitors would be allowed to parta ke in a very wide range of recreational activities in nearly the ent ire park. Visitor Services would be expanded including campsites, canoe and kayak launch sites, and mooring buoys for snorkelers and divers. The Slow Speed zone would be a separate zone from the Noncombustion Engine Use zone, which is a new concept in the park. The dredged navigation
26 channels would be slightly ex panded, but the Sensitive Archeological Zone would be drastically reduced (National Park Service Nov 2003). Alternative three (Figure 4) is very si milar to alternative two; however it includes four Access by Permit zones. The goal of these zones is to limit crowding in certain areas. It also does not include the development of campsites found in alternative 2 (National Park Service Nov 2003). The NPS has preliminarily identified alternative f our (Figure 5) as the favored plan. The amount of development for visitor services and park offices would be diminished in this scenario. The noncombustion engine use zone, the slow speed zone, the sensitive resource zone, and the nature observation zone would be expanded; however the access by permit zone would be dramatically reduced (National Park Service Nov 2003). Alternative 5 (Figure 6) is the last alternative being considered for the General Management Plan. This option raises the acres designated only for noncombustion engine use, the slow spee d zone, and nature observation zone, as well as the sensitive resource zone, and access by permit zone, making it the most regulatory scenario for the GMP, although commercial and recreational fishing would still be allowed in the majori ty of the park (National Park Service Nov 2003). Public Comment Analysis All of the alternatives are subject to public scrutiny and could be altered according to public comment (DeLaur a Aug 2 2004). Members of eleven
27 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and educational institutions submitted comments as well as the general public These NGOs included the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Flor ida Biodiversity Project, the National Parks Conservation Association, the C oastal Conservation Association, the Tropical Audubon Society, the Personal Wa tercraft Industry Association, the South Florida Bush Paddlers Association, the American Sportfishing Association, the Ocean Conservancy and Florida Stat e University. 5,264 comments were submitted to the NPS by email and postal mail, as well as 850 comments submitted at the three pub licly held meetings. Some comments had very specific i deas and recommendations, but there were overall themes resonating throughout the comments. A majority of the comments (4,212) were submitted by email and appealed to the NPS to incorporate no-take marine reserves and ci ted inadequate long term protection of resources. Additionally 695 comments submitted via email urged the NPS to acquire additional lands in a joint effort with bordering marine parks (Figures 1-2), to curtail commercial fishing in the park, and expand educat ional programs for park visitors. They also requested that an increase in number of rangers be implemented within the park to expand enf orcement of recognized zones. 158 comments were sent via regular mail and stated that the alternatives were completely inadequate in their ability to protect the resources of the park and should include no-take marine reserves, and urged the development of stronger alternatives before im plementation (National Park Service 2004c).
28 In addition to comments from the pub lic, four sectors of governmental agencies delivered their opinions regarding the alternatives. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (D EP), Office of Park Planning, Division of Recreation, and Parks supported t he noncombustion engine use zone and boating speed regulation in order to fac ilitate seagrass protec tion. They also supported the expansion of kayak and canoe recreation with BNP. The staff from DEPs Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve stat ed that Alternative 5 stayed in unison with the management principles implemented in their preserve. The South Florida Regional Planni ng Council urged the NPS to include a specifically formulated plan, consistent with the Strategi c Regional Policy Plan for South Florida and Miami Dade County regul ations, to improve water quality of freshwater inflows and stormwater system s, reduce nutrient loads from adjacent wastewater facilities and vessels ent ering the park, and execute a hazardous spill plan at ports and marinas. They are concerned about the health of the ecosystem that Biscayne National Park prot ects because of its significance to the area and the transboundary nature of marine ecosystems. The South Florida Water Management Dis trict expects a detailed analysis as well from NPS, and stated that it would want more exact quantifiable comparisons before accepting the alter natives. The agency does not believe in the assumption that increased visitor restrictions will alleviate stress on resources, and therefore does not automatically justify the alternatives. In addition they feel that compatibili ty with the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, particularly the Bisca yne Bay Coastal Wetlands Project and
29 Restoration and Coordination Efforts, is imperative (National Park Service 2004c). Overall the comments were very cons tructive and the staff and managers of Biscayne National Park, and the Nationa l Park Service expressed their desire to accommodate the wishes and needs of as many people as possible with the final selection. However, accommodati ng everybodys desires is an impossible task (DeLaura Aug 2 2004) and likely to result in further resource degradation. Progress of the General Management Plan is current ly stalled because of the controversial nature of some of the issues included and omitted in the alternatives. 2004 is an election year and federal agencies are discouraged from pursuing controversial issues during such times. Thus the process could take up to one year more than originally anti cipated (Canzanelli Sept 17 2004). This illustrates the political nat ure of the GMP decision-maki ng process, which is at odds with the conservation issues that st aff of the National Park Service must consider in order to implement an effective final product.
30 Chapter III Fishery Management Plan Process The Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) is concurrently being developed with the General Management Plan recogni zing that fish populations in the park need a more specific policy objective to be properly managed than the General Management Plan can provide. The park cu rrently relies on state regulation to control fishing practices which is under t he jurisdiction of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The new FMP is a joint project between the National Park Serv ice staff, and the FWC. In addition to developing new objective s park staff are under pressure to justify current policies which allow comme rcial and recreational fishing, when the balance of scientific evidenc e shows that fishing in the park is degrading the entire ecosystem (Ault Sept 17 2004). To rationalize current and future regulation, which may still include recr eational and commercial fishing, Biscayne National Park staff are bound by the Federal Code of Regulations. This stipulates that fishing shall be in accordance with state regulations, and under that premise the park has always allowed fishing within the borders of the park. Nevertheless, the Federal Code of Regul ation includes the phrase except in designated areas, leaving the park room to des ignate areas where fishing might be inappropriate (National Park Service Jul 1 2004). However it is important to the
31 managers of Biscayne National Park to uphold the heritage of the area which they believe includes fishing. Accord ing to the NPS, fishing has had a long history in the region of Biscayne National Park (National Park Service 2003). Because state fishing regulations apply within the park boundaries, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservati on Commission (FWC) and the National Park Service signed a Memorandum of Under standing that stated no-take zones would not be considered an option in t he management plan. The FWC considers a citizens right to fish in Florida waters very important to the ideals upheld by the Commissioners of the agency. In additi on a cooperative effort was formed between the two agencies when the Fi sheries Management Plan was being developed to ensure the idea ls of the FWC were not overlooked (Robson Oct 8 2004). Thus a preliminary goal was established to balan ce these directives with the need to protect the fisheries of the park. The commissioners did agree however that standards of protection in BNP should be higher than in nonnational park waters (Kel lison 2004). The action of signing this memorandum may not be illegal, but the content of the agreement doe s document an illegal action by the NPS in not considering every option when managing the park (White Sept 29 2004). The Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) was originally identified as a critical element in the fall of 2000, when creel data and observations of visitors and staff revealed that population levels of fish species in the park were declining. All previous studies in ear lier years had failed to acknowledge the impact that recreational fishing had on fish populations in the park, and had
32 shown little or no decline on fish species. An analysis of data gathered from 1976 through 1991 demonstrated that there was a decline in fish population in the park due to recreational fishermen (Harper et al. 2000). Subsequently, Ault et al. (2001) was contracted to complete a cu rrent assessment of the status of the fisheries in BNP. The report showed t he population levels of the majority of species studies were well below optimal levels, with at least 77% of the 35 species studied being chronically overfis hed. Average size of individual species was also studied and found to be below what is required for optimal spawning capacity. Legal limits regarding size of 13 out of 35 species legally set below what is needed for maturity of the specie s. The study did not include shellfish, bonefish, tarpon and snook, and it was re commended that more studies be done to analyze the populations and average si ze of these species as well. The FWC identified areas where they disagreed with the assessment. In addition, a peer review group was formed to analyze the re sults. Both called for further validation of data. During this time the staff of Biscay ne National Park and the FWC combined forces to identify specific fishery issues in the park that they wanted to address, as well as set goals for future desired conditions. Fishery Issue Identification As the FMP is held to the same NEPA standards as the GMP three public meetings were held in Apr il of 2003, and mailings with comment cards were sent to citizens on the park mailing list to gain insight as to the publics concerns with fish management in the park. Using the success of the Florida Keys National
33 Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) as a template to follow, a group of stakeholders was formed to provide insight into the fis hery issues and desired future conditions. The Fishery Management Plan Working Group, as it was subsequently called, did not comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) because all the members have vested interests in the uses of the park (Federal Register 2004). Therefore it was done in conjunction with the bordering National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) staff, which is exempt from FACA. Members include representatives from area universit ies, environmental groups, commercial fisherman, recreational fisherman, and one scuba diver, totaling approximately 24 members, plus a moderator. The Nati onal Park Service staff thought the participation of stakeholder groups was important because they spend a great deal of time in the park in addition to their knowledge about the resource they would be discussing. Therefor e, the staff valued their opinions enough to solicit recommendations from them for the Fis heries Management Plan (Kellison Oct 12 2004). The staff of Biscayne National Park i dentified several fishery issues to discuss in the working group meetings and recommendations were drafted by the working group on each (National Park Service 2004g). The first fishery issues included population levels of exploited fish and shellfish relative to the populations in non-park waters, as well as the populations of those fish that will stay in the park in the future. According to park sources fish population levels are below historical levels. In some cases resources in the park, such as snapper and grouper size and abundance, are below the same populations outside the
34 park. Actions taken to rectify such pr oblems could include changes in size and bag limits, limiting the num ber of commercial and recreational fishermen, reduction in bycatch levels, seasonal closures, and spatial closures. It was decided that only the least restrictiv e measures will be implemented and would be species specific. Fishery dependent and independent met hods would be used to collect data for modeling inside and outsi de of the park (National Park Service 2003). The working group recommended monitoring key species such as bonefish, permit, tarpon, shark, snapper, grouper, snook, lobster, shrimp, blue and stone crab, seatrout, redfish, and mu llet every five years with scientific biological sampling, dockside and end-of -season surveys, and harvest data. They also recommended an annual summary of such data and a 10 year assessment of regulation in the park that would positively affect the population and size of such species (National Park Service 2004g). The next category discussed in fishery issues related to commercial fishing and bycatch problems in the park. In Miami-Dade County the commercial landings in 2001 totaled 1,601,221 pound of fish and bait shrimp, including landings in Biscayne National Park and th is has been relatively constant for the last ten years. Possible actions in t he park could require commercial fishermen to purchase permits with set deadlines. T he current commercial fishing level will serve as the baseline to determine futu re permit issuance. Data concerning bycatch is insufficient but is of concer n to park staff. Spatial or seasonal
35 reductions could be implemented to alle viate this problem, as well as gear restrictions (National Park Service 2003). The working group recommended that a permit system be implemented immediately. They also recommended consi deration of species specific permits and gear restrictions, such as banni ng wing netting for food shrimp, and restricting traps to hard bottom habitat. In addition they recommended several restrictions concerning t he permit system, including loss of a permit if no landings are reported and implementing a transferable permit system after five years. To reduce bycatch problems the group thought that working with researchers in developing new technology was important as well as implementing inspections and gear standards on trawl equipment, and creating education programs for commercial fishermen (National Park Service 2004g). The next category was habitat conditions. This dealt with the negative impact on park habitat of roller-frame tra wling, lobster divers, spearfishing, discarded fishing gear, and derelict lobster and crab traps. Trawling has been found to be especially detrimental to hard-bottom habitats, and could be subject to spatial closures. Derelict lobster and crab traps were the subject of visual surveys in 2002 and the incidence of debr is was higher in the park than elsewhere in the Keys. Fishermen usi ng traps could be regulated by spatial closures and a permit system. Removal of debris such as fishing lines, hooks and abandoned traps would be done by staff and volunteers, although no other option for alleviation of this problem was discussed. The impact that lobster divers have on coral is a cause for concer n as well. Currently there is a two-day
36 lobster sport season which extensively damages coral reef habitats. The park could increase diver education to lessen the impact, but no other option was deliberated, citing insufficient quantifiable data. Finally, t he effects of spearfishing include the illegal taking of small fish due to the problem of size distortion underwater, damage to coral reefs, negativ e behavioral effects on fish. Solutions could be gear type restriction, spatial and seasonal closures, or cessation of spearfishing in the park altogether (National Park Service 2003). The working group recommends ex panding educational programs and working with schools and other groups to organize formal clean-up programs in the park as well as distributing a variet y of multi-media information such as videos and commercials on local radio and te levision stations. They also would suggest gear restrictions on spearfisherm en and essentially eliminate fishing with a trigger mechanism, as well as the us e of air sources when spearfishing. A consensus was not reached regarding t he other impacts on habitats, such as different types of fishing (National Park Service 2004g). The last category discussed in the park is the recreational fishing experience in the park. This monitors the quality as well as t he tranquility of the experience for flats fishers and other types of fishermen. Also tested is the recreational fishermans knowledge and degree of compliance to regulations within the park. Because a positive experie nce for park visitors is a fundamental mission of the National Park Service, it is important to the st aff that recreational fishermen enjoy themselves. Increased surveys would be used to determine the quality of their experience, in additi on to surveying their knowledge and
37 compliance of park regulations. Incr eased educational programs would be developed to address concerns. Data alre ady shows that flats fishermen are frequently disturbed by interruptions from combustion engines. To alleviate this problem a noncombustion engine use zone is proposed in the General Management Plan (National Park Service 2003). The working group suggested quantifying the data to dete rmine the baseline for a quality experience in recreational fishing in the park, as we ll as implementing a program to gain feedback from fishermen to determine th is (National Park Service 2004g). Public Comment Analysis Concurrent with the working group, the public was given the opportunity to express their opinions on the issues put fo rth by the FMP. Several desired future conditions were submitted for public comm ent, as they related to the fishery issues, outlined in the public questionnaire (Figure 17, Table 2). The first issue was fish and shellfish populations (Figure 17, Table 2). The comments received from the public indica ted that 24 percent thought that only minor change was needed, 27 percent t hought moderate change was necessary with a 10 percent increase in populatio n levels, 42 percent thought the park condition in this category called for a 20 percent increase in population, which is a considerable change, while eight percent thought that no change was necessary given current levels of fish and shellfish populations. A total of 5 percent had other options in mind (National Park Service 2004b).
38 The next impact discussed in the new sletter referred to the numbers of commercial fishermen in the park (Figure 17, Table 2). Approximately 20 percent of the comments suggested that levels of commercial fishermen should be maintained at or below current levels or a minor change, while 16 percent thought the numbers of commercial fishermen should be reduced by 20 percent over time, or moderate change. The majority 52 percent thought that a considerable 30 percent should be reduced within the park, while only 1 percent thought no action was necessary. About 11 percent thought that other options were necessary, mostly recommending the cessation of commercial fishing in the park altogether (National Park Service 2004b). The next issue discussed was commercia l fishing bycatch impacts (Figure 17, Table 2). Roughly 10 percent thought that bycatch should be maintained slightly below or at current leve ls, and only undergo minor change, while 14 percent thought that moderate change was in order and should be 20 percent below current levels. A predominant 66 percent expressed their desire to decrease bycatch levels by at least 30 percent, a considerable change, while only 3 percent thought no change was needed. A total of 7 percent exercised the option to submit another scenario in which a majority again suggested that commercial fishing should not be allowed in the park (National Park Service 2004b). The next question asked the public t heir opinion of habitat conditions affected by abandoned lobster and crab traps, discarded fishing equipment (such as hooks and lines) spearfishing impact, lobs ter diver impact, and shrimp trawling
39 (Figure 17, Table 2). A minor amount of change was requested by 18 percent in which current (or slightly below current ) levels of impact on habitat would be maintained, with shrimp trawling confined to seagrass beds only. A total of 29 percent wanted moderate change to habitats with a 50 percent reduction in trap and fishing debris, as well as lobster di ving. Spearfishing would also be reduced and specific areas would be designated for shrimp trawling (National Park service 2004b). The majority of comments expre ssed a great concern over habitat condition (Figure 17, Table 2). At least 41 percent thought it would be a good idea to eliminate spearfishing in the park, as well as cutback trap and fishing debris by seventy five percent. Further, they supported the es tablishment of an area that would not be as impacted by shrimp trawling, which would be a considerable change. A minimal 3 percent did not think a change was necessary, while 9 percent submitted their comments in the other category calling for such changes as eliminating commercial fishing and trawling, allowing only Hawaiian sling spearfishing, and making commercial lobster and crab fishermen responsible for their own trap remova l (National Park Service 2004b). The final question covered the recreat ional fishing experience within the park (Figure 17, Table 2). It essentially asked what level of satisfaction of recreational fisherman should be deemed ap propriate in the park, including whether the public is know ledgeable and compliant of regulation. Roughly 33 percent said that at least 85 perc ent should report they had satisfying experience, a minor change, while 21 perc ent thought that a moderate change of
40 90 percent was a more applicable number Only 28 percent thought that a considerable change of 95 percent was appropriate when monitoring a recreational fishermans experience and 10 percent thought that no efforts should be made to increase or decrease angler satisfaction. At least 8 percent gave other comments, such as citing the ques tion as too confusing, appealing for no fishing, calling for an increase in education and enforcement, and expressing their opinion that their ex perience in the park is always enjoyable (National Park Service 2004b). The Fishery Management Plan is still a work in progress, although no more meetings of the working group are cu rrently planned. Overall reviews of the effectiveness of the working group were mi xed, but the staff of Biscayne national park thought it was a beneficia l addition to the FMP process (Kellison June 29 2004). Overall the results and the disseminati on of information given to the public in the comment pamphlet seems convoluted and distorts the fishery issues facing Biscayne National Park. The issues pres ented to the public did not include the option of marine reserves, even though it was a topic that was discussed in the working group meetings. The results of the public comm ent, along with the Working Groups recommendations were presented to the Fl orida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) Advisory Council on October 19, 2004. The Sanctuary Advisory Council voted to accept the recommendat ions of the Working Group, and will them forward them to Biscayne Na tional Park and FWC as official
41 recommendations from NOAA and FKNM S as the parks neighboring marine management area. They noted the absence of any recommendations for fishing closures and urged that a Research Natural Area be added to the General Management Plan Alternatives (Kellison Nov 7 2004).
42 Chapter IV Analysis of Challenges in Management There are several challenges facing the National Park Service in the formulation of an effective management plan for Biscayne National Park. Probably the most significant involves deal ing with the political pressure imposed by government agencies and nongovernmenta l groups alike. Trying to satisfy everybody could ultimately result in suboptimal regulation for protection of park resources. Further, it could generate a chimeric policy that is simply too complex for the public to understand and follow. Complicating the problem are the socioeconomic implications surrounding t he resources within the park, such as the economic value of the resources that once destroyed will no longer contribute to the areas economy. Furthermore, a visitors right to fish in the park is in question. This is an interesting quandary because it is an ideal that is held in high regard by the NPS, mostly because of the history of fishing in the area. In addition recreational and commercial fishing have proven to be a stro ng lobby for less fishing regulation. However, past history is responsible fo r the parks deficient marine ecosystem health today. Johns et al. (2001) surveyed resident boater s who engaged in reef related activity in four South Florida counti es which included recreational divers,
43 snorkelers, recreational fishermen, and sightseers in glass bottom boats. Reef related activity accounted for $2.1 bill ion in expenditures and 19,000 jobs in Miami-Dade County alone, where Biscay ne National Park is located (Johns et al. 2001). The marine resources of Florida are undoubtedly an impo rtant part of Floridas economy, but their future ex istence depends on the decisions managers make today. In addition, managers must be supported by a community system that wants to preserve t he resources as well. If stakeholders can overcome their want and need to expand their use of resources which leads to collectively onerous exploitation, they will ultimately prolong their ability to benefit from the regeneration of the r enewable resource base (Hardin 1968). Multiple Criteria Analysis of Management Decisions Fernandes et al (1999) developed a multiple criteria analysis for marine ecosystem management. This is a step by step process to integrate different socioeconomic objectives into marine re source management. The first three steps involve recognizing the problem stakeholders and objectives (Fernandes et al. 1999). In the case of Biscayne Nati onal Park, the problem lies in the dwindling health of its res ources. The stakeholders are a ll visitors to the park who have equal right to enjoy what the park has to offer, according to the National Park Organic Act (National Park Service 2004d). How stakeholders partake of that right is very much in question. There is ample scientific evidence that certain stakeholders inflict more harm than others.
44 Commercial fishermen and recreational fisherman inflict the most damage on marine ecosystems with harmful fishing practices, such as trawling and spearfishing, and debris they have left behind, in addition to th e exploitation of fish species. The process of defining clear objectives (Fernandes et al. 1999) has been attempted by the National Park staff with the GMP and FMP, despite competing stakeholder influences and bureaucracy delay. In both cases (the GMP and FMP) clearly defined objectives have been lo st because of the political pressures brought to bear on the process. The real objective, explicit ly defined in the parks enabling legislation, is to protect the resource for enj oyment of generations to come (National Park Service 2004f). The NPS clearly must star t integrating more scientific research into their mana gement decisions, instead of relying on politically popular options, if they want to improv e the quality of the marine resources in their care. The fifth step is the establishment of performance indicators (Fernandes et al 1999). Only peer-reviewed scientific evid ence provides a clear view of the performance of management measures to protect the resources of Biscayne National Park. To date the evidenc e suggests that current management decisions and frameworks are inadequat e when considering the incessant negative impacts on marine ecosystems in the park. There are several scientific innovations which could have been utilized in the development of performance indica tors such as LIDAR optical rugosity studies, spatial modeling, and remote sensing technology (Brock June 18 2004).
45 LIDAR optical rugosity studies in Biscay ne National Park are being developed by Brock et al. (2004) using NASAs Experimental Advanced Airborne Research LIDAR (EAARL). Put simply, wavelengths determine habitat complexity of reefs in the park, and will be very important in evaluating habitat health in future studies. United States Geological Survey scientists are also developing methods to measure productivity of ecosystems in Biscayne National Park. Preliminary results indicate that metabolism of coral reefs and sea grass beds can be an indictor of overall ecosystem health in the park (Halley and Yates 2001). The sixth and seventh actions regard t he development of priorities for the objectives and the designation of management options (Fernandes et al. 1999). The articulation and ranking of priorities has been somewhat skewed in order to circumvent hard decisions in the m anagement of Biscayne National Park. Although visitor experience should be a pr iority, it should not take precedence over protection of resources. In a ddition the options that managers have been given are not complete due to the Me morandum of Understanding that was signed between the NPS and FWC which to ok the use of no-take marine reserves off the table. It is underst andable that the Commissioners of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission want to uphold the ideals they feel the citizens of Florida hold in high regar d, many of whom are fishermen. They feel that no-take zones are used as a cure-all before other solutions are explored. They feel that a citizens right to fish anywhere in Florida waters has been compromised in the past when tempor ary no-take zones have turned into permanent marine reserves, generating trust concerns with the government
46 regulation of marine resources (Robs on Oct 8 2004). Although the FWC does have an obligation to uphold the ideals of those they represent, by removing notake zones from consideration in Bi scayne National Park, they have left the National Park Service open to lawsuits when the GMP and FMP are finally implemented because the NPS did not c onsider every option as they are obligated to do by law. In addition a majority of public comment concerning marine reserves fell in support of such actions (White May19 2004). The creation of scenarios and evaluati on of management alternatives are the next steps in the criteria (Fernandes et al. 1999). The park service staff has done an excellent job of following NEPA pr ocedure in drafting alternatives and making them available to the public fo r comment. However, as previously discussed they did not present every possi ble scenario within the alternatives. In light of the publics desires to incl ude the use of no-take zones in the management plan, it is assumed that t hey will indeed be considered in the revised alternatives, even if they are not included in the final plan that is implemented. Scientific evidence supports the clai m that fish populations in the park and the surrounding area are seriously compromised. Current regulation of size and bag limits and seasonal closings do not seem to be solving the problem, therefore prudence requires t hat more severe regulations like no-take marine reserves must be included and executed (Ault et al. 1998, Sept 17 2004). Although the park staff wants to be certai n that no-take marine reserves are the only plausible option before c onsidering them, it may be t oo late for the integrity
47 of park resources by the time the undis puted empirical evidence is available. Data collected to date outlines the negative effects of recreational and commercial fishing, but marine reserves are a relatively new science in comparison, and the development of such studies will take a long time. The National Parks Conservation Associat ion (NPCA) encourages the idea of considering marine reserves and considers their use to have a strong scientific background (National Parks Co nservation Association 2003). Preliminary evidence from other marine ecosystem locations suggests that no-take zones have a positive effect on fish abundance and size. Consensus of the statement endorsed at the Annual Meeti ng of the American Association of the Advancement of the Sciences in 2001, s anctioned the use of marine reserves or no-take zones as a means of restoring the delicate marine resources of U.S. controlled oceans and elsewh ere in the world (AAAS 2001). Considering and implementing marine reserves is a more proactive approach to marine management which transfers the burden of proof from demonstrating that fishing has a negative impact on resources, to proving that it doesnt. This puts the burden of proof on stakeholder groups to empirically demonstrate that their activities are com patible with the goal of marine resource protection. It could also spark innovat ion as they develop new concept and methods of fishing that are more ecologically sound. This in turn will advance the integrity of the entir e ecosystem because it promotes the idea that every species has a role in the ecosystem and is import ant, therefore restoring diversity to the entire resource (Bohnsack et al. 2004).
48 In the socioeconomic study by Johns et al. (2001) the reef-users surveyed in Miami-Dade County were asked of thei r support of no-take zones in southeast Florida. At least 74 percent supported t he use of no-take zones in the Florida Keys; a total of 61 percent supported no take zones in Miami-Dade County and also agreed that thirty per cent of reefs to be designa ted no-take zones. This suggests that there is significant suppor t from Miami-Dade residents for stronger management measures to prot ect marine ecosystems. The National Park System Advisory Board of 2001 admitted that the NPS has not utilized science-based management techniques in the last three decades, especially in our marine parks. They acknowledge the diminishing biodiversity of marine resources and specific ally cite no-take marine reserves as one of the only tools left to try out, to help provide fo r the enjoyment of marine ecosystems by future generations (National Park Service Advisory Board 2001). Biscayne National Park faces specia l challenges because it is a marine based park, for which there are no visible borders except intermittent buoys which are not noticed by already careless re source users in the park. In addition park staff are overextended because the funding simply does not exist for the recruitment of additional park staff. This subsequently compounds lack of enforcement of current regulations, and would be amplified in a scenario where regulation is more complicated, as pr oposed in the draft alternatives. The only thing that would ameliorate this scenario is increased revenue. In addition to considering no-take marine reserves, the park should consider expanding the permit system. This would create a fund to increase enforcement,
49 mitigation of compromised ecosystems, and improve park visitor education. Visitors should be required to educate themselves about the park, before they are allowed to participate in recreational activities offered. If park visitors are increasingly knowledgeable ab out rules within the park, acceptance of regulation will develop, and peer enforcement will ensue. A key component advancing the idea of peer enforcement would be the simplification of rules. Current state r egulations regarding fi shing are extremely complex, and the average person will not take the time to learn them. Such regulatory complexity, combined with a la ck of enforcement, is a recipe for disaster over the long term. The alternatives proposed in the General Management Plan become increasingly more complicated as they progress. This will ultimately translate into a lack of user knowledge and compliance. The fact that barriers cannot be placed around diffe rent zones because of the parks marine nature, combined with the inability of many users to read marine maps accurately, will undermine user compliance with regulation and erode the intention of the delineations in the alte rnatives. It would behoove the NPS staff to consider an overall simplificatio n of regulation within the park. Enforcement is a significant concern of visitors and staff alike in Biscayne National Park. Creative enforcement was a topic of conversation in the FMP working group meetings. However, it was difficult to come up with alternatives (Kellison Oct 12 2004). If a permit system is implemented, it mi ght be useful to post a highly visible marker, such as a flag on boats that have obtained such permits, to make it easier fo r enforcement officers to impose strict fines on those
50 who do not obtain permits. A lottery system might also be beneficial to diminish the amount of resource users in t he park as well, which can be adjusted according to ecosystem health. Additiona lly, a system of colored buoys could be deployed to demarcate borders of internal zones. They could also incorporate solar power to emit signals of light, i ndicating their location to approaching boaters at night time. Also lacking is a more advanc ed mooring buoy system, to eliminate the problem of anchor scarring on reefs. In addition, partnerships with stat e agencies such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, federal agencies such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, which governs the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, NASA, am ong others, should be strengthened to establish a marine reserve network. One of the reasons the FWC is leery of promoting the idea of marine reserves in Biscayne National Park is their knowledge that a small no-take zone will not even help a va riety of species, like spiny lobster, with very larger distributi on. Therefore, they question the purpose of taking away a citizens right to fish when the outcome is uncertain (Robson Oct 8 2004). A network of no-take zones is a sensible approach and promotes regeneration by avoiding fr agmentation. By working with other agencies that have established marine reserves in surr ounding areas of Biscayne, such as the DEP and NOAA, a network can be established to promote the proliferation of species with large distribution (Figure 1). Not only should relationships be strengthened domestically, but internationally as well. It is well known that oceans are transboundary in nature,
51 so relationships with other Caribbean nat ions fostering marine reserve programs would certainly promote a healthier over all marine ecosystem and contribute to advancing the idea of a marine reserve network (Roberts 1997; Ogden 1997; National Research Council 2001). Another important process would be t he development of an extensive user education regime in which all area marinas and docks are included. It is thought by some researching socioeconomic effe cts of Biscayne Nati onal Park that a large majority of visitors do not enter from the main ent rance, and do not even know they are in the park (Suman Sept 17 2004). By integrating the community, through broad coverage media events in multi-lingual app lications, the park service can educate and promote the fundam ental concepts of the management decisions that have been mad, as well as the location and purpose of the park itself. This could include the development of a park outreach center in the MetroMiami area called the Miami Circle (Unrau Aug 2 2004). This archeologically and culturally important area in downtown Mi ami may be well served by insertion into Biscayne National Park management. Additionally it could function as an outreach center to educate residents and tourists about Biscayne. One of the most important concepts that is lacking is the participation of scientists and the inclusion of hard science into the management decision making processes. The ability of interdisciplinary science to incorporate ecology, social science, and economics, as well as m any other fields of study with marine science technology would be extremel y beneficial to marine resource management. With the inclusion of an advis ory group that incorporates these
52 ideals, and is pursuant to FACA (having no vested interest in the park, besides wanting to help it), the park would be able to access the latest innovations in marine resource management with scienc e providing the foundation for such decisions. Continued monitoring with te chnologically advanced data collection could only promote long term ecosystem health and diversity of Biscayne National Park. Recommendations and Conclusions It may be some time before the Na tional Park Service completes the process required to implement the General Management Plan and Fishery Management Plan. However during that proc ess, NPS staff has the opportunity to change the plan in order to positively benefit the park. After viewing the literature and interview notes that I have collected on the Biscayne National Park General and Fishery Management Plans, I hav e come to several conclusions. First, it would behoove park managers to incorporate marine reserves into both plans. Public comment proves there is public support for such an action, in addition to scientific support. Simultaneously, managers of Biscayne National Park should incorporate a Scientific Ad visory Board to conduct and coordinate updated studies of park habitat and spec ies degradation. This board would be responsible for determining the extent of marine reserves needed in the park for maximum resource mitigation on an annual basis At some point in the future the board may find with ongoing study that it is possible to reduce this area, but evidence suggests that marine reserves ar e one of the more important steps in
53 park resource improvement. The board s hould be consilient in nature (Wilson 1998) and incorporate many different but complimentary disciplines such as marine scientists, social scientists, geographers, and wildlife biologists. The board could also contribute to the long te rm goal of establishing cooperative partnerships with state, federal, and international agencies interested in developing a marine reserve network in the Caribbean. In addition a cooperative effort with other local agencies would be the best option for addressing declining water quality in the park. Second, managers should implement a stronger education regime for resource users. Enforcement of regulation will become easier and peer enforcement will strengthen when people are more aware of the existence and ideals of the park, as well as boating and fishing policie s. Requiring education of resource users with an austere permit system could prove to be a dual benefit for the park by also enhancing revenue. Educ ation of resource users not entering from the visitors center should be a pr iority, therefore imm ensely improving the lack of community awareness abo ut Biscayne National Park. Third, enforcement of park policy needs to be impr oved. A lack of funding has instigated suboptimal enforcement of regulation in t he park. Moreover, regulations are very complicated in nat ure. Managers of Biscayne National Park should simplify regulation, but make them more severe. This would aid enforcement, while simultaneously improvi ng protection of park resources. Park managers should also consider charging admission to the park. Entrance fees
54 combined with park-use permit revenue coul d help enforcement and protection of park resources enormously. The NPCA listed Biscayne National Park as one of the ten most endangered parks in the nation in 2004 (National Parks Conservation Association 2004). With strong conviction fo r protecting an important part of our nation, it is the hope that Biscayne National Park managers will consider the overwhelming public support for marine reserves, and take the protection of the resources within the park seriously.
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62 Appendix ATables Plan # SSZ DNC MUZH2O MUZTer NOZ SRZ SUAZ NCEUZ APZ VS/PA Alt 1 3295 2606 156,760 7003 NA NA 2360 NA NA NA Alt 2 621 3188 152,659 3175 5013 87 663 7348 0 170 Alt 3 621 3138 139,651 3175 5013 87 663 7348 13058 170 Alt 4 1838 3138 139,729 2627 12694 677 663 11,517 21 20 Alt 5 2455 3138 112,037 76 20,012 982 663 24643 8,880 38 Table 1Comparison in Acres of Zone Delin eations in GMP Alternatives (data sourceNational Park Service Nov 2003) KeyNA -Not applicable SSZ --Slow Speed Zone DNC -Dredged Navigation Channels MUZ-H20 ---Multi Use Zone/Water MUZ-Ter ---Multi Use Zone/Land NOZ --Nature Observation Zone SRZ ---Sensitive Resource Zone SUAZ --Sensitive Underwater Archeological Zone NCEUZ --Non Combustion Engine Use Zone APZ Access by Permit Zone VS/PA ---Visitor Services, Park Administration Fishery Issue/ % Change Minor Moderate Considerable None Other Recreational Fishing Exper. 18% 27% 56% 8% 5% Habitat conditions 20% 16% 52% 1% 11% Commercial Fishing Bycatch 10% 14% 66% 3% 7% # of Commercial Fisherman 18% 29% 41% 3% 9% Fish and Shellfish 33% 21% 28% 10% 8% Table 2-Summary of Public Comment Returns-Fishery Management Plan (data source-National Park Service 2004b)
Appendix B-Figures Biscayne National Park Figure 1Florida Marine Resource Protection Areas, including Biscayne National Park (data sourceNational Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration 2004) 63
64 Figure 2Biscayne National Park-GMP Alternative 1-Current Regulations (National Park Service 2004a)
Figure 3Biscayne National Park-GMP Alternative 2 (National Park Service Nov 2003) 65
Figure 4Biscayne National Park-GMP Alternative 3 (National Park Service Nov 2003) 66
Figure 5--Biscayne National Park -GMP Alternative 4 (National Park Service Nov 2003) 67
Figure 6Biscayne National Park -GMP Alternative 5 (National Park Service Nov 2003) 68
020406080100120140160180Acres 12345AlternativesVisitor Services and Park Administration Figure 7BNP Visitor Services and Park Administration, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 0500100015002000250030003500Acres 12345AlternativesDredged Navigation Channels Figure 8BNP Dredged Navigation Channels, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 69
020,00040,00060,00080,000100,000120,000140,000160,000Acres 12345AlternativesMulti Use Zone-Water Figure 9BNP Multi-Use Zone-Water, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 010002000300040005000600070008000Acres 12345AlternativesMuli Use ZoneLand Figure 10BNP Multi-Use Zone Land, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 70
0500010000150002000025000Acres 12345AlternativesNoncombustion Engine Use Zone Figure 11BNP Noncombustion Engine Use Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 02000400060008000100001200014000Acres 12345AlternativesAccess By Permit Zone Figure 12BNP Access by Permit Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 71
0500010000150002000025000Acres 12345AlternativesNature Observation Zone Figure 13BNP Nature Observation Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 050010001500200025003000Acres 12345AlternativesSensitive Underwater Archeological Zone Figure 14BNP Sensitive Underwater Archeological Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 72
01002003004005006007008009001000Acres 12345AlternativesSensitive Resource Zone Figure 15BNP Sensitive Resource Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 0500100015002000250030003500Acres 12345AlternativesSlow Speed Zone Figure 16BNP Slow Speed Zone, Difference in acres between Alternatives (data source-National Park Service Nov 2003) 73
0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%Percent of Comments 12345FMP Comment Form Returns Recreational Fishing Experience Habitat Conditions Commercial Fishing-Bycatch # of Commercial Fishermen Fish & Shelfish 1= minor change 2= moderate change 3= considerable change 4= no change 5= other desired conditions Figure 17Fishery Management Plan Public Comments (National Park Service 2004b) 74