Chapter 14.04
MARINE REFUGE1

Sections:

14.04.010    Established.

14.04.020    Unlawful acts.

14.04.030    Removal of certain material permitted.

14.04.040    Protection of harbor seals during the pupping season.

14.04.050    Protection activities and beach closures during the harbor seal pupping season.

14.04.060    Protection of Lovers Point Beach from adult and/or weaned harbor seals.

14.04.070    Coordination with state and federal agencies during the harbor seal pupping season.

14.04.080    Unlawful acts during the harbor seal pupping season.

14.04.010 Established.

All the waterfront of the city, together with those certain submerged lands in the Bay of Monterey contiguous thereto, as set forth and particularly described in that certain act of the Legislature of the State of California entitled, “An act granting to the City of Pacific Grove the title to the waterfront of said City together with certain submerged lands in the Bay of Monterey contiguous thereto,” approved by the Governor June 9, 1931, are hereby established as a refuge for the protection of certain kinds of marine life hereinafter mentioned and as a marine garden of the city and reference is hereby made to said act of the Legislature for a particular description of said waterfront and said submerged lands. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013; Ord. 210 N.S. § 5-401(1), 1952].

14.04.020 Unlawful acts.

Anyone taking specimens of marine plant life, or who willfully disturbs, injures or destroys marine animal habitats or who removes sand, gravel, or rocks therefrom shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be prosecuted pursuant to Chapter 1.16 PGMC. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013; Ord. 08-006 § 47, 2008; Ord. 1004 N.S. § 1, 1978; Ord. 210 N.S. § 5-401(2), 1952].

14.04.030 Removal of certain material permitted.

Notwithstanding the provisions of PGMC 14.04.020, nonliving animals or portions thereof, detached plants, pebbles, flotsam and jetsam may be removed for noncommercial purposes and reduced to possession, but the quantity of nonliving animals and pebbles that may be taken shall not exceed the possession of one handful. The marine refuge shall not be subject to habitat destruction by the relocation and repositioning of large rocks. The city manager or his or her delegated authority may issue permits for scientific collecting of specific organisms or objects in specific quantities within the marine preserve of the city of Pacific Grove. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013; Ord. 349 N.S., 1960; Ord. 210 N.S. § 5-401(3)).

14.04.040 Protection of harbor seals during the pupping season.

It is the policy of the city of Pacific Grove to protect harbor seal mothers and pups if birthing occurs on any Pacific Grove beach, and to deter long-term habitation at Lovers Point Beach. No action will be taken for sporadic seal presence at other beaches outside of the pupping season. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013].

14.04.050 Protection activities and beach closures during the harbor seal pupping season.

If harbor seal pups are delivered on any beach in the city, the city will temporarily close the beach to public uses and provide temporary fencing and signage to protect the seals and their pups for the pupping season through weaning. Protection of seals with pups will include:

(a) Placing temporary fencing off the beach or a barrier at least 50 feet from the location of the pup, using materials such as a mesh fencing;

(b) Posting “No Trespassing” signs;

(c) Enlisting assistance from federal/NOAA enforcement where they have jurisdiction at low tide and where necessary;

(d) Coordinating with volunteer docent programs on public outreach to explain the pupping viewing sites and the nature of the mothers and their pups;

(e) Should Lovers Point Beach become a pupping site, the city, in consultation with NOAA and NMFS officials, may encourage the seals to move off the beach after the pup has been weaned, or at a point where it will not harm the mother or pup, so that the mother seals and their new offspring do not become habituated to the beach. Methods that may be used are described in PGMC 14.04.060. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and the NMFS will provide guidance to the city for when it is appropriate to begin these activities. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013].

14.04.060 Protection of Lovers Point Beach from adult and/or weaned harbor seals.

In the event of juvenile or adult haul outs at Lovers Point Beach, city staff, and other state and federal agencies with jurisdiction, may take direct action to encourage the seals to move off the beach. The city will coordinate with interested agencies and organizations as to the plan and actions that will be taken.

(a) Actions that may be taken to encourage harbor seals to move from Lovers Point Beach include, but are not limited to:

(1) Human presence;

(2) Acoustic devices and/or noise makers that dispense noise periodically;

(3) Sonic repellents;

(4) Visual deterrents such as scarecrows or false predators; or

(5) Techniques acceptable by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and/or recommended in the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

(b) Actions that are discouraged to deter harbor seals at Lovers Point Beach are:

(1) Barriers to deter harbor seals the beach, unless pupping has occurred;

(2) Excessive or continuous noises; and

(3) Direct physical contact with the seals. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013].

14.04.070 Coordination with state and federal agencies during the harbor seal pupping season.

Prior to and during the harbor seal pupping season, the city will coordinate with local NOAA offices and initiate reporting activities and reporting to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to ensure collaboration in executing procedures at Lovers Point Beach and a protection plan at all other city beaches. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013].

14.04.080 Unlawful acts during the harbor seal pupping season.

Anyone who interferes with activities taken in accord with this chapter to protect harbor seals during the pupping season, or to encourage seals to move off the beach, including but not limited to trespassing, protective fencing, removing signage, or other acts that may be detrimental to the seals and their pups shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be prosecuted pursuant to Chapter 1.16 PGMC. [Ord. 13-018 § 3, 2013].


1

    For provisions regarding intoxicated persons in marine refuge, see PGMC 11.04.020. For provisions regarding ocean rescue, see Chapter 4.10 PGMC. See also Appendix 1 at the end of this title, Conservation and Protection of the Marine Gardens Fish Refuge.