« PreviousContinue »
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the most feasible and desirable means of establishing certain portions of the tidelands, bays and estuaries, Outer Continental Shelf, seaward areas, and Great Lakes of the United States as marine sanctuaries, and for other purposes"; and H.R. 11460, a bill "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasible and desirable means of establishing a marine sanctuary in the Santa Barbara Channel, California”, has been assigned to this Department by the Secretary of Defense for the preparation of a report thereon expressing the views of the Department of Defense.
H.R. 11460 would require the Secretary of the Interior to study feasible and desirable means of establishing all or part of the Santa Barbara Channel, California, in a marine sanctuary, including portions of the tidelands and the Outer Continental Shelf, and to submit within two years, a report of his findings and recommendations to Congress through the President. The other bills would provide similarly as to portions of the nation's entire natural tidelands, Outer Continental Shelf, seaward areas, and land and waters of the Great Lakes. For the purpose of the bills (except H.R. 11460, which omits definitions) the term “tidelands” means "bays estuaries, land, and waters within the three-mile territorial limit of the United States"; the term “Outer ('ontinental Shelf” means “land and waters extending from the three-mile territorial limit out of the two-hundred meter depth contour”; and the term "seaward areas” means “land and waters contiguous to and extending from the two-hundred meter depth contour". The bills provide for a moratorium on industrial development of any portion of the areas under study until the Secretary of Interior submits his report, and the Secretary would cooperate with all affected Federal, State, local and international organizations in arranging the moratorium. The bills (except H.R. 11460) further provide that the Secretary of the Interior shall consult with the Secretary of State regarding the need for international agreements where the potential marine sanctuaries extend to international waters.
The Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966 declared it to be the policy of the United States “to develop, encourage, and maintain a coordinated comprehensive, and long-range national program in marine science for the benefit of mankind" (80 Stat. 203). In furtherance of this policy the Act established the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development and provided for a Commission on Marine Science, Engineering and Resources, both of which bodies have responsibilities to study and develop programs regarding marine resources and marine sciences. The 1966 Act appears best suited to achieve the objective of the subject bills, especially in relation to potential marine sanctuaries extending to or lying wholly within international waters. United States foreign policy objectives in these international waters can best be formulated by the President, assisted by the National Council and Commission, as in the 1966 Act.
Further, Congress has already established a Public Land Law Review Commission (Act of September 19, 1964, 78 Stat. 982) whose function is to recommend laws, regulations, policies, and practices best to carry out “the policy of Congress that the public lands of the United States shall be (a) retained and managed or (b) disposed of, all in a manner to provide the maximum benefit for the general public.” The Outer Continental Shelf lands are public lands; therefore, enactment of the subject legislation would result in duplication of effort with respect to formulation of policies on the use of these submerged lands.
The definition in these bills of the term “Outer Continental Shelf” as "land and waters extending from the three-mile territorial limit out to the two-hundredmeter depth contour”, though limited to the purpose of the bills, is objectionable. In 1954 Congress passed the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (67 Stat. 462) in which the definition of the Shelf was phrased as to be silent (“oncerning the limit of its seaward extension. On 26 May 1960 the Senate ratified the 1958 Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf (TIAS 5578), article (1) of which provides in pertinent part:
"For the purpose of these articles, the term 'continental shelf' is used as referring (a) to the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the coast but outside the area of the territorial sea, to a depth of 200 meters or, beyond that limit, to where the depth of the superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas.
This was the first definition of the Continental Shelf adopted by the United States which set any seaward limit. The second criterion in article (1) of the Convention—"beyond that limit, to where the depth of the superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas”—has been subject to various interpretations both within and without the United States Government and is presently under advisement by the National Council on Marine Resources and Engineering Development. The interpretation given this criterion may have foreign policy ramifications. It would seem inadvisable for Congress at this time to lend authority to an interpretation of the Continental Shelf as being limited to the 200-meter-depth contour, even though restricted to the purpose of the particular enactment, for such an interpretation may later prove inimical to United States foreign policy objectives.
Section 4(b) of H.R. 11584, H.R. 11812, H.R. 11868, H.R. 13150 and H.R. 11769 is also objectionable. It authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to cooperate with all affected Federal, State, local and international agencies in order that, pending completion of the study, a moratorium on the industrial development of any portion of the tidelands, Outer Continental Shelf, seaward areas and waters of the Great Lakes under consideration as a possible marine sanctuary may be agreed upon by such interested agencies. There are numerous military installations, such as the Air Force's Eglin AFB ranges in the Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Test Range and Great Lakes gunnery and bombing ranges, which, wholly or partially, are located in the cited marine areas. It is not clear whether the contemplated moratorium would apply to actual military operations at these locations, but it could easily cause difficulties for any construction projects that are planned there. In short, the Military departments utilize substantial areas of air space above, the surface, subsurface, and seabed of the Outer Continental Shelf offshore the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. Research, testing of weapon systems, training, and operational firings, which are conducted on a broad scale within such areas are essential to the maintenance of our force structure and military posture.
With regard to the establishment of a marine sanctuary in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, an encroachment would be created upon area now being used by the Pacific Missile Range (PMR) and it would have a deleterious impact on future operations. The area most seriously affected would be San Miguel Island. This island is essential for use as an air-to-surface missile impact area for both RDT&E and operational firings. The Island and the surrounding area provide realistic training for Navy and Marine pilots prior to their deployment to Southeast Asia and represents the only area of this type available which meets minimum pre-deployment tactical training requirements of the Fleet.
The continued relatively unrestricted use of San Miguel Island by the Navy is considered necessary for the following specific reasons :
(1) It is the only government-owned uninhabited island off the west coast.
(2) It is centrally located between U.S. Naval Air Station, Lemoore, and U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, permitting tactical squadrons to load out at a parent base, fly tactical missions, and return to the parent base.
(3) It is located in an area presently clear of both surface and air operations, thus providing quick response to schedule requests with little interferences to present range programs.
(4) The unrestricted airspace permits Fleet squadrons to conduct tactically realitsic air-to-surface missile firings in natural surroundings similar to conditions found in combat.
(5) Use of San Miguel Island does not interfere with heavy missile range and missile ground target workload schedule for San Nicolas Island.
(6) Provides good offshore mooring for target barges near Cuyler Harbor and Cardwell Point.
(7) Scheduling flexibility allows squadrons to train as missiles become available instead of waiting for a full mission complement and then shooting all missiles in one schedule period. Training of a continuing basis is more effective in maintaining pilot proficiency.
(8) San Miguel area can accommodate the trend to increase standoff range with attendant increased safety areas.
Practical alternatives to the use of San Miguel Island have been thoroughly explored and considered. None exist. Areas such as San Nicholas Island, San Clemente, Chocolate Mountain, El Centro, Yuma, Twenty-Nine Palms, Mojave B and NOTS China Lake are either already overly scheduled, contain populations which must be evacuated, lack adequate instrumentation or area, permit no offset firing, restrict approaches to one prescribed headings at fixed altitudes, or require ground control of aircraft at all times. While these areas are quite adequate for the purposes for which they were designed, they are unsuitable to the purposes now required for missile testing and practice firing. Among other things, the circumstances of firing are so artificial as to lack the realism necessary for much needed pilot training. San Miguel, on the other hand, is both unique and idea. Situated as it is, at the westerly end of an island chain, wholly unimproved and unpopulated, it presents a minimum safety hazard, while offering maximum security. With targets available onshore, just offshore, and 10 to 15 miles offshore, it provides realistic practice in a well-instrumented area. No other target area in the United States allows for attack by two or more aircraft at once, or permits pilots to determine their altitude, range, angle, and release position. Logistics problems are non-existent, at least from El Toro, Alameda, Lemoore, also the Fleet. The area is accessible without the need to overfly populated areas. In final substance, it is the last such area left.
For the foregoing reasons, the Department of the Navy, on behalf of the Department of Defense is opposed to the enactment of these bills.
This report has been coordinated within the Department of Defense in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that, from the standpoint of the Administration's program, there is no objection to the presentation of this report on H.R. 11584, H.R. 11812, H.R. 11868, H.R. 13150, H.R. 11769 and H.R. 11460 for the consideration of the Committee. For the Secretary of the Navy. Sincerely yours,
R. WRZESINSKI, (Captain, U.S. Navy)
Director, Legislative Division.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE,
May 16, 1968. Hon. EDWARD A. GARMATZ, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This letter is in response to your request of September 15, 1967, for a report on H.R. 11460, a bill “To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasible and desirable means of establishing a marine sanctuary in Santa Barbara Channel, California,” and H.R. 11584, H.R. 11769, H.R. 11812, H.R 11868, and H.R. 13150, bills "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the most feasible and desirable means of establishing certain portions of the tidelands, Outer Continental Shelf, seaward areas, and Great Lakes of the United States as marine sanctuaries and for other purposes."
H.R. 11460 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasible and desirable means of establishing a marine sanctuary in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, and would direct him to make a report and recommendations to Congress including the applicability of such study to other coastal waters of the United States. The other bills would similarly authorize and direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the most feasible and desirable means of establishing marine sanctuaries along the coastal areas of the United States and the Great Lakes and to make a report and recommendations to Congress. All of these bills would require the Secretary of the Interior to cooperate and consult with other interested Federal agencies in preparing the report and recommendations.
This Department has no objection to the enactment of this legislation. We defer, however, to the views of the Department of the Interior concerning its specific provisions. If this legislation is enacted, we, of course, would expect to cooperate and consult with the Department of the Interior concerning any part of the report and recommendations relating to the shellfish sanitation activities of this Department or to any other health related matters.
We are advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program. Sincerely,
WILBUR J. COHEN,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D.C., April 8, 1968. Hon. EDWARD A. GARMATZ, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. GARMATZ: Your Committee has requested this Department's views and recommendations on H.R. 11460, a bill "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasible and desirable means of establishing a marine sanctuary in the Santa Barbara Channel, California."
The bill would direct the Secretary to conduct a 2-year study on the feasibility and desirability of establishing all or part of Santa Barbara Channel as a marine sanctuary, including the tidelands and Outer Continental Shelf "within the dimensions of the existing State of California sanctuary along fourteen miles of the Santa Barbara County coast and projecting these dimensions to the channel islands.” Presumably, the California sanctuary reference is the area where oil and gas leasing was prohibited by a 1955 amendment to the Public Resources Code of the State (see enclosed copy of State amendment). Thus, this is not a sanctuary in the wildlife and fisheries sense.
The bill directs the Secretary to hold public hearings on the establishment of the sanctuary. One of these must be held in the city of Santa Barbara.
The Secretary is directed to submit a report and any appropriate legislation after 2 years to Congress through the President. The report shall contain findings on sport and commercial fishing, wildlife conservation, recreation, marine ecological research values, etc., and desirable means of creating a marine wilderness system as an extension of the basic principles of the Wilderness Act. The bill places a moratorium during the study period on oil and gas development and exploration in the area under study as a reserve.
The bill authorizes $250,000 for the study.
The Western end of the Santa Barbara Channel (Point Concepcion) is recognized as the major meeting point of cool north Pacific waters and warm southern waters, and supports marine life of both zones. Probably there are more marine species living there than at any other point on the California coast. The marine gardens and tide pools around the Channel Islands are renowned. The Santa Barbara County coastline is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful and scenic ocean stretches in the world. Being located in a very high density human population area, it receives heavy public recreational use.
We have not ascertained the exact boundaries of the proposed study area so can only give general information on its importance. The coastline throughout this area is scenic and heavily used for sunbathing, fishing, sightseeing, and other beachland pursuits. There are no important waterfowl areas although some ducks winter along this stretch of ocean.
The channel itself supports an important sports fishery and a substantial commercial fishery. Kelp bass, rockfish, Pacific mackerel, and albacore are the primary sport fish. Abalone are the most important commercial crop, but several varieties of fish are taken in significant quantities.
The Channel Islands are home for large numbers of seabirds (western gulls, cormorants, brown pelicans, and others) and for various pelagic mammals. California sea lions breed in large numbers and there are some of the rarer elephant seals and Guadalupe fur seals. The National Park Service administers Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands.
Commercial interests in the channel area include oil and gas drilling, kelp harvest from several large beds near Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, and fishing.
At present, this Department has broad authority under existing law, such as the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, to conduct this study. Further, the broad study authorized by H.R. 25, which we strongly support, would include the area covered by this bill. Because of the present demands on the budget, and because of the need to use existing funds and manpower on other items of higher priority, we cannot, in good conscience, support this new study authority, particularly one that included dollar and time limitations, at this time.
Further, we believe that the moratorium provisions of the bill are not necessary and would not be in the public interest.
Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331-1343), the Secretary of the Interior is given exclusive authority to manage the development of the mineral resources of the Outer Continental Shelf.
The Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management are the two Bureaus of the Department of the Interior which control mineral operations on the Shelf under authorities delegated to them by the Secretary. Exploration for and development of the mineral resources of the Shelf necessarily affect the aquatic life of the Shelf.
Section 11 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1340), specifically states that geological and geophysical explorations on the Shelf must not be "unduly harmful to aquatic life in such area". To better coordinate the utilization of the mineral resources along with the aquatic resources of the Shelf, the Department has recently developed more effective and adequate administrative procedures for the management of the Outer Continental Shelf. These procedures will provide a better and more informed approach to the development of the Outer Continental Shelf and the natural resources of the Shelf.
We believe that by carrying out our statutory responsibilities for the conservation and development of aquatic resources, we will be able to ensure that the multiple-use concept of resource utilization will be applied to the Outer Continental Shelf.
The State of California already has under lease most of the submerged lands lying landward of the OCS off the mainland (except lands within the State sanctuary). Many of these leases are producing oil and gas. While the Federal Government has not leased much acreage in the Santa Barbara Channel, a general sale is under active consideration. Strong efforts are being made to develop adequate restrictions which will minimize the operational impact on the values of the Channel area and to prevent any possibility that the lands covered in the State sanctuary will be drained from adjacent OCS lands.
The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program. Sincerely yours,
STANLEY A. CAIN, Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
1955 AMENDMENT TO PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE OF CALIFORNIA
SEC. 15. Section 6871.1 is added to said code, to read :
"6871.1. Except as provided in Section 6871.2 of this code, the tide and submerged lands of the State along the coast of the Pacific Ocean which may be leased pursuant to Section 6871.3 of this code for the production of oil and gas are those extending from the northerly city limits of the City of Newport Beach, Orange County, to the Town of Oceano, in the County of San Luis Obispo."
Sec. 16. Section 6871.2 is added to said code, to read :
“6871.2. Except as provided in Sections 6872 and 6872.1 of this code, the commission shall not enter into any lease for the extraction of oil and gas from state-owned tide and submerged lands within the areas to which this section is applicable.
“The provisions of this section shall be applicable only to the lands within the following described areas, but shall not be construed so as to prohibit operations or activities under any state oil and gas leases of any portion or portions of the tide and submerged lands to which this section is applicable and which leases are in effect on January 1, 1955, nor to prohibit renewals or extension of any such leases in accordance with the provisions thereof.
“(a) All those tide or submerged lands situated in the areas of the County of Los Angeles described as follows:
“Area No. 1: Beginning at the point of intersection of the ordinary high water mark of the Pacific Ocean with the southerly point of Point Fermin; thence in a generally northerly and westerly direction along said ordinary high water mark to the Ventura county line; thence due south three nautical miles to a point in the Pacific Ocean; then in a generally easterly and southerly direction parallel to said ordinary high water mark to a point in the Pacific Ocean three nautical miles due south from the point of beginning; thence due north to the point of beginning.