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MONITORING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S C O A S T A L W A T E R S Panel on the Southern California Bight of the Committee on a Systems Assessment of Marine Environmental Monitoring Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of dis- tinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The program described in this report is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 14-12-0001- 30416 between the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Academy of Sciences, Contract No. P-32690 with six California municipalities, and State of California Contract No. 6-213-250-0 with the California State Water Resources Control Board. Federal agencies that actively worked with the authoring committee include the Environmental Protection Agent, Minerals Management Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Limited copies are available from: Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC 20418 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 90-62163 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04327-1 Copyright (0 1990 by the National Academy of Sciences. S189 Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON A SYSTEMS ASSESSMENT OF MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DONALD F. BOESCH, Chairman, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin, Louisiana JERRY R. SCHUBEL~ ~ce-Chairman, State University of New York, Stony Brook New York BROCK BERNSTEIN, Eco~alysis, Inc., Ojai, California WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, Conservation Foundation, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM GARBER, City of Los Angeles (retired), Playa del Rey, California ALLAN HIRSCH, Dynamac Corporation, Rockville, Maryland FRED HOLLAND, VERSAR-ESM, Inc., Columbia, Maryland KENNETH S. JOHNSON, Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, Moss Landing, California DONALD O'CONNOR, Manhattan College, Glen Rock New Jersey LISA SPEER, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City G. BRUCE WIERSMA, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho PANEL ON THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, Leader, Conservation Foundation, Washington, D.C. DONALD BAUMGARTNER, Environmental Protection Agency, Newport, Oregon BROCK BERNSTEIN, EcoAnalysis, Inc., Ojai, California WILLIAM GARBER, City of Los Angeles (retired), Playa del Rey, California WESLEY MARX, Author, Irvine, California DOROTHY F. SOULE, University of Southern California, Los Angeles Staff CELIA Y. CHEN, Staff Officer JERRY M. NEFF, Rapporteur, Battelle New England Marine Research Laboratory, Duxbury, Massachusetts AURORE BLECK, Senior Project Assistant . . . 1H

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MARINE BOARD SIDNEY ~ WALLACE, Chairman, Dyer, Ellis, Joseph & Mills, Washington, D.C. BRIAN J. WATT, r~ce-Chainnan, TECHSAVANT, Inc., Kingwood, Texas ROGER D. ANDERSON, Bee Gee Shrimp, Inc., Tampa, Florida ROBERT G. BEA, NAE, University of California, Berkeley, California JAMES M. BROADUS, III, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts F. PAT DUNN, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas LARRY L. GENTRY, Lockheed Advanced Marine Systems, Sunnyvale, California DANA R. KESTER, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island JUDITH T. KILDOW, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts BERNARD LE MEHAUTE, University of Miami, Miami, Florida WILLIAM R. MURDEN, NAE, Murden Marine, Ltd., Alexandria, Virginia EUGENE K PENTIMONTI, American President Lines, Ltd., Oakland, California JOSEPH D. PORRICELLI, EC0, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland JERRY R. SCHUBEL, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York RICHARD J. SEYMOUR, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California ROBERT N. STEINER, Delaware River Port Authority, Camden, New Jersey EDWARD WENK, JR., NAE, University of Washington (emeritus), Seattle, Washington Staff CHARLES A. BOOKMAN, Director DONALD W. PERKINS, Associate Director SUSAN GARBINI, Project Officer ALEX STAVOVY, Project Officer WAYNE YOUNG, Project Officer DORIS C. HOLMES, Staff Associate PAUL SCHOLZ, Staff Associate AURORE BLECK, Senior Project Assistant DELPHINE D. GLAZE, Administrative Secretary GLORIA B. GREEN, Project Assistant CARLA D. MOORE, Project Assistant 1V

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Preface PURPOSE In 1987, the Marine Board of the National Research Council estab- lished the Committee on a Systems Assessment of Marine Environmental Monitoring. The committee's goal was to identity how monitoring con- tnbutes to environmental management, to determine why monitoring does not always produce useful information, and to recommend how more ef- fective monitoring programs could be designed. The committee decided to carry out three case studies: the Chesapeake Bay, the Southern California Bight,: and particulate dispersion. The following goals were established for this case study: to assess the design of monitoring programs in Southern California In terms of their technical components and linkages to relevant policy issues; 1 The purpose of this case study was to conduct an overall review and assessment of marine mon- itoring in the Southern California Bight. Although there is a long tradition of monitoring in the bight, there is widespread concern that intensive monitoring activities are not efficient and that the information that results is not sufficiently used for decision making by governmental agencies. There is also concern that monitoring does not produce a readily accessible, coher- ent picture of conditions in the bight's marine environment. Accordingly, this study examines Monitoring as a system that includes both institutional and technical aspects, then recommends possible improvements to this system. This study thus concentrates on the interface between technical or scientific issues and institutional and policy issues. It does not, other than for il- lustrative purposes, attempt to describe environmental impacts or actual conditions of marine waters and living resources in the bight.

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to use the assessment to develop guidance for future monitoring practice and institutional frameworks in the region; and to assess whether monitoring meets society's needs as manifested in regulations, public opinion, and scientific research. In pursuit of these goals, this study accomplishes four main objectives: 1. it describes the natural environmental setting, including the physical setting and sources of environmental pollutants and habitat change; 2. it reviews the regulatory and institutional framework, including monitoring responsibilities in the government, academic, and public sectors; 3. it discusses the evolution of monitoring and current monitoring activities in the bight; and 4. it analyzes current monitoring practice in the context of the first three objectives and describes a conceptual framework for improved mon- itoring. In combination, these objectives define the overall environmental, regulatory, historical, and institutional framework within which this study assesses monitoring in the bight. The emphasis is on systematic use by regulatory and management agencies of the data collected and not on the technical adequacy of individual collection activities. METHODS The Committee on a Systems Assessment of Marine Environmental Monitoring established a case study panel to pursue the goals and objectives described above. The case study panel performed much of its work through a series of fact-finding meetings held throughout Southern California to seek viewpoints from the monitoring community. A planning meeting was attended by panel members, representatives of the California state and re- gional water quality boards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, municipal dischargers, and various research groups. This initial meeting achieved three results: 1. members identified important issues for the panel to investigate, 2. prepared a list of knowledgeable experts who would be invited to make presentations to the panel about these issues, and lions. 3. specified background information needed for the panel's delibera The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project prepared a report for the panel providing background information for each monitoring pro- gram in the bight, including detailed maps and data on sampling design, parameters sampled, sponsoring agency, relevant permits, and cost. V1

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Experts invited to address the panel at subsequent fact-finding meet- ings were asked to make written and oral presentations. They were asked to consider specific questions about monitoring effectiveness and about their personal experiences with monitoring programs. As a result, the panel received information from experts knowledgeable about and experienced with a variety of issues, including fisheries management, the relationship of large-scale ecological processes to monitoring objectives, institutional relationships, public health, nonpoint sources of pollution, legal and regu- lato~y requirements, wastewater treatment, thermal discharges from coastal power plants, public perceptions and interests, marine science, and moni- toring design and implementation. In addition, some panel members made field visits in the region. At the conclusion of these fact-finding sessions, the panel held further meetings to discuss the structure and content of the case study report and to review and discuss draft material. ORGANIZATION This case study is organized into seven chapters: Chapter 1 The Southern California Bight provides a basic descrip- tion of the geography' hydrology, water quality, climate, habitats, and natural resources of the area. It also describes land use patterns and economic activities. Chapter 2 Sources of Pollution and Habitat Change discusses major activities that result in pollution and habitat change, such as oil exploration and production, municipal and industrial wastewater discharges, power plant thermal discharges, stormwater and surface runoff, aerial fallout, and ocean dumping. It also contains a discussion of the characteristics of the resultant pollutants and their concentrations in the environment. Chapter 3 Regulatory Framework and Public Concerns sets forth the basic state and federal regulatory framework (water quality control, public health and safety, and natural resources protection) and the concerns and perceptions of the public about certain policy objectives for the bight. Chapter 4 Monitoring and Research Programs in the Southern Cal- ifornia Bight discusses the relationship between research and monitoring and the general types of monitoring applied in studies of the bight. It - characterizes the roles of government and of the private sector in these activities. Chapter 5 A Framework for the Analysis of Monitoring sets forth in general terms the theoretical objectives for a monitoring program and dis- cusses in detail a conceptual framework that will ensure that the objectives are achieved. Chapter 6 Analysis of Monitoring Efforts examines specific aspects of certain monitoring efforts in the bight and evaluates the results in light . . V11

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of the conceptual framework and the societal expectations in Southern California. Recommendations for change are set forth in this chapter. Chapter 7 Conclusions and Recommendations sets forth the com- mittee's conclusions and recommendations. THE STUDY'S AUDIENCE This study was requested by the parent Committee on a Systems As- sessment of Marine Environmental Monitoring. Its findings and conclusions and the underlying discussion are an important source of information for the work of that committee. However, because of high interest in the con- dition of the environment and marine monitoring in Southern California this report will be of substantial interest to parties in that region. Although environmental monitoring is most often considered to be within the exclusive domain of the scientific community, successful design and use of environmental monitoring depends on a system that reaches beyond scientists. The general public and interest groups have substantive questions about the condition of the marine environment that monitoring must address. Political leaders and policy makers need to make tough decisions about the allocation of monetary resources to particular control strategies, and monitoring results provide information upon which their success may be documented. Public and private managers must imple- ment control programs and be able to predict as well as determine their success or failure on the basis of monitoring information. Finally, the sci- entific community is vital to the appropriate design and implementation of monitoring programs.2 This study, based on an examination of the monitoring system as a whole, makes recommendations about marine monitoring that respond to the needs and responsibilities of all these interests. Thoughtful considera- tion, debate, and (undoubtedly) modification can contribute to the evolution of marine monitoring in Southern California to make it a strong component of the overall program of environmental protection and restoration. 2The incorporation of relevant scientific knowledge in monitoring programs helps ensure that important questions will be properly addressed. Appropriate scientific analysis of monitoring results will also increase understanding of how the marine environment functions and responds to human impacts. . . . V111

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Acknowledgments The Panel on the Southern California Bight would like to express its gratitude to a number of individuals whose assistance has been invaluable in the development of this report. The committee thanks Dr. Jerry M. Neff for his efforts as rapporteur. Appreciation is also conveyed to Jack Anderson and staff scientists at the Southern California Coastal Water Resources Project for providing the committee with the background document A Historical Review of Monitoring in the Southern California Bight, as well as a wealth of additional assistance. Brock Bernstein worked long and hard to shape the final report. Many thanks also to the following individuals for their valuable input to the report: Blake Anderson of the Orange County Sanitation District, Gary Davis of the National Park Service, Dorothy Green of Heal the Bay, Robert Grove of Southern California Edison Company, Janet Hashimoto of the Region IX office of the Environmental Protection Agency, George Jackson of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Burton Jones of the University of ~ , . . ~ Southern California, Edward Liu of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, John McGowan of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, John Melbourn of the San Diego Department of Health Services, Richard Methot of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Robert Miele of the County Sanitation District of Los Angeles, John Mitchell of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Paul Papanek of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, John Stephens of Occidental College, and Ken Wilson of the California Department of Fish and Game. The committee also expresses its special appreciation to the federal 1X

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government liaisons who played an integral part in helping to make this a relevant and useful document: Alan Mearns of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Brian Melzian of the Region IX office of the Environmental Protection Agengy, Fred Piltz of the Minerals Management Service, and Douglas Pirie of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Finally, a special thanks to the state and local representatives of California whose concern for the region's coastal ocean environment and support for this project allowed this endeavor to transpire: Susan Hamilton of the city of San Diego, Irwin Haydock of the Los Angeles County Sanitation District, Robert Montgomery of the city of Oxnard, Michael Moore of the Orange County Sanitation District, John Norton of the California State Water Resources Control Board, Jan Stull of the Los Angeles County Sanitation District, Frank Wada of the Hyperion Treatment Facility, and Craig Wilson of the California State Water Resources Control Board. x

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. 1 THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT . . Physical Setting, 1 Habitats and Natural Resources, 9 Land Use and Economic Activity, 11 SummaIy, 14 . . . ...... Xlll ..1 2 SOURCES OF POLLUTION AND HABITAT CHANGE . . Major Sources of Contaminants, 17 Classes of Contaminants, 22 Overview of Environmental Problems, 35 Summary, 41 ...... 16 3 REGULATORY FRAMEWORK AND PUBLIC CONCERNS . . . 42 Regulatory Sector, 42 Interagency Cooperation, 50 Public Concerns for the Bight, 51 Summary, 52 4 MONITORING AND RESEARCH IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BIGHT ........................................ The Monitoring Sector, 55 The Research Sector, 86 Summary, 95 X1 ..54

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A FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF MONITORING The Importance of Objectives, 98 The Role of Technical Design, 99 A Framework for Prioritizing Problems, 102 Summary, 113 6 ANALYSIS OF MONITORING EFFORTS ...... Institutional Objectives and Their Limitations , 118 Technical Design and Implementation, 127 Technical Interpretation and Decision Making, 134 Overall Organization of Monitoring, 138 Summary, 140 7 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Conclusions, 143 Recommendations, 144 REFERENCES . . . . X11 ...97 .... 116 ..... 142 .............. 146

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Executive Summary With nearly 15 million people in the region, Southern California's coastal ocean) is coming under increasing environmental stress. There is little coastal space that is not subject to some form of development or resource utilization-including oil extraction, commercial and recreational fisheries, municipal and industrial wastewater discharge, ship traffic, and recreation. There is in the region a broad public perception of environmental degradation. This is set against a backdrop of extraordinarily complex natural ecosystem processes that are not fully understood, extensive public and private efforts to protect and restore environmental systems, and great public concern for the environment. Environmental management efforts have included numerous marine environmental monitoring programs. These efforts have been both ex- tensive (for example, the long-term time-series resource assessments of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation [CalCOFI]) and elaborately detailed, such as the monitoring programs for municipal waste water and electric power plants. The total amount of money and effort expended by public utilities, private industry, and government agencies in marine monitoring efforts in Southern California is conservatively estimated at well over $17 million annually. 1 This report addresses the region known as the Southern California Bight, the oceanic region from Point Conception, California to Mexico and seaward from the coast to the California Cur rent. . . . X111

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As part of a larger assessment of marine environmental monitoring, the National Research Council analyzed the effectiveness of marine environ- mental monitoring in the Southern California Bight. The study committee found an extensive system of monitoring of environmental conditions in the bight, but also widespread concern that the system is not efficient and that its products are not sufficiently used for decision making. The committee found that because monitoring in the bight is predom- inantly organized around discharge permits responding to water quality regulations, there is a fragmented approach to assessing environmental quality. There are deficiencies in monitoring for public health concerns and nonpoint discharges. Also, there are no existing formal mechanisms for integrating the wide array of monitoring activities and their findings; as a result, it is difficult- if not impossible- to present a coherent picture of the state of the bight as a whole. There is a glaring need for a regionwide monitoring system and for effectively reporting findings to the public, the scientific community, and policy makers. In response to these findings, the committee recommends that a re- gional monitoring program be established that would address public health impacts, natural resources and nearshore habitat trends, nonpoint source and riverine contamination, and cumulative or areawide impacts from all contaminant sources. A regional program should involve participation by the public and scientific communities at local, state, and federal levels and should include built-in mechanisms to communicate its conclusions to regulatory agen- cies and the public, the committee noted. It should also include review mechanisms and allow easy alteration or redirection of monitoring efforts, whenever justified by monitoring results or other information. Anticipated benefits from a regional program would include: ~ greater cost efficiency through use of standardized sampling, analysis, data management, and coordination of effort; ability to address specific questions about environmental conditions and resources and to alter or redirect monitoring efforts as needed; and more effective use of monitoring information in decision making by ensuring better communication with and involvement by the public and scientific community. Implementing a regional program will require coordination among lo- cal, state, and federal agencies and the integration of their regulatory, data, and management needs. Only through an integrated systemwide approach can important environmental and human health objectives identified by so- ciety be successfully attained: ensuring that it is safe to swim in the ocean and eat local seafood, providing adequate protection for fisheries and other living resources, and safeguarding the health of the ecosystem. XIV