Preface: Purpose of this document & how to read the edits



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Please email comments & suggestions to Carol Cain ccain@mdcoastalbays.org

FISH & WILDLIFE

PREFACE: Purpose of this document & how to read the edits;

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program is in the process of updating the Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan (1999). MCBP is a consensus based organization that seeks to bridge community concerns with local, state and federal expertise and resources to protect and preserve the Atlantic Coastal Bays. We are seeking the technical advice of resource professionals to assist with the update of this plan. Please consider the following questions;



  1. As a Partner in implementing the CCMP, how should specific action items be edited to reflect your agency’s goals?

  2. Despite current limitations, what natural resource initiatives do you anticipate will occur over the next 10 – 15 years? Are those initiatives reflected in the CCMP?

  3. How can the staff of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program assist your group in meeting those initiative goals?

A tracking and evaluation of plan implementation occurred by committee in September 2011. The implementation status and comments from the committee has been inserted throughout this document in red text, based on the following criteria;

  1. Implementation status: based on a scale of 0 – 100 %

Full: Full implementation completed or nearing completion (75 – 100%)

Substantial: Major progress has been made (50 – 74%)

Moderate: Fair progress has been made (25 – 49%)

Some: Progress is beginning (10 – 24%)

Minimal: Very limited progress (0 – 9%)


  1. Tracking Committee recommendations for future efforts

DONE – the action is completed as written

INSTITUTIONALIZED – actions that have become standard operating procedures

DELETE – the action is infeasible, obsolete, or irrelevant to Partner goals

KEEP – action should continue to be implemented as written

MODIFY – the language or intent of the action should be revisited for clarity

CONSOLIDATE – the language or intent of the action is duplicative or otherwise can be simplified



SUPPLEMENTAL – actions that are completed but may require periodic discussion/review

  1. New or Updated Actions. Many of the actions in the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan called for plans and studies that would benefit the watershed and ecosystem. Examples include Fishery Management Plans, Land use & County Comprehensive Plan, Storm surge & sea level rise models, Total Maximum Daily Loads, and many more. The recommendations from these studies and plans have been inserted (blue text) into the CCMP text where appropriate, or as a ‘best fit’ insertion.



  1. Process for determining final edits for the CCMP update:

    1. MCBP & partner staff will review this first draft and make edits/consolidations/recommendations for the second iteration.

    2. Subcommittees for each CCMP section will meet in to discuss and approve final actions. Each action will be categorized for future work as

      1. Indicator – policy is in place, use information to track change & measure effectiveness

      2. Restoration/conservation action – policy is in place, studies are complete, use information to prioritize restoration projects

      3. Educational effort – information & outreach projects that need periodic updates and dissemination to citizens, special interest groups and local decision makers

      4. Policy change – actions that are institutionalized but may need enforcement or other resources

      5. Ecosystem Monitoring /Research need – actions that require scientific monitoring and/or research and recommendations

      6. Within the Existing Resources of the lead agency of the lead agency, workshops, ad hoc committees, mapping & planning



  1. Modification Committee:



Members: content advisors for natural resource management, research and monitoring, local/state/federal program implementers, stakeholder group representatives.
Objective: Update the 1999 CCMP by streamlining goals and actions. Sharpen the Program’s focus through the clear designation of educational, restoration, research and policy efforts. Meet Partner and citizen objectives, facilitate scientific investigation, measure indicators of change against anticipated outcomes and reduce reporting requirements.
Task: create a subcommittee for each CCMP section, chairperson will assist the process by keeping people on task, collect the revised CCMP edits and assemble those into a 10 year work plan. Note that the existing CCMP is comprised of 505 actions. The Tracking & Evaluation Subcommittee designated 357 (70%) actions as KEEP, MODIFY, CONSOLIDATE or SUPPLEMENTAL.
CCMP section

WQ committee: Cathy Wazniak (chair)

FW committee: Carrie Kennedy & Gwen Brewer (co-chairs)

RN committee:

CE committee: Keith Lackie (chair)


Each section subcommittee will
Task 1: Chair or co-chairs will review the draft CCMP update for their section and take the first stab at editing the language. The goal is to make the CCMP leaner, focused, measureable & results oriented. The chair(s) will contact lead agency experts to clarify actions, intent and language. Focus on those actions that are designated as KEEP, MODIFY, CONSOLIDATE, SUPPLEMENTAL.
Task 2: Review the action items that have been recommended for that section and determine if they should be included in the discussion of future efforts.
Task 3: Convene a workshop for interested parties to discuss & review the chair’s revisions. Include at least one MCBP staff person and one seasoned Board member, and one new Board member in addition to the IC experts (both seasoned and new: consider asking lead agency IC members to bring additional staff from their organization for input). [Carol Cain to assist co-chairs with logistics]
Task 4: Further refine the actions by categorizing those that can be implemented in one of the following ways. Also determine if the action is a high priority; to be completed in the next 5 years?

Policy change

Educational effort

Restoration or Conservation

Research needs & Ecosystem monitoring

Indicator tracking



Within Existing Resources of lead agency
Task 5: Subcommittee chairs will report back to the Modification Committee who will finalize the draft document. Include a list of potential stakeholder groups that should be consulted.


Ten Year Work Plan & CCMP update:
Strategic planning -> implement -> track -> monitor -> assess & report ->collect feedback for adaptive management.


Implementation avenue or action items

Primary implementation responsibility (lead agency): provide funding, staff, tangible products or projects & reports information to all Partners

Secondary implementation responsibility (MCBP staff & committees): resource support & accountability through evaluation reporting & of success to the larger community

EPA requirements / standardized performance measures

Policy change

Lead agency – rule making, provide resources & enforcement

Ex. Director, Board of Directors, Policy Committee,

Operations & Management: Quantifiable goals, Collect feedback for adaptive management strategies.

Educational effort

Lead agency – brochures, curriculum, workshops, speaker series

Education Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, Citizen Advisory Committee

Outreach & Public Involvement: Communications Plan, Mini-grants, scholarships

Restoration or Conservation

Lead agency – priority setting, permitting,

Science Coordinator, Project Manager, Implementation Committee

Priority setting. Habitat/Leveraging Reports. Clean Water Act effort to meet TMDLs

Research & Ecosystem monitoring

Lead agency – status & trends, emerging issues

Science Coordinator, Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee

Assessment, Monitoring & Reporting on Impact. Research to support or change policy. Emerging issues. Eutrophication & Terrestrial Monitoring Plan, Implementation Grants

Indicator tracking and Within Existing Resources actions

Lead agency – consensus & reporting on status, mapping & planning, emerging issues of concern

Technical Coordinator, Implementation Committee

Tracking & Reporting: CCMP implementation tracking system, triennial EPA Performance Review


Excerpts from the following studies and management plans for the Fish & Wildlife goals include:

FW 1: INCREASE FISH & SHELLFISH SPECIES



MD DNR Coastal Bays Hard Clam Fishery Management Plan (2002, revised 2010)

MD DNR Coastal Bays Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan (2001, revised 2010)

Delaware/Maryland Dead-end Canal Conference Proceedings (2003)

FW 2: ENHANCE FOREST HABITATS TO PROTECT SONGBIRDS, OTHER WILDLIFE POPULATIONS & AQUATIC RESOURCES

Maryland Forest Resource Assessment (2010)

Maryland Forest Resource Strategy (2010 – 2015)

DNR Coastal Bays Forestry Strategy (April 2002)

MCBP Forestry Workgroup (November 2002)

New! Maryland DNR No Net Loss Forestry Work Group (Jan. 2009)

FW 3: PROTECT & ENHANCE WETLANDS TO BENEFIT WATER QUALITY, WATERFOWL & OTHER WILDLIFE



MDE Priority Areas for Wetland Restoration, Preservation, & Mitigation in MD’s Coastal Bays (2004)

Assessment of Wetland Management in Maryland’s Coastal Bays Watershed (2004) J. Stribling

FW4: PROTECT THREATENED & ENDANGERED SPECIES



DNR Wildlife Diversity Conservation Plan (2005),

Chapter 3 Wildlife Resources & Species of Greatest Conservation Need

FW 5: LIMIT IMPACTS TO NATIVE PLANTS & ANIMALS FROM NON-NATIVE & NUISANCE SPECIES


Goal 1: Increase Fish and Shellfish Species
DNR Fisheries (C. Kennedy, et. al) recommends editing goal 1 in the following manner:


  1. Goal: Protect, conserve and enhance fisheries resources.

    1. Cooperatively manage recreationally and commercially important fish species to targets and thresholds identified within state and federal fisheries management plans.

      1. Continue to provide data needed for coastal stock assessments via CBFI Sampling (monitoring effort – see annual report for indicators: bay finfish, macroalgae, offshore trawl survey, seafood dealer catch, volunteer angler summer flounder survey)

      2. Improve the quality and timeliness of commercial and recreational landings reports by creating and implementing online, multi-platform tools for real-time reporting (implementation item).

      3. Require real-time reporting via regulation (policy need)

      4. Provide annual snapshots of results to commercial interests (outreach/education)

      5. Work cooperatively with NMFS and other partners toward more timely and accurate recreational harvest estimate. Provide feedback to local anglers.

      6. Attend quarterly NOAA Wave meetings to review MRFSS/MRIP data

      7. What else??? Include species landed & economic value as an indicator of community value for educational & ecological purposes. Use the target & thresholds and percent attainment as a measure of progress.

    2. CBFI habitat characterization

      1. Develop a resource map database that includes (specific data layers, define the purpose and use of the database – research action)




  1. Goal: Provide and enhance fishing opportunities, including access.

    1. Recreational fisheries initiatives

      1. Identify and prioritize locations where additional piers and boat ramps would be beneficial. Research the amount of existing access vs. future goal

      2. Work with DNR Boating and Land Acquisition divisions to identify funding opportunities.

      3. Create and carry out an angler recruitment program to stem and reverse the falling trend in angler participation – (educational item, monitor licenses over time sold in the watershed & how the funds are used).

      4. Use COMPASS to reach out to retain existing anglers (education item)

    2. MRIP improvements, cooperative MD initiatives – list the improvements and initiatives for discussion – indicate if they are research needs, conservation actions, etc.

    3. MD recreational regulatory process?



  1. Goal: Provide sustainable economic opportunities.

    1. Alternative Commercial fisheries management initiatives – is this aquaculture? Are there other initiatives?

    2. Cost recovery efforts?



  1. Goal: Promote and protect fisheries resources through public outreach and education.

    1. Horseshoe Crab spawning survey – education & outreach

    2. Stakeholder-driven processes/communication – my intention is to provide this information to the FAC, OP Anglers, Saltwater Sportfishing Assoc., etc as an educational piece & get their feedback (vote of approval)

    3. Develop multi-lingual communication tools - education

Where to include Crabs, Clams, Scallops, Oysters? Is the state moving towards multi-species or ecosystem management? We could create a new action that suggests that be done.


CC: The only reason that the Army Corps maintains the inlet and federal channel (from the inlet to 30 street?) dredging is to support the commercial harbor. If we lose the commercial fisherman or fall below some economic threshold, will the local community be forced to pay for annual private dredging for access?
CC: Another conflict: commercial draggers are damaging their gear on off-shore man-made reef structures.

FW 1.1 Challenge: Accurate fish harvest information 61% Substantial
Many marine fish species are migratory along the Atlantic Coast. This makes managing for sustainable harvests difficult because the political jurisdictions on the migratory routes do not gather or col­late and analyze catch and effort data in the same way. The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) has developed a new East Coast data program to unify all existing state and federal data-collection programs into a single coast-wide system and produce higher quality information col­lected in a more timely manner.
Under this plan, commercial fishermen will report catch and effort data under a new mandatory sys­tem that includes vessels and dealers reporting separately to double check landings data. Recreational fishermen will operate under the old survey system but with numerous improvements. Survey sample sizes will be enlarged to monitor fishing in tidal areas for anadromous species and to cover out-of-state anglers who travel to the coast to fish. The plan also tracks catches made at night and landings from private access areas. Monitoring recreational catch from such a dispersed angling community is a particularly tough challenge. Telephone and dockside surveys are hit-and-miss, and many fishermen and their catch can slip through the cracks. ACCSP's long-range goal is to institute a universal sampling system, which will require a better means of identifying anglers fishing in both state and federal waters.
The ACCSP also will collect standardized social and economic information, which is useful for assess­ing the impact of regulations on fishermen and fishing communities. Anglers can benefit from this effort because fishery managers routinely under-value their "industry" as compared to commercial fishing when making critical decisions.
Solution: Seek funding to implement the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) recommendations to increase the quality of commercial/recreational fishing catch and effort data, as well as the collection of economic information to support fishery management decisions.
Measure of Success: Implementation of the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program recommendations. The ACCS program was instituted in 2002. Data for fish size, landings & economic impact is being tracked. The Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey has replaced the ACCS (?)
What can we say about the social & economic value of fishing in the Coastal Bays area?
Actions:

  1. DNR will obtain reliable catch and effort data from the recreational and commercial fisheries.

    1. DNR, NOAA and NMFS will increase surveys of local, recreational fishermen. Modify by removing “increase surveys” and replace with “improve data quality & accuracy of recreational harvest and reporting” through the redesign of MRFSS into the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP).

    2. DNR will implement ACCSP recommendations to obtain reliable catch and effort data from the commercial fishery. Explore concept of a coastal bays or saltwater fishing license. Modify by removing “explore concept” to “track the number of licenses”. Will license revenue provide funding for local needs? See FW 1.2.5 Seek/commit funding for habitat improvement, education, research, etc.

  2. DNR will report on the economic importance of commercial and recreational fishing in the coastal bays.

    1. DNR will review VIMS data collection to determine feasibility of use for data collection methods in MD. Delete. This action has been deemed infeasible and/or obsolete

    2. DNR will explore the possibility of conducting a pilot study with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Modify to say “DNR will improve timeliness and accuracy of commercial reporting”.


Expected Benefits:

  • reduced economic and environmental waste through more informed, targeted, and efficient regulatory decision making

  • increased income from more stable, better managed, and appropriately valued fisheries, as well as from lower compliance costs

  • increased fish populations


Related Actions: FW 1.5
Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program- 2011 Fiscal Year in Review
New action? Query the ACCSP online Data Warehouse for fishery dependent data for the Atlantic Coast and Coastal Bays. Determine catch & effort summaries of both recreational and commercial anglers. What summaries can be gleaned the Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System for electronic dealer reporting (May 2004), electronic trip reporting (Jan 2010) or voluntary recreational logbooks (March 2010). What can we tell the public about Highly Migratory Species? What data is most appropriate for local indicators of catch & effort?


FW 1.2 Challenge: Manage for optimum sustainable fish populations and harvests consistent with other goals of the coastal bays 85% Full
Solution: In order to maintain optimum fish and shellfish stocks, develop a comprehensive plan for fish and shellfish populations that establishes harvest levels, as well as protects and improves habitat and water quality.
Measure of success: establishment of a Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Commission.

The Coastal Fisheries Advisory Committee has been established to provide advice to the DNR on recreation and commercial fisheries. As many as 18 member seats are available, meetings are held quarterly. See Coastal Fisheries Advisory Committee Final Operating Guidelines, May 2008


Has the FAC made any recommendations to DNR that have resulted in change locally?
Actions:

  1. DNR will establish a Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Board specifically for the coastal bays. The Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Board will provide DNR with advice on recreational and commercial fisheries matters. Modify: review all FAC actions, modify & consolidate as appropriate. Ask FAC chair to report information to STAC.

  2. DNR will designate a coastal bays administrator to staff the advisory board, develop fishery management plans, recommend research, and analyze data. Carrie Kennedy of DNR is the FAC coordinator, Roman Jesien is Chair. Modify to nominate a commercial dealer.

  3. DNR will develop, with the Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Board, coastal bays fishery management plans for clams, crabs and finfish (See FW 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 for preliminary recommendations/ suggestions). The plans will: Modify this section to include compliance of Maryland’s FMPs with federal and ASMFC guidelines.

      1. Evaluate sustainable yield, and establish population/biological target goals.

      2. Determine stock management strategies for optimum sustainable population.

      3. Determine habitat enhancement and restoration needs.

      4. Determine issues to be resolved, especially allocation, and identify research needs.

      5. Recommend enforcement and education strategies.

Consider the feasibility of creating an Ecosystem Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Bays through SeaGrant as was done for the Chesapeake Bay
Also consider requesting Management Strategies to Conserve High Priority Fisheries Habitat for the Coastal Bays (DNR – Margaret McGinty)


  1. DNR, with the advice of the Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Board, will investigate the concept of water zoning and sanctuaries to manage resources. The water zoning concept may include a resource replenishment zone, commercial fishing zone, recreational fishing zone, and mixed use zone. Modify to include CZM zoning for BMPs surrounding offshore wind energy platforms.

  2. DNR, with the assistance of the Board and local government, will seek/commit funding for: What are the specific needs/areas for habitat improvement, research, etc., and what are the specific funding sources? Review information found in the Aquatic Sensitive Areas Initiative and Blue Infrastructure (near shore assessment)

  1. Habitat improvement.

  2. Education (e.g., make regulations easily available in a printed format similar to hunting regulations).

  3. Research and data needs.

  4. Stock assessments (collection and analysis of data).

  5. Enforcement of conservation laws and regulations in the coastal bays. Options to investigate include:

      1. More officers for conservation.

      2. Additional conservation training in the natural resources police training program.

      3. Use of volunteers in NRP Reserve to increase “conservation officers.”

      4. A non-DNR “river/bay watcher” position for the coastal bays.

  1. Additional DNR Fishery staff for the coastal bays to analyze data and write fishery management plans.

  1. DNR will determine whether existing hatcheries can be used to improve finfish and shellfish abundance in the coastal bays. Modify by removing “finfish”.

  2. DNR will assist MDA to promote responsible aquaculture by developing incentives to assist fishermen to change to aquaculture where practical and establishing environmentally sound procedures and protocols. See FW 1.3.1.Cii, based upon Clam FMP recommendations. Modify this into an educational action with DNR as the lead.

  3. Develop estuarine study center (Coastal Bays Laboratory). Modify to increase the usage of the lab.

  4. DNR and MCBP will protect horseshoe crab populations by promoting the protection of bay beaches and other bottom habitats and promote volunteer monitoring of spawning populations throughout the coastal bays. Modify to focus on permanently protecting sandy beaches used for spawning.



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