Background: In the 1970s, a 5.5-mile band of Midcoast shoreline, including Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (FMR), was designated by the State as an Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS), due to the diversity of habitat and species found on the broad reef. Since 1983, the California Ocean Plan has prohibited the discharge of pollutants to the ASBS.
California’s Critical Coastal Area (CCA) program fosters collaboration among agencies and stakeholders to better coordinate resources and focus efforts on coastal watersheds in critical need of protection from polluted runoff, also known as nonpoint source pollution, which harms aquatic ecosystems, public health, and the local economy. The FMR watershed is Critical Coastal Area 29.
In 2011 the County began working on the Fitzgerald ASBS Pollution Reduction Program. The project is led by the Department of Public Works in collaboration with the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (RCD) and San Francisco Estuary Institute. The project is funded in part by a Proposition 84 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board and is scheduled to continue through March 2015. The project involves implementation of targeted stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), water quality studies and BMP effectiveness monitoring, and education and outreach. The project's goal is to improve water quality and protect beneficial uses of the Fitzgerald ASBS and additionally assist in the County's compliance with the ASBS stormwater regulations.
The RCD has a separate Prop 84 ASBS grant for their Livestock and Land Program to work with confined animal operations to prevent pollutants from entering Areas of Special Biological Significance.
ASBS = Area of Special Biological Significance
Midcoast Stormwater Drainage Committee
Midcoast Stormwater Drainage Committee (MSDC) was formed in 2007 as part of the Midcoast LCP Update. The Committee's work plan identified the following elements: Education, Identification of Problem, Potential Solutions, and Funding. MSDC received presentations from Coastal Commission staff, County Planning and Public Works staff and received comments from the public to help frame the extent of drainage problems on the Midcoast, the regulations and policies in place that impact drainage, and various approaches to improving drainage facilities. Short-term prioritized stormwater improvements identified:
1. 2nd/Kanoff/East in Montara
MSDC June 2009 Final Report recommendations approved by Board of Supervisors:
1. Drainage improvements on 2nd, Kanoff, & East Ave in Montara: Develop a conceptual design report including environmental review, and a capital improvement project, subject to available funding.
2. Conduct public meetings by June 2010 to gauge the Midcoast community’s interest in developing a Midcoast Stormwater Master Plan and implementing stormwater capital projects and enhanced maintenance levels of service subject to approval of local funding sources.
3. Seek Legislative Committee support for legislation that provides funding for stormwater system improvements and provides an exemption from Prop 218 requirements for generating local revenue for stormwater system improvements.
2011 Montara Drainage Improvement Study for 2nd, Kanoff, & East Ave areas