Temecula-Elsinore-Anza-Murrieta Resource Conservation District
Next Meeting
Thursday, January 9, 2019 4:00 PM
Truax Building
41923 Second Street, Fourth Floor
Temecula, CA 92590

DRAFT

Meeting Summary

Santa Margarita River

Watershed Nutrient Initiative Group Meeting

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

9:30 am – 2:45 pm

Location:

Rancho California Water District, 42135 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA 92590

Attendee List:

Name

Organization

E-mail

Ashli Desai

Larry Walker & Associates

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Casey Anderson

SDCFB

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cynthia Gorham

San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Ceppos

Center for Collaborative Policy, California State University Sacramento

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eddie Hernandez

Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians

ehernandez@pechanga_nsh.gov

Jamie Milani

County of San Diego

 

Jayne Joyce

   

Jim Fitzpatrick

   

Jon Butcher

Tetra Tech

 

Kara Sorensen

SPAWAR

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kelly Ramin

SCCWRP

 

Kyle Cook

Camp Pendleton

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martha Sutula

SCCWRP

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mayra Molina

SCCWRP

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PF Wang

SPAWAR

 

Sandi Jacobson

CalTrout

 

Scott Thomas

Stetson Engineers

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stuart McKibbin

Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Susie Theroux

SCCWRP

 

Warren Back

Rancho California Water District

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hilary Potter

Michael Baker International (Secretary)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meeting Materials:

  1. Meeting Agenda

  2. Draft Action Items (7/26/16)

Meeting Goals:

  1. Provide monitoring proposals and modeling updates

  2. Continue discussion on estuary numeric targets alternatives

Action Items:

  1. Hiram Sarabia (Regional Board) to update stakeholder group on timeline for vineyard order (State regulation).

  2. Dave Ceppos (Facilitator) and SCCWRP to coordinate posting of presentations and meeting materials to the ownCloud site for use in the Administrative Record.

  3. Cynthia Gorham (Regional Board) to clarify with Regional Board Counsel the start date for the Administrative Record.

  4. PF Wang (SPAWAR) to finish modeling the closed mouth and open mouth scenarios for the estuary. Results to be presented at the next meeting.

  5. Kyle Cook (Camp Pendleton) to coordinate initial review of the chronological overlays of species presence in the estuary and impacts to potential mouth management. Preliminary results to be presented at the next meeting.

  6. Dave to talk with Martha Sutula (SCCWRP) about steps to involve the Steering Committee and stakeholders in discussing potential indicators and targets for the River TMDL, including data analysis and modeling approach.

  7. Cynthia to check with Regional Board management regarding interpretation of the dissolved oxygen objective as long as the numeric target remains 5 mg/L.

  8. Martha to find out if TetraTech will allow her to share the larval recruitment model work plan with the group.

  9. Kyle to find out by September 2nd if work related to a larval recruitment model has already been completed at Camp Pendleton or if the Wildlife Group at Camp Pendleton would be interested in completing such a study. Ashli Desai (LWA), Martha, and Cynthia will discuss the issue by September 9 to determine the next step.

  10. Ashli Desai (Larry Walker & Associates) to revise the PowerPoint presentation given today, add a DRAFT indication, and email the file to Cynthia by August 24.

  11. Cynthia to provide initial thoughts on Ashli’s PowerPoint presentation back to Ashli by Monday, August 29.

  12. Dave, Jo Ann Weber (County of San Diego), Cynthia, and Hiram to review the Regional Board’s schedule, speak with Ashli, and chart out the critical path schedule by Friday, September 2, 2016.

SMR Group Decisions

There were no group decisions made during this meeting.

Action Items Reviewed

Dave reviewed the action items from the previous meeting.

Action Item 1. Dave to check with SPAWAR regarding brief presentation of mouth modeling scenario findings at the August meeting.

PF will present a status report today.

Action Item 2. SPAWAR to provide a brief update on any significant findings from recent estuary monitoring at the August meeting and provide a full presentation on the entirety of the estuary monitoring at the October meeting.

Martha noted this is a long-term action item. The associated report will be available in October, after which a presentation can be made at a future meeting.

Action Item 3. Martha to work with Jo Ann to coordinate the deliverables to satisfy the grant requirements.

Martha has coordinated with Jo Ann.

Action Item 4. Martha to send an example of last year’s presentation on river monitoring data to the group. The group is to notify Martha is a different presentation of the data is desired.

Martha will address this action item during today’s meeting.

Action Item 5. SPAWAR to provide data from post-fire monitoring to SCCWRP.

The data previously mentioned is not ready for distribution. Kyle may talk offline with Martha regarding its availability; however, Martha indicated the data would be supplemental and that post-fire conditions contributing high nutrient concentrations to the river do not appear to be a factor significant to the current work.

Action Item 6. Martha to coordinate with Scott Thomas (Stetson Engineers) for August presentation to include river monitoring and groundwater data.

The river monitoring and groundwater data will be presented today.

Action Item 7. Hiram to update stakeholder group on timeline for vineyard order (State regulation).

No update is available at this time.

Action Item 8. Dave and SCCWRP to coordinate posting of presentations and meeting materials to the ownCloud site for use in the Administrative Record.

This action item has not been completed yet.

Action Item 9. Regional Board Staff to ask Regional Board Counsel for the start date for the Administrative Record.

Cynthia relayed that Hiram informed her the administrative record should begin from the point where work with the stakeholder group began to develop the Alternative TMDL. It could be when the stakeholders started working with IRWM and received IRWM funding. Cynthia will clarify with Catherine Haggan.

Action Item 10. Hiram to lead subgroup (Jo Ann, Stuart, Ashli, and Kyle) to further discuss development of aggregate anticipated load reductions from existing regulatory programs as soon as possible.

Ashli informed the group that Hiram has started this discussion offline.

Action Item 11. Dave to work with Terri Lynn to coordinate discussions between San Diego County, Riverside County Flood Control, and Regional Board staff to work towards common proposal for numeric targets.

Dave has completed this action item.

Action Item 12. Dave to provide the latest version of the Memorandum of Understanding to San Diego County, Riverside County Flood Control, and Regional Board staff.

Dave has provided the MOU.

Action Item 13. Hiram to update Dave on Memorandum of Understanding after meeting with Regional Board counsel.

The latest version of the MOU was sent to the group.

Action Item 14. Dave to work with Jo Ann to schedule future meetings.

Dave is working with Jo Ann to schedule future meetings.

Action Items

1. Hiram to update stakeholder group on timeline for vineyard order (State regulation).

2. Dave and SCCWRP to coordinate posting of presentations and meeting materials to the ownCloud site for use in the Administrative Record.

3. Cynthia to clarify with Regional Board Counsel the start date for the Administrative Record.

Technical Update: Estuary Mouth Modeling

Since presenting a report on the estuary modeling about a month ago, SPAWAR has published the official calibration technical report. In addition to the report, the Group also requested two more scenario runs: one with the mouth fully closed and one with the mouth fully open. The technical team ran those two scenarios for the standard three years; however, the hydrodynamic model became unstable after approximately two and a half years. After notifying the Group of the model instability, the Group asked the technical team to run the model for a shorter period to prevent the instability. The technical team ran the model for one year for each scenario, basing it on data from 2008 and 2009.

On the first run, with a closed estuary mouth, the berm height was around 45 to 50 cm above mean sea level. With an open estuary mouth, the berm height was about -20 cm. However, during 2008 and 2009, the mouth was never fully closed or fully open. The technical team reviewed the assumptions made for the new runs and set the berm height at -50 cm for a fully open scenario and at 70 cm above mean sea level for a fully closed scenario. Both runs were successful hydrodynamically for one year.

The technical team is currently linking the hydrodynamic and water quality models. They will perform the same procedure and then compare the two scenarios. The anticipated result will be a dissolved oxygen curve. The technical team will compare the relative positions of three points: 1) open mouth scenario, 2) closed mouth scenario, and 3) actual 2008-09 data.

Sandi Jacobson (CalTrout) asked if an intermittent open mouth could be interpolated. PF explained it is possible but increases the risk of model instability.

Kyle explained that when this analysis started, the technical team was looking at three scenarios, including a partially open mouth scenario. The model, however, became unstable, so the technical team had to simplify the approach. The original modeling and calibration work was done with the 2008-09 conditions, which were partially open to partially closed conditions. The technical team estimates the model runs will be complete within two or three weeks.

Martha indicated it would be worthwhile to understand why the two scenarios are being analyzed. If the goal is to understand the bounds of how bad or how good the estuary could be, then the fully open and fully closed scenarios will be useful. If the goal is to enter into a conversation about mouth management, then additional things, such as the timing of nutrient loads and the timing of poor conditions in the estuary, need to be considered in constructing possible scenarios around forced management of the estuary mouth. Additionally, non-model-related issues will arise with mouth management, including endangered species, fiscal responsibilities, physical requirements, and necessary approvals and regulatory compliance, among others.

To continue discussion on mouth management, Martha recommended having a table developed to show the overlap of when present species are in critical status, which would indicate if there are any times of the year during which mouth management would not impact sensitive species. Those time gaps would then be set against the schedule of when the estuary mouth is historically closed or open. This comparison would indicate when mouth management may be beneficial. To include mouth management as an option, a discussion is needed with all applicable regulators (NOAA Fisheries, USGWS, CDFW, Army Corps of Engineers, etc.).

Prior to including agencies in a discussion, Kyle will have further internal discussions at Camp Pendleton. The Biological Opinion (BO) for Camp Pendleton has been enacted for 21 years. Within the BO, there are mechanisms set up based on project size and perceived or actual impacts with some actions that can be taken automatically and others that require higher level approval. SPAWAR wildlife staff are very familiar with what species live in the estuary and have a good sense of what actions may be permissible at different times. Kyle will provide an update at the next meeting on the internal discussions he will have regarding factors related to mouth management.

Martha suggested mouth management may be a nice arrangement with potential for nutrient trading. Camp Pendleton would take on mouth management, which would allow for lower required reductions.

Kyle asked if the models would show how water quality changes from a closed estuary mouth condition to an open estuary mouth condition. PF explained the calibration study was over two years (2008-2009), and the changing sand berm height was recorded. The sand berm height ranged from -20 cm to about 30 cm above mean sea level, so the estuary transitioned from partially closed to partially open during each of the two years. Engineered mouth management would result in a more abrupt change in berm height, but PF believes it would be feasible to run the model in that way. The model does not, however, deal with sediment transport. Martha explained that the model is not built to be dynamic to simulate changing mouth conditions. Equilibrium of the sediment flux needs to be reached within the model run time to reflect sediment matter impact to dissolved oxygen. The larger question will be how long the estuary needs to remain open, when opened through mouth management, to see helpful results.

PF will finish modeling the extreme mouth conditions. Kyle will coordinate initial review of the chronological overlays of species presence in the estuary and impacts to potential mouth management. Preliminary results will be presented at the next meeting.

Action Items

4. PF to finish modeling the closed mouth and open mouth scenarios for the estuary. Results to be presented at the next meeting.

5. Kyle to coordinate initial review of the chronological overlays of species presence in the estuary and impacts to potential mouth management. Preliminary results to be presented at the next meeting.

Santa Margarita River Monitoring Program

Discussions to this point have focused on the estuary. As those discussions proceed, the group also needs to stay on task with the grant-required contract deliverables and timing of discussions focused on the Santa Margarita River. The entire main stem of the River and several tributaries are listed.

The first step in having a scientifically based conversation about the River is to have data available. The group has been collecting data from the River for about two years now. The first related deliverable is the baseline data summary. Not all of the data is available yet, but the general condition indicated by preliminary data in the Lower River will be presented today.

In general, the Lower River appears to be in good shape. There are some exceedances, but there is no new policy addressing eutrophication in rivers. The Upper River appears worse than the Lower River, but that data is not ready to be presented. In addition to monitoring the River, Myra has also been intensifying the data collection in the tributaries to improve calibration of the watershed loading model.

An internal report on the River monitoring should be available in a couple weeks. The final report, which will include results from Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this project, will be done Fall 2017. The internal report is expected to be used to initiate discussion on the approach for modeling. The modeling discussion will be a larger conversation that will involve determining the correct indicators and how to approach the modeling. Phase 2 will include watershed loading model refinement, development of a receiving water model for the Lower River, and refinement of the Camp Pendleton groundwater model. The plan is to have Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings as needed and to stay on track with grant-required deliverables. The TAC meetings will be separate from the group stakeholder meetings. The River discussion will be more complicated than the estuary was.

River monitoring has three components: bioassessment of algae, monitoring of dissolved oxygen and other physiochemical parameters, and monitoring of nutrient loads and concentrations in the main stem and contributing tributaries.

The stream eutrophication conceptual model will describe what a eutrophication problem would look like in the River. Similar to the estuary, dissolved oxygen and algae could be key indicators. In general, eutrophication problems occur when there are excess nutrient loads that cause algae growth which consumes dissolved oxygen that results in an increase of organic matter and increased consumption of oxygen by bacteria. The resulting changes in pH and dissolved oxygen can impact algae and macroinvertebrates at the base of the food chain and can cause fish kills if egregious. Another way to have eutrophication problems is from direct impacts from nitrogen and phosphorus on the bugs or algae, also impacting the base of the food chain.

Susie (SCCWRP) is leading the development of a statewide algal index of bio-integrity, similar to a SCSI for bugs, that will use algal data to determine stream conditions. At the state level, they are developing the scientific foundation for how to accomplish this. In addition, since there are issues with identifying algae using traditional microscopy due to the limited number of qualified analysts who are overwhelmed with sample, a molecular approach for identification using DNA is also being investigated.

Kelly Ramin (SCCWRP) is completing her dissertation research in Santa Margarita. She will be addressing specific responses of bugs and algae to stream conditions. Over the next year, as data is collected, there will also be a more scientific synthesis about what responds, why it matters, and how it links back to beneficial uses.

Also, an assessment framework is being developed over the next five years where metrics can be analyzed to diagnose eutrophication and the specific pathways by which it is occurring. Potential pathways could be hydromodification or nutrients. The stressors that support eutrophication in systems are the same top stressors in this region: nutrients, habitat alteration, and hydromodification. If a toolkit is developed that analyzes the potential pathways, then there is potential to complete an assessment to identify the dominant pathway to eutrophication. Then, BMPs could be appropriately implemented to prevent eutrophication and potentially not require development of an entire TMDL. The solution may not necessarily be nutrient load reduction.

Sandi asked if there is a sediment component to the studies. Martha confirmed there is by way of capturing percent cover and the physical habitat component of the bioassessment protocol. The characterization is a visual one. For the Lower River, the monitoring results have been 100% sand.

Scott asked about topographical shading, which seemed to be a big player a few years ago, as well as frequency of flows intense enough to sluff off algae. Martha confirmed those are still important and it is possible to model them. Data is not collected on top of shading but LiDAR-based imagining can simulate it. The same can be done for flow; however, through a literature review it was difficult to develop how to determine what flow would shear off algae. The data simply does not exist.

Development of the stream eutrophication conceptual model will need to be discussed. The technical team will need to do some data analysis, and then the stakeholder group will need to determine who will be doing the modeling. Dave to talk with Martha Sutula (SCCWRP) about steps to involve the Steering Committee and stakeholders in discussing potential indicators and targets for the River TMDL, including data analysis and modeling approach.

Martha presented the very preliminary sampling results from the Lower River monitoring. Hydrology of the Lower River shows water flowing down river moves quickly by Fallbrook, with intermittent contributions from Del Luz. The main stem is perennial due to the CWRMA release. There are also contributions from groundwater.

Monitoring sites were initially set with two sites upstream of any water management at the top of the groundwater basin, three sites near the Ysidora gage, and two sites below the airfield. For the sites below the airfield, only one sample was collected, and the area proved to have ephemeral channels. Since the study is not about ephemeral channels, those two sites were removed after 2015.

Martha showed visuals of the monitoring sites. The two sites at the top of the groundwater basin have perennial flow in a confined channel over a combination of sand and cobble. There tends to be a lot of side emergent vegetation at the beginning of the year and aquatic vegetation. It becomes completely overgrown during the summertime. Modeling at this location is more difficult than the estuary; a statistical model may be easier.

The three sites near the Ysidora gage are in a fully intermittent braided channel that is highly dynamic. The channel switches from month to month, drying up and moving. Modeling algal growth over time at these sites is not possible. Some sort of steady-state model will be necessary.

There were challenges with the monitoring equipment. It would either get buried or stolen when left in place. There were also some equipment failures due to sensors needing replacement.

Martha presented several graphs of the preliminary data results, including biomass (benthic chlorophyll-A, dry mass, and benthic carbon), total nitrogen, and total phosphorus.

Myra Molina (SCCWRP) presented nutrient concentration results. She emphasized that the data was collected so it could be used for the watershed loading model to calibrate against the flux master model. Nutrient concentration samples have been collected from 13 sites in the Upper River. At the north end, there is more bedrock. Further south, there is more cobble and then some sand. In the peak algal bloom season (April 2016), there were large algal masses floating at the gorge and MWD crossing while broken up, dead algae on the substrate was observed in the Rainbow and Fallbrook areas.

Tables and charts for the Lower River monitoring were shown. From the graphs, fluctuations are observed in nutrient concentration. This could be from nutrient sources or dilution of the tributaries. Only one year of data is available at this time. A graph of different forms of nitrogen and phosphorus was also shown; nitrates and phosphates are bioavailable for algae to uptake. There are some trends being observed in the data, but inferring much from these instantaneous measurements of one year is not recommended.

For the next steps, the internal report will be distributed to the consultant team and any stakeholders who request it in about two weeks. The informal report will lead to conversations about how modeling should be done in the watershed.

Action Items

6. Dave to talk with Martha about steps to involve the Steering Committee and stakeholders in discussing potential indicators and targets for the River TMDL, including data analysis and modeling approach.

Monitoring Proposal

At the last meeting, a discussion was started about reaching consensus on targets, averaging periods, and data interpretation. Between the meetings, stakeholders have had discussions with Regional Board Staff on the monitoring proposal issues. There has also been internal discussion among Camp Pendleton, Riverside County, and San Diego County. The monitoring proposal has not been finalized. Today’s discussion will be around initial ideas that have not been vetted with Regional Board Staff yet.

With regard to macroalgal biomass monitoring, the discussions are ongoing, including mouth conditions and monitoring protocols, as well as appropriate evaluation of dissolved oxygen data. With a closed mouth condition, the current biomass monitoring protocols cannot be followed with water covering the mudflats. Straight comparisons cannot be made between biomass monitoring in the intertidal and subtidal areas. They are different procedures. Percent cover can still be collected though.

Martha explained the two perspectives. Mudflat sampling is tied to creatures that use the mudflats from a beneficial use perspective. This is somewhat, but not a complete, overlap with creatures that use the subtidal areas. In structuring end points, benthic macroinvertebrates can be used as confirmation. One principle is to do some macroalgal sampling whenever benthic macroinvertebrate sampling is done. The second principle is that percent cover has no direct relationship with variables that are indicative of aquatic life; percent cover can be used in a screening fashion because the probability of high biomass at low percent cover is very low. If percent cover hits a trigger level, such as 50% or 70%, then that should signal biomass sampling to determine the quality of aquatic life.

Ashli suggested two ways to think about monitoring. One way is to develop monitoring procedures that handles things as universal monitoring procedures where monitoring is always conducted. The other way is to acknowledge there are times that monitoring will not provide the same type of data or monitoring may not be possible at all. The compliance scheme and data interpretation would need to address this.

Cynthia expressed that she would prefer sampling be done in the subtidal areas because the algal sampling would then be done in the same place as the benthic macroinvertebrates. With that statement, she asked which habitat is more important with regard to organisms in the estuary or organisms of concern: subtidal or intertidal. Kara Sorensen (SPAWAR) and Martha explained that it depends on who is asked that question. USFWS and NOAA Fisheries will have different answers. Kara explained that one method of monitoring does not replace another method. The goal is to understand the most appropriate method of monitoring should be one that can be done consistently. More discussion is necessary when looking at how subtidal and intertidal biomass monitoring is related. Where algal biomass collects is dependent on the species. Also, if the estuary mouth is open there are tidal influences that affect the algae dropping to the mudflat or being pushed in and moved away. Whether the algae is attached or floating also needs to be considered. These variables need more review and discussion before deciding on a regulatory requirement. The monitoring protocols also need to be consistent with target development. Another consideration is how the protocols and results would relate to how the model was calibrated.

Ashli asked Regional Board Staff if it were only feasible at some times to measure percent cover, if that could be used in the compliance scheme instead of requiring algal biomass monitoring at all times. Cynthia suggested that if cover is below a certain threshold, then the curve could be looked at.

With regard to dissolved oxygen monitoring, there is a question of data interpretation. The existing Basin Plan Objectives for inland and estuary levels are the same. The interpretation of the objective is not fully clear for the estuary. Ashli mentioned the listing policy determination changes based on the type of monitoring (continuous or not). If doing continuous monitoring, it does not specify a timeframe. This impacts compliance with the dissolved oxygen target. Impacts are dependent on magnitude and the period of exposure to low dissolved oxygen. Most studies use a time period of 24 hours. Neither the Basin Plan nor the listing policy specify a time period in relation to low dissolved oxygen levels.

Cynthia suggested if the desire is to look into dissolved oxygen criteria for the Santa Margarita Estuary in particular, then perhaps a target species or species of concern could be selected and the dissolved oxygen needs determined specific to those species. Then, the most sensitive needs would be set as the target. Martha shared that work with Nautilus has accomplished this, determining the dissolved oxygen needs of different species. The issue is to run a larval recruitment model to determine how often there can be deviations from that number. State policy is difficult for estuaries to meet since it requires meeting targets all the time with a 7-day average of daily minima for dissolved oxygen. If dissolved oxygen is measured in the intertidal area, then every day there will be low dissolved oxygen depending on the tides. A larval recruitment model would inform discussions around allowing for deviations from the target dissolved oxygen levels. A larval recruitment model is run to prove that baby fish are protected and able to recruit into larger fish. For example, instead of requiring dissolved oxygen to stay at 5 mg/L all the time, it could be that the dissolved oxygen would be fine at 4.1 mg/L for several days or that dissolved oxygen at 3 mg/L can only be allowed for 12 hours.

Ashli recognizes that Regional Board Staff is constrained by existing regulations, such as the Basin Plan and listing policy. The fundamental question of all this is can this science and information be used to start having conversations about interpreting dissolve oxygen data versus setting the target to 5 mg/L all the time. Cynthia will need to confirm an interpretation of the dissolved oxygen level of 5 mg/L would be acceptable.

Martha recommended the group recognize that all estuaries and the critters living in it are living life on the edge. The drought increases that edginess. Rather than a strict adherence to criteria, the questions should be more along asking what the species care about.

With regard to the larval recruitment model, Martha can check with TetraTech to see if she can share the related workplan with the group. Kyle will check with Camp Pendleton and SPAWAR colleagues to see if they have done or would be comfortable doing a larval recruitment model.

Ashli presented a table showing an initial proposal for all targets except data interpretation. With dissolved oxygen, it could be measured from April to September, at one site, at near-surface depth, with continuous monitoring at one-hour intervals using a data sonde with an optical sensor. For biomass and percent cover, it could be measured from April to September by following a contour below mean low tide, sampled at five sites once per month suing the standard intertidal quadrat measurement protocols that were developed for the Statewide Bight monitoring protocol. For sediment quality objectives, a standard indexing period could be used with samples taken at depths that align with the algal sampling and dissolved oxygen monitoring at five sites once per year. Historically, sediment quality objectives were measured by randomizing sites throughout the estuary. The proposal is to use the same sites as the biomass sampling to allow for relationships between the sediment quality objectives and other parameters to be logically inferred.

Cynthia suggested extending the monitoring through October. Martha suggested the timeframe be flexible and end with the first strong event that breaks open the estuary, which some years has occurred as late as November.

Sandi suggested having at least two monitoring sites for dissolved oxygen. Having one site makes it difficult to determine it that location is representative of the entire estuary. Also, at least one more site should be monitored in case of equipment failure or loss at the initial site. Sandi also suggested taking measurements at near surface and lower in the water column to see if there is stratification.

Cynthia suggested a monitoring plan that would match the estuary model where it was split into two segments. Monitoring could also be done at multiple sites but not all sites would be the compliance points. The number and location of monitoring sites is still up for discussion. Cost implications will also need to be considered. Kara shared that Chuck’s recommendation has generally been to monitor the middle of the estuary, attached to bridges. This is where it has been done for the last 18 months. Cynthia was agreeable to using the middle of the estuary.

For data interpretation, what needs to be considered is how a site and samples from that site over a certain period are interpreted to show the estuary as a whole. For algal targets, the mean could be calculated across the event for each site. The average for each site could be done over the full season. If three of the five sites meet the target or if the average across all the sites meets the target, then compliance would be met. For benthic monitoring, the score would be calculated for each site for the season and if three of the five sites meet the target, then compliance is achieved for the year.

Ashli presented a flowchart of how to determine if meeting targets also meets compliance for the estuary. Data would be evaluated annually, but a single year evaluation may not trigger actions. The suggestion is that the estuary would need to not meet targets for more than two years in a row to be considered out of compliance.

Ashli will provide Cynthia with a slightly revised version of the slides from today that Cynthia can take to internal discussions at the Regional Board. Dave will work with Jo Ann, Cynthia, Hiram, and Ashli to chart out a critical path schedule for the next steps.

Action Items

7. Cynthia to check with Regional Board management regarding interpretation of the dissolved oxygen objective as long as the numeric target remains 5 mg/L.

8. Martha to find out if TetraTech will allow her to share the larval recruitment model work plan with the group.

9. Kyle to find out by September 2nd if work related to a larval recruitment model has already been completed at Camp Pendleton or if the Wildlife Group at Camp Pendleton would be interested in completing such a study. Ashli Desai (LWA), Martha, and Cynthia will discuss the issue by September 9 to determine the next step.

10. Ashli to revise the PowerPoint presentation given today, add a DRAFT indication, and email the file to Cynthia by August 24.

11. Cynthia to provide initial thoughts on Ashli’s PowerPoint presentation back to Ashli by Monday, August 29.

12. Dave, Jo Ann, Cynthia, and Hiram to review the Regional Board’s schedule, speak with Ashli, and chart out the critical path schedule by Friday, September 2, 2016.

Memorandum of Understanding

Dave has emailed the latest version to the group. Jo Ann and Hiram have been the two most involved with it. The MOU will hopefully be reconciled at the next group meeting.

Next Meeting: TBD

Go to top