Agenda Item

AGENDA STAFF REPORT

 

ASR Control 19-001201

 

MEETING DATE:

12/17/19

legal entity taking action:

Board of Supervisors

board of supervisors district(s):

2

SUBMITTING Agency/Department:

OC Community Resources (Approved)

Department contact person(s):

Dylan Wright (714) 480-2788

 

 

Stacy Blackwood (949) 923-3743

 

 

Subject: Approve Upper Newport Bay Marine Life Documentary Project Funding Agreement

 

ceo CONCUR

County Counsel Review

Clerk of the Board

Concur

Approved Agreement to Form

Consent Calendar

 

 

3 Votes Board Majority

 

 

 

Budgeted: Yes

Current Year Cost: $50,000

Annual Cost: FY 2020-21 $50,000

 

 

 

Staffing Impact:

No

# of Positions:

Sole Source: N/A

Current Fiscal Year Revenue: N/A

Funding Source: Newport Tidelands Fund 106: 100%

County Audit in last 3 years: No

 

 

Prior Board Action: 6/17/2008 #12

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION(S):

 

 

1.

Find that the subject activity is not a project within the meaning of CEQA Guidelines Section 15378 and is therefore not subject to review under CEQA.

 

2.

Find that the Funding Agreement between the County and the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends serves a public purpose of the County of Orange in accordance with Government Code Section 26227 by supporting public education at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and that such activities are deemed by the Board of Supervisors to be necessary to meet the social needs of the population of the County, including, but not limited to, the areas of education and natural resource protection.

 

3.

Approve the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve Marine Life Documentary Project Funding Agreement with the Newport Bay Conservancy in an amount not to exceed $100,000 for a term ending on June 30, 2021.

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

Approval of the Funding Agreement with the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends for the Marine Life Documentary Project will support public education and natural resource protection at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

 

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve (Preserve), in the City of Newport Beach, contains approximately 1,000 acres of open space and is one of the largest remaining natural coastal estuaries in Southern California. The Preserve is home to several endangered or threatened native species, such as the California gnatcatcher, San Diego cactus wren and burrowing owl, and contains important grassland and coastal sage scrub habitat. During winter migration, up to 35,000 birds may use the Preserve at any one time, making the Preserve a renowned bird watching location. The Preserve has been supported since 2000 by the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends (Naturalists) nonprofit organization, and on June 17, 2008, the Board of Supervisors (Board) approved an agreement with the Naturalists to formalize that already existing partnership (Attachment A).

 

The Marine Life Documentary Project (Project) is proposed to create an aquatic documentary film based in and around the Preserve and Newport Harbor to provide contextualized storytelling of aquatic life and the various habitats that exist in the area. The film will include scenes in kelp forests, shallows, mudflats and brackish waters, and will include narration in English, Spanish and in closed captions for the hearing impaired. It will be used as an educational video for visitors at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center (Muth Center) theater located within the Preserve and various tours and interpretive programs conducted at the Preserve. In 2018, the Preserve received about 27,000 visitors to the Muth Center and about 3,800 students attending school programs, and, in 2019, an additional 2,500 visitors attended interpretive programs conducted at the Preserve.

 

The Funding Agreement for the Project (Attachment B) provides up to $100,000 to the Naturalists to produce the documentary film by June 30, 2021, which will include writing, directing, filming and editing of the film. County funding will be allocated from Newport Tidelands Fund 106, which is set aside for County projects and expenses in the Upper Newport Bay area. The County will own the film, and the final edit will be subject to County approval. In keeping with the 2008 partnership agreement that states that the Naturalists are to expend funds raised for Preserve development and research projects in a manner that results in improved public access, educational opportunities and resource management practices, the Naturalists are also anticipating providing an additional $20,000 toward the Project.

 

Pursuant to Government Code Section 26227, the Board may appropriate funds to activities it deems to be necessary to meet the social needs of the population of the County, including, but not limited to, the area of education and natural resource protection. Government Code Section 26227 is applicable to the proposed agreement, as the documentary film project will support public education opportunities for and protection of natural resources by park visitors at Upper Newport Bay.

 

Compliance with CEQA: This action is not a project within the meaning of CEQA Guidelines Section 15378 and is therefore not subject to CEQA, since it does not have the potential for resulting in either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment. The approval of this agenda item does not commit the County to a definite course of action in regard to a project since it involves producing, including writing, directing, filming and editing, of a documentary to support public education and natural resource protection. This proposed activity is therefore not subject to CEQA. Any future action connected to this approval that constitutes a project will be reviewed for compliance with CEQA.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT:

 

Appropriations for this agreement are included in the FY 2019-20 Newport Tidelands Fund 106 Budget, designated for County Tidelands/Newport Bay expenditures.

 

 

 

STAFFING IMPACT:

 

N/A

 

ATTACHMENT(S):

 

Attachment A 2008 Newport Bay Naturalists Agreement
Attachment B Documentary Project Funding Agreement
Attachment C Documentary Project Summary
Attachment D Government Code 26227