The BRTF also managed political relationships of the overall Initiative and individual study region find more processes with the Commission, other governmental entities, and stakeholders. Its recommended network of MPAs for each region transmitted to the Commission reflected an assessment of political feasibility within the requirements of the MLPA and the distinct attributes
and dynamics of a particular study region. As the Initiative unfolded, BRTF meetings had the effect of structuring work of other Initiative participants: agendas framed issues and established and maintained schedules; meetings provided a public forum in which options for MPAs were discussed and BRTF members urged changes to better meet requirements of the MLPA or science guidance; and BRTF decisions resolved conflicts sufficiently
to allow continued progress. The BRTF gained legitimacy through decision-making transparency and conscientious application of the MLPA statute. Interactions with the SAT and RSG in each study region enhanced BRTF authority in making recommendations to the selleck chemical Commission regarding MPA designation. A Master Plan Science Advisory Team was established for each regional planning process and included 17–21 members appointed by the CDFG Director. As required by statute, the SAT included scientists from state agencies in addition to members of the scientific community from public and private institutions with expertise in marine biology, ecology, oceanography, fisheries, economics, and social sciences. The key roles of the SAT included: building scientific literacy across the Initiative, Commission, and the general public, developing scientific guidelines (informed by “rules of thumb”) based on
the MLPA goals, supporting development and evaluation of proposed MPAs (including determining levels of protection, Diflunisal assessment against guidelines and identifying opportunities for improvement of MPA design), and helping to frame science vs. policy issues (Saarman et al., 2013). The SAT members were not directly involved in designing MPAs, but were charged with providing scientific advice and input to the BRTF, RSGs, CDFG, and Commission throughout the process. The SAT developed science guidelines to satisfy statutory requirements for MPA network design that were incorporated into the Master Plan (CDFG, 2008; Carr et al., 2010; Saarman et al., 2013) and applied a methodology to evaluate each MPA network proposal against those guidelines. A sub team of SAT members in each study region worked directly with the RSG to answer questions and provide input into MPA designs.