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Monterey cruise ships cause ongoing concerns, public meeting scheduled

Officials with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary will take questions from the public Monday evening about the effects of cruise ships on marine life in the bay, city officials said.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Monterey Conference Center at One Portola Plaza. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Large cruise ships started visiting Monterey in 2002, prompting concerns from residents and businesses about the effect ships would have on marine life.

The concerns resulted in regulations that allowed only clean vessel engine cooling water, vessel generator cooling water or anchor wash to be discharged or deposited in Monterey Bay.

Discharges and deposits have been monitored by regulatory agencies but residents and businesses still have concerns, prompting this latest meeting. The meeting will also provide facts about current regulations.

On hand will be representatives from the city of Monterey, the marine sanctuary, U.S. Coast Guard, California State Lands Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Monterey Bay Air Resources District and San Francisco Bar Pilots. The public question-and-answer session will start at 6:45 p.m.

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