The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) was created in 2004 to help protect, conserve, and maintain healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems and the economies they support. The OPC works with diverse interests and provides the leadership needed to meet the accelerating and complex challenges of our time as set forth in the California Ocean Protection Act

OPC is Hiring Two Senior Environmental Scientists

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is hiring two Senior Environmental Scientists to help lead its Climate Change and Marine Protected Areas Programs. OPC is a state entity that works to (1) coordinate activities among ocean-related state agencies to improve the effectiveness of state efforts to protect ocean resources, (2) establish policies to coordinate the collection and sharing of scientific data related to coastal and ocean resources between agencies, (3) identify and recommend changes in state and federal law and policy to the Governor and Legislature, and (4) allocate and execute delegated bond funds and other designated funds in a manner that is transparent and in line with OPC’s priorities.

For more information about the Climate Change position, click here.

For more information about the Marine Protected Areas position, click here.

Funding available for projects focused on Marine Protected Areas

The Ocean Protection Council is pleased to announce two funding opportunities for projects focused on California’s marine protected areas (MPAs):

1) MPA Long-Term Monitoring Program 2019 Solicitation

Attend the optional webinar on November 15, 2018 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. PST.

This MPA Monitoring Program 2019 Solicitation is administered by Sea Grant in partnership jointly with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and OPC. OPC has authorized $9.5 million to support the MPA Monitoring Program in this solicitation – consistent with the MPA Action Plan – to inform adaptive management and evaluate the performance of the MPA Network in preparation for the decadal management review in 2022.

This announcement invites the submission of proposals of one of two types (Qualification Request or Full Proposal Request), depending on the type of work to be proposed (see full announcement for additional details):

  • Qualification Request is focused on data collection in combination with an analysis of existing historical data for priority habitat types and human use types, sites, and species of interest.
  • Full Proposal Request is focused on developing a broadly supported and inclusive process to advance the collection and use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to help inform the adaptive management of California’s MPA Network.

For successful applicants, work is expected to begin approximately May 16, 2019 and must end (i.e. including completion of all revised final reports) no later than May 15, 2022.

Regardless of type – applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST, Thursday, December 20, 2018 using eSeaGrant, California Sea Grant’s electronic proposal submission system.

Please see here for a list of FAQs regarding this solicitation: Action Plan Solicitation Frequently Asked Questions_111618

2) 2019 Solicitation for Restoration Projects that Mitigate the Impacts of Once-Through Cooling

Attend the optional webinar on November 8, 2018 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST.

OPC has authorized $3.4 million to support restoration projects that increase marine life associated with MPAs. Grant funds are intended to mitigate for impacts associated with power generating facilities that use once-through cooling technology to pull water from the ocean or nearby estuaries to cool down the steam used to make electricity.

Projects must take place in state waters (3 nautical miles from the coastline) from San Diego to Big Sur (near Lucia), including the waters around the Channel Islands and wetlands and estuaries within that region. Projects that take place outside of this range are not eligible to receive funding.

For successful applicants, work is expected to begin approximately in June 2019 and be completed by February 2024. Projects that have a duration longer than 2024 may be considered; however, the applicant must propose a phased approach with discrete deliverables to achieve project completion and be aware that funding for subsequent phases will be contingent on budget approval in future years. Please contact Tova Handelman ( to discuss options.

Applicants must submit a pre-proposal by 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, November 30, 2018 to be eligible for consideration.

OPC awards $6 million for projects advancing ocean & coastal management in California

At its October 25, 2018 meeting, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) unanimously approved 24 research projects totaling $6 million in funding through the Proposition 84 Competitive Grants Program. The projects support state priorities focused on stewardship and management of California’s ocean and coastal resources in the areas of: ocean acidification and hypoxia; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; sea-level rise adaptation and coastal resilience; coastal sediment management; marine pollution; and marine renewable energy.

The research projects were selected through a competitive process based on criteria developed by OPC in alignment with its mission and priorities. California Sea Grant and the University of Southern California Sea Grant facilitated the review panel process and will administer project grants on behalf of OPC. California Sea Grant is administering 12 of the 24 projects in the areas of ocean acidification and hypoxia, and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. University of Southern California Sea Grant is administering the remaining 12 projects in the areas of sea-level rise adaptation and coastal resilience, coastal sediment management, marine pollution, and marine renewable energy. Details and links to project descriptions can be viewed HERE.

California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group – October 2018 Recommendations Memo

Since September 2015, the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group (Working Group), a
diverse multi-stakeholder group, has been taking steps to identify and reduce risk of whale entanglements in Dungeness crab fishing gear. During the 2017-18 fishing season, the Working Group piloted a Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) to support the state in working with experts—agencies, fishermen, researchers, representatives from environmental organizations (NGOs), and others—to identify and assess elevated levels of entanglement risk, explore information needs, and determine the need for management options that could be recommended to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This October 2018 Recommendations Memo provides updates and 2018-19 recommendations to advance the Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) and reduce whale entanglements. For more information, please visit the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group homepage, and the RAMP homepage.

Call for Nominations: Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team

The Ocean Protection Council now welcomes nominations for multiple vacancies on the OPC Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT) through November 17, 2018. We encourage nominations of individuals who can provide scientific guidance to the OPC to support the goals within OPC’s priority program areas and funding initiatives, including: marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and sustainable ocean economy.

For more information including how to submit a nomination, please read the full solicitation and OPC-SAT overview flyer.

OPC Sponsors California Track of Fish 2.0 – Apply to Participate in a Free Workshop on November 28-29, 2018

On July 25, 2018, the Ocean Protection Council approved funding to support a California track of Fish 2.0 through online trainings, webinars, regional and global workshops and other activities to enhance sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities through innovation. The California track of Fish 2.0 is now launched and the California workshop is set for November 28-29 in San Francisco. Any California seafood businesses involved in any aspect of seafood supply chains, climate resilience technologies or seafood production, harvesting and trade, are eligible to apply to participate in this free workshop. The online competition of the California track of Fish 2.0 will begin directly after the November 28-29 workshop. Additional details and the workshop flyer are available on the Fish 2.0 California Track homepage, as well as on OPC’s Fish 2.0 California track project page.


2019 Meeting Schedule

  • February 13 - Sacramento
  • May 15 - Sacramento
  • August 14 - Sacramento
  • November 13 - Sacramento


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The OPC works jointly with government agencies responsible for ocean and coastal resource management, and is supported by several partner organizations.