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

NOW OPEN: Proposition 1 Grant Solicitation now open!

OPC’s priority issue areas for Proposition 1 funding are:

  • marine managed areas;
  • coastal and ocean water quality impacts;
  • fisheries; and
  • climate change adaptation

See the OPC Grant Guidelines and 2019 Grant Proposal Solicitation for more details on funding priorities. The deadline for applications is March 18, 2019.

Visit the OPC Proposition 1 webpage for all details, including the Grant Solicitation, Grant Guidelines, Grant Guidance, and all forms and templates.

Proposition 1  was approved by voters in November 2014. Funding from Prop 1 is intended to fund multi-benefit projects that provide more reliable water supplies, restore important species and habitat, and develop a more resilient and sustainably managed water system that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.

NOW OPEN: Call for nominations for MPA Statewide Leadership Team Tribal Representatives

The MPA Statewide Leadership Team is an advisory body that promotes active and engaged communication among entities with significant authority, mandates, or interest in California’s marine protected area network. In partnership with California’s tribes and tribal governments, the Leadership Team has released a call for nominations to fill five vacant regional tribal representative seats on the team. Deadline to apply is February 28. Please see here for more information.

OPC’s Prop 68 Grant Guidelines are Available for Review

The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is pleased to announce the release of the Proposition 68 (Prop 68) Draft Grant Guidelines for public review and comment. Funds from Prop 68 will be used to support the priorities of all of the OPC’s program areas for the next several years. The Draft Grant Guidelines provide an overview of the purpose of Prop 68 funds, which projects and applicants will be eligible to receive funds, the OPC’s competitive and discretionary grant programs, proposed scoring criteria to assess projects, and requirements for future grantees. The comment period provides an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on all aspects of the Draft Grant Guidelines.

The comment period is open through February 28, 2019. Comments may be submitted to OPC staff will be holding workshops on the north coast, central coast, and south coast of California in February to present the Draft Grant Guidelines to the public and receive comments. The specific dates and locations of the workshops will be provided on the Prop 68 webpage once they are available.

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.


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.