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

Once-Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program Award Guidelines are Available for Public Comment

The public comment period is open from Monday, August 13 through Friday, September 14, 2018. Click here to download the draft Award Guidelines. Two informational webinars will be held for OPC staff to share an overview of the Award Guidelines and provide an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions and provide input. To register for a webinar and to learn more information about the Once-Through Cooling Interim Mitigation Program, click here.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Expert Assessment Group for California’s Marine Protected Area Network announced

Advancing the effort to add California’s marine protected area network to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List, IUCN has selected members of the “Expert Assessment Group for the Green List” (EAGL). Drawn from a pool of extremely qualified applicants, these 17 individuals represent California ocean stakeholders from a diverse array of sectors including: ecology, sociology, economics, and management; outreach and education; ocean business and tourism; California’s Tribes and Tribal Governments; commercial and recreational fishermen; citizen scientists; aquaria; and non-governmental organizations. Green List criteria benchmark good governance, sound design and planning, effective management, and successful conservation outcomes The assessment group will hold evaluation meetings and site visits to assess how California’s MPA network meets IUCN’s Green List criteria, and will recommend that the network be added to the Green List if all criteria are met. The initial evaluation process is anticipated to be completed by early 2019.

The following individuals have been selected to serve on the EAGL:
Haylee Bautista
Matthew Bracken
Cameron Dunning
Jan Freiwald
Russell Galipeau
Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš
Michelle Knight
Diane Matar
Russell Moll
Steven Murray
Cara O’Brien
Richard Ogg
Suzanne Olyarnik
Hawk Rosales
Jennifer Savage
Lori Walsh
Jim Webb

Draft MPA Monitoring Action Plan now available for public comment

California has developed a novel and cost-effective marine protected area (MPA) monitoring program to aid in the evaluation of the MPA network’s progress toward meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act. Phase 1 of this program collected regional baseline data at or near the time California’s MPAs were established. Phase 2 focuses on long-term statewide monitoring.

Beginning in 2016, funding for Phase 2 long-term monitoring has maintained or expanded the geographic scope of data collection in select ecosystems, maintained the capacity of CDFW to collect data through equipment upgrades, expanded science-management collaborations, and supported the development of the new California Open Data Portal (

Moving forward, long-term monitoring will be guided by the MPA Monitoring Action Plan. This Action Plan, which is anticipated to be completed in Fall 2018, identifies priority metrics, habitats, sites, and species for long-term monitoring.

OPC and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife invite you to review the draft Action Plan and provide your feedback. As a member of California’s ocean community, your input is critical to ensuring fair and effective MPA management. The draft Action Plan and appendices can be accessed here:

DRAFT MPA Monitoring Action Plan (PDF) (2018)
DRAFT MPA Monitoring Action Plan APPENDICES (PDF) (2018)

Please submit comments to by August 16, 2018.

Thank you for your time and your continued involvement with California’s Marine Protected Area network.

Final 2018 Ocean Litter Strategy Released

The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is pleased to announce the release of the Final 2018 California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy (Strategy). OPC partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and worked with California stakeholders to develop the 2018 Strategy. OPC adopted the document at their April 2018 meeting. Please click here for a summary of the contents of the Strategy. For more information on the Strategy Implementation Process, please click here.

OPC and CDFW seeking to add California’s MPA Network to the IUCN Green List

The Ocean Protection Council and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are seeking to add California’s MPA Network to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Green List of Protected Areas. The Green List is a recent IUCN initiative that aims to promote effective and equitable protected areas worldwide. More than 20 protected areas have been added to the Green List since the launch of the program in 2014; California’s MPAs would be the first U.S. site and the first MPA network to be added to the list. More information is available here.

DCTF Executive Committee Meeting – April 12, 2018

The Dungeness Crab Task Force Executive Committee held a public conference call on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm to provide updates on topics directly impacting the Dungeness crab fishery, identify priority topics for the DCTF’s discussion in 2018, and continue discussing whale entanglements in the California Dungeness crab fishery.

… read more


2018 Meeting Schedule

  • January 31 - Sacramento
  • March 14 - Sacramento
  • April 24 - Sacramento
  • July 25 - Sacramento
  • October 25 - Santa Cruz


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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.