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. You can help with this effort by volunteering to join the Green List Expert Assessment Group! Click here for more details.

Ocean Litter Strategy Update

The Ocean Protection Council adopted the 2018 California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy at their April 24, 2018 meeting. The Proposed Final Draft Strategy  is going through final copy-editing and design work, and the final document will be posted shortly. For more information on the Strategy Update Process, please click here.

Webinar on State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Update: Summary of Public Comment and Final Revisions

On February 5, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Ocean Protection Council staff, in coordination with the State Coastal Conservancy and the California Coastal Resilience Network, will have a webinar to provide an overview of public comments received on the draft State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Update and a summary of revisions incorporated in the final document, which is proposed for adoption by the Ocean Protection Council at their March 14, 2018 meeting in Sacramento.  During the webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide additional feedback on the Guidance for consideration  by OPC staff.

Please register for the webinar using the following link:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4959441043704580866

Draft Update to the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance is Available for Public Review and Comment

Catalyzed by direction from Governor Brown in 2016, the update to the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance (Guidance) reflects advances in sea-level rise science and addresses the needs of state agencies and local governments as they incorporate sea-level rise into their planning, permitting, and investment decisions.

 Download and review the draft here.

The updated Guidance provides: 1) a synthesis of the best available science on sea-level rise projections and rates for California; 2) a stepwise approach for state agencies and local governments to evaluate those projections and related hazard information in decision-making; and 3) preferred coastal adaptation approaches.

The public comment period on the draft Guidance is open from November 15, 2017 through December 15, 2017.

All comments should be submitted by email to: COPCpublic@resources.ca.gov.  Questions can be directed to Ocean Protection Council’s Deputy Director, Jenn Eckerle at: jenn.eckerle@resources.ca.gov.

Final adoption of the Guidance is anticipated at the Ocean Protection Council’s January 31, 2018 meeting.

Read more on the process of updating the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance

California & the OA Alliance at COP23 Climate Talks in Bonn, Germany

On behalf of the California Ocean Protection Council, the California Natural Resources Agency, and the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), OPC’s Climate Policy Advisor, Jenn Phillips, is representing California at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany and as hosted by Fiji, to integrate the ocean into the global discussion on climate change. Read this press release from November 13, 2017, to learn more about the OA Alliance’s new members, including Fiji, and new plans for action at the climate talks in Bonn. Visit the COP23 website here. Follow real-time updates on OPC’s twitter. And watch the OA Alliance panel on protecting coastal communities on the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) lead’s Twitter here.

California Stands up for Ocean Protection in New Comment Letters

California stands up for ocean protection in new comment letters to the federal government opposing offshore oil and gas drilling and urging the continued protection of the State’s four National Marine Sanctuaries.

“Readying California Fisheries for Climate Change” Report Out Today

The Readying California Fisheries for Climate Change report and in-brief are now available. The report identifies four climate change scenarios for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem and seven potential management strategies to adapt to climate change impacts. The report was produced by a working group of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT) and the California Ocean Science Trust.

This project was developed for consideration by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to help inform the state’s process to amend the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Master Plan. Products from this project have been submitted to CDFW for review and may be integrated, in full or in part, into a draft Master Plan Amendment. Additional information about the Master Plan amendment process, including key resources and opportunities for stakeholder engagement, is available at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Master-Plan.

Ocean Protection Council Adopts Resolution Incorporating Latest Sea-Level Rise Projections

On April 26, 2017, the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) adopted a resolution acknowledging a recent science report as a foundational piece for updating the State’s Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document and directing staff at the Ocean Protection Council to begin the policy update, which will help state and local agencies incorporate sea-level rise into their decision-making.

“This latest scientific report on sea-level rise off California should be of concern to all Californians,” stated California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. “It’s not just the possibility of the seas rising a few feet in the next century—it’s what happens when there are extreme storms that magnify the difference. Our ongoing efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions could significantly help safeguard local communities and important infrastructure. However, this report indicates that no matter what, sea levels will rise off California’s coast; it’s just a question of how much. We must lower our greenhouse gas emissions and we must plan and take action with regard to the rising sea level.”

Read the press release on OPC’s adoption of the resolution here.