Adapted IUCN Green List indicators for California’s MPA network now available for public comment!

OPC and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with the California Expert Assessment Group for the Green List, are pleased to release the adapted Green List indicators for public review and comment. Please find the call for comments here and the adapted indicators here. You can find out more about our effort to add California’s unique and globally significant marine protected area network to the IUCN Green List here.

Please use this google form to submit your comments. Comments must be received no later than 5pm on September 10, 2019.

Ocean Protection Council Meeting — August 14, 2019, Sacramento

Request for Public Input on Ocean Protection Council’s Priorities
On August 14 from 1-4pm, the Ocean Protection Council will hold one of its quarterly public meetings in Sacramento. The focus of this meeting will be to solicit input from Council members and the public on issues that OPC should prioritize over the next five years, informing the development of OPC’s strategic plan. Public comments at the meeting are encouraged and should describe the top one or two priorities and why OPC should prioritize those issues above others. Written public comments are also welcome and can be submitted via email to … read more

Safeguarding Our Underwater Wilderness: A Deep Dive into California’s Marine Protected Areas

Join the Ocean Protection Council in celebrating California’s marine protected areas (MPAs) as we reflect on the establishment of the state’s MPA network, learn about compelling ocean science, and explore innovative ways to support MPA effectiveness into the future.


May 23, 2019
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

California EPA Building
1001 I Street, Room 550
Sacramento, CA 95812


… read more

CA Co-authors Opposition Letter to Proposed Federal CZMA Rulemaking

California recently co-authored a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross opposing proposed Federal rulemaking to streamline the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency review process.

The CZMA is our country’s foundational coastal and marine management legislation. The proposed rulemaking appears to undermine the State’s role in coastal management by shortening the time for review and limiting the scope of continued State objection to outer continental oil and gas exploration and development.

California, alongside Oregon and Washington, maintains that a “balance between national priorities and healthy coastal communities … exists because of the federal consistency process.”

OPC’s 2019-2024 Draft Strategic Plan is Available for Public Comment

Image of Report CoverOPC is pleased to release its draft Strategic Priorities to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean, which will guide OPC’s priorities and investments over the next five years.

We welcome feedback on this draft plan. Public comments should be submitted to by 5 pm on April 19, 2019.

A revised draft, based on public comment, will be released on May 3, 2019 for consideration by the Ocean Protection Council at its May 15, 2019 meeting. Questions can be directed to OPC’s Deputy Director, Jenn Eckerle, at

*Please note that this draft has not yet been formatted by a designer. The final document will include photographs and graphics.

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.

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.

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