Some of the year’s highest tides will hit California shorelines this week and they’re predicted to reach 7 feet in some areas. Strong winter high tides, known as king tides, happen annually in certain coastal and low-lying areas like Highway 101 near Lucky Drive in Marin County and the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Visit KQED to learn more…
On Dec. 24 and Dec. 26, more of the California coastline will open to the commercial Dungeness crab fishery. Some previously closed areas will open at the recommendation of state health agencies, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced today. Learn more…
Coronado – Taking action to combat climate change and help protect California’s oceans, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called on President Barack Obama to use his authority to permanently prohibit new offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters off the coast of California, signed an agreement with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to help expand offshore renewable energy development and joined global leaders to launch the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification. Read more…
Dungeness crab season has arrived in the Bay Area, which is always cause for celebration in the kitchen. But with all the safety issues around crab last year, and lingering problems that are keeping some areas of the California coast closed to commercial fishing, it’s a good time for some Crab 101. Here are five things to know about Dungeness crab in the 2016-17 season. Learn more…
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on how Bay Area communities are preparing for a future with sea level rise. Read more…
|Sacramento – Ocean Protection Council (OPC) Executive Director Deborah Halberstadt released the following statement after Governor Brown signed into law two bills designed to protect our oceans and marine environments: SB 1363 (Monning) and AB 2139 (Williams).
“Although ocean acidification is a global phenomenon, the West Coast will face some of the earliest, most severe changes. These bills underscore the importance of taking action now on a local scale in California. OPC is ready to take action, as directed in these bills, and work with our network of partners on a federal, state, regional and local level to ensure that we safeguard our unique coastal ecosystems for the impacts of ocean acidification. We appreciate the leadership of the legislature, Secretary Laird, and the Governor in addressing such a critical issue facing not just California’s coast, but the entire West Coast and global ocean.”
SB 1363 highlights actions that can be taken at the local and regional levels to combat the global challenge of ocean acidification through eelgrass restoration and protection. AB 2139 incorporates many of the recommendations from the West Coast Ocean Acidification & Hypoxia Science Panel report released earlier this year and tasks Ocean Protection Council staff with monitoring and yearly reporting on progress and next steps. Both SB 1363 and AB 2139 elevate the issue of ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) within our legislature for the first time.
The Ocean Protection Council works to ensure that California maintains healthy, resilient, and productive ocean and coastal ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations.
Several other leading voices in the ocean protection community expressed their support of the legislation.
“Today California took a giant step forward in confronting the threat of ocean acidification to the state’s ocean and coastal communities. This new legislation will ensure that the best science is brought to bear to reduce impacts, plan for change, and demonstrate that concrete action now can help protect the ocean’s vital services for all Californians in the future. We commend the leadership of the legislature, Secretary Laird, and Governor Brown in charting a path forward for a healthy ocean future.” – George H. Leonard, PhD, Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy
“These bills enable California to be the first of the west coast states to adopt broad-based actions stemming from the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel’s report, which in turn builds on the state’s leadership in establishing two unique and innovative California ocean institutions, the Ocean Protection Council and the Ocean Science Trust, who played pivotal roles in convening the Panel.” – Margaret Spring, VP of Conservation & Science and Chief Conservation Officer at Monterey Bay Aquariu
Dan Haifley, Our Ocean Backyard. Santa Cruz Sentinel, Oct.8, 2016.
Secretary or Natural Resources, John Laird, and his counterparts in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia convened an Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia science panel in collaboration with the Ocean Protection Council and Ocean Science Trust. Read more…
The Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team is composed of 26 esteemed scientists, convened to serve the science and policy needs of California. The next meeting will be Monday, April 18. View the public agenda.
The meeting will be held at the Elihu M Harris Building, Room 1, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA, and is open to the public.
The West Coast Ocean Acidification & Hypoxia Science Panel, comprised of 20 leading scientists, was charged with presenting the current state of knowledge and developing scientific consensus about available management options to address ocean acidification and hypoxia on the West Coast. The Executive Summary, accessible at westcoastoah.org, includes key findings, recommendations and actions that cross a range of disciplines and have the potential to be implemented now to address ocean acidification and hypoxia along the West Coast. READ the press release for more info.
A collaborative research study funded in part by the OPC, conducted by California fishermen, The Nature Conservancy and CSU Monterey Bay found negligible effects to the seafloor in certain types of “soft” sea bottom (primarily mud and sand) on the continental shelf off central California when using small footrope trawl gear. This study adds to a growing body of literature from around the world showing trawling impacts are context dependent—they depend on the type of gear used, the types of habitats trawled and how often trawling occurs. For more information please read the peer reviewed study here. The study does not imply that all soft-bottom habitats should be open to trawling but that, with new research and technology – there are mechanisms to fine-tune fishery regulations to protect vulnerable habitats while also help to sustain local commercial fisheries.