Adopted on January 31, 2018 – Resolution opposing oil and gas leasing on the California Outer Continental Shelf
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:
We are pleased to share the “Responsibilities and Working Procedures” of the OPC Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT). The purpose of this document is to describe the responsibilities and working procedures of the OPC-SAT, how the OPC-SAT participates in its activities, forms collaborative groups and expert panels, and reviews and approves its work products.
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.
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The public comment period on the draft Guidance is open from November 15, 2017 through December 15, 2017.
Final adoption of the Guidance is anticipated at the Ocean Protection Council’s January 31, 2018 meeting.
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 to the federal government opposing offshore oil and gas drilling and urging the continued protection of the State’s four National Marine Sanctuaries.
- Letter to the Honorable Ryan Zinke, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, opposing offshore oil and gas drilling.
- Letter to the Honorable Wilbur L. Ross Jr. Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, urging the continued protection of the State’s four National Marine Sanctuaries.
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.
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.
Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team Working Group Releases Report on Sea-level Rise Science
A seven-member working group of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team has provided the State with a report on the best available sea-level rise science — including recent scientific advances on the role of polar ice loss. The report, entitled Rising Seas in California: An Update on Sea-level Rise Science, includes key findings, an analysis of the contributors that affect how much sea levels will rise along California’s coast, as well as new information on the likelihood of sea level changes based on different greenhouse gas emission scenarios.
This report provides the scientific foundation for updating the State’s Sea-level Rise Guidance Document, which was initially released in 2010 and updated in 2013. Now, the Ocean Protection Council is leading a process to update this statewide guidance document, in collaboration with the California Natural Resources Agency, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the California Energy Commission and the Ocean Science Trust. The guidance document will reflect recent scientific advances and focus on the needs of local governments and state agencies as they incorporate sea-level rise projections into planning, permitting, investment and other decisions.
Public input will be integrated into the final guidance document, which is scheduled for adoption by the California Ocean Protection Council in January 2018. A series of listening sessions to better understand the needs of those who will use the guidance document are occurring on April 17 and 18, 2017. To register, please visit the Updating California’s Sea Level Rise Guidance Document page. A series of public workshops to share the science findings and solicit feedback on how stakeholders will utilize the guidance document will occur in May and June 2017. A draft guidance document will be circulated for formal public comment in the fall of 2017.
The science report is available here.
The press release on the report is available here.
For additional details on the process, please visit the Updating California’s Sea Level Rise Guidance Document page.
OPC had originally planned to solicit projects for Round 2 of the Proposition 1 funding process in May 2017. Staffing capacity issues have resulted in a revised timeline; OPC now anticipates updating its Proposition 1 grant guidelines in Fall 2017 and announcing a solicitation for projects in early 2018. Additional information on Round 2 and OPC’s Proposition 1 Grant Program will be posted to OPC’s website as the updated process gets underway. If you have questions, please contact OPC’s Deputy Director, Jenn Eckerle, at firstname.lastname@example.org.