The Ocean Protection Council and California Natural Resources Agency gathered input from stakeholders regarding implementation of AB2516, the Sea-level Rise Planning Database. Comments and feedback on the draft (available below) were incorporated into the final survey which was distributed to entities named in AB2516 in early June 2015.
Draft Survey Questions for the Sea-level Rise Planning Database
Please contact SLR.Database@resources.ca.gov with questions or comments.
UPDATED: Download the Webinar Archive – Download the Powerpoint Presentation
The Ocean Protection Council will be hosting a public webinar on Monday, May 4, 2015 from 11-12 to provide information on implementation of AB2516, the Sea-level Rise Planning Database, which calls on various entities to report on sea-level rise planning activities and for the Natural Resources Agency and Ocean Protection Council to make the information available online. Later this month the Ocean Protection Council will be releasing a public review draft of the survey that will be sent to the reporting entities. This survey has been mandated by Public Resources Code Division 20.6 §30961-30968. Under this law, required entities are to submit their information by July 1, 2015. This information will then be made publically available in a catalogue on the Natural Resources Agency website. Please contact SLRdatabase@resources.ca.gov with any questions.
Building on the growing momentum to address climate change impacts to coastal California, there are many funding, training and capacity-building events upcoming. These include Coastal Climate Change featured at the California Adaptation Forum, a free workshop on Sea-level Rise and Shoreline Change Planning Tools, 4th Climate Assessment Public Meetings, CivicSpark Climate Readiness Teams for Capacity-building for Local Governments in CA, the Kresge Foundation Initiative for Climate-Resilience for Low-income People, the State Coastal Conservancy Climate Ready Grant Program, and Local Technical Assistance Grants for Climate Change Impacts to Economic Development. Click through to learn more.
California and Oregon are joining forces to help address ocean acidification and hypoxia, a West Coast-wide threat to our shared marine and coastal ecosystems. The California Natural Resources Agency, on behalf of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Oregon to jointly sponsor a high-level science panel to help address the issue of ocean acidification and hypoxia. The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel will provide state-level decision makers with the knowledge needed to evaluate and develop action plans for these complex issues. The science panel will also identify the research and monitoring needed to contribute to a West Coast-wide assessment of ocean acidification and hypoxia, and address information and data gaps critical to resource management decisions.
Ocean acidification and hypoxia, two phenomena often coupled for a variety of biological and oceanographic reasons, have the potential for profound impacts on living marine resources. Scientists have already demonstrated serious impacts on shell-building organisms, among others, and severe effects on the shellfish industry have been documented in the Pacific Northwest. In California, resource managers, stakeholders, tribes and citizens are beginning to express concerns about these emerging threats to local ecosystems, communities, and coastal economies.
Ocean Protection Council and Partner Efforts to Address Complex Processes
California is uniquely situated to advance collective understanding about ocean acidification and hypoxia and to use this knowledge to inform multiple management strategies. The California Ocean Protection Council and the California Ocean Science Trust are working hand-in-hand to elevate attention to ocean acidification and hypoxia in several arenas. Through its Cabinet-level leadership, the Ocean Protection Council is working both within the state and with West Coast leaders to identify appropriate responses to these coast-wide phenomena. This work is exemplified by the interdisciplinary West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel, convened at the request of the Ocean Protection Council by the California Ocean Science Trust to provide decision makers with the knowledge needed to thoughtfully evaluate effective management actions.
California’s investment in a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) provides opportunities to study the early impacts of ocean acidification, hypoxia and other stressors, while bolstering the resilience of California’s ocean ecosystems in the face of these emerging threats. The Ocean Protection Council and the Ocean Science Trust are positioned at the nexus between science and policy, and this collaboration brings emerging science to bear on evolving policy and management responses within California and across the West Coast. Several key efforts are described below.
A West Coast Leadership Priority
The Pacific Coast Collaborative and West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health recognize ocean acidification as a priority ocean and coastal health issue, given the added vulnerability of the West Coast. In December 2013, the West Coast Governors and the Premier of British Columbia mobilized to provide a joint letter to President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in fulfillment of an initial action called for in the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy to enlist support for research on ocean acidification. This letter raises awareness of ocean acidification at the highest levels, promotes the collaborative efforts and leadership from the West Coast, and requests specific action and enhanced support from our federal partners. In response, a convening of state, provincial, and federal leaders to develop a joint strategy to address ocean acidification and hypoxia is currently being planned for later in 2014. The OPC Executive Director is in close contact with counterparts in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia on this issue.
At its September 13, 2012 public meeting, the OPC formally charged the OPC Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT), under the leadership of the California Ocean Science Trust (OST), with convening a high-level ocean acidification and hypoxia science panel to provide decision makers with the knowledge needed to thoughtfully evaluate effective management actions. Recognizing the west coast-wide nature of the potential impacts, the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel is composed of leading scientists from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia who will look for driving mechanisms that are common to the entire Pacific coast. The Panel will build upon the work of the Washington State Ocean Acidification Blue Ribbon Panel, address information and data gaps critical to resource management decisions, and identify the research and monitoring needed to contribute to a west coast-wide assessment of ocean acidification and hypoxia.
photo credit: Henry Wolcott
C-CAN is an interdisciplinary collaboration among managers, scientists, and industry working to coordinate and enhance acidification monitoring along the entire west coast. The OPC Science Advisor (OST Executive Director) and several of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panelists participate on the C-CAN Steering Committee. C-CAN works with the regional ocean observing system associations, including the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CenCOOS) and the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS), to coordinate and encourage development of an acidification monitoring network for that serves publicly available data through the sharing of resources. C-CAN has produced a vision document describing how this data could be used by the management community, as well as a core principles document that describes the elements of a comprehensive and efficient monitoring network.
Supporting Scientific Partnerships to Enhance Understanding
The OPC has committed support to improve scientific understanding of acidification and hypoxia and the impacts to biological resources. The OPC is funding research through California Sea Grant to provide insights into effects of the upwelling of acidic waters and implications for shellfish along the California coast, and recently approved funding for scientists to perform integrated modeling of acidification, hypoxia, and nutrient inputs in the coastal ocean. The project will enhance current regional oceanographic modeling systems enabling a more comprehensive and consistent evaluation of both anthropogenic and climatic perturbations on near-shore physical, chemical, and biological conditions.
The Ocean Protection Council, California Coastal Commission and State Coastal Conservancy announce the availability of grants to encourage local governments and other entities responsible for planning under the California Coastal Act to develop and adopt updated plans that conserve and protect coastal resources from future impacts from sea-level rise and related climate change impacts such as extreme weather events.
Applications are due July 15, 2013. We expect to award grants in the fall of 2013. Applications must be emailed (or postmarked) by the submission date. The full announcement is available here. The grant application form is available here.
Update to the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document
The State of California is in the process of updating the State Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document. For more information, please visit: http://www.opc.ca.gov/climate-change/updating-californias-sea-level-rise-guidance/
Current Version of the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document
On Wednesday March 15, 2013 OPC staff presented an update to the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document. The purpose of the SLR Guidance remains the same, to help state agencies incorporate future sea-level rise impacts into planning decisions, but has now been updated to include the best current science, as summarized in the final report from the National Academy of Sciences, Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.
The California Natural Resources Agency, working through the Climate Action Team (CAT), is developing the 2012 Climate Adaptation Strategy. This resource will outline proactive steps to take now to protect public health and safety, infrastructure and the economy, and California’s unique natural environment in the face of climate change. The 2012 Climate Adaptation Strategy will include chapters on agriculture, biodiversity, forestry, land use and infrastructure, public health, transportation, energy, emergency preparedness, fresh water, and ocean and coastal resources but will also highlight various cross-cutting recommendations geared toward reducing risk and investing in a climate safe California. This forthcoming resource will be an update to the 2009 Climate Adaptation Strategy.