OPC approves grant for Newport Bay Water Wheel

At its October 25, 2018 meeting, OPC approved a $1.68 million Proposition 1 grant to the City of Newport Beach for planning and implementation of the Newport Bay Water Wheel project. The staff recommendation is available here and links to the related exhibits are on the meeting agenda page (see meeting link above).

After planning and permitting are completed, the Water Wheel will be installed in approximately 2020. It will operate on creek flow and solar power to remove floating trash and debris in San Diego Creek before it enters the Upper Newport Bay marine protected area and the Pacific Ocean. It will be located within and along San Diego Creek above Upper Newport Bay.

Modeled closely on the design of the highly successful Baltimore Trash Wheel project, the Newport Bay Water Wheel could immediately reduce trash load reductions of 50%-80% once installed, according to estimates by the City of Newport Beach. Follow Mr. Trash Wheel on Twitter to learn more.

 

Photo Credit:  Mr. Trash Wheel

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.

Communities and economies throughout California depend on a healthy ocean and coast. Using the best available science to inform management decisions is critical to preserve ecosystems and livelihoods. Results from these projects will enable resource managers, decisionmakers, and the general public to develop and implement science-based strategies to increase environmental and economic sustainability in the face of a changing climate.

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. Links to project descriptions are below.

Sea-Level Rise Adaptation and Coastal Resilience

Coastal Sediment Management

Marine Renewable Energy

Marine Pollution

Ocean Acidification, Hypoxia & Other Changes in Ocean Conditions from a Changing Climate

Sustainable Fisheries & Aquaculture

California Whale Entanglements: August 20th Public Meeting

Please Note: A working group has been convened to continue discussion on topics raised at the August 20th meeting described below. To see the working group main webpage with current activities, click here.

California Whale Entanglements

On August 20, 2015 the Ocean Protection Council, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, and NOAA Fisheries hosted a meeting focused on sharing information and exploring ways to reduce the risk of entanglements in the California Dungeness crab fishery. Commercial and recreational fishermen, environmental NGOs, and interested members of the public gathered to discuss this important issue. PDF versions of the slides shared at the meeting can be downloaded below.

Public Meeting – South Coast Collaborative Forum

Ocean Protection Council representatives will meet with co-chairs and members of the San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Catalina Island, and Santa Barbara Channel Marine Protected Area Collaboratives, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 10:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Cabrillo Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M White Drive, San Pedro, California, to discuss common themes, identify needs, and make plans for the coming year. Council action will not occur at this forum. A copy of the agenda is available here

Single-use plastic bag ban signed in California

On September 30, 2014 California became the first state in the nation to enact a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. In this precedential moment, Secretary for Natural Resources and Ocean Protection Council Chair John Laird applauds the legislature and Governor Jerry Brown for ushering in this ban.

North Coast Marine Protected Areas Baseline Program Request for Proposals now available

The North Coast Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Baseline Program Request for Proposals is now available on the California Sea Grant website. The North Coast MPA Baseline Program is a collaborative effort among the California Ocean Protection Council, the MPA Monitoring Enterprise, a program of the California Ocean Science Trust (OST), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and California Sea Grant. Members of the North Coast community, including North Coast tribes, elected officials, scientists, ocean users, and interested members of the public, informed the development of this RFP. As in the other three regions (i.e., North Central Coast, Central Coast, South Coast), the OPC has authorized $4 million to support the North Coast MPA Baseline Program.

Thank You Ocean Report: Central California Marine Protected Areas

TYO_MPAMEThe first major study of California’s marine protected areas shows they are on track to help to improve ocean health. Scientists, fishermen, resource managers and environmentalists gathered recently to share results from the first five years of monitoring in the Central Coast region. We spoke with Liz Whiteman, Director of the MPA Monitoring Enterprise program at California Ocean Science Trust, who says monitoring is showing promising results for marine life and the ocean economy.