Marine Protected Area (MPA) Outreach and Education Small Grants Program Award Announcements

In collaboration with Coastal Quest, OPC is pleased to announce funding awards to 10 organizations throughout the state of California for the MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program, totaling $745,135. This funding supports outreach and education projects to help increase compliance with MPA regulations throughout the state and below Big Sur. The MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program is funded by OPC’s once-through cooling (OTC) mitigation fund and designed to ultimately increase marine life associated with MPAs within the geographic region of the OTC facilities.

Additionally, three organizations have received funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Marisla Foundation for outreach and education projects aimed at increasing compliance with MPA regulations in areas outside of the geographic region of OTC facilities and with a focus on serving disadvantaged communities. These project awards total $144,000.

A full list of the organizations that received awards can be found on the Coastal Quest website.

Ocean Litter Strategy Webinar Recording Available

The Ocean Protection Council and the NOAA Marine Debris Program co-hosted a two-day webinar for the California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy (Strategy) implementation process on June 24-25, 2020. We are pleased to announce that webinar recordings of the two plenary sessions are now available on the Ocean Litter Strategy project resources page. Topics covered during the two plenary sessions can be found on the webinar agenda. Day 1 of the webinar featured opening remarks from Secretary Jared Blumenfeld, NOAA Marine Debris Program Director Nancy Wallace, and OPC Executive Director Mark Gold.

Day 1 of the webinar also featured keynote presentations from:

  • Dr. Mark Starr on Plastic Pollution and COVID-19, a Public Health Perspective
  • Baani Behniwal on A California Perspective on Plastic Pollution and Waste Management
  • Asma Mahdi on Equity and Zero Waste.

Day 2 of the webinar featured agency updates from OPC, the State Water Resources Control Board, CalRecycle, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Day 2 also featured report outs from the day 1 breakout sessions, which were not recorded. Please see the webinar recordings and agenda for more information.

Recreational Red Abalone Management Strategies Integration

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) uses partnerships, policy and funding to advance science-based solutions to safeguard marine life, habitats and livelihoods in California. OPC has partnered with Tribes and Tribal communities, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Fish and Game Commission (FGC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and representatives from the recreational red abalone fishing community to support integration of proposed recreational red abalone management strategies.

Following a scientific peer review of two management strategies under consideration for the Recreational Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan (FMP) in 2018, the FGC made the following recommendations at its December 2018 meeting: (1) address peer review recommendations to integrate the two proposed management strategies; (2) develop a de minimis (i.e., managed/restricted access) fishery option; and (3) develop a more comprehensive process and timeline to engage and consult with stakeholders.

To accomplish this, a working meeting is being held to establish a Project Team and initiate its charge. The Project Team is open to all interested members of the public, including Tribes and Tribal communities, members of the abalone fishing community, scientists, resource managers, and others. Over the next six months, the Project Team will provide advice and guidance intended to assist CDFW and FGC as they consider final options for a Recreational Red Abalone FMP for the North Coast. Please see below for details on upcoming Project Team in-person meetings and/or webinars, as well as information from previous Project Team meetings.

Administrative Team Report

The final Administrative Team report (April 17, 2020) is available here.

The April 17, 2020 report incorporates feedback from the Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee (MRC) based on discussion during the March 17, 2020 MRC meeting.

The draft Administrative Team report (February 14, 2020) is available here.

The Administrative Team, consisting of a Tribal representative, OPC, CDFW, FGC, TNC, and fishing industry representatives, developed a report to respond to the December 2018 Fish and Game Commission motion and to summarize the management strategy integration process. The report is intended to capture and summarize Project Team discussions and guidance from May 2019-December 2019, including guidance related to the Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) results, the Exceptional Circumstances Strawman proposal, De Minimis Strawman proposal, etc.

Project Team Meetings

Tribes and Tribal communities, stakeholders, and interested members of the public are invited to participate in the sixth and final of a series of Project Team meetings to guide the development of the Recreational Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the North Coast.

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team Meeting #6: Develop & Confirm Guidance for the Northern California Recreational Red Abalone Management Strategy: December 19, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials: 

Management strategy evaluation: Recreational Red Abalone Management Strategy Integration (Final report, January 6, 2020)

December 19, 2019 Key Meeting Highlights

High-Priority Meeting Materials:

Background Materials:

Presentations:

Webinar Recording: RedAbaloneFMP_ProjectTeam_12192019.mp3 (158 MB)

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team Meeting #5: Review Management Strategy Evaluation Results & Develop Recommendations for Draft De Minimis Fishery: November 21, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials: 

High-Priority Meeting Materials

  • Agenda (here)
  • Exceptional Circumstances Strawman Proposal (here)
  • High-level Summary of Results from the Two-zone Management Strategy Evaluation (here)
  • Revised Strawman De Minimis Fishery Proposal (here)

Background Materials

  • Updated Project Team work plan (here)
  • Glossary of key terms (here)
  • Next steps for modelers from August 27/September 19, 2019 Project Team meeting (here)
  • De minimis fishery ideas and concepts received from the public (listed under “Project Team Proposals” below)

PowerPoint Presentations + Webinar: September 19, 2019 Project Team Meeting:

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team: Meeting #4: Revised Management Strategy & Continued Discussion on De Minimis Fishery: September 19, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

PowerPoint Presentations + Webinar: September 19, 2019 Project Team Meeting:

September 19, 2019, Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team: Meeting #3: Discussion of Draft Management Strategies: Tuesday, August 27, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

High-Priority Meeting Materials

Background Materials

  • Draft de minimis fishery proposals (here)
  • Key Themes Summary from July 18 Project Team meeting (webinar) (here)
  • Updated, Project Team work plan (here)
  • De minimis fishery ideas and concepts received from the public (listed under “Project Team Proposals” below)

PowerPoint Presentations

August 27, 2019 Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team: Meeting (Webinar) #2: Update on Work Plan and Discussion of Data Streams and De Minimis Fishery Design Options: July 18, 2019 Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

July 18, 2019 Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team Meeting #1: Review and Discuss Management Strategies and Brainstorm on Managed/Restricted Access Fishery Options: May 22, 2019 Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

May 22, 2019 Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Project Team Meetings + Webinars: Draft Schedule

  • May 22, 2019 (in-person in Santa Rosa)
  • July 18, 2019 (webinar)
  • August 27, 2019 (in-person in Santa Rosa)
  • September 19, 2019 (webinar)
  • November 21, 2019 (in-person in Santa Rosa)
  • December 19, 2019 (webinar)

The FGC Marine Resources Committee is planning to meet on November 5, 2019, and the FGC is planning to meet on December 11-12, 2019.

Project Team Proposals 

Proposals and ideas related to the red abalone FMP process for the Project Team’s consideration, including proposals for a de minimis/restricted/managed access fishery, etc. All proposals must be received no later than the July 2019 Project Team meeting to be considered by the Project Team. Please submit proposals to hello@strategicearth.com. All proposals will be made publicly available.

Proposals received from Project Team members and interested members of the public:

Red Abalone

Photo: Derek Stein

Additional Resources

 

OPC & Strategic Earth Grant Agreement: Red Abalone Proposed Management Strategies Integration, Project Team
Support

To support this process, OPC entered into a grant agreement with Strategic Earth to provide neutral facilitation support of the Project Team process to inform integration of the red abalone management strategies. Strategic Earth will develop meeting summaries and other related deliverables per the grant agreement, which will be posted publicly on this OPC red abalone project webpage. Supporting information regarding approval of this grant agreement may be found in the Executive Director’s report (page 4 and page 11) for the May 23, 2019, OPC meeting.

Timeline: May 2019 – March 2020

Grant Amount: Up to $79,081

Grantee: Strategic Earth

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.

… read more

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 … read more

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. … read more

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