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.
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
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.
On August 27, 2014, the California Ocean Protection Council passed two resolutions: one to support the State Water Resource Control Board’s adoption of a trash policy, and one to support implementation of the “Safeguarding California Plan for Reducing Climate Risk.”
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.
The 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.
Through a 2012 contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Kier Associates quantified the cost spent by 90 cities, large and small, in California, Oregon and Washington located along the coast or in watersheds draining to the ocean, to clean up litter and prevent trash from entering the ocean or waterways leading to it. The study finds that these West Coast communities, regardless of their size, spend an annual average $13 per resident to control litter and reduce marine debris. Nearly fifty million people live in these three states and over 85 percent of them live on the ocean or along rivers leading to it. West Coast communities are, therefore, spending more than $520,000,000 a year to combat litter and prevent marine debris. This public cost burden makes a compelling argument for accelerating the search for effective strategies to reduce and prevent trash streams that enter our waterways and contribute to marine debris.