OPC March 27, 2013 Meeting Summary

The Ocean Protection Council’s (OPC) March 27 meeting in Sacramento addressed topics including an updated Sea Level Rise Guidance document, Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia and the State of the Central Coast Symposium on California’s Marine Protected Areas. The highlights of our meeting are below (click on “more” tab). For further information, we encourage you to visit our meetings page to access the meeting minutes and the webcast.

Sea Level Rise Guidance updates

The Council heard about updates made to the Sea Level Rise Guidance document. In 2010, the Coast and Ocean Climate Action Team (CO-CAT) developed Interim Sea Level Rise Guidance to serve state agencies while a robust report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was generated. The NAS report was released in 2012 and the Sea Level Rise Guidance Document was updated by incorporating the new science from that report.  The changes in the document were summarized, including slightly different Sea Level Rise projections and discussion of the hazards related with coastal storm impacts, particularly in the next thirty to forty years. The Coastal and Ocean Climate Action Team will continue to conduct outreach and ensure that the Guidance is useful to state agencies.

Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia

The Council received a brief update of the state of the science in California along with an update on the California Ocean Acidification Panel. The Ocean Science Trust assembled an Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel comprised of subject matter experts to address the informational needs on both topics. The panel includes experts from Oregon, Washington and federal level agencies and managers. Dr. Steve Weisberg, an OST SAT member, stated that public interest in ocean acidification and hypoxia is increasing and that that OPC prioritization of this issue has helped increase focus on the issue statewide, linking the science to management needs. Dr. Weisberg described fundamental science related to ocean acidification and hypoxia that is presently under examination.

Local Coastal Program Sea Level Rise Grant Program

Mary Small, Deputy Secretary of the State Coastal Conservancy updated the council on the status of the Grants Program and described the draft grant criteria. The purpose of grant program is to help local governments to update their LCPs to protect important coastal resources. Susan Hansch expressed the California Coastal Commission’s support for this item.

Central Coast Symposium

The results of the most widespread effort to assess the state of the central coast ocean ecosystem were reported in the Symposium. Together, the Ocean Protection Council, the Ocean Science Trust, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Game Commission has developed an internal work plan for marine protected areas in order to divide up the work in meaningful ways to create an understanding of shared goals and shared core values. They committed to a strong partnership for ocean management and particularly for marine protected area management.

Election of Council Chair

Secretary Laird was re-elected Council Chairperson unanimously.

For more meeting details, please visit our website: https://opc.ca.gov/category/meetings/

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