More Justice, More Resilience: Science Advisory Team statement on COVID Recovery

Today the California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team released a position statement signed by 29 ocean and coastal scientists: “Oceans provide opportunities for equitable, climate-resilient COVID Recovery.” The scientists call for inclusion of climate resilience investments that will stimulate California’s coastal economies and center environmental justice and equity when the Governor and state legislators develop the state’s COVID-19 economic recovery stimulus funding plan. The position statement reflects the Ocean Protection Council’s (OPC) mission to help ensure that California maintains healthy, resilient, and productive ocean and coastal ecosystems, and support marginalized and vulnerable communities.

The scientists’ goal in crafting this statement is to emphasize that 1) climate change remains a significant threat to California’s marine ecosystems; 2) climate change impacts have the potential to exacerbate existing social inequalities, based on race, culture, or economic status; 3) coastal and ocean climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience investments can contribute to overall economic recovery -; and 4) investments that increase the resilience of California’s most vulnerable communities, in addition to being equitable, can improve the entire state’s ability to adapt to climate change. The statement serves to amplify the need that California’s short-term economic rebuilding must work in conjunction with the state’s long-term climate change or environmental justice goals.

The California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team provides scientific analysis and advice to the OPC and works to ensure that OPC policy and funding decisions are informed by the best available science. For more on the OPC SAT, including its full list of scientists, please visit here or contact Liz Whiteman, liz.whiteman@oceansciencetrust.org. California Ocean Science Trust serves as the Secretariat for the OPC SAT.

The full text of the position statement can be found on OPC’s website.