Updates from the April 24, 2023 Council Meeting

The April 24 Ocean Protection Council (OPC) meeting moved several efforts forward into next steps and introduced new efforts toward protecting California’s coast and ocean in 2023.

Action items on the agenda supporting OPC’s Strategic Plan goals were all passed unanimously by the Council. Funding was approved in amounts up to:

  • $1 million to create a technical assistance program to support sea-level rise adaptation planning
  • $310,00 to expand the California Coastal Adaptation Planning Inventory
  • $540,000 to implement OPC’s Equity Plan
  • $5.4 million to accelerate kelp research and restoration
  • $450,000 to establish a statewide groundfish sampling program
  • $450,000 to develop offshore wind environmental monitoring guidance

The Council welcomed three new members: Assemblymember Dawn Addis and public members Alexis Jackson and Megan Rocha. Councilmembers Jackson (left) and Rocha (right) were sworn in by Secretary Crowfoot just prior to the start of the meeting.

Executive Director, Jenn Eckerle, shared the promotion announcement of Michael Esgro, OPC’s Senior Biodiversity Program Manager & Tribal Liason, who was promoted from an Environmental Scientist to a Senior Environmental Scientist. OPC also welcomed new personnel with the addition of two Sea Grant Fellows for 2023, Ben Dorfman and Katie Cieri, and look forward to the addition of Pike Spector in May as OPC’s new Biodiversity Program Manager. Finally, OPC is thrilled to announce the six interns joining the staff this summer. Veronica Whaley, Alyssa Ng, Nathan Lee, Bella Carreon, and Azura Haley were selected through OPC’s competitive Summer Internship Program. Audrey Jung will join OPC through a merit-based award from the Haas Center for Public Service’s Undergraduate Fellowships Program at Stanford in the 6th year of our partnership with the institution. The job posting for the Deputy Director is expected to be released soon on the CalCareers website.

View the full April agenda and the agenda items on the meeting webpage. The recording is also available:

The next OPC Quarterly Public Meeting is Tuesday, August 15, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

We hope you will also consider attending our next 30×30 webinar this week:

Strengthening Biodiversity Protections in California’s National Marine Sanctuaries
Friday, April 28 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

California’s federally-managed National Marine Sanctuaries cover close to 41% of state waters and help protect our state’s diverse wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources. Through regulations, resource protection, research, and education, Sanctuaries help to conserve marine ecosystems while encouraging access and sustainable use. State and federal conservation goals offer a unique opportunity to assess top threats to biodiversity within Sanctuaries – such as land-based pollution, ship strikes to whales, and kelp loss – and for state and federal managers to work together to implement strengthened protections to address these threats. Join OPC and special guest Maria Brown, Superintendent of the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, to discuss the efforts to align the state’s 30×30 initiative in coastal waters with the management plan update for Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

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Categories: Aquaculture, Equity and Environmental Justice, Funding Opportunities and Updates, Grant Projects, Marine Pollution, Marine Protected Areas, OPC meetings, Plastic Pollution, Strategic Goal 1: Climate Change, Strategic Goal 2: Equity, Strategic Goal 3: Biodiversity, Water Quality