OPC is hiring a Policy and Communications Program Manager

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is hiring an Environmental Scientist to help advance OPC’s strategic priorities, with a specific focus on policy, communications and community engagement.  The Environmental Scientist will be responsible for legislative tracking and bill analyses, supporting policy development, leading communications and community outreach efforts to elevate the work of the Council, and increasing equitable engagement on efforts to protect California’s coast and ocean. The Environmental Scientist will also be responsible for grant and contract management including developing scopes of work and budgets, tracking deliverables, processing invoices, and coordinating with grantees. The Environmental Scientist will also provide additional support and capacity for other OPC’s efforts, as needed.

Applicants should have a strong scientific background, working knowledge of coastal and ocean issues and stakeholders in California, experience analyzing and developing policy and/or legislation, experience creating and implementing communications strategies that include earned and social media, and web-based communications, demonstrated success with community outreach and engagement, and excellent written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency reading and speaking Spanish is preferred. The ability to work in a fast-paced environment and prioritize tasks is a must.  Completion of the Environmental Scientist State Civil Service Examination is required, and exam scores must rank in the top three tiers within the applicant pool to be further considered in the application process; information on the examination can be found here.   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all OPC staff are currently working remotely.  However, once staff return to the office, this position will be located in Sacramento, California.

OPC is a Cabinet-level state policy body that works to ensure healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems by advancing innovative, science-based policy and management, making strategic investments, and catalyzing action through partnerships and collaboration.

The application deadline is January 28, 2021.  For more details and to apply, please visit: https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=229542

Executive Director’s Quarterly Report Now Available

The Executive Director’s Report provides a quarterly update on OPC’s outcomes and accomplishments since the previous Council meeting. The most recent report, highlighting efforts between September 18 and December 15, 2020, can be viewed here.

Bid Submittal Extension: Communications Strategy for California’s Coast and Ocean

Due to Covid-19 and office closures, we will be announcing a bid submittal deadline extension and providing further directions on how to submit your bids electronically. An addendum will be posted early the week of December 14, 2020 with more information. At this time, we ask that you do not print any of your bid or mail anything to the Ocean Protection Council. The OPC Communications Solicitation and addendums can be found here: https://caleprocure.ca.gov/event/0540/0000017900

CANCELED: OPC Virtual Public Meeting – December 15, 2020

To provide additional time to develop recommendations that can reduce plastic pollution in California’s coastal and ocean ecosystems, the Ocean Protection Council’s December 15 meeting has been canceled. Items on the December agenda will be considered at the February 16, 2021 meeting, which is scheduled from 11am – 3pm. The Executive Director’s report highlighting OPC’s efforts over the last three months will be posted on our home page soon.

OPC is Hiring an Environmental Scientist for our Sustainable Fisheries Program

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is hiring an Environmental Scientist to help advance strategic priorities related to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient fishing communities, and thriving fish and wildlife populations in California. The Environmental Scientist will also be responsible for grant and contract management including developing scopes of work and budgets, tracking deliverables, processing invoices, and coordinating with grantees. The Environmental Scientist will also provide additional support and capacity for OPC’s other strategic priorities, as needed.

Applicants should have a strong scientific background, working knowledge of coastal and ocean issues and stakeholders in California, experience working on projects and/or research related to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in California or elsewhere, and excellent written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency reading and speaking Spanish is preferred. The ability to work in a fast-paced environment and prioritize tasks is a must.  Completion of the Environmental Scientist State Civil Service Examination is required, and exam scores must rank in the top three tiers within the applicant pool to be further considered in the application process; information on the examination can be found here.   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all OPC staff are currently working remotely.  However, once staff return to the office, this position will be located in Sacramento, California.

OPC is a Cabinet-level state policy body that works to ensure healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems by advancing innovative, science-based policy and management, making strategic investments, and catalyzing action through partnerships and collaboration.

The application deadline is December 28, 2020.  For more details and to apply, please visit: https://jobs.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=226320

Ocean Protection Council Meeting — December 15, 2020 — Teleconference

CANCELED: OPC Virtual Public Meeting – December 15, 2020

To provide additional time to develop recommendations that can reduce plastic pollution in California’s coastal and ocean ecosystems, the Ocean Protection Council’s December 15 meeting has been canceled. Items on the December agenda will be considered at the February 16, 2021 meeting, which is scheduled from 11am – 3pm.  The Executive Director’s report highlighting OPC’s efforts over the last three months will be posted on our home page soon.

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What if we get it right? Reflections on WSN 2020

Michael Esgro, OPC Marine Ecosystems Program Manager & Tribal Liaison

This past weekend, nearly 900 marine scientists convened online for the 101st Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) annual meeting. Against the backdrop of the U.S. presidential election, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a growing nationwide movement for racial justice, WSN 2020 felt different. The very fact that the meeting was held over Zoom, rather than in the packed auditoriums and meeting rooms that characterized WSN conferences of my grad school yearswas a reminder that science cannot be separated from human well-being. In addition, this year’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion (including WSN’s first-ever diversity plenary!) came as a long-overdue recognition of the link between social equity and environmental resilience, although it’s clear that we all have work to do when it comes to operationalizing some of the recommendations that were presented. 

Over the course of three days at WSNI eagerly devoured session after session of 15-minute talks, filling my notebook with new developments in monitoring technology, marine protected area science, fisheries ecology, restoration practice, and sustainable aquaculture. These findings will directly inform my work – in the coming weeks, for example, I’ll be following up with speakers who presented in two special sessions on kelp forest ecosystem resilience, to ensure that the most cutting-edge science is represented in OPC’s upcoming Action Plan for kelp research and restoration in California.  

A few moments that stood out for me: our partners at the California Ocean Science Trust highlighted key findings from a state-supported scientific working group that is exploring the role of California’s MPA network in providing climate resilience. At Saturday’s ocean-climate symposium, Dr. Kerry Nickols explained how kelp forests may help to mitigate ocean acidification at the local scale. I was excited to be part of a team that presented a new inventory of “de facto” marine protected areas on California’s central coast and their potential contributions to conserving critical deepwater habitat. And in yet another sign of the times, there was an entire session dedicated to innovative and creative ways of keeping field research moving during the COVID era. 

More than anything, however, I was struck by a comment made by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, an ocean hero whose areas of expertise include both marine ecology and community engagement. Her question to WSN’s attendees: “what if we get it right?” In other words, what does all this science mean for people? If we move beyond the Keeling Curves, grim IPCC reports, and news of environmental collapse, what is our positive vision for the future? What kind of world do we want to live in, and how do we build it together? 

I’m proud to live and work in Californiawhere we have a strong vision of what it means to get it right – our state’s leaders are striving to build a more equitable and resilient society, a “California for All.” I left WSN 2020 feeling fired up to continue that fight for California’s coast and ocean, and grateful for the opportunity to hear from a diverse group of scientists in this most unusual and pivotal of years. 

Invitation to Bid: Communications Strategy for California’s Coast and Ocean

The Ocean Protection Council is seeking bids for contract to develop and implement a Communications Strategy for California’s Coast and Ocean that will provide centralized access to California’s extensive coastal and ocean information, ensure unified messaging of the State’s coastal management and scientific efforts, and help to engage ocean stakeholders, key legislators, decision-makers, and the general public in the process.

Through updated media platforms, targeted outreach, annual State of the Ocean reports, development of an Ocean Health Dashboard and report card, and many more actions, the Communications Strategy will help OPC become a communications hub for the state, serving to share California’s progress towards meeting our ambitious Strategic Plan goals, objectives, and targets.

Please submit bids by 12pm on December 15th, 2020.

For more information follow this link: https://caleprocure.ca.gov/event/0540/0000017900

Awards for MPA Communications Contracts

On October 27, 2020, OPC anticipates awarding the following projects to support communications related to California’s MPA management program:

0CA20001 – Communications Plan for California’s Marine Protected Area Management Program will be awarded to Kearns and West.

0CA20002 – Communications Plan for California’s 2022 Marine Protected Area Network Management Review will be awarded to Strategic Earth.

If you bid on these projects and have questions, please contact Matt Warham at matthew.warham@resources.ca.gov.