MPA Monitoring Series: Ask the Researcher

Bring your questions! Join us as we unpack the results of the latest state-funded MPA long-term monitoring projects through an 8-part virtual summer webinar series. Researchers from 24 universities, agencies and institutions across California worked closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to monitor key habitats both inside and outside of MPAs, including kelp forests, rocky reefs, rocky shores, estuaries, and sandy beaches. Additionally, one project provided a socioeconomic evaluation for commercial and Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessel (CPFV) fisheries. These monitoring projects were aligned with MPA Management Program goals and the monitoring framework established in the MPA Monitoring Action Plan. Results from these monitoring projects, along with information from other sources, will inform California’s MPA Decadal Management Review (DMR) report to the California Fish and Game Commission in February 2023.  For those looking to dig deeper into MPA monitoring data, including both baseline and long-term monitoring data, please visit the State’s new California MPA data portal. Snapshot reports outlining key findings from each project are available now in both English and Spanish (linked below). … read more

California’s efforts to protect and restore kelp featured in new restoration guidebook and global review

A unique kelp restoration pilot project on California’s north coast has been featured in The Nature Conservancy’s new Kelp Restoration Guidebook. This guidebook was authored by an expert panel with support from managers, scientists, and restoration practitioners. It highlights kelp loss as a global, climate-driven phenomenon and offers lessons learned from kelp restoration efforts around the world – including California, which is emerging as a leader in this space thanks to effective and unprecedented partnerships between state agencies, nonprofits, and local communities.

… read more

California’s MPA monitoring and evaluation program: Promoting healthy oceans in a changing climate

Photo credit: California Sea Grant

 

California’s collection of 124 marine protected areas (MPAs), which spans the state’s 1,100-mile coastline, is unique in its size, scale, biogeographic and cultural setting, and status as an ecologically connected network. As the MPA network approaches its ten-year anniversary and accompanying first decadal management review in December 2022, Californians want to know: are our MPAs working? In other words, to what extent is the MPA network making progress toward the goals listed in its founding legislation— protecting the state’s natural marine biodiversity, rebuilding depleted populations, and improving ocean health, especially in the face of a changing climate?

… read more

OPC Seeks Nominations for Dungeness Crab Task Force

The Ocean Protection Council is seeking nominations for the following non-commercial fishing representatives on the Dungeness Crab Task Force (DCTF):

—  Two voting (2) members representing crab processing interests
—  One nonvoting (1) member representing nongovernmental organization interests

If you are interested in representing crab processing or nongovernmental organization interests on the DCTF, please complete this brief two-page nomination form by June 1, 2021 at 5pm and email your completed form to Noah Ben-Aderet, Noah.Ben-Aderet@resources.ca.gov.

 

After OPC staff have reviewed nominees, they will recommend representatives for appointment to the Chair of the Ocean Protection Council, Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot. Recommendations will be based on experience and knowledge of the Dungeness crab fishery, experience with the DCTF, geographical balance, willingness and ability to effectively and respectfully collaborate among diverse perspectives, willingness and ability to represent others within their representative seat, and ability to consistently participate in DCTF meetings. OPC staff may contact nominees for brief interviews if needed. CDFW Law Enforcement Division will also contact nominees and determine if they are in good standing to represent the DCTF. Representatives are anticipated to be notified as soon as possible after June 1 and in advance of the next DCTF meeting planned for mid-October.

OPC will be sharing details regarding the public solicitation process for the non-commercial fishing members on the DCTF webpage and via the OPC listserv, as well as the DCTF listserv.

Request for Proposals: PSMFC Entanglement Risk Reduction

The Ocean Protection Council has provided funds to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to issue a request for proposals to advance the science that will help managers reduce entanglements of whales and sea turtles in fishing gear while minimizing impacts on the fishing fleet.

The Request for Proposals is now posted on the procurements section of the PSMFC website. Proposals are due March 19th at 5pm (PST) for projects that will be in effect through December 2023.

PSMFC will disperse up to $1.85 million to fund proposals that directly support OPC’s Strategy for reducing the risk of entanglement in California fishing gear by implementing scientific research projects and fostering collaborative partnerships. Applications submitted in response to this solicitation should advance implementation of the OPC’s Strategic Plan and should support the principles outlined in the Entanglement Strategy. Therefore, all projects will be geared to developing, aligning and improving information to reduce entanglement risk to whales and sea turtles and minimizing impacts to the fishing industry. Some of these types of projects have been discussed in the entanglement science workshop held in 2020. (Please note:  This call for proposals does NOT include gear innovation work)

PSMFC/OPC expects to award funds to between 4 and 6 projects. Projects are likely to average about $300,000 and range between $250,000 and $600,000. Indirect cost rates are restricted to 15%.