West Coast Entanglement Science Workshop

Join us for the West Coast Entanglement Science Workshop which will inform development of management strategies to reduce whale and sea turtle entanglement risk within US West Coast fixed-gear fisheries. The event is being co-hosted by the California Ocean Protection Council and The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and state fishery managers from California, Oregon and Washington.

The workshop will feature presentations by researchers and targeted discussions with invited fishery managers and fishing industry and NGO stakeholders actively working to reduce risk of entanglement in West Coast fisheries. The workshop will be held as a 5-part series of virtual modules over the course of two weeks, August 25th-September 3rd. Please visit the workshop webpage for agendas and more information.

Updated Prop 68 Coastal Resilience

August 24, 2020

OPC has released an updated version of the Prop 68 Coastal Resilience Solicitation that removes permitting as a project type eligible for funding, consistent with OPC’s Prop 68 Grant Guidelines.

Project types that may be funded through this solicitation include:

  • Community capacity building, technical assistance, and planning
  • Project site assessment, preliminary design, and final project design
  • Construction, monitoring, and adaptive management

The updated solicitation also clarifies that OPC is not requiring application submittal through the System for Online Application Review (SOAR), in order to increase accessibility and ease of submittal for applicants.

For more details, please see OPC’s Proposition 68 Grant Guidelines and Grant Solicitation & Application Instructions on OPC’s Proposition 68 webpage: http://www.opc.ca.gov/prop-68-funding/

The deadline to submit letters of intent is September 14, 2020.

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.

New Prop 68 Coastal Resilience Solicitation Now Open!

OPC’s priority areas for Proposition 68 grant funding are for projects that will address, create, or implement nature-based solutions and other sea-level rise adaptation strategies to build coastal resiliency. For more details on OPC’s priorities, please review our Strategic Plan.

Project types that may be funded through this solicitation include:

  • Community capacity building, technical assistance, and planning
  • Project site assessment and preliminary design
  • Project final design and permitting
  • Construction, monitoring, and adaptive management

For more details, please see OPC’s Proposition 68 Grant Guidelines and Grant Solicitation & Application Instructions on OPC’s Proposition 68 webpage. All details here: https://www.opc.ca.gov/prop-68-funding/

An informational webinar for applicants is scheduled for 12:30pm on Friday, August 14, 2020. Please see the webpage for registration.

The deadline to submit letters of intent is September 14, 2020.

Request for Proposals: Two Communications Plans for California’s Marine Protected Area Management Program

The Ocean Protection Council is seeking proposals for two projects to develop (1) a communications plan for California’s Marine Protected Area Management Program and (2) a communications plan for California’s 2022 Marine Protected Area network management review.

These communications plans will be developed over the next two years leading up to the management review in December 2022 and through early 2023 to communicate the results of the review, along with the recommendations and next steps for ongoing adaptive management of California’s Marine Protected Areas. The Contractors will be required to work in close collaboration with OPC, DFW and FGC staff in the development and deployment of both of these communications plans throughout the duration of the contracts.

Communications plan for California’s Marine Protected Area Management Program

The contractor will work with the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the California Fish & Game Commission (FGC) to develop a comprehensive Communications Plan (the Plan) for the State of California to raise awareness of and create brand identity for California’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Program. The Plan will consist of a communications strategy, a work plan for implementing the strategy, digital and physical products and tools to implement the strategy, and a transfer of knowledge about the tools produced to OPC, CDFW, and FGC staff who will facilitate the continuation of the Plan.

For more information about the communications plan for California’s Marine Protected Area Management Program follow this link: https://www.caleprocure.ca.gov/event/0540/0000016932

Communications plan for 2022 Marine Protected Area network management review

The contractor will work with the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the California Fish & Game Commission (FGC) to develop an Outreach Strategy (the Strategy) to manage expectations and share information ahead of the first decadal management review of California’s marine protected area (MPA) network and  Management Program occurring in December 2022. The target audience includes tribal, federal, state, and local governments as well as California ocean stakeholders. The Strategy will also summarize the process and lessons learned after the 2022 decadal management review to serve as an example for other MPA managers and constituents and disseminate the information through national and international platforms.

For more information about the communications plan for California’s 2022 Marine Protected Area network management review follow this link: https://www.caleprocure.ca.gov/event/0540/0000016933

Marine Protected Area (MPA) Outreach and Education Small Grants Program Award Announcements

In collaboration with Coastal Quest, OPC is pleased to announce funding awards to 10 organizations throughout the state of California for the MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program, totaling $745,135. This funding supports outreach and education projects to help increase compliance with MPA regulations throughout the state and below Big Sur. The MPA Outreach and Education Small Grants Program is funded by OPC’s once-through cooling (OTC) mitigation fund and designed to ultimately increase marine life associated with MPAs within the geographic region of the OTC facilities.

Additionally, three organizations have received funding from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Marisla Foundation for outreach and education projects aimed at increasing compliance with MPA regulations in areas outside of the geographic region of OTC facilities and with a focus on serving disadvantaged communities. These project awards total $144,000.

A full list of the organizations that received awards can be found on the Coastal Quest website.

Ocean Litter Strategy Webinar Recording Available

The Ocean Protection Council and the NOAA Marine Debris Program co-hosted a two-day webinar for the California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy (Strategy) implementation process on June 24-25, 2020. We are pleased to announce that webinar recordings of the two plenary sessions are now available on the Ocean Litter Strategy project resources page. Topics covered during the two plenary sessions can be found on the webinar agenda. Day 1 of the webinar featured opening remarks from Secretary Jared Blumenfeld, NOAA Marine Debris Program Director Nancy Wallace, and OPC Executive Director Mark Gold.

Day 1 of the webinar also featured keynote presentations from:

  • Dr. Mark Starr on Plastic Pollution and COVID-19, a Public Health Perspective
  • Baani Behniwal on A California Perspective on Plastic Pollution and Waste Management
  • Asma Mahdi on Equity and Zero Waste.

Day 2 of the webinar featured agency updates from OPC, the State Water Resources Control Board, CalRecycle, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Day 2 also featured report outs from the day 1 breakout sessions, which were not recorded. Please see the webinar recordings and agenda for more information.

OPC is Hiring Two Environmental Scientists

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is hiring two Environmental Scientists to help advance priorities in the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean. One position will help lead efforts related to coastal wetlands, watersheds, coastal and marine water quality, and equity; information on this position and how to apply can be found here. The other position will support California’s MPA management efforts related to outreach and education, research and monitoring, compliance and enforcement, and policy and permitting; information on this position and how to apply can be found here.

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