MPA Monitoring Series: Ask the Researcher, Part 4: Estuaries and Mid-Depth Rocky Habitat

In the final “Ask the Researcher” webinars held in August, participants discussed important MPA monitoring projects in estuarine habitats and mid-depth rocky habitats. To learn more about this exciting summer series and the previous webinars, check out: Ask the Researcher, Part 1: Kelp and Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems, Part 2: Ocean Observing Systems and Sandy Beach Ecosystems, and Part 3: CCFRP and Commercial & CPFV Fisheries.

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MPA Monitoring Series: Ask the Researcher, Part 3: California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program and Commercial & CPFV Fisheries 

In the 5th and 6th “Ask the Researcher” MPA monitoring series webinars held in July, we discussed the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) and Human Dimensions: Commercial & Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessel (CPFV) Fishing. To learn more about this exciting summer series, and the previous webinars, check out: Ask the Researcher, Part 1: Kelp and Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems and Part 2: Ocean Observing Systems and Sandy Beach Ecosystems. 

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MPA Monitoring Series: Ask the Researcher, Part 2: Ocean Observing Systems and Sandy Beach Ecosystems 

June marked the second set of OPC’s “Ask the Researcher” MPA monitoring webinar series! In the 3rd and 4th webinars, we discussed Ocean Conditions Observing Systems and Sandy Beaches and Surf Zone Ecosystems. To learn more about this exciting summer series, and the first two webinars, check out: Ask the Researcher, Part 1: Kelp and Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems. 

Ocean Conditions Observing Systems 

The second webinar in the series began with a discussion on integrated ocean observing systems (PDF) with Dr. Henry Ruhl from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Dr. Ruhl started by introducing the California Integrated Ocean Observing System (CA IOOS), a regional partnership between the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS). Using satellite data and other ocean observing technologies, the teams developed data products intended to help resource managers and members of the public better understand relationships between environmental factors and MPA performance. 

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Urchin Removal on the North Coast Shows Promising Results for Kelp Forest Restoration

Close up of purple urchin

Photo: Stacy Hayden/Ocean Protection Council

June 28, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Mike Esgro, (818) 917-6468, Michael.Esgro@resources.ca.gov

Urchin Removal on the North Coast Shows Promising Results for Kelp Forest Restoration

Fort Bragg, Calif. – An unprecedented partnership on California’s north coast has concluded with the removal of nearly 50,000 pounds of purple urchins and positive signs of kelp forest recovery. The exciting results from two Mendocino County restoration sites demonstrate that commercial urchin fishermen can be extremely effective at targeted urchin removals, and that removals can facilitate bull kelp recovery when oceanographic conditions are favorable. The promising outcomes from this two-year effort will inform resource managers’ efforts to protect and restore threatened kelp forests across the state.

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MPA Monitoring Series: Ask the Researcher, Part 1: Kelp and Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems

scuba diver

Photo: Kelp diver, Credit: Koehn

OPC’s “Ask the Researcher” MPA monitoring webinar series officially launched in May! This summer series highlights key monitoring results from the marine protected area (MPA) monitoring program, connecting audience members directly to California’s leading MPA scientists who describe their research both inside and outside of MPAs along the California coast and answer questions from webinar participants. The webinar series is responsive to feedback heard through community meetings held by California Department of Fish and Wildlife last fall, where members of the public voiced interest in learning more about MPA science and connecting directly to the researchers who monitor California’s key habitats. Results from these monitoring projects, along with information from other sources, are foundational to informing California’s MPA Decadal Management Review, which will be presented to the California Fish and Game Commission in February 2023.   … read more

Impact Science

By Mark Gold, D.Env.

Yesterday, the OPC hosted its first in-person meeting in more than two years. Like all state agencies, we are trying to figure out the new normal with hybrid meetings – good online participation, but a public justifiably reluctant to return to large in-person meetings. Despite the low turnout yesterday in Sacramento, it was reassuring to see OPC Councilmembers and staff complete the essential work of the Council in the extraordinary, new CNRA auditorium. 

One of the reasons I was excited to be appointed by Governor Newsom as Executive Director of the OPC three years ago was the Council’s long-term focus on impact science: applied research that provides results that can enhance state marine resource decision making. Science that makes a difference. The June 14th meeting was a great example of the OPC’s focus on impact science.  … read more

California and Canada Partner to Advance Bold Action on Climate and Biodiversity

Building on California’s global leadership on biodiversity and climate, and following the partnership established with New Zealand last month, Governor Gavin Newsom and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced a new partnership on June 9 to advance bold action on climate change and biodiversity conservation. California and Canada signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) focused on fighting climate change, reducing pollution, cutting back on plastic waste, advancing zero-emission vehicles, protecting species and habitats, and building climate resilience.

Credit: Sandra Fogg

At the California Science Center in Los Angeles during the Summit of the Americas, Governor Newsom and Prime Minister Trudeau, along with their respective delegations, held a bilateral meeting to discuss California and Canada’s shared values, which are reflected in the MOC. These include enhancing partnerships with  Indigenous Peoples, accelerating biodiversity conservation efforts, and conserving 30% of lands and waters by 2030.

The partnership also advances the goals and objectives of the California Ocean Litter Strategy and Statewide Microplastics Strategy to prevent plastic pollution by partnering on a range of complementary voluntary and regulatory actions spanning the plastics lifecycle in order to address the threats of plastic waste and pollution, including microplastics, on the health of the environment and ecosystems, including wildlife, rivers, lakes and ocean.

A joint statement on the new California-Canada climate action and nature protection partnership can be found here.

California Proposes New Requirement for Tiremakers to Seek Chemical Alternatives to Protect Water Quality, Coho Salmon

California has the largest network of freeways in the country and its cities are known for heavy traffic. Vehicle and traffic emissions not only impact air quality – but can degrade water quality.

When it rains, stormwater carries particles from vehicle tires and brake pads – such as zinc, copper, and microplastics – from city streets and highways into California’s streams, rivers, and ocean waters. Tire particles are also among the largest known sources of microplastic pollution with research completed in San Francisco Bay identifying nearly 50 percent of microplastic fibers that entered the Bay as vehicle tire wear.

Once in the environment, tire particles can be ingested by small organisms or bind with other contaminants, threatening the health of wildlife and entire watersheds that connect California summits to the sea.

Coho salmon. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Under a new regulation proposed by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), companies manufacturing motor vehicle tires for sale in California will have to evaluate safer alternatives to 6PPD, a chemical that readily reacts to form another chemical known to endanger California waters and kill threatened coho salmon. … read more

OPC’s Year in Review: Meeting Challenges, Advancing Equity, Protecting Our Ocean

“As we look to 2022, our goal at the agency is to… continue California’s global leadership, combating climate change, transitioning our economy, and protecting our people and nature in the meantime. I believe strongly that people are resilient and that nature is resilient. We can adapt and weather these changes we are experiencing right now, and we at the Natural Resources Agency and across state government are focused on strengthening the resilience of our communities, our residents, and of our natural places to these changes we are experiencing. I’m optimistic that we will work harder than ever before and make unprecedented process toward building this resilience.” – from California Natural Resources Secretary and Ocean Protection Council Chair Wade Crowfoot’s end of the year video message

As 2021 brought global challenges to the forefront, the state of California responded with bold, decisive actions to protect our coast and ocean. OPC staff led multiple projects designed to restore wetlands, improve water quality, prevent plastic pollution, respond to environmental justice inequities, promote sustainable fisheries, protect marine wildlife and build resilience to climate change.

Despite the many looming threats, we continue to find hope in the form of scientific solutions to the planet’s biggest problems and in the promising work done by our grantees on the front lines. Join us in celebrating specific achievements from the past year below: … read more

Recreational Red Abalone Management Strategies Integration

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) uses partnerships, policy and funding to advance science-based solutions to safeguard marine life, habitats and livelihoods in California. OPC has partnered with Tribes and Tribal communities, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Fish and Game Commission (FGC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and representatives from the recreational red abalone fishing community to support integration of proposed recreational red abalone management strategies.

Following a scientific peer review of two management strategies under consideration for the Recreational Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan (FMP) in 2018, the FGC made the following recommendations at its December 2018 meeting: (1) address peer review recommendations to integrate the two proposed management strategies; (2) develop a de minimis (i.e., managed/restricted access) fishery option; and (3) develop a more comprehensive process and timeline to engage and consult with stakeholders.

To accomplish this, a working meeting is being held to establish a Project Team and initiate its charge. The Project Team is open to all interested members of the public, including Tribes and Tribal communities, members of the abalone fishing community, scientists, resource managers, and others. Over the next six months, the Project Team will provide advice and guidance intended to assist CDFW and FGC as they consider final options for a Recreational Red Abalone FMP for the North Coast. Please see below for details on upcoming Project Team in-person meetings and/or webinars, as well as information from previous Project Team meetings.

Administrative Team Report

The final Administrative Team report (April 17, 2020) is available here.

The April 17, 2020 report incorporates feedback from the Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee (MRC) based on discussion during the March 17, 2020 MRC meeting.

The draft Administrative Team report (February 14, 2020) is available here.

The Administrative Team, consisting of a Tribal representative, OPC, CDFW, FGC, TNC, and fishing industry representatives, developed a report to respond to the December 2018 Fish and Game Commission motion and to summarize the management strategy integration process. The report is intended to capture and summarize Project Team discussions and guidance from May 2019-December 2019, including guidance related to the Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) results, the Exceptional Circumstances Strawman proposal, De Minimis Strawman proposal, etc.

Project Team Meetings

Tribes and Tribal communities, stakeholders, and interested members of the public are invited to participate in the sixth and final of a series of Project Team meetings to guide the development of the Recreational Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the North Coast.

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team Meeting #6: Develop & Confirm Guidance for the Northern California Recreational Red Abalone Management Strategy: December 19, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials: 

Management strategy evaluation: Recreational Red Abalone Management Strategy Integration (Final report, January 6, 2020)

December 19, 2019 Key Meeting Highlights

High-Priority Meeting Materials:

Background Materials:

Presentations:

Webinar Recording: RedAbaloneFMP_ProjectTeam_12192019.mp3 (158 MB)

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team Meeting #5: Review Management Strategy Evaluation Results & Develop Recommendations for Draft De Minimis Fishery: November 21, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials: 

High-Priority Meeting Materials

  • Agenda (here)
  • Exceptional Circumstances Strawman Proposal (here)
  • High-level Summary of Results from the Two-zone Management Strategy Evaluation (here)
  • Revised Strawman De Minimis Fishery Proposal (here)

Background Materials

  • Updated Project Team work plan (here)
  • Glossary of key terms (here)
  • Next steps for modelers from August 27/September 19, 2019 Project Team meeting (here)
  • De minimis fishery ideas and concepts received from the public (listed under “Project Team Proposals” below)

PowerPoint Presentations + Webinar: September 19, 2019 Project Team Meeting:

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team: Meeting #4: Revised Management Strategy & Continued Discussion on De Minimis Fishery: September 19, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

PowerPoint Presentations + Webinar: September 19, 2019 Project Team Meeting:

September 19, 2019, Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team: Meeting #3: Discussion of Draft Management Strategies: Tuesday, August 27, 2019: Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

High-Priority Meeting Materials

Background Materials

  • Draft de minimis fishery proposals (here)
  • Key Themes Summary from July 18 Project Team meeting (webinar) (here)
  • Updated, Project Team work plan (here)
  • De minimis fishery ideas and concepts received from the public (listed under “Project Team Proposals” below)

PowerPoint Presentations

August 27, 2019 Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team: Meeting (Webinar) #2: Update on Work Plan and Discussion of Data Streams and De Minimis Fishery Design Options: July 18, 2019 Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

July 18, 2019 Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Recreational Red Abalone FMP Project Team Meeting #1: Review and Discuss Management Strategies and Brainstorm on Managed/Restricted Access Fishery Options: May 22, 2019 Meeting Agenda + Meeting Materials:

May 22, 2019 Project Team Meeting: Key Themes Summary

 

Project Team Meetings + Webinars: Draft Schedule

  • May 22, 2019 (in-person in Santa Rosa)
  • July 18, 2019 (webinar)
  • August 27, 2019 (in-person in Santa Rosa)
  • September 19, 2019 (webinar)
  • November 21, 2019 (in-person in Santa Rosa)
  • December 19, 2019 (webinar)

The FGC Marine Resources Committee is planning to meet on November 5, 2019, and the FGC is planning to meet on December 11-12, 2019.

Project Team Proposals 

Proposals and ideas related to the red abalone FMP process for the Project Team’s consideration, including proposals for a de minimis/restricted/managed access fishery, etc. All proposals must be received no later than the July 2019 Project Team meeting to be considered by the Project Team. Please submit proposals to hello@strategicearth.com. All proposals will be made publicly available.

Proposals received from Project Team members and interested members of the public:

Red Abalone

Photo: Derek Stein

Additional Resources

 

OPC & Strategic Earth Grant Agreement: Red Abalone Proposed Management Strategies Integration, Project Team
Support

To support this process, OPC entered into a grant agreement with Strategic Earth to provide neutral facilitation support of the Project Team process to inform integration of the red abalone management strategies. Strategic Earth will develop meeting summaries and other related deliverables per the grant agreement, which will be posted publicly on this OPC red abalone project webpage. Supporting information regarding approval of this grant agreement may be found in the Executive Director’s report (page 4 and page 11) for the May 23, 2019, OPC meeting.

Timeline: May 2019 – March 2020

Grant Amount: Up to $79,081

Grantee: Strategic Earth