“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
At its December 7 meeting, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) for the first time approved funding exclusively for coastal water quality projects that directly benefit Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities. A total of $7.5M in Proposition 1 funds will be disbursed to six projects that support multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection or restoration, habitat enhancement, resilience to climate change and community engagement.
While OPC regularly funds important ocean- and coast-related projects throughout the state, this is the Council’s first time soliciting projects that provide direct benefits to state-defined disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities, California Native American tribes, and communities that score above 80 percent on CalEnviroScreen results.
Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency and OPC Chair Wade Crowfoot commended the state’s investment in the proposed community-driven projects, saying, “This effort is a really powerful model for how the state can prioritize funding that more effectively advances both natural resources protection and environmental justice.”
OPC Wetlands Program Manager Maria Rodriguez agreed. “This is OPC’s first step in accomplishing a dedicated pathway for funding EJ communities and projects that put community benefits at the forefront and emphasize social and economic benefits,” she said. “These are elements that OPC is working to incorporate into other funding opportunities to ensure community benefits are meaningful, direct and can be delivered through projects or programs OPC is leading.”
The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is pleased to announce the release of a solicitation for letters of intent on coastal projects that benefit communities entitled to environmental justice and improve water quality. Please see the solicitation for specific project types and priorities. OPC has up to $7.5 million to distribute through this round of funding, and letters of intent are due to OPC_Prop1grants@resources.ca.gov on April 23, 2021.
OPC staff will hold an informational webinar for prospective applicants on March 29 from 2:00-3:00 PM. This webinar will include going over the solicitation, the LOI template, and answering questions. To register for the webinar and get more information please complete the Webinar Registration Form . Please see the Prop 1 webpage for more information about the solicitation, letter of intent submission materials, and consultation opportunities with OPC staff.
The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is pleased to announce the release of Draft Revised Prop 1 Grant Guidelines for public review and comment. Major revisions to the Prop 1 Guidelines include changes to OPC’s priority projects and to the scoring criteria. OPC’s priorities focus on projects benefiting communities entitled to environmental justice. OPC will host a webinar on January 25, 2021 to present the guidelines and receive comments, and the deadline for written public comment is Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Comments may be submitted via email to OPC_Prop1grants@resources.ca.gov. Please see the Proposition 1 webpage for more information.
At its October 25, 2018 meeting, OPC approved a $1.68 million Proposition 1 grant to the City of Newport Beach for planning and implementation of the Newport Bay Water Wheel project. The staff recommendation is available here and links to the related exhibits are on the meeting agenda page (see meeting link above).
After planning and permitting are completed, the Water Wheel will be installed in approximately 2020. It will operate on creek flow and solar power to remove floating trash and debris in San Diego Creek before it enters the Upper Newport Bay marine protected area and the Pacific Ocean. It will be located within and along San Diego Creek above Upper Newport Bay.
Modeled closely on the design of the highly successful Baltimore Trash Wheel project, the Newport Bay Water Wheel could immediately reduce trash load reductions of 50%-80% once installed, according to estimates by the City of Newport Beach. Follow Mr. Trash Wheel on Twitter to learn more.