The Council

The Ocean Protection Council was created pursuant to the California Ocean Protection Act (COPA). For more information about our agency’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities, visit our About Page.


The seven-member Council is chaired by the Secretary for Natural Resources and includes the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the Chair of the State Lands Commission, two public members, and two members of the Legislature — one from the Senate and one from the Assembly (ex-officio members). OPC is led by an Executive Director who also serves as the Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency (see our Leadership & Staff page).

Upcoming Meetings

Next Meeting

Thursday, February 29, 2024 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Hybrid meeting via Zoom and at the California Natural Resources Agency Headquarters Auditorium
715 P Street, Sacramento, California 95814


  • February 29, 1:00-4:00 pm
  • June 4, 1:00-4:00 pm
  • September 10, 1:00-4:00 pm
  • December 9, 1:00-4:00 pm

For meeting details, materials, and archives, visit our Meetings page.

Guiding Principles and Responsibilities

The Council is guided by principles included in COPA:

  • Recognizing the interconnectedness of the land and the sea, supporting sustainable uses of the coast, and ensuring the health of ecosystems
  • Improving the protection, conservation, restoration, and management of coastal and ocean ecosystems through enhanced scientific understanding, including monitoring and data gathering
  • Recognizing the “precautionary principle”: where the possibility of serious harm exists, lack of scientific certainty should not preclude action to prevent the harm
  • Identifying the most effective and efficient use of public funds by identifying funding gaps and creating new and innovative processes for achieving success
  • Making aesthetic, educational, and recreational uses of the coast and ocean a priority
  • Involving the public in all aspects of OPC process through public meetings, workshops, public conferences, and other symposia

The Council is tasked with the following responsibilities:

  • Coordinate activities of ocean-related state agencies to improve the effectiveness of state efforts to protect ocean resources within existing fiscal limitations
  • Establish policies to coordinate the collection and sharing of scientific data related to coast and ocean resources between agencies
  • Identify and recommend to the Legislature changes in law
  • Identify and recommend changes in federal law and policy to the Governor and Legislature