Invitation to Bid: Communications Strategy for the 2022 decadal review of California’s Marine Protected Area network

The Ocean Protection Council is seeking bids for contract to develop a communication strategy for the 2022 decadal review of California’s Marine Protected Area network. This communications strategy will be used 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. This strategy will help establish a communications protocol and framework by which information regarding subsequent decadal reviews will be shared with decision makers, stakeholders and the public. The Contractor will be required to work in close collaboration with OPC, DFW and FGC staff in the development and deployment of this communication strategy through the duration of the contract.

For more information follow this link:

OPC is Hiring a Senior Environmental Scientist

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is hiring a Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) to lead its Marine Protected Area (MPA) Program.  OPC is a Cabinet-level state policy body that works to ensure healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems by advancing innovative, science-based policy and management, making strategic investments, and catalyzing action through partnerships and collaboration.

The Senior Environmental Scientist will serve as the team lead for OPC’s MPA program and will be responsible for: coordinating the efforts of OPC’s MPA program manager and Sea Grant Fellow; leading implementation of the state’s MPA Management Program in collaboration with OPC’s other MPA program staff and external partners, which includes investments and actions related to outreach and education, research and monitoring, compliance and enforcement, and policy and permitting; grant and contract management including developing work scopes, tracking deliverables, processing invoices, and grantee coordination; and additional organizational support and capacity, as needed.

Applicants should have a minimum of four years of relevant post-graduate work experience, a strong scientific background, working knowledge of coastal and ocean issues and stakeholders in California, experience working on projects and/or research related to MPAs in California or elsewhere, and excellent written and verbal communication skills. The ability to work in a fast-paced environment and prioritize tasks is a must. A PhD, ecological modeling experience, and two years of field work are preferred but not required.  The position is located in Sacramento, California. 

The application deadline is November 22, 2019.  For more details and to apply, please visit:

In Memoriam: Adrian Dahood-Fritz

Photo of Adrian Dahood-Fritz, and her husband Andrew Fritz.The staff at OPC are devastated at the loss of our friend and colleague Adrian Dahood-Fritz, and her husband Andrew Fritz, who were both victims of the catastrophic Conception dive boat accident that occurred on September 2, 2019.

Adrian was the Senior Scientist and Policy Advisor in our marine protected areas program and had been working with us since April 2019.  In addition to bringing a wealth of scientific and technical expertise to our team, she brought a level of passion, determination, and dedication that will be impossible to replace.  Adrian had a fantastic sense of humor and charmed us with unbelievable stories, including those about her adventures in the Antarctic and her love of cats, krill, penguins, and pancake ice.

Adrian wasn’t afraid to push back on consensus opinions and was skillful at articulating her point of view.  She was a brilliant scientist and was always thoughtful, critical and measured in her approach. She had a unique ability to dig into the details of a scientific issue while always keeping the broader goal of marine conservation in focus.  Prior to working at OPC, she worked for the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division conducting research, influencing policy, and helping establish and manage protected areas in Antarctica.

In May, Andrew volunteered his time and skills to video an OPC-hosted workshop on marine protected areas.   It was an altruistic gesture that demonstrated the love and support he shared with Adrian. We are grateful to have had the honor to meet him and deeply appreciate his generous contribution to our work.

We recognize that this accident has had a significant impact on our entire ocean community and that many of our colleagues and partners have also suffered incredible, unfathomable loss.  We stand with you in this time of grief as we hold the spirit of our friends and loved ones close to our hearts.

In Adrian’s memory, the Adrian Dahood-Fritz Memorial Fund has been established with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).  All donations will support travel for early career researchers to attend international conferences.  For more information on APECS and how to donate to the Memorial Fund, please visit:

Please note, the donation page will need to be translated.  To do so, click on the yellow donate button, add a dollar amount and click on the blue shaded link says “Doner med PayPal,” log into your PayPal account, and then the webpage will be translated to English.  All of these steps will occur prior to confirmation of payment.

Adapted IUCN Green List indicators for California’s MPA network now available for public comment!

OPC and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with the California Expert Assessment Group for the Green List, are pleased to release the adapted Green List indicators for public review and comment. Please find the call for comments here and the adapted indicators here. You can find out more about our effort to add California’s unique and globally significant marine protected area network to the IUCN Green List here.

Please use this google form to submit your comments. Comments must be received no later than 5pm on September 10, 2019.

Safeguarding Our Underwater Wilderness: A Deep Dive into California’s Marine Protected Areas

Join the Ocean Protection Council in celebrating California’s marine protected areas (MPAs) as we reflect on the establishment of the state’s MPA network, learn about compelling ocean science, and explore innovative ways to support MPA effectiveness into the future.


May 23, 2019
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

California EPA Building
1001 I Street, Room 550
Sacramento, CA 95812


… read more

CA Co-authors Opposition Letter to Proposed Federal CZMA Rulemaking

California recently co-authored a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross opposing proposed Federal rulemaking to streamline the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency review process.

The CZMA is our country’s foundational coastal and marine management legislation. The proposed rulemaking appears to undermine the State’s role in coastal management by shortening the time for review and limiting the scope of continued State objection to outer continental oil and gas exploration and development.

California, alongside Oregon and Washington, maintains that a “balance between national priorities and healthy coastal communities … exists because of the federal consistency process.”

OPC’s 2019-2024 Draft Strategic Plan is Available for Public Comment

Image of Report CoverOPC is pleased to release its draft Strategic Priorities to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean, which will guide OPC’s priorities and investments over the next five years.

We welcome feedback on this draft plan. Public comments should be submitted to by 5 pm on April 19, 2019.

A revised draft, based on public comment, will be released on May 3, 2019 for consideration by the Ocean Protection Council at its May 15, 2019 meeting. Questions can be directed to OPC’s Deputy Director, Jenn Eckerle, at

*Please note that this draft has not yet been formatted by a designer. The final document will include photographs and graphics.

NOW OPEN: Proposition 1 Grant Solicitation now open!

OPC’s priority issue areas for Proposition 1 funding are:

  • marine managed areas;
  • coastal and ocean water quality impacts;
  • fisheries; and
  • climate change adaptation

See the OPC Grant Guidelines and 2019 Grant Proposal Solicitation for more details on funding priorities. The deadline for applications is March 18, 2019.

Visit the OPC Proposition 1 webpage for all details, including the Grant Solicitation, Grant Guidelines, Grant Guidance, and all forms and templates.

Proposition 1  was approved by voters in November 2014. Funding from Prop 1 is intended to fund multi-benefit projects that provide more reliable water supplies, restore important species and habitat, and develop a more resilient and sustainably managed water system that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.

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