OPC Meeting Summary


Meeting Summary


November 30, 2009

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Scripps Seaside Forum
8610 Kennel Way (formerly Discovery Way)
La Jolla, CA


Council Members in Attendance:

Mike Chrisman, Secretary for Natural Resources, Council Chair                                    
Linda Adams, Secretary for Environmental Protection
John Chiang, State Controller, Chair of the State Lands Commission
Susan Golding, Public Member
Geraldine Knatz, Public Member
Fran Pavley, State Senator

1.    Secretary Chrisman welcomed attendees to the meeting and introduced the council members. He recognized the new role of Dr. Amber Mace as Executive Director of the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and Assistant Secretary at the Natural Resources Agency. Secretary Chrisman discussed the ongoing work of the Federal Ocean Policy Task Force and announced that council staff has continued to work with the Task Force on the issue of marine spatial planning.  Secretary Chrisman also mentioned that Assistant Secretary Brian Baird testified at a legislative hearing on marine debris in September. An announcement was made that the California and the World Ocean Conference 2010 will be held September 7-10, 2010 and that the annual meeting of the OPC Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT) will be held December 1, 2009.

Secretary Chrisman introduced Dr. Tony Haymet, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Haymet provided a welcome address to the council and attendees. Brian Baird, Assistant Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy, took a moment to highlight Dr. Haymet’s work on a panel that discussed climate implications for the world’s oceans at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit II.


2.  Public comment on non-agenda items:

  • Reed Addis – Ocean Conservancy – Encouraged the council to use state legislation (AB 201) and the marine aquaculture programmatic environmental impact report (being funded by OPC) as a starting point to make recommendations on a national aquaculture policy or federal legislation.
  • Peter Halmay – Commercial fisherman in San Diego – Thanked the council for its support of San Diego fisheries and expressed an interest in continuing that great partnership.
  • Craig Shuman – California Fish and Game Commission – Thanked council members for their support of the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) Lessons Learned Study and for staff’s participation in the Marine Resources Committee. 


3.  Dr. Amber Mace presented the report from of the Executive Director, which included an announcement regarding the OPC external evaluation, the status of the California Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and the release of the report from the Collaborative Geospatial Information and Tools for California Coastal and Ocean Managers workshop. Dr. Mace also shared that she looks forward to working with the OPC in her new role as Executive Director and that she intends to convene the OPC steering committee sometime in early 2010.


4.  Sam Schuchat presented the report of the Council Secretary in which he discussed the status of the California Dungeness Crab Task Force, the expected release date of the final version of the aquaculture programmatic environmental impact report, the recent blue whale strike, the Marine Life Management Act Lessons Learned report, and the current OPC budget.

It was moved (Adams) and seconded (Golding) to approve the proposed 2010 OPC meeting schedule with the caveat that the November 4, 2010 meeting date may be changed in the future to accommodate a scheduling conflict.

APPROVEDAyes:   Adams, Chiang, Chrisman, Golding, Knatz     Nays: 0

It was moved (Golding) and seconded (Knatz) to approve the amended OPC Conflict of Interest Code.

APPROVEDAyes:   Adams, Chiang, Chrisman, Golding, Knatz     Nays: 0


5.   Steve Weisberg, Acting OPC Science Advisor, provided the report from the Science Advisor. Dr. Weisberg highlighted the role of the Ocean Science Trust and Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team in formulating that day’s meeting. He also announced that the second OPC-SAT meeting would take place on December 1, at which the SAT will identify critical and emerging science issues, and reviewed the oil decommissioning hearing that took place October 28, 2009. 

Dr. Amber Mace thanked Dr. Weisberg for agreeing to take on the role of Acting OPC Science Advisor.  


6.  Dr. Cheri Recchia, MPA Monitoring Enterprise, provided a presentation of the Draft North Central Coast Marine Protected Areas Monitoring Plan and the North Central Coast Baseline Monitoring project.

Public Comment:

  • Reid Addis – Ocean Conservancy – Spoke in support of the plan and continued funding for the MLPA.


7.  It was moved (Golding) and seconded by (Chiang) to concur with the proposed grant awards for the University of California Sea Grant and University of Southern California Sea Grant programs for 2010.

Doug George, Project Manager

APPROVED Ayes: Adams, Chiang, Chrisman, Golding, Knatz     Nays:   0


8.    Bill Sydeman, Farallon Institute, presented Wrong Time, Wrong Place: Recent Mismatches in Prey Availability to Seabirds and Salmon.

Chris Cohen, Southern California Ocean Observing System, provided a follow-up presentation where he discussed the efforts of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCOOS), the Central and Northern Coastal Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS), and their Joint Strategic Advisory Committee.


9.  Brian Baird highlighted the Thank You Ocean Campaign’s new public service announcement, featuring actor and activist Edward James Olmos, and the launch of the Spanish version of the Thank You Ocean Web site.


10.  Doug George, Project Manager, introduced the panel on Toxins and Marine Debris: Addressing Contaminants in the Ocean and each of the speakers.

  • Maziar Movassaghi, Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Margy Gassel, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
  • Jonathon Bishop, State Water Resources Control Board
  • Jörg Drewes, Blue Ribbon Panel on Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Recycled Water
  • Steve Weisberg, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
  • Sandra O’Neill, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Following the presentations, Dr. Amber Mace led a question and answer session with the panelists and council members.

Public Comments: 

  • Melissa Locke – San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance – Stressed the importance of researching and monitoring nonylphenol.  
  • Sara Sikich – Heal the Bay – Encouraged continued leadership by OPC on marine debris.  


11.  Christina Cairns, Project Manager, gave an overview of the panel discussion Desalination in California – Environmental and Economic Considerations for our Future Water Supply Portfolio.

Ms. Cairns introduced the panel members, including two who gave brief presentations:

  • Bob Wilkinson, University of California Santa Barbara, discussed state water policy and the findings of the California Desalination Task Force.
  • Todd Reynolds, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, discussed different types of intake technologies.

Following the presentations, Dr. Mace led a discussion among the council and all of the panelists:

  • Jonathan Bishop, State Water Resources Control Board
  • Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
  • Peter MacLaggan, Poseidon Resources
  • Dean Reynolds, California Department of Water Resources
  • Todd Reynolds, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants
  • Bob Wilkinson, University of California, Santa Barbara

 Public Comments:

  • Leila Monroe – Natural Resource Defense Council – Stated that California needs a statewide policy on water supply options. 
  • Corie Lopez – Food and Water Watch – Expressed concern regarding the privatization of public utilities.
  • Sara Sikich – Heal the Bay – Expressed concerned over co-localizing desalination with once-through cooling, supports state guidance on desalination use in California.
  • Bruce Reznik – San Diego Coast Keeper – Stated that the wrong questions are being asked when it comes to water supply and that San Diego needs a comprehensive water plan.
  • Jeff Mosher – National Water Research Institute – Expressed a desire to coordinate with the OPC on water supply issues.
  • Conner Everts – Desal Response Group – Wants to ensure all water supply options are considered before moving to desalination and requested a status of Prop. 50 funding on desalination technologies.
  • Joe Geever – Surfrider Foundation – Spoke to the benefits of using other water supply options rather than desalination.
  • Stefanie Sekich – Surfrider Foundation – Introduced the new Surfrider campaign called “Know Your H2O.”
  • Bill Hickman – Surfrider Foundation – Spoke in support of wastewater recycling and reuse.
  • Paul Herzog – Surfrider – Spoke about Surfrider launching an Ocean Friendly Gardens program.


12.       Secretary Chrisman concluded the meeting by congratulating Dr. Christine Blackburn on her new position in Washington, D.C. and thanked her for her outstanding work during her time as Program Manager of the OPC. Secretary Chrisman also announced the OST/ SCCOOS reception which directly followed the OPC meeting.


Secretary Chrisman adjourned the meeting at 5:26 p.m.

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