2024 Strategic Investments Summary

The following strategic investments were approved by the Council in 2024:

February 2024

  • Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia: Up to $561,072 authorized to the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project to enhance modeling to assess land-based drivers and impacts of ocean acidification and hypoxia on the San Francisco and Monterey coast, with an aim to guide state management actions.
  • Intertidal Biodiversity DNA Barcode Library: Up to $9,025,000 authorized to Coastal Quest for creating a DNA barcode library, aiding the protection and conservation of California’s marine biodiversity amid changing climatic conditions and human disturbances.
  • Whale and Sea Turtle Entanglement: Up to $1,825,000 authorized for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to fund initiatives reducing entanglement risk of whales and sea turtles in fishing gear, including development of a ropeless fishing management portal and expansion of a ropeless fishing gear library.

May 2024

The following strategic investments were approved by the Council in 2023:

January 2023

  • Tribal Small Grants Program ($1 million): This approval provides dedicated funding to tribal governments and tribally-led nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in support of work that advances tribes’ priorities for conservation, management, and stewardship, as well as the goals in OPC’s Strategic Plan and the first-ever Tribal Engagement Strategy, also approved in January. 
  • Coastal Resilience Projects (Close to $9 million): $6,498,785 was approved for allocation to six grantees for projects that build coastal resilience for coastal communities, and increase understanding of sea-level rise (SLR) impacts on coastal habitats and communities. Another $2.4 million was approved for four grantees to investigate the nexus between marine protected areas (MPAs) and climate resilience priorities. 
  • Plastic and Microplastic Pollution Projects (More than $1.9 million): Approved funding includes: up to $1.5M across two projects supporting the development of a statewide plastic and microplastic monitoring network; and $417,125 to Los Angeles County to provide technical support and support implementation of the Los Angeles County Single Use Plastics Ordinance. 
  • Monitoring California’s Estuarine Marine Protected Areas ($750,000): The Council approved up funding to San Jose State University Research Foundation for the assessment and monitoring of California’s estuary marine protected areas. Estuaries are sensitive zones that are crucial for sustainable marine fisheries and wildlife populations. 
  • Offshore Wind and Fishermen Resiliency Planning ($45,000): This funding was an budget augmentation to and existing grant with the California Fishermen’s Resiliency Association to enhance industry-to-industry cooperation on offshore wind fishing community benefit agreements. 

April 2023

  • Technical Assistance Program for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning ($1 million): This funding will establish a Technical Assistance Program to provide application support to local, regional, and tribal governments that represent environmental justice communities applying for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning funding. The funding aligns with the strategic objective of building resiliency to sea-level rise as well as goals in OPC’s Equity Plan. 
  • Expansion of the California Coastal Adaptation Planning Inventory ($310,000): This allocation to the University of California Santa Barbara will be used to expand the California Coastal Adaptation Planning Inventory to include additional geographic regions including the San Francisco Bay Area, federal lands, tribal lands, and State Parks, serving the goal of building resilience against sea-level rise along California’s coastline. 
  • Implementation of OPC’s Equity Plan ($540,000): This funding is dedicated to the implementation of the OPC’s Equity Plan, with support from Better World Group, to create pathways for local and regional community partners to actively participate in ocean and coastal conservation, decision-making, and policy efforts; and to ensure OPC’s work is equitably informed by California communities, and providing meaningful benefits to them. 
  • Statewide Groundfish Sampling Program ($450,000): This funding to San Jose State University will support the development and implementation of a cooperative state-wide groundfish sampling program with the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) to fill current data gaps and help improve stock assessments, sustainable harvest regulations and increase our understanding of potential long-term climate impacts. 
  • Offshore Wind Environmental Monitoring Guidance ($450,000): This approval is aimed at developing guidance for environmental monitoring of California offshore wind projects. Comprehensive environmental monitoring guidance can help ensure the collection and evaluation of relevant and accurate data, which in turn can improve our understanding of the potential environmental impacts of offshore wind (OSW) development. 

August 2023

  • Contaminated Sites Inventory Update ($2 million): The California Department of Toxic Substances Control ($1,305,000) and the State Water Resources Control Board ($695,000) received funding to update their contaminated site inventories and create a statewide prioritization for sites at risk from sea-level rise and groundwater shoaling. 
  • Microplastic Contamination Research (More than $1.9 million): Funding was approved for projects selected through the competitive solicitation administered by California Sea Grant. Five grantee projects were selected to increase understanding and inform management of environmental microplastic contamination. 
  • Microplastic Sample Analysis (Up to $180,000): The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority received additional funding to process and analyze microplastic samples collected by the Southern California Bight 2023 Regional Monitoring Program. The results of this study will provide foundational microplastic occurrence data in Southern California on a regional scale. 

December 2023

  • Beach Resiliency Planning ($2.1 million): This initiative aims to develop the California Beach Resiliency Plan, which will assess the vulnerability of California’s beaches to sea level rise, examine the impacts on equitable access to the coast, and propose strategies for adaptation to protect these vital coastal areas. 
  • California Ocean Corps Pilot Program ($1.5 million): The funding will help establish a pilot Ocean Corps program in partnership with the California Conservation Corps. This program, which will be implemented in three local programs operating in coastal regions, is designed to engage and provide workforce development for young people in coastal and ocean conservation, fostering environmental stewardship and nurturing a future generation of ocean protectors. 
  • Wetland Restoration ($6 million): The approved funds will support the Southern Los Cerritos Wetland Restoration Project in Seal Beach. This project focuses on restoring critical habitat for diverse species and enhancing coastal resilience against storm surges, contributing significantly to ecosystem health and biodiversity. 
  • Marine Protected Area Monitoring ($9.42 million): This funding, awarded to 4 projects administered by CASG, will bolster long-term monitoring efforts of California’s network of marine protected areas. The objective is to gather vital data over the next three years to understand the effectiveness of these areas in protecting marine ecosystems and to inform adaptive management strategies. 
  • Kelp Research and Restoration ($5.94 million): The allocated funds will support research and restoration efforts to advance kelp forest recovery and resilience. The five projects, administered by CASG, aim to involve communities in the restoration of California’s kelp forests and include initiatives such as in-water urchin culling by commercial divers and capacity building for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation to lead kelp forest monitoring and restoration in their ancestral territory. 
  • Partnership with Ocean Science Trust ($1.33 million): This funding supports the ongoing partnership with the Ocean Science Trust, which acts as the Science Advisor and Secretariat of OPC’s Science Advisory Team. The partnership is crucial for the continued development of coast and ocean health indicators. 
  • Offshore Wind Environmental Monitoring Guidance ($150,000): An augmentation of the budget for the grant previously approved in April, this funding aims to increase community and tribal engagement in the development of comprehensive environmental monitoring guidance to inform offshore wind development in California. 



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