Updates from the February 29, 2024 Council Meeting

At the February 29 Ocean Protection Council (OPC) meeting, OPC staff presented the Annual Coast and Ocean Report 2023 with a continuation of scientific indicators to provide a snapshot of California’s coast and ocean health, and status of OPC accomplishments and progress towards achieving the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan goals.

During the meeting the Council unanimously passed several significant action items supporting OPC’s strategic goals: 

  • 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.   

The Council welcomed a new Councilmember, State Controller Malia Cohen, who Secretary Wade Crowfoot swore in on February 14. Controller Cohen is honored to help safeguard coastal and ocean ecosystems for the benefit of all Californians.  

Also at the meeting, Executive Director Jenn Eckerle welcomed two new staff members Christine Sur, OPC’s Water Quality Program Manager and California Sea Grant State Fellow, Conner Smith. However, with much gratitude for her contributions over the year, OPC did bid farewell to 2023 California Sea Grant State Fellow, Katie Cieri. Read the Executive Director’s Report for other OPC program updates and relevant coastal and ocean-related bills tracked by OPC staff during the recent legislative session.

Councilmember, State Controller Malia Cohen being sworn in by Secretary Wade Crowfoot.

View the full February agenda and associated documents on the meeting webpage. The recording is also available:  

The next OPC Quarterly Public Meeting is Tuesday, June 4, 2024, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

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Categories: Leadership and Staff Updates, Ocean Acidification, OPC Meetings, Strategic Goal 1: Climate Change, Strategic Goal 3: Biodiversity, Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems