30×30: Conserving 30% of California’s Coastal Waters by 2030

What is 30×30?

In 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-82-20, which committed to conserving 30% of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 as part of a broader effort to fight climate change, protect biodiversity, and expand access to nature for all Californians. In 2022, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating Conservation of California’s Nature, which details strategies and opportunities for achieving the 30×30 target.

See our Fact Sheet for details on OPC’s approach to 30×30 and answers to frequently asked questions.

How is conservation defined? How much of our coastal waters are already conserved?

Pathways provides the following definition of conservation for the purposes of 30×30: “land and coastal water areas that are durably protected and managed to sustain functional ecosystems, both intact and restored, and the diversity of life that they support.” For coastal waters, California’s statewide network of 124 marine protected areas (MPAs) – 16% of state waters – is already considered conserved per this definition. We’re more than halfway there! But we’ll all need to work together to conserve an additional half a million acres of coastal waters by 2030.

For both lands and coastal waters, California is tracking progress toward the 30×30 goal via the CA Nature tool, a suite of interactive mapping and visualization tools compiling statewide biodiversity, access, climate, and conservation information.

What are the state’s strategies for achieving the 30×30 target in coastal waters?

OPC is spearheading the effort to conserve 30% of coastal waters by 2030, which, as detailed in Pathways, will require action across four fronts:

  • Adaptively managing our state’s MPAs to ensure they continue to provide strong protections for coastal and marine biodiversity, especially in the face of climate change.
  • Working with federal partners to strengthen biodiversity protections in California’s National Marine Sanctuaries.
  • Partnering with California Native American tribes to establish Indigenous Marine Stewardship Areas, focused on supporting and enhancing tribal stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Collaborating with scientists and fishermen to explore the role of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs) – geographically defined areas that are not formal MPAs, but still provide effective conservation benefits – in protecting coastal and ocean biodiversity. Potential examples may include water quality protection areas, spatial fisheries management measures, etc.

OPC is committed to collaboration with partner agencies, tribes and tribal governments, and California’s coastal communities – including fishermen, environmental justice organizations, and conservation groups – as we move forward with each of these key approaches.

How can I get involved?

Opportunities to get involved will be posted here and shared widely via OPC and CNRA communications channels. OPC is also a member of the 30×30 Partnership Coordinating Committee, which serves to foster inclusive communication and statewide coordination on efforts toward meeting California’s 30×30 goals. In this role, OPC will relay feedback, opportunities, and challenges from all partners interested in advancing 30×30 in coastal waters, share points of progress, and identify needs for ongoing outreach and communication.


Review 30×30 Reports and Factsheets

Watch previous 30×30 webinars and meetings:

OPC Videos

CNRA Videos

Sign up to stay updated by email:

Read about California’s international leadership on 30×30:


30×30 Email Address: 30x30coastalwaters@resources.ca.gov

Jenn Eckerle, Deputy Secretary for Oceans & Coastal Policy, California Natural Resources Agency; Executive Director, California Ocean Protection Council

Michael Esgro, Senior Biodiversity Program Manager & Tribal Liaison, California Ocean Protection Council

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