Equity & Environmental Justice

The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is mandated to protect California’s coast and ocean for current and future generations. To be successful, our work must be inclusive and reflect the diversity of perspectives and needs of California’s communities. This requires intentional and sustained action to ensure our efforts are equitable and provide benefits to all Californians. Through the implementation of OPC’sStrategic Plan, specifically Goal 2: “Advance Equity Across Ocean and Coastal Policies and Actions,” we have embarked on numerous equity initiatives that involve collaborative partnerships with various partners, including but not limited to, environmental justice communities, government agencies, universities, research entities, non-profits, and California Native American tribes.  

Equity Plan

OPC adopted its first-ever Equity Plan at the October 2022 Council meeting. The Equity Plan represents OPC’s commitment to advancing equity across ocean and coastal policies and actions in California, as well as strengthening internal efforts to create a more inclusive workplace at OPC. Specifically, the Plan outlines priorities, milestones, and outcomes to increase communication and outreach; provide targeted funding and technical assistance; improve staff training and capacity; strengthen environmental justice policies, and further integrate community science and tribal expertise into decision-making. The Equity Plan was collaboratively developed with OPC staff and leadership, funding grantee, Better World Group (BWG), and members of OPC’s Equity Plan Environmental Justice (EJ) Advisory Group

Bilingual Services

OPC intends on releasing a final version of the Equity Plan in Spanish. If there are any language considerations or requests before then, please contact: Maria Rodriguez at maria.rodriguez@resources.ca.gov.

Servicios Bilingües

OPC tiene la intención de publicar una versión final del Plan de Equidad en español. Si hay alguna consideración o solicitud de idioma antes de esa fecha, comuníquese con: María Rodríguez en maria.rodriguez@resources.ca.gov.

Environmental Justice Advisory Board for California

UPDATE March 18, 2024: The application deadline has been extended to Friday, April 5, 2024. This extended application period is focused on recruiting applicants from California’s North Coast and Central Coast regions, or those with statewide perspectives. Only applications meeting that criteria will be considered.

OPC is pleased to partner with Better World Group (BWG) to develop and convene an Environmental Justice Advisory Board (EJ Advisory Board). The EJ Advisory Board will help advise the State to better address the ocean and coastal needs of California communities. Community leaders representing environmental justice and tribal communities throughout California’s coastal and statewide regions were invited to apply.   

The EJ Advisory Board will consist of 8 to 10 individuals who will collaboratively engage and provide valuable equity-focused insights and perspectives to support OPC’s Equity Plan and Strategic Plan priorities that affect California’s coast and ocean statewide. To learn more about the EJ Advisory Board’s purpose, role, and membership information, review the information sheetApplication Period Extended to April 5, 2024 for applicants from California’s North Coast and Central Coast regions, or those with statewide perspectives.

BWG developed Frequently Asked Questions to assist interested applicants in navigating the application process. Additional questions and requests should be directed to ejadvisoryboard-app@betterworldgroup.com.

Funding Opportunities

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

Through an exciting partnership with Justice Outside, OPC’s pilot Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants program officially launched in March 2024! 

OPC’s Equity Plan highlights the importance of advancing more inclusive and accessible funding pathways to broaden opportunities for sustainable community engagement across the State’s initiatives related to ocean and coastal projects, policies, and research. Justice Outside, a champion organization in advancing racial justice and equity in the outdoor and environmental movement, is working closely with OPC to steward the EJ Small Grants Program through their Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program.  

Applications for grants along the California coast close on April 5, 2024. View the Application Guidelines webpage for full details.

Related Program Updates

View All Updates

Staff Contact

Maria Rodriguez
Climate and Environmental Justice
Program Manager

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