2006-2011 Strategic Plan Goals
The following goals guided the work of the Ocean Protection Council during the first five years of its existence (2006 -2011).
Despite the many programs and regulations that affect coastal and marine resources, areas, and activities, there are few, principles or processes for establishing authority and accountability in the management of marine resources and the uses of marine space. The OPC is working to improve the way California conserves its ocean and coastal ecosystems and improve the gaps, inadequacies, and contradictions in jurisdiction, management authority, and oversight within government.
Solving complex ocean resources problems requires a better scientific understanding of the underlying functioning of ocean and coastal ecosystems. The OPC is working to improve understanding of ocean and coastal ecosystems and to coordinate the collection and sharing of scientific data related to coastal and ocean resources between agencies.
Ocean and Coastal Water Quality
California’s ocean and coastal ecosystems extend from the top of watersheds, down rivers and into bays, estuaries, and lagoons, and finally into the ocean. Water quality impairment can result from sewage discharges, industrial waste discharges, dredge spoils, and agricultural and urban runoff. Impaired water quality undermines the ability of coastal ecosystems to support healthy fisheries, recreational opportunities, and other beneficial uses of the ocean.
Physical Processes and Habitat Structure
California’s ocean and coastal ecosystems reflect a diverse array of physical habitats, including rivers, and wetlands, sandy and rocky beaches, reefs and canyons. These habitats are affected by natural and human caused factors, including sea level rise, dredging, river diversions, and certain types of fishing gear. The OPC is working to protect fisheries, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities along our coastline.
California’s ocean and coastal ecosystems have supported a variety of human uses for centuries. Although management has improved, unsustainable uses have reduced the capacity of ecosystems to provide goods and services that we rely on.
A strong link exists between the public’s understanding of the natural environment and their willingness to protect and preserve natural resources. Statewide, there is a lack of public knowledge about the ocean and how the problems in the ocean affect everyone.