About Us

We are a boundary organization. We work across the traditional boundaries between government, science, and communities to build trust and understanding in ocean and coastal science.

What We Stand For

Linked to the state.

Our organization is novel. We are an independent non-profit created by a California statute that recognized the value of independent science to support decisions.

Finding common ground.

Connecting government, science, and communities is hard—and the reason for our existence. We work across traditional boundaries to build trust.

Making science useful.

We empower broad participation in policy and management decisions with useful, reliable science.

Partners in good governance.

Our position—independent of academia and the state but linked to both—is a new model for the future of science-informed policy.

Here because we care.

We do what we do because we care about the future of our coast and ocean, and the people who rely on them.

Students of our own work.

We reflect on our progress, and incorporate diverse perspectives to improve our work. We lay a pathway for science, and walk down it together.

Our Link to California

California can rely on us for useful, reliable science for our ocean. Though we are not a state agency, our relationship to California is formalized by the California Ocean Resources Stewardship Act (CORSA), passed in 2000. That statute directs how our board is populated, including State agency representation and nominations submitted from both the University of California and California State University. We also submit annual reports to the State Legislature. This unique arrangement gives California an independent partner who can take the long view.

Working closely with ocean and coastal agencies, we support California’s goal of maintaining a healthy, resilient, and productive ocean for the benefit of current and future generations. On behalf of our partner, the California Ocean Protection Council, we convene and manage their Science Advisory Team. The Executive Director of Ocean Science Trust serves as the Science Advisor to the Ocean Protection Council and co-chairs the Science Advisory Team. Many other state and federal agencies work with us on the ocean issues of importance to California.

Our People


Our Board positions us for the greatest possible impact. The Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency and the Director of Finance each appoint one trustee. The Natural Resources Secretary receives nominations for the remaining seven trustees and appoints them as follows: three trustees represent the California State University and the University of California; two trustees represent ocean and coastal interest groups of the state; and two trustees represent the general public. In addition, by virtue of office or position, our Board contains ex officio members.