Three footprints are clearly imprinted on a beach. White foam almost reaches them, and a crest is visible in the distance under a gray sky.

Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Task Force

We are convening an advisory body that will provide scientific guidance to the Ocean Protection Council to inform continued actions on ocean acidification and hypoxia in California and along the West Coast.


California decision-makers have pursued a diverse set of actions on ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) that span management and policy jurisdictions since the release of the West Coast OAH Science Panel’s “Major Findings, Recommendations, and Actions” in 2016. The Panel recommended expanding scientific engagement to meet evolving management needs through the creation of an OAH Science Task Force (Task Force) (OAH Panel Action 8.1). In addition, Assembly Bill 2139 (Williams) was passed in September 2016, which designated the establishment of the Task Force to ensure that Ocean Protection Council (OPC) decision-making and further action on the issues of OAH continue to be supported by the best available science.

In 2018, OPC tasked Ocean Science Trust with convening and managing the Task Force, which is composed of Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team members and additional experts.


January 2018 – March 2021

On behalf of the OPC, the Task Force will:

  • track scientific efforts and work products related to OAH that advance Panel recommendations in order to identify opportunities to coordinate among and leverage investments, with a focus on OPC-funded initiatives
  • provide a technical forum for two-way engagement between scientists and decision-makers to ensure actions are being informed by the best available science
  • serve as a gateway to the broader OAH science community in order to provide sound science advice to the OPC
  • identify follow-up projects that will fill key OAH knowledge gaps in California

See the full Task Force Charter here. Members will serve a one-year term, from January 2018–March 2021 with the possibility of extension pending State need and available resources.

Recent Task Force Activities

In 2018, the Task Force provided scientific and technical input and reviewed the draft plan for scientific feasibility. The Task Force also developed a science strategy (Appendix 5), summarizing the research that will be necessary to support full implementation of the Action Plan within the next five years. Download the California Ocean Acidification Action, include the Task Force Science Strategy here

In 2020, the Task Force conducted a decision-focus gaps analysis of California’s OAH monitoring inventory assets, evaluating how existing and proposed future assets could be integrated and managed to fulfill decision-making needs. The Task Force primary recommendations were:

  1. Better connect chemical and biological monitoring
  2. Continuously improve OAH models as decision-support tools via the collection of additional monitoring data
  3. Strengthen continuity of OAH monitoring programs across California’s coastal environments

Download the full Task Force report here

In 2021, following the Task Force recommendation to better connect chemical and biological monitoring, OST convened a 4-experts panel, including Dr. Francis Chan (OSU), Dr. Jim Barry (MBARI), Dr. Su Sponaugle (OSU) and Dr. Jan Newton (UW), to provide recommendations to the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) for the monitoring and standardization of coupled chemical and biological indicators across the California coast by several ongoing monitoring programs (including SCCWRP, ACCESS, CalCOFI, CCE LTER, and NOAA’s West Coast research cruises).


Francis Chan
Oregon State University, co-chair

Steve Weisberg*
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, co-chair

Jim Barry
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Alexandria Boehm*
Stanford University

Shallin Busch
NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Sarah Cooley
Ocean Conservancy

Richard Feely
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Lisa Levin
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego


*Denotes OPC Science Advisory Team member



< Back