More Justice, More Resilience: Science Advisory Team statement on COVID Recovery

In August, the California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team, convened by the Ocean Science Trust released a position statement signed by 29 ocean and coastal scientists: “Oceans provide opportunities for equitable, climate-resilient COVID Recovery.” We call for inclusion of climate resilience investments that will stimulate California’s coastal economies and center environmental justice and equity when the Governor and state legislators develop the state’s COVID-19 economic recovery stimulus funding plan. The position statement reflects the Ocean Protection Council’s (OPC) mission to help ensure that California maintains healthy, resilient, and productive ocean and coastal ecosystems, and support marginalized and vulnerable communities.
“The Governor and California state legislature should consider our world class marine resources as essential assets in our roadmap to economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Karina Nielsen of San Francisco State University’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center. “They should also heed the call by Californians that an environmental justice lens be applied to decision making on economic recovery stimulus funds. Equity, environment and economic recovery are intrinsically linked.”
The scientists’ goal in crafting this statement is to emphasize that 1) climate change remains a significant threat to California’s marine ecosystems; 2) climate change impacts have the potential to exacerbate existing social inequalities, based on race, culture, or economic status; 3) coastal and ocean climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience investments can contribute to overall economic recovery -; and 4) investments that increase the resilience of California’s most vulnerable communities, in addition to being equitable, can improve the entire state’s ability to adapt to climate change. The statement serves to amplify the need that California’s short-term economic rebuilding must work in conjunction with the state’s long-term climate change or environmental justice goals.
Read more about the Science Advisory Team here.

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