Today, California Ocean Science Trust (OST) is pleased to announce Council reauthorization and renewal of our role as California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) Science Advisor. This funding authorization will allow us to continue and expand upon our longstanding partnership with OPC and the OPC Science Advisory Team (SAT) to embed best available science into the state’s policy and management decisions.
The SAT, OPC, and OST partnership has been proven as a model for strengthening the application of cutting-edge science to recommendations and solutions in state decision-making. Since 2007, OST has served as Science Advisor to OPC and is authorized under the California Ocean Protection Act (COPA) to co-chair the SAT and provide scientific analysis and advice to OPC. The ongoing partnership between the SAT, OPC, and OST has been critical for advancing several goals and priorities under the 2020-2025 OPC Strategic Plan, including providing science guidance to inform a statewide microplastics strategy, synthesizing best available science on future sea-level rise, and establishing monitoring recommendations to understand and address ocean acidification.
The next two years will not only culminate in the end of the 2020-2025 OPC Strategic Plan, but will also provide a crucial moment to re-imagine how we may work together in a post-pandemic world to maximize our impact for a healthier and more productive ocean and coast. With this in mind, this reauthorization will focus on the following key activities:
- Collaboratively produce a science-based Ocean and Coast Report Card that supports tracking of ocean and coastal conditions and guides future statewide monitoring and data collection efforts;
- Refresh the role, purpose, and membership of the SAT to strengthen OPC partnerships with research centers, initiatives, and institutions, and strengthen the role of the scientific community in accelerating progress on state policy priorities; and
- Work across the scientific community, tribes, and the public to continue strengthening the delivery of actionable, pragmatic scientific syntheses, roadmaps, and recommendations on key issues including 30×30 in state coastal waters, marine restoration and mitigation, and climate resilient fisheries, among other emerging topics.
We thank the Council for approving our reauthorization and we are extremely excited to continue our partnership with OPC and the SAT over the next two years.