While California is home to many world-famous landmarks, few would have the same appeal without the backdrop of our scenic coast and ocean. It’s no surprise, then, that California is a world leader in protecting our iconic marine environment for Californians and visitors to enjoy now and in the future.
As the impacts of climate change become more widespread and devastating to our global ocean, the next California Ocean Day will showcase positive progress and leadership California is committed to protecting nature and the opportunities available to us for meaningful ocean conservation. This year’s event, co-sponsored by organizations including Azul, Environment California, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Surfrider Foundation and NRDC, celebrates California’s commitment to protecting what makes our state special. Ten years ago, California became a world leader in marine conservation by establishing a network of coastal Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – the most effective tool to protect ocean habitats and marine biodiversity for future generations. . Expert panel discussions, open to the public, reflect on this one-of-a-kind network of MPAs and look forward to the decade ahead as we aim to strengthen and improve protections through 30×30 initiativesand. Other speakers and storytellers throughout the day will highlight all the reasons why we, as ocean advocates and environmental leaders, do the work we do to protect our beloved ocean for all.
For many, including myself, self-interest and love for the ocean is the spark that drives us to engage in policies like 30×30 to advance ocean conservation and protection. But to be a thoughtful and effective ocean advocate, it’s critically important to remember that ocean actors go beyond those of us who use the ocean on a regular basis. When it comes to realizing the benefits of a healthy, resilient and sustainable ocean, and inland communities from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds will be affected. As we meet with policy makers and share information about opportunities and challenges regarding our marine environments throughout California Ocean Day, we must amplify and elevate a diverse set of perspectives and ideas if we want to enable effective and robust policies of all kinds.
Beyond highlighting the voices that defend marine protected areas and 30×30, California Ocean Day brings together a community of advocates, environmentalists and beach goers who will meet policy makers and legislators for lobbying meetings. Priority themes for this year’s advocacy and lobbying efforts focus on supporting:
- Prevent seabed mining – Assembly Bill 1832 preventatively protect our coastal waters from the harmful effects of seabed mining.
- Sea Level Rise Funding Programs – Senate Bill 1078 support coastal preservation by establishing a Sea Level Rise Revolving Loan pilot program to provide low-interest loans to local jurisdictions for the purchase of vulnerable coastal properties located in specific communities, including low-income communities.
- Preventing oil spills off our coasts – Senate Bill 953 protect our coastal marine habitats by ending oil and gas leases in state waters by 2023.
- Reduce microplastic pollution – Assembly Bill 1724 would protect public health and water quality by requiring all new washing machines to contain a microfiber filtration system.