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AJR-47 Climate change and coastal resources.(2017-2018)

Current Version: 07/02/18 - Introduced Compare Versions information image


Revised  August 30, 2018


Assembly Joint Resolution
No. 47

Introduced by Assembly Members Bloom, Eduardo Garcia, and Mark Stone
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Berman, Chiu, Friedman, Gonzalez Fletcher, Levine, Mullin, and O’Donnell) O’Donnell, Carrillo, Limón, Acosta, Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Baker, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Cervantes, Chau, Chávez, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Cunningham, Daly, Frazier, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager-Dove, Lackey, Low, Maienschein, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Reyes, Rivas, Rodriguez, Rubio, Salas, Thurmond, Ting, Weber, and Wood)
(Coauthors: Senators Allen, De León, Dodd, Hueso, Monning, Stern, and Wieckowski) Wieckowski, Hertzberg, Hill, and Wiener)

July 02, 2018

Relative to climate change and coastal resources.


AJR 47, as introduced, Bloom. Climate change and coastal resources.
This measure would affirm the Legislature’s support for science-based action to conserve, protect, restore, and effectively manage California’s coastal and ocean ecosystems, which the state holds in trust for the people of California, in the face of challenges presented by climate change, ocean acidification, hypoxia, and other changing ocean conditions, and would urge federal and state government entities to take specified actions to preserve the state’s ocean and coastal resources as well as protect disadvantaged and low-income communities impacted by these challenges.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, California law recognizes that the state’s coastal and marine ecosystems are distinct and valuable natural resources of vital and enduring interest to all people, that their permanent protection is of paramount concern to present and future residents of the state and nation, and that a commitment to science-based action is necessary to prevent their deterioration and destruction; and
WHEREAS, California’s economy is one of the world’s largest, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.6 trillion in 2016, including the largest ocean- and coast-dependent economy in the nation worth nearly $45 billion, and, in 2015, California’s ocean economy employed over half a million people, generated approximately $22 billion in wages, and contributed an estimated 2 percent of California’s GDP; and
WHEREAS, Hundreds of millions of California residents and visitors enjoy the state’s ocean and coast for relief from extreme heat in inland communities, for recreation and tourism, and these activities are a main driver of the state’s ocean economy; and
WHEREAS, California has one of the largest and most lucrative commercial fishing and seafood industries in the country, and is home to five of the nation’s top 50 fishing ports by weight of landed catch, and, in 2015, industries involving seafood processing, commercial fishing, aquaculture, and hatcheries employed more than 6,500 people in California and generated more than $135 million in wages and $350 million in GDP; and
WHEREAS, California’s coastal communities are reliant upon the financial, cultural, and infrastructure contributions of the commercial, recreational, and sport charter fishing industries, which facilitate the maintenance of harbor and port facilities for the benefit of all residents, visitors, and ocean stakeholders; and
WHEREAS, The coast and ocean are spaces of value and importance to all Californians, including inland communities, particularly as sea levels rise, temperatures increase, and the availability of green outdoor spaces becomes more limited; and
WHEREAS, Coastal and ocean ecosystems are significantly impacted by climate change, which harms the industries and communities that depend on them; and
WHEREAS, Sea level rise poses an extreme threat to California’s coastal communities, ecosystems, and infrastructure, and the state has already experienced sea level rise impacts that include increased coastal and tidal flooding and extensive coastal erosion; and
WHEREAS, The 2016 California Coastal Commission Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Synthesis Report found that, under intermediate sea level rise projections, the number of miles of roads threatened by flooding and erosion could increase by 60 percent, leaving over 200,000 coastal residents vulnerable to flooding during a typical 100-year storm, which could drive up housing costs, harm workers, destroy critical infrastructure, and result in the loss of shoreline and public access trails, and restrict free and low-cost recreational opportunities; and
WHEREAS, Sea level rise and extreme weather events will disproportionately impact disadvantaged and low-income communities due to impacts to jobs and affordable housing, as well as limited access to preparedness and adaptation tools; and
WHEREAS, Ocean acidification, hypoxia, and other changing ocean conditions in California waters present a significant and direct threat to the state’s marine life and ecosystems, fisheries, and farmed shellfish, negatively impact many shell-forming species, including oysters, mussels, abalone, crabs, and the microscopic plankton that form the base of the oceanic food chain, and cause significant changes in behavior and physiology of fish and invertebrates requiring flexible, adaptive, and responsive state action to address these challenges; and
WHEREAS, In the summer of 2015, an unprecedented toxic bloom of the marine diatom, Pseudo-nitzschia, was found in the waters from central California to the Alaskan Peninsula, disrupting coastal economies and threatening public health, and causing multiple, prolonged shellfish fisheries closures and losses to crab fishermen of approximately $100 million during the 2015–16 fishing season; and
WHEREAS, In 2017, another large-scale toxic algae bloom stretched from central California to Baja California, Mexico, resulting in additional closures of commercial fisheries and widespread impacts to wildlife; and
WHEREAS, Scientific evidence suggests that well-designed marine protected area (MPA) networks can contribute to the protection and resilience of marine species as ocean conditions change, and California has invested significant resources in establishing a globally recognized MPA network that protects marine species and habitats and safeguards California’s coastal resources and economy; and
WHEREAS, The Under2 Coalition, which was initiated with leadership from California and Germany, and was signed in 2015, now includes a global community of government entities committed to long-term efforts to reduce the effects of carbon emissions on the oceans and support the Paris Agreement’s climate goal of keeping the rise in global average temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius; and
WHEREAS, Signatories to the Under2 Coalition include over 200 states, provinces, regions, cities, and national government endorsers comprising almost 40 percent of the global economy; and
WHEREAS, California’s Legislature has made considerable investments to enhance resilience of our coast and ocean to changing conditions and in the 2017–18 Regular Session alone, it passed Chapter 852 of the Statutes of 2017 (the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018), which authorizes $40 million to be deposited into the California Ocean Protection Trust Fund and expended for projects that assist coastal communities to adapt to climate change, including projects that conserve, protect, and restore marine wildlife and healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems and also approved more than $35 million for fiscal year 2018–19 in the Budget Act of 2018; and
WHEREAS, The Budget Act of 2017 allocated $6 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the State Coastal Conservancy, California Coastal Commission, and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission to address the impacts of climate change on California’s coast; and
WHEREAS, California has made significant investments in developing resources for communities to incorporate climate change adaptation into local planning, permitting, and investment decisions, and local governments are now required to incorporate emergency planning and environmental justice components into their general plans, which dictate development and investments in cities and counties; and
WHEREAS, In 2018, the Natural Resources Agency released its fourth edition of the California Climate Adaptation Strategy (Safeguarding California Plan), which provides a roadmap of climate adaptation actions for state agencies to take to address global warming, including a first-ever climate justice section developed in partnership with environmental justice leaders from throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, This year the Ocean Protection Council also released the third edition of its Sea Level Rise Guidance Document, which incorporates the findings of a comprehensive scientific review of sea level rise science undertaken by the council in 2017, and both the California Coastal Commission and State Water Resources Control Board have adopted climate change and sea level rise resolutions to address and respond to climate-driven threats to California’s ocean and water supplies; and
WHEREAS, Since 2012, the California Legislature has passed a number of laws directing state agencies to plan for and address sea level rise and other climate impacts, including Chapter 611 of the Statutes of 2012, Chapter 592 of the Statutes of 2013, Chapter 522 of the Statutes of 2014, Chapter 603 of the Statutes of 2015, Chapter 606 of the Statutes of 2015, Chapter 580 of the Statutes of 2016, Chapter 135 of the Statutes of 2017, and Chapter 338 of the Statutes of 2017; and
WHEREAS, California, along with British Columbia, Canada, and the states of Washington and Oregon, through participation in the Pacific Coast Collaborative, is a founding and lead member of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), which is a global partnership established in 2016 to assist governments in taking meaningful action to anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to the significant changes to global ocean chemistry worldwide as a result of excess carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and the OA Alliance now has 20 government members and 31 affiliated institutions and organizations; and
WHEREAS, In 2016, California partnered with Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada, to convene the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel; and
WHEREAS, In 2016, the Legislature enacted Chapter 352 of the Statutes of 2016 and Chapter 846 of the Statutes of 2016, which authorize the Ocean Protection Council to study and mitigate ocean acidification and hypoxia based on the recommendations of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel, and enter agreements with other public and private entities to advance joint objectives; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature affirms its support for science-based action to conserve, protect, restore, and effectively manage California’s coastal and ocean ecosystems, which the state holds in trust for the people of California, in the face of the challenges presented by climate change, ocean acidification and hypoxia, and other changing ocean conditions, and urges federal and state government entities to take actions to preserve the state’s ocean and coastal resources, including all of the following:
(a) Promote environmental and climate justice principles in climate change policy, and continue to convene community experts to ensure the needs of disadvantaged and low-income communities are met in the pursuit of a healthy coast and ocean.
(b) Promote the use of natural systems and natural infrastructure when working to build resilience to climate change and related changing ocean conditions.
(c) Provide new and ongoing funding for programs, planning, and projects that, where feasible, address and build resiliency to climate change and related impacts to the coast and ocean, and support coastal communities and industries to adapt to these impacts, including emergency response.
(d) Support inland and disadvantaged community access to, use of, and enjoyment of the coast and ocean in the midst of climate change impacts through community consultation and consideration in land use, economic, and recreational planning processes and investments.
(e) Support California’s continued global and regional leadership efforts to address climate change and related changing ocean conditions, through participation in institutions such as the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification and the Pacific Coast Collaborative.
(f) Support state policy and management actions to address the biological and economic effects of climate change, ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and other impacts from changing ocean conditions.
(g) Maintain and enhance California’s existing coastal habitats, conserve and restore potential future habitat, and responsibly adapt the built environment in the face of sea level rise and other climate-induced stressors; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the Senate, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, to the United States Secretary of the Interior, to the United States Secretary of Commerce, to the United States Secretary of Energy, to the Office of the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to the White House Council for Environmental Quality, to the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, to the California Secretary for Environmental Protection, and to the author for appropriate distribution.

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