Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 26.5. CALIFORNIA OCEAN PROTECTION ACT [35500 - 35651]

  ( Division 26.5 added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 719, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 3.1. Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Mitigation [35630 - 35632]
  ( Chapter 3.1 added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 846, Sec. 1. )

35630.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Ocean acidification and hypoxia, an abnormal deficiency of oxygen in marine environments, are two major threats to ocean and coastal ecosystems globally, and west coast states are particularly vulnerable, according to the April 2016 findings of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel.

(b) The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel was a binational collaboration of leading scientists from California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia that was convened at the request of the council and the California Ocean Science Trust. The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel’s executive summary report outlines findings, recommendations, and actions to address ocean acidification and hypoxia.

(c) Ocean acidification is caused primarily by global carbon dioxide emissions. Local carbon dioxide emissions and local nutrient inputs can intensify the effects of ocean acidification.

(d) The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel recommends that California and other west coast states actively employ strategies that address local factors that can reduce ocean acidification and hypoxia exposure, including protecting and restoring critical coastal and aquatic habitats.

(e) Eelgrass ecosystems are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the world, with particular importance to farmed shellfish aquaculture and other forms of sustainable aquaculture and to commercially and recreationally valuable species, including shellfish, crabs, finfish, waterfowl, and shorebirds.

(f) Eelgrass protection and restoration efforts help promote a healthier ocean for ecosystems and industry.

(g) Since the 1850s, 90 percent of California’s eelgrass acreage has been destroyed, and the remaining 10 percent is continuously exposed to multiple stressors and threats.

(h) Scientific research has shown that eelgrass habitat provides multiple benefits, including the following:

(1) Providing essential habitat for salmon, groundfish, and Pacific herring, providing Dungeness crab nurseries, and supporting commercial fisheries important to California’s coastal economy.

(2) Improving water quality by filtering polluted runoff and by absorbing excess nutrients.

(3) Helping to mitigate hypoxia.

(4) Sequestering carbon in the underlying sediments.

(5) Protecting the shoreline from erosion by absorbing wave energy and helping to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise.

(i) Advancing the protection and restoration of eelgrass beds in California’s coastal environments, based on scientific and evidence-based approaches, is a critical strategy in enhancing California’s ability to cope with ocean acidification and hypoxia.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 846, Sec. 1. (SB 1363) Effective January 1, 2017.)

35631.
  

(a) Subject to the availability of funding, the council may develop an ocean acidification and hypoxia science task force to ensure that decisionmaking is supported by the best available science.

(b) Subject to the availability of funding, the council shall do both of the following:

(1) Take actions to address ocean acidification and hypoxia, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A) Implement measures to facilitate climate change adaptation in the ocean, consistent with subdivision (c) of Section 71154.

(B) Develop, refine, and integrate predictive models that identify the relative contributions of global and local drivers of ocean acidification and hypoxia in California waters.

(C) Work with other agencies to coordinate and ensure that criteria and standards for coastal water health to address ocean acidification and hypoxia are developed and informed by the best available science.

(D) Develop a comprehensive inventory of areas in California vulnerable to ocean acidification and hypoxia.

(E) Facilitate agreements with other national, state, and regional governments and private entities to establish and advance joint priorities for ocean acidification and hypoxia research.

(F) In coordination with relevant federal, state, and academic entities, identify gaps between the monitoring of ocean acidification and hypoxia and management needs, and the actions necessary to address these gaps.

(2) Beginning January 1, 2018, and annually thereafter, at its first meeting of the year, adopt recommendations for further actions that may be taken to address ocean acidification and hypoxia.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 352, Sec. 2. (AB 2139) Effective January 1, 2017.)

35632.
  

(a) To the extent funds are available from bonds or other sources, the council, in consultation with the State Coastal Conservancy and other relevant entities, shall establish and administer the Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Reduction Program for the purpose of achieving the following goals:

(1) Developing demonstration projects to research how important environmental and ecological factors interact across space and time to influence how geographically dispersed eelgrass beds function for carbon dioxide removal and hypoxia reduction.

(2) Generating an inventory of locations where conservation or restoration of aquatic habitats, including eelgrass, can be successfully applied to mitigate ocean acidification and hypoxia.

(3) Incorporating consideration of carbon dioxide removal for eelgrass restoration projects during the habitat restoration planning process in order to fully account for the benefits of long-term carbon storage of habitat restoration in addition to the habitat value.

(4) Supporting science, monitoring, and coordination to ensure that ocean and coastal policy and management in California reflect best readily available science on strategies to reduce ocean acidification and hypoxia to implement this section.

(b) In advancing approaches in the program to remove carbon dioxide from seawater, the council shall consider approaches that provide multiple cobenefits, including, but not limited to, providing essential fish and bird habitat, improving water quality, and mitigating the impacts of sea level rise.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 846, Sec. 1. (SB 1363) Effective January 1, 2017.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC