SACRAMENTO, CA (10/21/04) -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled an ocean protection plan this week that will set a national standard for the management of ocean and coastal resources.
"California has a proud history and tradition of protecting our ocean," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "And we have the same kind of proud history and tradition of leading the country in our efforts to make sure that all of our oceans are clean, safe and productive."
Governor Schwarzenegger commissioned the action plan, Protecting Our Ocean: California's Action Strategy, following the state's input to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission for a report that they have sent to President Bush.
"I asked for this plan because I wanted California to go above and beyond what was being recommended on the federal level," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "I wanted California to have its own ocean action plan because it is a place that we are duty bound to protect, today, tomorrow and forever."
The action plan has four primary goals:
Increase the abundance and diversity of California's oceans, bays, estuaries and coastal wetlands.
Make water in these bodies cleaner.
Provide a marine and estuarine environment that Californians can productively and safely enjoy.
Support ocean dependent economic activities.
The action plan sets forth a new approach to improve the way California's ocean is governed. It directs the assessment of the ocean's economic contribution to California and the nation. It develops a forward looking strategy for research, education, and technical advances and it improves the stewardship of ocean resources.
The ocean protection plan sets forth the following immediate actions:
California's Ocean Protection Council. Signed into law by the Governor, the California Ocean Policy Act (SB 1319) established a California Ocean Protection Council that will guide ocean policy and coastal protection.
$10 Million for Ocean Protection. Under the budget signed by the Governor, $10 million in Tidelands revenues is allocated, upon availability, to fund the immediate actions of the California Ocean Protection Council.
California's Ocean Currents Monitoring System. Through Proposition 50 funding, $21 million is allocated for California's Ocean Currents Monitoring System. This program will assist with fisheries management, oil spill tracking, and search and rescue operations.
California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force. It supports the full implementation of the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) that is being viewed as a national model. The MLPA includes a new public/private partnership for funding and the creation of a Blue Ribbon Task Force. The task force will expand public input and implement a fair and scientific process to advise the fish and game commission on determining California's marine protected areas. The first meeting of this group is Oct. 23 and 24 in Sacramento.
Eliminate the Adverse Impact of Offshore Oil and Gas Development. The Governor will continue to exercise his right and duty to protect California's coast against the adverse impacts of offshore oil and gas development.
Comprehensive Package of Ocean Legislation Signed Into Law. The Governor signed a comprehensive package of legislation (eight bills) into law that support and enhance our ability to protect and manage California's ocean and coastal resources. They are as follows:
SB 1319 (Burton) The California Ocean Protection Act (COPA)
Creates the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC). Creates a state trust fund for future legislative ocean protection appropriations. SB 1459 (Alpert)
Regulates and restricts bottom trawling in California's waters. AB 471 (Simitian)
Prohibits a cruise ship from conducting onboard incineration within three miles of California's shore. AB 1876 (Chan)
Requires microbiological contamination monitoring at various public beaches and recreation sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. AB 2093 (Nakano)
Prohibits the discharge of grey water by cruise ships within three miles of California's shore. AB 2529 (Kehoe)
Gives State Water Resources Control Board funding priority for grants to nonprofits and local governments to address discharges into marine managed areas. SB 512 (Figueroa)
Representative on the federal Pacific Fishery Management will be a balanced representation of interested parties including NGOs and marine scientists, not limited as formerly to fishing and industry interests. AB 2514 (Jackson)
Authorizes the use of revenue from environmental license plates pursuant to the California Ocean Protection Act.