California Ocean Day 2022: Celebrating Ocean Protection
While California is home to many world-renowned landmarks, few would hold their same allure without the backdrop of our scenic coast and ocean.
While California is home to many world-renowned landmarks, few would hold their same allure without the backdrop of our scenic coast and ocean. It’s no surprise then, that California has been a global leader in protecting our iconic marine environment for Californians and visitors alike to enjoy now and into the future.
As the impacts of climate change are increasingly prevalent and devastating to our global ocean, the upcoming California Ocean Day will showcase the positive strides and leadership California has taken to safeguard nature, and the opportunities that lie ahead 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 global marine conservation leader 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 for the public to tune in, look back at this first-of-its-kind network of MPAs, and look forward to the coming decade as we aim to strengthen and enhance protections through the 30x30 initiative. Other speakers and storytellers throughout the day will highlight all the reasons why we, as ocean advocates and environmental leaders, do the work that we do to protect our beloved ocean for all.
For many, including myself, a personal interest and love of the ocean is the spark that inspires us to engage in policies like 30x30 to advance ocean conservation and protection. But to be a thoughtful and effective ocean advocate, it’s vitally important to remember the fact that ocean stakeholders extend 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, coastal and inland communities from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds will be impacted. As we meet with policymakers and share information on opportunities and challenges concerning our marine environments throughout California Ocean Day, we must amplify and elevate a diverse set of perspectives and ideas if we are to enable successful and robust policies of any kind.
Beyond highlighting voices advocating for marine protected areas and 30x30, California Ocean Day brings together a community of advocates, environmentalists and beachgoers who will meet with policymakers and legislators for lobby meetings. Priority topics for this year’s advocacy and lobbying efforts focus on support for:
- Preventing seabed mining – Assembly Bill 1832 would preemptively protect our coastal waters from the harmful impacts of seabed mining.
- Sealevel rise funding programs – Senate Bill 1078 would 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 specified communities, including low-income communities.
- Preventing oil spills off our coast – Senate Bill 953 would protect our coastal marine habitats by ending oil and gas leases in state waters by 2023.
- Reducing microplastic pollution – Assembly Bill 1724 would protect public health and water quality by requiring all new washing machines to contain a microfiber filtration system.
All of these policies serve to protect our ocean, but no matter which topic takes priority for you personally, the impact on our ocean will ultimately benefit us all.