California is a founding member of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (Alliance; https://www.oaalliance.org/), which is a network of governments and affiliate (NGOs, universities, businesses, and associations) members responding to the threats of ocean acidification and changing ocean conditions.
The Alliance was initially announced at the Our Ocean conference in September 2016 and formally announced by Governor Brown and other founding members in December in San Diego at the Western Governors Association. Now, with nearly 40 members, the Alliance will grow its coalition to 60+ governments and affiliate members by June 2018 who are committed to taking actions to combat ocean acidification, both within their region and globally. Alliance members will take meaningful actions within their jurisdiction, as allowed by their existing capacity, to develop Ocean Acidification Action Plans. The Action Plans will assist in the implementation of UN SDG 14.3 by advancing the five goals identified in the Alliances Call to Action:
1. Advance scientific understanding of ocean acidification
2. Take meaningful actions to reduce causes of acidification
3. Protect the environment and coastal communities from impacts of a changing ocean
4. Expand public awareness and understanding of acidification
5. Build sustained support for addressing this global problem
The Alliance will work to elevate ocean health, ocean acidification and other changing ocean conditions in future climate agreements, acknowledging the critical ecological and economic impacts of a changing ocean and the linkage to action that address those impacts.
Additionally, the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) and the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification (IWG-OA) have partnered to convene an Integrated Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia (OAH) Monitoring Task Force (Task Force). California is a leading member and founder of this Task Force, and OPC staff currently serves as a policy co-chair of this Task Force. The Task Force will act upon the recommendations of multi-year and multi-institution efforts, such as the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel and the Global OA Observing Network (GOA-ON), to guide monitoring that increases our understanding of how OAH is impacting the west coast, to better enable adaptation and mitigation measures, and informing sound natural resource management responses. The Task Force is charged to develop and complete an inventory of West Coast monitoring of chemical, physical and biological parameters that inform our understanding of long-term oceanic change. To the extent possible, the Task Force will work jointly with PCC and IWG-OA to help identify key management questions that can inform current and future observing asset investments, and to facilitate an enhanced partnership between the PCC, IWG-OA, and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) regional associations. Founded in mid-2016, the Task Force is working to identify what monitoring is being conducted, what management questions these efforts address, what synergies and enhancements could be achieved, what measurements are missing, and what geographic areas and ecosystem types have inadequate coverage to meet management needs.
Updates to voluntary commitment
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
- Adaptation to more acidic ocean conditions
- Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Release Letter of Commitment by August 2017. The Letter of Commitment will outline the priorities, current actions, and aspirational actions that California will work towards; commit California to the OA Alliances purpose and overall goals; and commit to developing an OA Action Plan within a stated timeline.
Release California Ocean Acidification Action Plan by the end of 2017.
Working through the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification (IWG-OA) and the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC), representatives from California and the other West Coast jurisdictions will work to document all monitoring of ocean acidification and hypoxia along the West Coast. Already underway and building on and confirming existing inventories, these comprehensive inventories characterizing the monitoring of ocean acidification and hypoxia will be completed and integrated by the end of 2017.
The data will be made publicly available and publicly hosted throughout 2018 and beyond to enable broad and transparent decision-making, and be a resource for scientists and managers across the West Coast to visualize and readily understand the chemistry of our West Coast coastal ocean and its impact on marine resources.
Other, please specify
Private foundation support and resources are being mobilized.
Staff / Technical expertise
The OA Alliance has created an OA Action Plan toolkit and addition supporting materials to guide members in the creation of their own unique OA Action Plans; state, federal and academic partnerships will advance West Coast wide monitoring and ensure decis