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PRC Sec 35500-35650 CALIFORNIA OCEAN PROTECTION ACT
PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE
35500. This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the
California Ocean Protection Act.
35505. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California's coastal and ocean resources are critical to the
state's environmental and economic security, and integral to the
state's high quality of life and culture. A healthy ocean is part of
the state's legacy, and is necessary to support the state's human
and wildlife populations. Each generation of Californians has an
obligation to be good stewards of the ocean, to pass the legacy on to
(b) The ocean and coastal waters offshore of the state are unique
and valuable natural resources that the state holds in trust for the
people of California. The state of our ocean's health is well
documented. Reports such as the 1997 Resources Agency report,
"California's Ocean Resources: An Agenda for the Future," the 2003
Pew Oceans Commission report, "America's Living Oceans: Charting a
Course for Sea Change," and the United States Commission on Oceans
Policy's 2004 preliminary report, document degraded ocean values, due
to coastal and ocean development, onshore and offshore pollution,
certain fishing and aquaculture practices, and invasive species,
among other things.
(c) The preservation of the state's ocean resources depends on
healthy, productive, and resilient ocean ecosystems. The governance
of ocean resources should be guided by principles of sustainability,
ecosystem health, precaution, recognition of the interconnectedness
between land and ocean, decisions informed by good science and
improved understanding of coastal and ocean ecosystems, and public
participation in decisionmaking.
(d) Good governance and stewardship of ocean resources necessitate
more efficient and effective use of public funds.
(e) The state needs to coordinate governance and stewardship of
the state's ocean, to identify priorities, bridge existing gaps, and
ensure effective and scientifically sound approaches to protecting
and conserving the most important ocean resources.
(f) The California Ocean Resources Management Act of 1990
(Division 27 (commencing with Section 36000)) establishes the
California Ocean Resources Management Program. The mission of the
program is to ensure comprehensive and coordinated management,
conservation, and enhancement of the state's ocean resources, for
their intrinsic value and the benefit of current and future
(g) Terrestrial sources of ocean pollution in the state contribute
to significant water quality degradation, causing deleterious
impacts to public health and marine ecosystems, as well as coastal
and recreational economics that are essential to the state's future.
35510. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The coastal waters offshore of the state and the ocean
ecosystems associated with those waters are natural resources that
the state holds in trust for the people of the state.
(b) It is the state's policy that all public agencies shall
consider the following principles in administering the laws
established for the protection and conservation of coastal waters:
(1) State decisions affecting coastal waters and the ocean
environment should be designed and implemented to conserve the health
and diversity of ocean life and ecosystems, allow and encourage
those activities and uses that are sustainable, and recognize the
importance of aesthetic, educational, and recreational uses.
(2) The ocean ecosystem is inextricably linked to activities on
land and all public agencies should consider the impact of activities
on land that may adversely affect the health of the coastal and
(3) It is the state's policy to incorporate ecosystem perspectives
into the management of coastal and ocean resources, using sound
science, with a priority of protecting, conserving, and restoring
coastal and ocean ecosystems, rather than managing on a single
species or single resource basis.
(4) A goal of all state actions shall be to improve monitoring and
data gathering, and advance scientific understanding, to continually
improve efforts to protect, conserve, restore, and manage coastal
waters and ocean ecosystems.
(5) State and local actions that affect ocean waters or coastal or
ocean resources should be conducted in a manner consistent with
protection, conservation, and maintenance of healthy coastal and
ocean ecosystems and restoration of degraded ocean ecosystems.
(6) Improving the quality of coastal waters and the health of fish
in coastal waters should be a priority for the state.
35515. The Legislature finds and declares that the purpose of this
division is to integrate and coordinate the state's laws and
institutions responsible for protecting and conserving ocean
resources, including coastal waters and ocean ecosystems, to
accomplish all of the following objectives:
(a) Provide a set of guiding principles for all state agencies to
follow, consistent with existing law, in protecting the state's
coastal and ocean resources.
(b) Encourage cooperative management with federal agencies, to
protect and conserve representative coastal and ocean habitats and
the ecological processes that support those habitats.
(c) Improve coordination and management of state efforts to
protect and conserve the ocean by establishing a cabinet level
oversight body responsible for identifying more efficient methods of
protecting the ocean at less cost to taxpayers.
(d) Use California's private and charitable resources more
effectively in developing ocean protection and conservation
(e) Provide for public access to the ocean and ocean resources,
including to marine protected areas, for recreational use, and
aesthetic, educational, and scientific purposes, consistent with the
sustainable long-term conservation of those resources.
35550. Definitions Unless the context requires otherwise, the following
definitions govern this division:
(a) "Council" means the Ocean Protection Council established
pursuant to Section 35600.
(b) "Fund" means the California Ocean Protection Trust Fund
established pursuant to Section 35650.
(c) "Public agency" means a city, county, city and county,
district, or the state or any agency or department of the state.
(d) "Sustainable" and "sustainability" mean both of the following:
(1) Continuous replacement of resources, taking into account
fluctuations in abundance and environmental variability.
(2) Securing the fullest possible range of present and long-term
economic, social, and ecological benefits, while maintaining
35600. The Ocean Protection Council is established in state
government. The council consists of the Secretary of the Resources
Agency, the Secretary for Environmental Protection, and the Chair of
the State Lands Commission.
35605. The Secretary of the Resources Agency is the chair of the
35610. One Member of the Senate, appointed by the Senate Committee
on Rules, and one Member of the Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of
the Assembly, shall meet with the council as nonvoting, ex officio
35612. (a) The council's meetings shall be open to the public.
(b) The council may sponsor conferences, symposia, and other
public forums, to seek a broad range of public advice when
establishing priorities for ocean resource protection, enhancement,
35615. The council shall do all of the following:
(a) (1) Coordinate activities of state agencies, that are related
to the protection and conservation of coastal waters and ocean
ecosystems, to improve the effectiveness of state efforts to protect
ocean resources within existing fiscal limitations, consistent with
Sections 35510 and 35515.
(2) Establish policies to coordinate the collection and sharing of
scientific data related to coast and ocean resources between
(3) Identify and recommend to the Legislature changes in law
needed to achieve the goals of this section.
(b) (1) Identify changes in federal law and policy necessary to
achieve the goals of this division and to improve protection,
conservation, and restoration of ocean ecosystems in federal and
state waters off the state's coast.
(2) Recommend to the Governor and the Legislature actions the
state should take to encourage those changes in federal law and
35620. The council shall take into account the research, findings,
recommendations, and determinations of the State Interagency
Coordinating Committee established pursuant to Section 36800 and the
scientific review panel established pursuant to Section 36900. The
council may review and recommend proposals to the State Interagency
Coordinating Committee, and to designating entities, to further the
purposes of this division.
35625. (a) Under the direction of the Secretary of the Resources
Agency, the executive officer of the State Coastal Conservancy shall
act as secretary to the council, administer its affairs, and provide
the staff services that the council needs to carry out this division,
including, but not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Administering grants and expenditures authorized by the
council from the fund or other sources, including, but not limited
to, block grants from other state boards, commissions, or
(2) Arranging meetings, agendas, and other administrative
functions in support of the council.
(b) The Legislature may make appropriations to be used for the
purposes of this division directly to the State Coastal Conservancy,
for expenditures authorized by the council.
35650. (a) The California Ocean Protection Trust Fund is
established in the State Treasury.
(b) Moneys deposited in the fund may be expended, upon
appropriation by the Legislature, for both of the following:
(1) Projects and activities authorized by the council consistent
with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 35600).
(2) Upon authorization by the council, for grants or loans to
public agencies, nonprofit corporations, or private entities for, or
direct expenditures on, projects or activities that do one or more of
(A) Eliminate or reduce threats to coastal and ocean ecosystems,
habitats, and species.
(B) Foster sustainable fisheries, including development of more
selective fishing gear, collaborative research and demonstration
projects between persons who fish commercially and scientists,
promotion of value-added wild fisheries to offset economic losses
attributable to reduced fishing opportunities, and the creation of
revolving loan programs for the purpose of implementing sustainable
(C) Improve coastal water quality.
(D) Allow for increased public access to, and enjoyment of, ocean
and coastal resources, consistent with sustainable, long-term
protection and conservation of those resources.
(E) Improve management, conservation, and protection of coastal
waters and ocean ecosystems.
(F) Provide monitoring and scientific data to improve state
efforts to protect and conserve ocean resources.
(G) Protect, conserve, and restore coastal waters and ocean
ecosystems, including any of the following:
(i) Acquisition, installation, and initiation of monitoring and
(ii) Acquisition from willing sellers of vessels, equipment,
licenses, harvest rights, permits, and other rights and property, to
reduce threats to ocean ecosystems and resources.
(H) Address coastal water contamination from biological pathogens,
including collaborative projects and activities to identify the
sources of pathogens and develop detection systems and treatment
(c) Grants or loans may be made to a private entity pursuant to
this section only for projects or activities that further public
purposes consistent with Sections 35510 and 35515.