Climate change threatens 85% of Californians and the state’s $45 billion ocean economy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Natalie Caulk, , 916-693-1002
November 13, 2019 (Sacramento, CA) – How can we mitigate the impact of climate change on our ocean today – and in the future? The answer to that question is the focus of the California Coastkeeper Alliance Ocean Climate Resiliency Action Plan, released today.
“The sea level on California’s coast is projected to rise by more than a foot over the next 40 years, while ocean acidification and hypoxia have enormous impacts on the health and productivity of our marine ecosystems,” said California Coastkeeper Alliance Executive Director Sean Bothwell. “We must act now to ensure the future of the 85% of Californians who live or work on or near the coast, as well as our $45 billion ocean-based economy.”
Designed as a tool to help guide the ocean community as it works towards developing a “Blue New Deal,” the Action Plan zeroes in on five target goals – and related strategies – that can help support and protect the 85% of Californians who live or work on or near the coast, as well as the state’s $45 billion ocean-based economy. Goals are to engage the State Water Board, Governor’s Office, California Legislature, California Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other stakeholders to act now to protect California’s coastal ecosystems – and our way of life. Objectives include:
- Recycling 100% of wastewater by 2040 to prevent nutrient pollution, which exacerbates toxic algal blooms and creates ocean acidification hot spots.
- Require nitrate removal at wastewater treatment facilities.
- Establish policies to better protect aquatic health from large-scale agricultural operations, which contribute to ocean acidification.
- Develop water quality protection areas around the 124 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and 34 Areas of Biological Significance (ASBS) in California.
- Establish a permanent, statewide program to use high-quality sediment for wetland restoration, to retain nursery habitats for valuable fish species.
- Create an incentive program for scuba divers to promote kelp forest restoration.
- Develop a Living Shorelines Fund to help California’s 44 coastal communities strategically respond to sea level rise without resorting to seawalls and revetments, which accelerate beach erosion.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA COASTKEEPER ALLIANCE
California Coastkeeper Alliance is a statewide voice for our waters. With the federal administration working against our environmental laws, CCKA defends and expands California’s protective legislation and strengthens the function of our State Water Board. We represent local Waterkeepers, empower communities towards a #TrashFree2030, and advocate with companies through the Blue Business Council. Together, we fight for swimmable, fishable, and drinkable waters for Californians today – and for future generations.
Associate Director Natalie Caulk provides operational leadership and manages the ongoing implementation of programs and partnerships of CCKA.