Ocean Litter Strategy Implementation: Action Items & Contact Information
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California Ocean Litter Strategy Implementation
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Action ItemLead Organization(s)Partner Organization(s)Scoping & Progress ReportsProgress Update Summary
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Objective 1.1. Prohibit or discourage common ocean litter items in public institutions, retail, and food service establishments through government policies or mandates.
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1.1.1Pass and implement policies that prohibit or discourage common ocean litter items at the local level and consider these policies for effectiveness assessment as described under Objective 4.4.California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoBay Area Stormwater Management Agency Association (BASMAA), Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Heal the Bay, PRCC, Surfrider Foundation, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderNov 2019 progress report has detailed updates on local policy action in Pacific Grove, San Mateo County, Sebastapol, Hermosa Beach, Santa Cruz County, Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, San Luis Obispo, Manhattan Beach, City/County of LA, City/County of SF.
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1.1.2Pass and implement legislation that prohibits or discourages common ocean litter items at the state level and consider these policies for effectiveness assessment as described under Objective 4.4CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Heal the Bay, PRCC, Surfrider Foundation, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderOLS partners are advocating for SB 54 / AB 1080 on packaging as well as SB 424 on a ban on single-use tobacco waste and EPR. Recology is finalizing a proposition that they are planning to potentially put before the voters in 2020.
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1.1.3Expand the single-use plastic carryout bag ban to apply to retail stores, restaurants, and food delivery, and amend the state’s criteria for reusable bags to exclude bags made from plastic film.Californians Against Waste, Surfrider FoundationNot Started
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1.1.4Promote reusable and refillable food and beverage packaging in the state bottle bill, and state and local packaging policies CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, UPSTREAM, PRCCSee Action Item FolderBerkeley ordinance includes language on reusables for eating in dining; UPSTREAM led reusables a workshop in Dec 2018 and is piloting a cup and container sharing program in Berkeley; CPSC has been working with stakeholders and members of this group to support and advocate for state bills addressing reusable packaging, including SB 54 and AB 1080.
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1.1.5Change procurement of common ocean litter items on UC and CSU campuses, and share lessons learned with other learning institutions (e.g., community colleges, K-12).Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, CPSCSee Action Item FolderCSU policy preventing procurement of some single-use plastics passed Dec 2018.
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1.1.6Change procurement to minimize the use of common ocean litter items in local and state government buildings and events, and share lessons learned with other public institutions (e.g., federal facilities, jails, hospitals).OPCBASMAA, Californians Against Waste, CleanWater Action/Clean Water Fund, CPSC, UPSTREAM See Action Item FolderOPC has been participating in CalRecycle’s regulatory process for SB 1335, and has conducted initial outreach to State Parks and the Department of Rehabilitation about a pilot project.
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1.1.7Require permits for new construction of dine-in restaurants to include dishwashing facilities on-site to accommodate reusable food ware.Californians Against Waste, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, UPSTREAMNot Started
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1.1.8Develop a toolkit with materials and strategies to share with local and out-of-state advocates to a) aid in the process of banning common ocean litter items, and b) to aid in the process of switching local governments and communities to reusable items.Plastic Pollution Coalition, UPSTREAMNot Started
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Objective 1.2. Incentivize institutions, businesses, and events to transition away from common ocean litter items
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1.2.1Perform audits before and after institutions implement efforts to minimize the use of common ocean litter items.Clean Water Action/Clean Water FundNot Started
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1.2.2Incentivize businesses and corporations to transition to reusables (e.g., film industry craft services, corporate dining, water refill stations) through sharing case studies and demonstrating cost-savings.Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Surfrider Foundation, UPSTREAMSee Action Item Folder
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1.2.3Promote certification for events (e.g., music festivals, concerts, sports competitions, film production) that achieve zero waste principles. The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoClean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Surfrider FoundationSee Action Item Folder
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1.2.4Engage with companies that are already using alternative products and materials to help advocate for transition away from common ocean litter items.PRCC, Surfrider FoundationNot Started
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Objective 2.1. Support and promote extended producer responsibility (EPR) and other waste management strategies to reduce the generation of common ocean litter items, and create a mechanism for producers to fund common ocean litter item capture, cleanup, and recycling infrastructure.
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2.1.1Promote EPR as a policy to consider as part of CalRecycle’s Packaging Reform efforts, and support giving CalRecycle legislative authority to create mandatory packaging reform policies.OPCCalifornians Against Waste, CPSC, PRCC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAM See Action Item FolderOPC’s intern has begun work on identifying local and state policies promoting producer responsibility for commonly-littered items. Work on the second half of this action item is expected to begin in mid-August.
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2.1.2Create a report synthesizing lessons learned from waste management policy and tool implementation in other countries, including recommendations for California with a focus on source reduction.CPSC, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderCPSC staff wrote a white paper for the California Department of Public Health on Producer Responsibility Policy Options for Tobacco Waste and had a lot of press coverage. CPSC continues to track and report on producer responsibility, source reduction, green design, and waste reduction.
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2.1.3Include performance measures in EPR programs for both prevention and recycling of common ocean litter items, with prevention being a higher priority.CPSCCalifornians Against Waste, PRCC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderPartners are advocating for performance measures in proposed EPR legislation, e.g. proposed tobacco EPR under SB 424, and monitor performance measures for existing EPR programs (e.g. carpets, mattresses, sharps take-back).
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2.1.4Ensure that all film and wrap plastics eligible for recycling (plasticfilmrecycling.org) are accepted at all drop-off locations (e.g., grocery stores), and enforce the recycling requirements that are part of the single-use plastic carryout bag ban.Not Started
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Objective 2.2. Support product redesign with the aim of preventing ocean litter through design changes and avoiding harmful substitutions.
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2.2.1Engage corporations in common ocean litter item redesign by implementing design challenges, and creating a venue for sharing innovative designs with brands and corporationsThe Albatross Coalition, Think Beyond Plastic, Zero Waste San DiegoACC, PRCCSee Action Item FolderDrafting and submitting information to manufacterers about the scale of the problem. Planning for future work in the spring of 2020
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2.2.2Redesign and produce bottles with caps attached (“connect the cap”), and ensure that all components of these products are recyclable at all facilities in California.The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoACC, Californians Against Waste, PRCC, Surfrider Foundation, Think Beyond Plastic, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderWork to begin in September 2019
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2.2.3Redesign plastic products to be circular and entirely recyclable in California, through voluntary or legislative action.CPSC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoCalifornians Against Waste, PRCCSee Action Item FolderCPSC is looking for ways to influence product design through policy development and financial incentives. AB 729 passed in September 2019 as the first example of eco-modulated fees where the recycling fee is higher for less recyclable products, carpet in this case, to drive producers to design for recyclability and lower the end cost to their customers.
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Objective 3.1. Support the State Water Resources Control Board's Trash Amendments
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3.1.1Create a mechanism for local governments to fund stormwater trash programs through public or private sources.Heal the BayACC, BASMAA, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, OPC, PRCC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderMeasure W has has passed in LA, which funds multi-benefit stormwater capture projects, including projects that capture trash. Proposals are being accepted for funding through December 2019, with fund allocation beginning in June 2020. A cigarette butt litter survey is about to begin in Santa Cruz County, and funding is being sought for a microfibers survey.
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3.1.2Implement a statewide Adopt-A-Storm Drain program.City of OaklandPRCC, Save Our ShoresNot Started
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3.1.3Educate the public about the Trash AmendmentsBASMAA, California Coastkeeper Alliance, CPSC, Clean Water Action/Clean Water FundNot Started
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Objective 3.2. Improve waste management in public places
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3.2.1Establish and improve management of trash, recycling, and compost receptacles in high-use areas.ACC, California Coastal Commission, OPC, PRCC, Save Our ShoresNot Started
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3.2.2Increase industry investment in infrastructure improvements to address waste management at schools and other public areas.ACCNot StartedThe American Chemistry Council has increased funding to Keep California Beautiful, resulting in participation of 493 schools participating in a recycling challenge that diverted 2.5M lbs from landfills.
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3.2.3Support packaging policies that develop and expand infrastructure for recycling in California.Californians Against Waste, CPSC, PRCCNot Started
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3.2.4Engage with municipalities and social programs to assess how to reduce ocean litter from encampments, as one strategy to improve the health, wellbeing, and safety of homeless communities.BASMAANot Started
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Objective 4.1. Conduct a comprehensive characterization of microplastics and macro-debris
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4.1.1Convene an expert workgroup to develop a matrix of standard sample collection, processing, and characterization methods for measuring temporal changes in microplastics and macro-debris in different environments.Algalita, SCCWRP, SFEI5 Gyres Institute, ACC, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Dr. Erika Holland at CSULB, ESRM Program at CSUCI (including Dr. Clare Steele), NOAA MDP, PRCC, Surfrider FoundationSee Action Item FolderIn April 2019 SCCWRP and others hosted a microplastics methods workshop where it was decided to conduct a methods evaluation and standardization study.
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4.1.2Develop and test laboratory methods to identify the most common macro- and micro-plastic debris polymer types through molecular techniques (e.g., FTIR, Raman, forensics).Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, ESRM Program at CSUCI (including Dr. Clare Steele)ACC, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, Dr. Erika Holland at CSULBSee Action Item FolderSCCWRP has acquired advanced FTIR and Raman spectrometers with chemical imaging capabilities and have conducted training workshops for the inter-laboratory comparison mentioned in 4.1.1. Partners submitted a full review on microplastic data analysis methods which is accepted for publication in Applied Spectroscopy. The Gray Lab at UCR published an open access spectroscopy tool for microplastic identification (http://www.openspecy.org/) They are looking for sponsors who can pay the approximate $1-10k annual costs to continue to make this tool available.
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4.1.3Develop a watershed-scale program to model and monitor microplastics and macro-debris flux, transport, degradation, and fate according to a variety of endpoints (e.g., street litter, stormwater, wastewater, and direct discharges).SFEI5 Gyres Institute, ACC, California Coastkeeper Alliance, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Dr. Natalie Mladenov at SDSUSee Action Item FolderSFEI is developing a hydrodynamic model for microplastics transport in the SF Bay and coastal waters, that can be used as a framework for other watersheds. The SF Bay Microplastics Monitoring Study was completed in October 2019.
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4.1.4Create a comprehensive litter dataset to identify the most common item types according to volume, weight, flux, material, product, source, brand, and other units of importance.Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Surfrider FoundationCalifornia Coastal Commission, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Heal the BaySee Action Item FolderUCR and partners have created a data model with the CA Trash Monitoring Workgroup and are building a trash taxonomy tool for comparing and relating trash survey lists. Surfrider launched a new beach cleanup tool - cleanups.surfrider.org
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4.1.5Work with Ocean Conservancy to capture brand data during Coastal Cleanup Day.California Coastal Commission, Heal the BaySee Action Item FolderHeal the Bay implemented a brand audit as part of its Coastal Cleanup Day cleanups, and the data collected went into Break Free from Plastic's annual brand audit report. Heal the Bay has a goal of expanding the brand audit protocol to all site captain trainings for Coastal Cleanup Day 2020.
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Objective 4.2. Quantify microplastics pathways within watersheds and develop technological solutions.
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4.2.1Identify and quantify microfibers and microplastics from wastewater, stormwater, airborne, and agricultural sources.SCCWRP, SFEI5 Gyres Institute, CASA/BACWA/ SCAP, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Dr. Natalie Mladenov at SDSU, ESRM Program at CSUCISee Action Item FolderSFEI is quantifying microfibers in SF Bay Area wastewater and stormwater. The SF Bay Microplastics Monitoring Study was completed in October 2019; but more research is needed to address other pathways of microplastics, like air and biosolids.
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4.2.2Research innovative solutions to address microfibers in textiles and apparel.CASA/BACWA/SCAP, CPSCSee Action Item Folder
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4.2.3Research technological solutions to address microfibers at wastewater treatment plants or in washing machines.CASA/BACWA/SCAPSee Action Item Folder
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Objective 4.3. Research ecological and toxicological impacts of commonly found ocean litter on marine resources and human health
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4.3.1Advance research on the chemical components of common ocean litter items (by resin type) and the potential for pollutants to migrate into the environment and aquatic organisms via ocean litter.OPCACC, California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Dr. Erika Holland at CSULB, DTSC, ESRM Program at CSUCI (including Dr. Clare Steele), Graduate School of Public Health at SDSU, UPSTREAMSee Action Item FolderDue to funding constraints, the earliest this will move forward is in early 2020. OPC has continued coordination with DTSC’s Safer Consumer Products Program as they consider food packaging as a priority product.
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4.3.2Assess population and community-level impacts to economically important and/or especially vulnerable species from exposure to plastics and adsorbed pollutants.Not Started
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4.3.3Research impacts to human health via direct consumption of microplastics and seafood exposed to plastic debris.ACC, California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, UPSTREAMNot Started
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Objective 4.4. Assess the effectiveness of existing bans, policies, and programs
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4.4.1Conduct cost-benefit analyses for implementation of different common ocean litter item reduction policies/strategies and provide them to cities and businesses (i.e., local ordinances to ban expanded polystyrene, deposit schemes, packaging redesign).BASMAA, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC RiversideNot Started
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4.4.2Analyze the impact of the single-use plastic carryout bag ban on reducing disposable bag use, preventing ocean litter, and reducing government costs.ACC, California Coastal Commission, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, Surfrider FoundationNot Started
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4.4.3Conduct research into consumer behavior to assess attitudes toward reusable and disposable items, convenience, willingness to pay, and incentives to avoid commonly littered items (e.g., cigarette filters).Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, CPSC, Dr. Sean Anderson at CSUCI, PRCC, Save Our ShoresNot Started
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Objective 4.5. Improve coordination among California organizations conducting ocean litter research
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4.5.1Improve communication among ocean litter research entities in California through participation in the Ocean Litter Strategy implementation process.NOAA MDP, OPC, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoSee Action Item FolderNOAA and OPC distributed survey for Goal 4 research partners to learn more about communication needs.
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4.5.2Increase dissemination of research results to the public and management agencies (e.g., California Department of Fish and Wildlife).OPCNOAA MDPSee Action Item FolderDue to constraints on staff capacity, the expected start date for this action item is in mid-August.
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Objective 5.1. Increase formal and informal science-based education to raise awareness of ocean litter
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5.1.1Compile and share a database of existing resources and curriculum for formal education on ocean litter.NOAA MDPSee Action Item FolderA draft spreadsheet of existing ocean litter curriculum and toolkits was developed which will guide actions 5.1.2 and 5.1.3.
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5.1.2Integrate standards-based ocean litter curriculum into school programsAlgalita5 Gyres Institute, California Coastal Commission,  Monterey Bay Aquarium, NOAA MDP, PRCC, Save Our ShoresSee Action Item FolderAlgalita and other partners completed extensive background research into curriculum and toolkits and conducted an educator survey in Fall 2019. Report-out on survey results expected for January 2020, and additional information gathering to begin in February 2020.
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5.1.3Develop and distribute toolkits to empower high school and college students to educate people on their campuses and in their communities.Algalita, The Albatross Coalition, Zero Waste San DiegoIGISc at SFSU, Monterey Bay Aquarium, NOAA MDP, PRCCSee Action Item FolderAlgalita and partners have completed discovery on  existing student toolkits and are connecting with other groups doing similar work. Algalita plans to launch the Wayfinder Society in 2020, and the toolkits will be incorporated in to the Wayfinder Society program. SFSU has developed workshop materials that demonstrate how to work with MDMAP data in an open source software, R Studio, to build quick maps of transect data. SFSU has further developed these materials into lab exercises for a professional GIS certificate course.
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Objective 5.2. Educate consumers about the sources of ocean litter to drive behavior change in purchasing
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5.2.1Implement coastal and inland public education campaigns about common ocean litter items to drive changes in purchasing.5 Gyres Institute, California Coastal Commission, Californians Against Waste, ESRM Program at CSUCI, Heal the Bay, PRCC, Save Our Shores, Surfrider FoundationSee Action Item Folder
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5.2.2Develop messaging for consumers and producers on microfibers given our current state of knowledge on this emerging issue.Californians Against Waste, CASA/BACWA/SCAP, CPSC, ESRM Program at CSUCISee Action Item Folder
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5.2.3Implement a public education campaign about cigarette filters.BASMAA, California Coastal Commission, Californians Against Waste, CPSC, Save Our Shores, UPSTREAM, Surfrider FoundationNot Started
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Objective 6.1. Leverage industry knowledge to prevent lost fishing gear
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6.1.1Leverage commercial and recreational fishermen’s knowledge to develop strategies for preventing and dealing with gear loss, and share these strategies among the commercial and recreational fishing communities.NOAA MDPCalifornia Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine SanctuarySee Action Item FolderNOAA MDP, NOAA CINMS, and SeaDoc Society are researching previous successful efforts and identifying new opportunities for addressing lost monofilament line, spiny lobster traps, and purse seines.
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6.1.2Share lessons learned from the fishing industry with management agencies and other stakeholders to focus policy and funding on prevention and recovery of lost gear.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, The Nature ConservancyNot Started
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6.1.3Work with the fishing community to design gear that is less likely to be lost, and less harmful to the environment once lost.Not Started
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Objective 6.2. Implement Best Management Practices (BMP) Plans for reducing lost gear within the aquaculture industry
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6.2.1Compile key outcomes desired for effective BMP Plans for the aquaculture industry through a collaborative process with, and between, growers.CDFWFGCNot Started
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6.2.2Update Fish and Game Commission policies to include BMP Plans in permitting considerations such as the issuance of aquaculture leases, and educate growers and stakeholders about BMP Plans to help in the implementation process.CDFW, FGCNot Started
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6.2.3Include aquaculture BMP Plan implementation California Coastal Commission requirements in coastal development permits, where appropriate.California Coastal CommissionNot Started(Dec 2018) the Commission included requirements for aquaculture gear marking, collection efforts, and reporting in all permits issued for aquaculture operations since the OLS was drafted early 2018. Permit numbers with the new requirements include CDP 9-18-0278, 9-18-0002-A1, and E-12-012-A1.
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Objective 6.3. Improve tracking of lost fishing and aquaculture gear in order to better understand lost gear patterns and impacts, and to facilitate removal
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6.3.1Improve lost fishing gear data collection and database systems to facilitate the prevention, tracking, and recovery of lost gear.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Dr. Andrew Gray's Laboratory at UC Riverside, The Nature ConservancyNot Started
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6.3.2Implement a pilot project to assess the effectiveness of different tagging and marking methods for aquaculture gear.Not Started
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6.3.3Include aquaculture gear marking and debris collection reporting requirements in coastal development permits, where appropriate.California Coastal CommissionNot Started
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Objective 6.4. Increase the removal of ocean-based debris
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6.4.1Research and provide recommendations to overcome policy barriers to lost gear removal and ocean-based marine debris cleanup.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, The Nature ConservancyNot Started
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6.4.2Support and expand existing programs for the prevention and removal of abandoned or derelict vessels (e.g., expansion of recreational vessel removal, funding for removal of commercial vessels).Not Started
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6.4.3Implement and/or expand voluntary buyback, return, and/or recycling programs for old and unused recreational and commercial fishing gear.California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project at UC Davis, California State Parks Division of Boating & Waterways and California Coastal Commission, The Nature ConservancyNot Started
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6.4.4Implement a fishing gear recovery program, as mandated in SB 1287, for the Dungeness crab fishery. Build or expand gear recovery programs for other fisheries while considering lessons learned in the implementation of SB 1287.CDFWMonterey Bay Fisheries TrustSee Action Item FolderIn Fall 2019 Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust acquired funding from the Fishing for Energy grant program to begin developing and implementing a 2020 lost gear recovery project.
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6.4.5Identify and remove, when deemed appropriate, legacy debris from California’s coastal ocean (e.g., legacy aquaculture debris, anchorage debris).NOAA MDPFGCSee Action Item FolderIn August 2019 NOAA MDP provided funding to Richardson Bay Regional Agency for removal of marine debris vessels. Project continues through June 2021.
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6.4.6Engage and partner with boaters, fishermen, divers, growers, local communities, and other ocean stakeholders to implement regional cleanup programs (e.g., in bays, ports, or harbors).Channel Islands National Marine SanctuaryCalifornia State Parks Division of Boating & Waterways and California Coastal Commission, ESRM Program at CSUCINot Started
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6.4.7Place and maintain large receptacles at ports and harbors for fishermen to dispose of trash that has been collected while fishing.Not Started
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