California Public Resources Code
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 their children.
(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 generations.
(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.