CA Pub Res Code Section 36971

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:


The Pacific Ocean and its rich and varied resources provide great environmental, economic, aesthetic, recreational, educational, and scientific benefits to the people of California and the nation. The state’s ocean resources contribute greatly to the economy and the quality of life of its residents, and California’s growing population increasingly lives, works, and recreates on or near the coast. Ocean and coast-dependent industries contributed over $17 billion to the state’s economy and supported over 500,000 jobs in 1999, and ocean and coastal tourism and recreational activities, which are increasing rapidly in popularity and economic value, contributed nearly $10 billion to the state’s economy. Port activity and ship building also contributed an additional $6 billion, and recreational and commercial fishing and marine aquaculture added nearly $1 billion to the state’s economy. In addition, activities of the United States Department of the Navy that depend on continued access to California’s coastal resources add a direct annual economic contribution of more than $19 billion.


Much of the quality of life and economic vibrancy supported by the state’s ocean resources depends on successful management of those resources, and successful management depends on an adequate understanding of the natural, ecological, oceanographic, and coastal processes and their interactions with varied human activities.


The state is working to maintain and increase the benefits of its ocean resources to the public; a goal that increases the need for sound management and greater practical understanding of the state’s ocean and coastal resources.


Although California is making progress in ocean management efforts, unsolved existing challenges also point to the need for greater improvements in management and the basic information needed for sound management. Examples of existing challenges include depressed populations of many species that are the targets of state and federally managed fisheries, pollution that results in beach and fishery closures, dredging and dredge spoils disposal necessary to keep the state’s ports competitive, and coastal erosion that threatens structures and reduces the quality of beaches.


State and federal agencies with ocean and coastal resource management responsibility often lack basic information on which to base decisions, and many management issues are broader than the mandates of individual agencies, and existing means for coordinating agency efforts need to be improved. The result can be ad hoc, short-term management decisions based on inadequate information.


California has a wealth of outstanding public and private marine science institutions that have increased their commitments to excellence in applied ocean resource science. Approximately one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in current, recent, or planned marine science projects funded by the federal government, foundations, the University of California and California State University systems, and private institutions could be of great benefit to the state’s coastal and ocean resource management agencies.


The obstacles to collaborative efforts involving those institutions and agencies include all of the following:


Inadequate coordination among marine science institutions.


Inadequate guidance from management agencies about information needs for management.


Important gaps in information, duplication of effort, missed opportunities, and unusable information due to the lack of standardized and coordinated information management techniques. The circumstances and needs identified in the findings in this section are among those recognized in this chapter and in the 1997 report prepared by the Resources Agency entitled “California’s Ocean Resources: An Agenda for the Future.” This chapter is intended to address some of the basic objectives of that report.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 36971’s source at ca​.gov