Monday, August 18, 2008

West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health

On July 29, 2008, the Governors of Washington, Oregon, and California released the finalized Action Plan for the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health. The plan identifies specific collaborative actions between the three states to better manage the ocean and coastal resources along the entire west coast. The Action Plan addresses the following priority areas: a) clean waters and beaches; b) healthy ocean & coastal habitats; c) ecosystem-based management; d) offshore development; e) ocean literacy; f) ocean science; and g) sustainable economic development. The report is available online at This historic agreement provides an important opportunity for Surfrider Foundation chapters to advance our mission through leveraging our grassroots campaigns and projects with a major regional initiative.

Of particular relevence to our regional efforts is Priority Area 3: Promote the Effective Implementation of Ecosystem-Based Management. Our Ventura River Ecosystem project is recognized as one of the West Coast EBM initiatives currently underway. According to the report, "Although the three states are beginning to consider EBM on a regional scale, a number of efforts along the West Coast have already engaged stakeholders, managers, policy makers, and scientists in ecosystem- level efforts at local and smaller regional levels. Such collaborative efforts have been important local drivers of EBM and are taking place in locations such as the San Juan Islands, Washington; Port Orford, Oregon; and Elkhorn Slough, Morro Bay, and Ventura, California, as well as a new effort in Humboldt Bay"