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facing west: Policy Connections

'An Ocean Action Plan of Cultural Significance' California Central Coast Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary
Posted by Richard E. T.Sadowski & Marla jo Bruton T. Sadowski on October 18, 2013

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) expressed a goal of maintaining and creating " conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony , and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans."

   In California, the Chumash peoples heritage exemplifies this harmony under which man and nature had coexisted for thousands of years. The Chumash inhabited the California coast and historically are one of the few tribes that navigated the Pacific Ocean, to fish and facilitate the distribution of goods.

   Interest is being shown both on a state and federal level for the need of Tribal involvement in government policy decisions making. Recently The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)  formally endorsed a plan to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Governor Brown's Executive Order B-10-11 is geared to establishing improved dialog with Tribal governments on state legislature, policy and regulation issues.

 Also, the West Coast Governors Alliance (WCGA) is soliciting feedback from Western Tribal leaders regarding the West Coast Ocean Data Portal in the upcoming West Coast Ocean Summit. 

   In a recent Facing West blog by Ryan Meyer called " Scientist and Policymakers: Wave Goodbye to the Valley of Death", Mr. Meyer does an excellent job defining the challenges and opportunities of linking science and policy in a practical and applicable manner.

In his article, Mr. Meyer states the following:

"Powerful metaphors are often used to describe the challenges of linking science to its application and use in the world. We often hear about the gap that needs to be bridged, the chasm between two cultures, the insurmountable barriers or, most evocative of all, the valley of death"

   An integral part of bridging the gap between the scientific community and how it can translate into governmental policy that can be dynamically adaptable requires a third element.... the art of sustainability. The linkages between sustainability, biodiversity and cultural significance have been recognized internationally as integral elements for human and environmental health. By bringing together academia, politicians and people of diverse cultures, especially ones who have inhabited an area for thousands of years, in a meaningful and respectful way, we all could be part of changing the 'Valley of Death' into becoming the 'Sea of Life'. 

   This is what the formation of the California Central Coast Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary (CCCCHNMS) is seeking to accomplish: a practical application of policy implantation for future generations of diverse cultures. 
 Please see attached letter from the Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) Administrator, Fred Collins, describing the cultural significance and benefits of this historical event. 

Richard E,T,Sadowski and Marla jo Bruton T,Sadowski
                                      C.O.A,S,T. Alliance

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Life in the Boundary: A Sea Grant Fellow’s Perspective to Science Integration
Posted by Hayley Carter on March 19, 2014

This post originally appears in California Sea Grant's blog Our Ocean on March 11, 2014

California Sea Grant provides unique educational opportunities for graduate students in the form of 12-month paid fellowships. Hayley Carter joined the Ocean Science Trust as a 2013 California Sea Grant Fellow and is continuing her work with OST as a Project Scientist. The following is a guest post from Hayley.

Scuba diving, underwater landscapes, kelp forests and beautiful sunsets. You’ll find those awe-inspiring images when you visit the website of my Sea Grant Fellowship host office, the Ocean Science Trust. Amazing! Sign me up for a job there.

Actually, most of my work takes place in our high-rise office in gritty downtown Oakland. Chasing those aquatic adventures will have to be done on my day off.

So what exactly do I do?

... Read more

Focusing In: Reef Check California
Posted by Amy Freitag & Ryan Meyer on March 18, 2014

Standing in front of the large kelp forest tank at the Monterey Bay aquarium, volunteer SCUBA divers with the Reef Check program look at the list of species held within like a checklist. “I’ve seen all but one of these” says one. “And sometimes there’s a lot more sea stars” says another. The tank is hopefully a good inspiration for the kids nearby staring googly-eyed through the glass to become divers in the future.  “You haven’t lived until you see sunlight come through a kelp forest in nature”, the group tells the kids, and moves on to other exhibits.

... Read more

Tracking Ocean Acidification down the West Coast
Posted by Laura Lilly on March 17, 2014

This post first appeared March 17, 2014 in the West Coast Governors' Alliance on Ocean Health, The Collaborative Voice of the West Coast Sea Grant Fellows

As a Californian, I had only heard snippets about ocean acidification (OA) before I started my Sea Grant Fellowship. Unlike the Mississippi River Delta, California isn’t infamous for large hypoxic “dead zones” created by agricultural nutrient run-off. And unlike Washington and Oregon, California isn’t known worldwide for its oyster hatcheries and shellfish farms, which have been heavily impacted by OA in the last several years. In fact, I didn’t know shellfish farms existed in Southern California until I visited the Carlsbad Aquafarm, which is located just north of San Diego.

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A New Porthole to the Oceans
Posted by Laura Lilly on March 5, 2014

This post first appeared January 27, 2014 in the West Coast Governors' Alliance on Ocean Health, The Collaborative Voice of the West Coast Sea Grant Fellows.

As someone working extensively with ocean-related data sets, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new West Coast marine data website, the WCGA West Coast Ocean Data Portal (WCODP)! The Portal aims to aggregate the highest-quality West Coast ocean-related data available, to enable researchers, policymakers, coastal managers and community members to more easily find sources and information relevant to their marine data needs.

... Read more