Topic: Oceans

News & Insights

World Ocean’s Day and a Milestone for Equitable Access in California

"It's like we're introducing them to their own backyard. What struck me when I first came on was that some of these kids have lived here (San Diego) all their lives; they're only 15 to 20 minutes away from the ocean, but they'd never been. There's this feeling of not belonging, especially if they don't see representation, so we are working toward ensuring everyone feels welcomed in these natural spaces." - Sunny Chang, youth programs manager at Outdoor Outreach. World Oceans Day, June 8, reminds us of the role the ocean plays in our lives. It’s a great day to…

Programs

California 30×30 Initiative

The California 30x30 Initiative (C3I) advances a public-private partnership between RLF and the California Natural Resources Agency to support the state’s implementation of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20, which commits the state to protect 30 percent of the state’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30x30). RLF is supporting California Tribes and organizations from underserved communities to enable their active participation in implementing this directive. RLF is also undertaking communications and public education activities designed to build public and decision maker support for achieving 30x30. Related News: Dam removal supports California’s 30×30 goals, by Julie Turrini, November 7, 2023 (op-ed…

News & Insights

Ocean Advocates Speak Passion to Policy

California Ocean Day was back on March 29, 2022, for its 17th year, and second year as a virtual event. Over 300 advocates convened to hear from speakers and panelists and meet with more than 100 state elected officials to bring more awareness and urgency to a wide range of issues facing California’s coast and ocean. Hosted by Resources Legacy Fund partners Azul, Environmental California, and the Surfrider Foundation, each year Ocean Day brings together individuals and organizations from around the state to share their concerns and offer ideas for improved ocean protection.   As a changing climate continues to…

News & Insights

Leading by Listening: Bold Steps Forward for Hawai‘i’s Ocean

This year, on World Ocean Day, Hawai‘i set an example for the rest of the world about how to take action to restore abundance to its spectacular coastlines, well-loved reefs, and deeply valued marine life. Governor David Ige signed nine bills that advance new ocean protections for Hawai’i, including new revenue sources for restoration and management: a visitor fee on commercial ocean tours to fund restoration and conservation (HB 1019), fishing licenses for nonresidents (HB 1021), and new policies like shark protection (HB 553), adaptive management (HB 1020) and inspection authority for conservation officers to strengthen enforcement of existing laws…

News & Insights

From Ruin to Resilience: Supporting Global Fisheries’ Sustainability amid Pandemic

Marine fisheries generate a critical protein source for more than a billion people worldwide, and an often irreplaceable source of income for developing-world communities exporting to international markets. Yet poor fisheries management frequently results in habitat destruction and overfishing, depleting stocks and steadily raising the costs to land each kilogram of fish.[1] The need for a new paradigm for global fisheries management and trade—built on science-based catch limits and basic labor standards for all industry participants—was urgent before the Covid-19 pandemic. Today the situation is even more dire. As a result of the pandemic and stringent public health measures, small-scale…

Programs

Campaign for Nature

This initiative is focused on implementing the global goal of protecting and  conserving at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030, enhancing international finance for biodiversity conservation, and advancing the rights and conservation approaches of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Campaign for Nature staff work closely with leaders around the world to ensure that conservation targets established under the Convention on Biological Diversity are met. The “30×30” conservation target is based in science and is designed as a rights-based approach to conservation to help reduce mass species extinctions and the devasting impacts of climate change as well…

Programs

Sustainable Fisheries Fund

Since 2002, the Sustainable Fisheries Fund (SFF) has provided match funding for small-scale fisheries to build technical capacity and advance sustainability through certifications such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, Fair Trade, and registered Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). SFF grantmaking has supported MSC certification for more than 55 fisheries, Fair Trade-certification for three fisheries, and documented progress in environmental performance and social responsibility for dozens of FIPs. In 2022, toward the goal of centering human rights and social responsibility in seafood sustainability, RLF and its partners focused SFF grantmaking on support to FIPs worldwide to implement the FisheryProgress Human…

Programs

Northwest Mexico Land Conservation

Since 2008, under this program RLF implements a coordinated, adaptive framework to concentrate conservation investments in coastal priority areas on the Baja California Peninsula and the west coast of mainland Mexico, systematically preserve the landscape integrity of the region, and prevent further fragmentation of coastal and marine habitats. RLF undertakes a multi-faceted approach to its work in Northwest Mexico, including land protection, capacity building, and policy. RLF also coordinates with other grant makers and grantee networks to create synergies that multiply the impact of individual projects.

Programs

Ocean Defense Initiative

Ocean Defense Initiative (ODI) promotes U.S. leadership on ocean-based climate solutions and defends against U.S. policies that are harmful for our ocean, climate, and communities. ODI seeks to elevate ocean climate action among decisionmakers and in the media through collaborative advocacy and strategic communications, working to highlight the urgent need for action across a variety of policy priorities at the ocean-climate nexus.

Programs

National Ocean Protection Coalition

The National Ocean Protection Coalition leads a group of more than 50 ocean-focused organizations advocating for marine protected areas across the United States. The organization provides leadership, strategy, and coordination to advance place-based campaigns to protect and expand marine protections. Website: www.oceanprotectioncoalition.org

Programs

Federal Fisheries Policy Coalition

Established in 2015, the project is a coalition of national ocean fish conservation organizations working in close coordination to preserve and, where possible, advance conservation gains in U.S. marine fisheries policy and management. Project priorities include ecosystem-based fisheries management and promoting climate-ready fisheries in the United States.

Programs

Sustaining California’s Ocean

The Sustaining California’s Ocean (SCO) program builds on more than a decade of RLF support for the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, a public-private partnership that established the nation’s first science-based network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in 2012. California’s MPA network protects nearly 17 percent of nearshore waters including some of the state’s most iconic and beloved coastal areas. SCO cultivates a new approach to managing ocean and coastal habitats through inclusive partnerships to advance research and monitoring, stewardship, and compliance. SCO also seeks to modernize California’s ocean governance by helping to build capacity, leadership, and financing among…

Programs

Hawai‘i Marine Planning

The Hawai‘i Marine Planning program is a partnership with the State of Hawai’i and local philanthropy to support Hawai‘i’s Holomua Marine Initiative, which calls for effectively managing Hawai‘i’s nearshore marine waters. The Initiative focuses on place-based planning, promoting sustainable or pono use of marine resources, scientific and community-based monitoring, reducing land-based pollution impacts, and restoration of nearshore coral reefs. Related News: Leading by Listening: Bold Steps Forward for Hawai‘i’s Ocean, by Jocelyn Garovoy Herbert | June 22, 2021 Recovery with Resilience: Public Investments for a Sustainable, Equitable Future, by Laura Tam and Shiva Polefka | August 21, 2020

Programs

California Fisheries Improvement Strategy

The California Fisheries Improvement Strategy (FIS) program works to ensure commercially and recreationally significant California state-managed fisheries meet global standards for sustainability and good management. FIS fosters innovations in fisheries management and practices, supports improved capacity of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and promotes modernization of data collection and analysis. Related News: Conservation Leadership More Important Than Ever, by Kaitilin Gaffney | April 22, 2020

Programs

California Coastal Program

Established in 2012, the California Coastal Program (CCP) seeks to elevate conservation of California’s coastal environment and equitable public access to the coast as priorities for California policymakers. CCP works to advance public funding and policies that address sea level rise and other climate change impacts to coastal ecosystems and communities, and it ensures that relevant public agencies remain transparent and accountable. CCP also seeks to align West Coast offshore renewable energy development with state strategies for conservation, equity, and justice, and support renewable energy planning and permitting that is science-based, equitable, and broadly inclusive of input from stakeholders and…

Programs

Land-Sea Connection

The Land-Sea Connection (LSC) program, launched in 2017, works  to advance the long-term health and resilience of California watersheds by promoting more effective local and state policies and conservation programs; supporting high-value, on-the-ground conservation efforts; and helping secure equitable and sustained public funding to support community needs. The LSC program, funded by the Campbell Foundation, seeks to improve stewardship and reduce impacts to watershed health across a range of issues, with focused investments related to cannabis cultivation, agricultural practices, and urban runoff/stormwater. Related News: Climate Change Necessitates Stronger Safety Net for Farmworkers, by Liz Parissenti and Laura Tam, March 31,…

News & Insights

Governor Announces Ambitious Biodiversity Targets for California

Today, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to protect 30 percent of California’s land and ocean by 2030 (30x30). This announcement makes California the first state in the United States to commit to the global 30x30 effort targeted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The executive order also directs California to elevate the role of natural and working lands conservation in its efforts to combat climate change. “Resources Legacy Fund congratulates Governor Newsom for taking this bold and necessary step to stem the dual threats of biodiversity loss and climate change. With this announcement, the governor demonstrates that…

News & Insights

Conservation Leadership More Important Than Ever

As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages lives and economies around the globe, all other issues, including conservation, have taken a distant backseat. On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day it’s worth remembering that adversity can spur progress: now is the time to lean into our collective efforts to advance conservation, environmental justice, and climate action. History shows us that even in the most difficult times, leadership and vision can advance largescale environmental successes with far-reaching ecological, social, and economic benefits. In 1933, as Great Depression unemployment peaked at almost 25%, newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps…

Publications

Lessons Learned from California’s MPA Network Implementation

As California nears the milestone of its first decade of MPA network implementation, valuable new lessons continue to emerge that can be applied both to improve its own efforts and to inform MPA managers around the world. As the impacts of climate change on ocean ecosystems become more dire, there is also a growing interest in understanding how MPAs may help build resilience. Ensuring California’s MPA network is effectively managed is critical to both meeting the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act itself and to ensuring the state’s MPAs contribute to a healthy and abundant ocean.

Publications

Lessons from California’s MPA Monitoring Program

California has committed to partnership-based model of managing its marine protected area (MPA) network, focusing on community stewardship and education, enforcement, policy and permitting, and scientific monitoring. This document summarizes some of the key components and lessons learned from California’s experience designing, launching, and implementing a program to monitor the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of its MPA network.

Publications

Lessons from the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

From 2004 to 2012, RLF guided a public-private partnership including foundations, multiple stakeholder groups, and the State of California in creating a statewide, science-based network of marine protected areas (MPA) that protect nearly 17 percent of California’s nearshore ocean waters, the first such effort successfully completed in the United States. RLF produced an assessment of its experience in leading the eight-year Marine Life Protection Act Initiative that provides useful lessons to help guide MPA network planning efforts in other regions worldwide.

Publications

Guide to California’s Marine Life Management Act, 2nd edition

In December 2017, RLF released the second edition of Guide to California’s Marine Life Management Act, written by RLF’s Mike Weber with Huff McGonigal and Burr Heneman. RLF has partnered with the state of California to help advance implementation of the landmark 1998 law which calls for managing state fisheries to meet sustainability and ecosystem protection goals. The Guide can be found here.