Topic: Oceans

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…

Kua'āina Ulu ʻAuamo (KUA)

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…

Fishing boats in Chile

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…

Sustainable Fisheries Fund

Since 2002, the Sustainable Fisheries Fund (SFF) has provided match funding for small-scale and under-resourced fisheries to work toward sustainability through seafood certifications, including the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and most recently, the Fair Trade capture fisheries standard. SFF has supported work toward MSC certification for more than 55 fisheries, 33 FIPs that have received a grade of B or higher on FisheryProgress.org, and three Fair Trade-certified fisheries. SFF grants build technical capacity within small-scale fisheries and leverage industry investments in sustainable fishing. In coordination with our partners, RLF regularly updates SFF program criteria to keep pace with the changing landscape of sustainable seafood.

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, 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, policy, and communications activities. RLF also coordinates with other grant makers and grantee networks to create synergies that multiply the impact of individual projects.

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 Marine 30×30 Initiative, which calls for effectively managing Hawai‘i’s nearshore marine waters, with 30 percent established as marine management areas by 2030. In addition to creating a statewide network of marine management areas in the Main Hawaiian Islands, the Initiative focuses on 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:

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.

California Coastal Program

Established in 2012, the California Coastal Program (CCP) seeks to elevate coastal conservation as a priority for California policymakers. The program works to advance funding and policies that address important threats, such as sea level rise, to coastal and marine resources and communities, promote equitable public access to beaches and other coastal resources, and ensure public agencies and officials are accountable for strong coastal management. 

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…

Blue rockfish and bull kelp

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…

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.


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.


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.


Recommended Coastal and Ocean Actions for California’s Governor

In March 2019, Resources Legacy Fund, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Ocean Conservancy together recommended actions the Newsom administration could take to help ensure the state’s extraordinary coast and ocean are healthy, productive, and accessible for generations to come.


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.