Topic: Policy

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…

Thoughts of Gratitude and Hope

As Avi Garbow prepares to take over as the new president of Resources Legacy Fund, I find myself filled with confidence in his leadership, excitement for the future, and a profound sense of gratitude for all the people I have been privileged to work with: my RLF colleagues and board members and our partners, funders, and grantees. Without these relationships RLF’s significant impact and impressive evolution over the years simply would not have been possible. I have learned over and again from you. I am grateful for the vision of the Packard Foundation that led to RLF’s creation more than…

Proposed Funding Pathways for Adaptation to Climate Change in California

Climate Funding Pathways Report Cover

This report explores new or expanded funding sources and financial tools that state and local governments in California can use to prepare for and respond to the effects of climate change in a fiscally responsible and equitable manner. The four pathways focus on funding for regional transportation planning, extreme heat policy reform, resilience finance districts, and wildfire risk reduction. This report, released on April 30, 2021, is authored by the OnClimate Team with support from Resources Legacy Fund.


Malibu Creek State Park

Biden’s Conservation Commitment Much More Than A Climate Solution

The United States is facing a multitude of crises: climate change, species extinction, languishing public health, racial and economic inequity, and the legacies of colonialism. These crises were destined to collide, which is why resolving them demands an integrated problem-solving approach. President Biden’s launch on May 6 of an ambitious national initiative to conserve and restore 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 (“30x30”) is an important contribution to solving the problems our nation and world have incubated over the past two centuries. We’re at a tipping point, and that is why the ambitious 10-year goals of this…

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.

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. 

Montana Parks Program

RLF launched the Montana Parks Program (MPP) in 2018 to support Montana’s Parks in Focus Initiative, an effort modeled after California’s Parks Forward Initiative, aimed at addressing the ailing Montana state parks system. Through MPP, RLF has conducted extensive public outreach and education, and is helping to shape and advance a set of recommendations that create more diverse and stable funding sources for state parks; broaden and strengthen the constituency for parks; and connect state parks to larger recreation and economic initiatives and community needs. 

RLF Statement on Events of January 5-6, 2021

Today has been an extraordinary and scary day in American history, its developments generating feelings across an unimaginably broad emotional spectrum. We have been riveted, watching unprecedented violence in the nation’s capital (and, literally, in its Capitol building) that was driven by at best disingenuous and arguably seditious actions, taken at the highest levels of government. This jaw-dropping, mesmerizing spectacle almost eclipsed events of the last 24 hours in Georgia. Almost, but not quite. For in Georgia we are once again able to celebrate the effectiveness of fair and inclusive elections, led by dedicated, strategic grass roots organizing and advocacy…

Kids with binoculars, from Outdoor Outreach

Tomorrow’s Solutions Will be Found Where Issues Intersect

The lessons of 2020 are harsh and profound: science and leadership matter, resilient natural systems are essential to our health and security, and we have a long way to go on racial equity. As much as we all wish for 2021 to usher in a new era of hope and positive change, the work to achieve that reality is up to us.  The last nine months have made clear that we need to think about and solve our problems in different ways. If we are to ensure a just and resilient future in which people and nature thrive, we must…

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…

Economic Impact Analysis of California Climate Resilience Bond

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A bond measure to protect California communities from wildfires, droughts, floods, and extreme heat events could create between 75,000 and 119,000 jobs statewide, and generate between $9.6 billion and $15 billion in total economic activity according to a new study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. The study, supported by the Resources Legacy Fund, provides a quantitative, model-based analysis of the economic and job impacts of a potential bond measure between $5 billion and $8 billion that reflects recent proposals from Governor Newsom and the State Senate and Assembly.


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.


CCI Constituency Engagement Strategy Evaluation

RLF commissioned this report to evaluate the constituency engagement strategy of its California Conservation Innovations (CCI) program. A research team conducted 19 interviews, two focus group sessions, and an online survey of 75 grantees to describe CCI’s grantmaking approach and its impact. This report summarizes the findings and makes five recommendations to RLF that can further evolve CCI’s constituency building strategy and outcomes.


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.


Responding to Climate Change in California

Climate change touches the lives of all Californians and virtually every aspect of state government. As California works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it must adapt to the climate impacts that have already begun and build resilience to face the changes to come. To help guide adaptation policies and funding under the Newsom Administration, RLF commissioned a review–including input from an advisory team of California scientists and policy experts–of California’s climate policy and approaches from the last 10 years and developed strategic recommendations for moving forward.


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.


Montana Parks in Focus Recommendations

Montanans cherish their outdoor heritage, including 55 state parks that get two million visits a year. In 2018, RLF worked with Montana Governor Steve Bullock to address the stagnant funding, lack of public awareness, and deferred maintenance plaguing Montana State Parks. The Governor created a Parks in Focus Commission. RLF staffed its year-long effort to solicit public input and craft recommendations to ensure the necessary resources, capacity, and expertise to build and support the parks system Montanans deserve. Read the Commission’s final recommendations, published in December 2018.


Recommended Actions for California’s New Governor

In partnership with the UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, in December 2018 RLF offered near-term actions for the Newsom administration to consider in addressing wildfire and forest management; flood, drought, and safe, affordable drinking water supplies; and climate mitigation, transportation, and housing. The recommended actions were distilled from three separate half-day discussions of a dozen or more policy experts, stakeholders, and practitioners.


Measures Matter: Ensuring Equitable Implementation of Los Angeles County Measures M & A

RLF commissioned this report, in collaboration with other funders, to define equity in the context of infrastructure funding, explain why equity matters, and identify strategies and recommendations for measuring equitable implementation of infrastructure funding. The report provides a simple framework for funders, advocates, and government agencies to use in advancing inclusive and integrated implementation of Measures A and M in Los Angeles County. These funding measures, passed by voters in 2016, will make available billions of dollars for years to come to support parks, open space, and transportation projects.