BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2139


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          Date of Hearing:  May 4, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          2139 (Williams) - As Amended March 28, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill requires the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to  
          facilitate research and compile data on the causes and effects  
          of ocean acidification.  This bill also requires the OPC to  
          adopt recommendations for further legislative and executive  
          actions to address ocean acidification no later than January 1,  
          2018.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Unknown, potentially significant cost pressures to implement  








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            any executive or legislative recommendations resulting from  
            the research and compilation of data.  


          2)No additional state funds for OPC to conduct research and  
            compile data.  The OPC is currently involved in similar  
            activities with plans to expend Proposition 84 bond funds for  
            the research necessary to implement the report.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Rationale.  The ocean absorbs about a third of the carbon  
            dioxide that is released into the atmosphere each year from  
            the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.  As  
            the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase, so do  
            the levels in the ocean.  This changes the chemistry of the  
            water and threatens marine ecosystems and coastal communities  
            dependent on the health of the sea.  Ocean acidification is  
            the lowering of the pH of the ocean and changing of the  
            ocean's chemistry, which can lead to low dissolved oxygen  
            water (hypoxia) in ocean ecosystems.  Ocean acidification will  
            likely have major impacts on the fisheries and aquaculture  
            industries in California.


            According to the author, ocean acidification has cost the  
            oyster industry in the Pacific Northwest $110 million and  
            jeopardized 3,200 jobs.  


            The West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel  
            recently released a synthesis of the current state of  
            scientific knowledge about ocean acidification and hypoxia in  
            California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.  The  
            Panel's final report included potential management options to  
            be used to address ocean acidification on the west coast. This  
            bill requires OPC to develop California specific  








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            recommendations on how the state can address this problem.


          2)Background.  The OPC is comprised of the Secretary of Natural  
            Resources Agency (NRA), the Secretary for Environmental  
            Protection, the Chair of the State Lands Commission, and two  
            members of the public appointed by the Governor.  The OPC is  
            required to support state agencies' use and sharing of  
            scientific and geospatial information for coastal and  
            ocean-relevant decision making including the effects of  
            climate change.


            The NRA is required to update its climate adaptation strategy,  
            the Safeguarding California Plan (Plan), by July 1, 2017, and  
            every three years thereafter by coordinating adaption  
            activities among lead state agencies in each sector.  


          3)Proposition 84.  The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and  
            Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act  
            of 2006 (Proposition 84), as approved by the voters,  
            authorizes $5.388 billion in general obligation bonds to fund  
            safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control,  
            waterway and natural resource protection, water pollution and  
            contamination control, state and local park improvements,  
            public access to natural resources, and water conservation  
            efforts.


            The Coastal Conservancy administers Proposition 84 funds for  
          the Ocean Protection Council,                                  
          for projects that carry out the purposes of the California Ocean  
          Protection Act  and are                                        
          consistent with the Conservancy's authorities. 

            Proposition 84 provided $90 million to for the development of  
            scientific data needed to adaptively manage the state's marine  
            resources and reserves, including the development of marine  








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            habitat maps and the implementation of projects to foster  
            sustainable fisheries using loans and grants.  

          4)OPC Activities.  The OPC is currently exploring ocean  
            acidification and potential remedies using Proposition 84 bond  
            funds.   It is unclear if the OPC will be able to complete its  
            work within the time frame of this bill.  The author may wish  
            to work with the Administration to align the timing and  
            specifics of this bill with OPC planned and current  
            activities.
          5)Related Legislation.  SB 1363 (Monning) requires OPC, in  
            coordination with the State Coastal Conservancy, to establish  
            and administer the Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Reduction  
            Program. This bill is pending in the Senate Appropriations  
            Committee.


            


          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081