BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ķ

                                                                    AB 2139

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          2139 (Williams)

          As Amended  August 15, 2016

          Majority vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  |58-22 |(June 2, 2016) |SENATE: |28-11 |(August 17,      |
          |           |      |               |        |      |2016)            |
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          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |

          Original Committee Reference:  NAT. RES.

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to  
          develop an ocean acidification and hypoxia science task force  
          (task force) to ensure that decision making is supported by the  
          best available science.  Specifically, this bill, requires,  
          subject to the availability of funding, OPC to take various  
          actions to address and adapt to ocean acidification.   

          The Senate amendments alter and clarify OPC's roles and  
          responsibilities when acting on ocean acidification, authorizes  
          the task force, and addresses any conflicts with SB 1363  
          (Monning) of the current legislative session, which also  
          addresses ocean acidification.  

          EXISTING LAW:  


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          1)Establishes OPC, which consists 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.

          2)Requires OPC to support state agencies' use and sharing of  
            scientific and geospatial information for coastal- and  
            ocean-relevant decision making relating to coastal and ocean  
            ecosystems, including the effects of climate change.

          3)Requires the Natural Resource Agency 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.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, approximately $1.65 million (special and private  
          funds) for OPC to implement the specified tasks.  The OPC  
          indicates that funds (private and special fund) have been  
          allocated for this purpose.  

          COMMENTS:  The ocean absorbs about one-third of the CO2 that is  
          released into the atmosphere each year from the burning of  
          fossil fuels and other human activities.  As the CO2 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.  It could also have a  
          profound effect on marine ecosystems leading to large-scale  
          die-offs and over the long term reduced biodiversity.  Record  
          hot temperatures in the Pacific Ocean caused by global warming  
          and a powerful El Niņo have fueled the worst coral bleaching  
          event ever seen in portions of Australia's famed Great Barrier  


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          Reef.  Australia's National Coral Bleaching Task Force has  
          surveyed 911 coral reefs by air, and found at least some  
          bleaching on 93% of them. 

          The Plan includes a sector on Oceans and Coastal Resources and  
          Ecosystems.  That sector released a sector plan that discusses  
          ocean acidification, but there are no specific recommendations  
          for legislative or executive action.  On April 4, 2016, the West  
          Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel (Panel)  
          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 what management options might be used to address  
          ocean acidification on the west coast.  In the Panel's final  
          report, it stated, "Seagrass beds, kelps and other macrophytes  
          remove CO2 from seawater and convert it into living tissue.   
          This CO2 uptake can occur at sufficiently rapid rates to  
          significantly improve water quality for organisms sensitive to  
          carbon chemistry changes."

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092  FN: