**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>
On April 18th 2016, the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) Science Advisory Team (SAT) met in Oakland, CA for a workshop, “Bracing for a Changing World.”
The impact and relevance of the SAT has grown substantially over the last five years and advanced science-informed actions on a wide array of state priorities. As the threat of climate change looms ever larger over our ocean and coast, the State increasingly recognizes the need to work even more closely with the scientific community. At this workshop, Ocean Science Trust brought the SAT together with decision-makers to:
- reflect upon the SAT’s progress as the State’s conduit to the scientific community,
- refine its vision and discuss its working procedures; and
- conduct a deep dive into the final Recommendations and Actions of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel (the Panel) – to identify next steps for the SAT.
At the workshop, the SAT identified key actions for the upcoming year:
Formalizing SAT Working Procedures
Ocean Science Trust, the OPC and the SAT will work together to develop a Working Procedures document that will articulate and formalize the working procedures of the SAT, including outlining processes for convening working groups, review of products, and pathways for external partners to engage with the SAT. This document will be widely disseminated
Taking action on multiple fronts to address changing ocean conditions
The SAT is already engaged on issues related to changing ocean conditions through the climate change and fisheries and the harmful algal blooms working groups. At this workshop, the SAT and decision-makers examined the Panel’s Recommendations for follow-up work and identified three additional priority areas to act:
- Establish a working group to explore the ability of aquatic vegetation to remove carbon from seawater and ameliorate ocean acidification.
- Address science needs to revise water quality criteria.
- Establish a working group to build ocean acidification and hypoxia considerations into statewide marine protected area monitoring and research.