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Ocean Conservation 
PCC > Priorities > Resource Conservation


The five jurisdictions of the Pacific Coast Collaborative share nearly 60,000 miles of coastline composed of densely populated urban centers, smaller communities and pristine wilderness. Protecting and enhancing a healthy and vibrant Pacific Ocean and coastal ecosystem is crucial to our sustained economic and environmental well-being, public health, and standard of living on the coast -- the Pacific Ocean is truly the lifeblood of the region!

Following on and supporting the West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health (Action Plan,  July 2008); the British Columbia - Washington Memorandum of Understanding on Coastal Climate Change Adaptation (June 2008) and the Washington - British Columbia Coastal and Ocean Task Force (June 2007), the Pacific Coast Collaborative is committed to leading the world in sustainable environmental management. 


Regional Best Practices

  • As part of the West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health, California, Oregon and Washington, and federal partners are working together, along with academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and members and staff from many West Coast tribal governments on 26 bold actions to help combat polluted runoff and reduce marine garbage, prepare for and adapt to the effects of climate change, advocate for stricter ocean going vessel emission standards, prevent the introduction of invasive species, explore the feasibility of offshore alternative ocean energy development, improve ocean research and access to regional scientific data and information, increase ocean education and prevent and respond to offshore oil spills, and increase sustainability of coastal communities, among others.
  • In March 2009, a Coastal Experts Workshop brought together Washington and B.C. government policy advisors, local governments, engineers and planners to discuss the latest science and next steps for research and policy related to sea level change.  The initiation of a Coastal Experts Community of Practice was a key outcome of the event.
  • British Columbia supports NEPTUNE Canada, the world's largest cabled seafloor observatory off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The network will gather live data from a rich constellation of instruments deployed in a broad spectrum of undersea environments. Data will be transmitted via high-speed fibre optic communications from the seafloor to an innovative data archival system at the University of Victoria.  Click here to see NEPTUNE footage of life on the ocean floor.
  • On November 14, 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order (EO) S-13-08 to enhance the state's management of climate impacts from sea level rise, increased temperatures, shifting precipitation and extreme weather events.
  • The California Ocean Protection Council was established by the California Ocean Protection Act that Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law in 2004. The Act directs the Ocean Protection Council to work with federal, state and local agencies to better manage California's ocean resources.
  • California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) directs the state to reevaluate and redesign California's system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to: increase coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state's marine life and habitats, marine ecosystem, and marine natural heritage, as well as to improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems subject to minimal human disturbance.
  • The State of Oregon is in the process of establishing a system of marine reserves along the coast and planning for the siting of marine renewable energy as part of its ocean planning and management activities that will affect the future of our ocean ecosystem and economy.  With a recommendation from Oregon’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council and action by the legislature, the state established two pilot reserves and is evaluating four other sites.
  • In Washington State, the Puget Sound Partnership is working to restore a healthy Puget Sound by 2020. They engage elected and public officials, tribal and business leaders, scientists, environmentalists and, most importantly - the public – to work collaboratively to implement and revise the Action Agenda for Puget Sound.  Video
  • On Washington’s Coast, the state fosters coordination and communication on ocean policy and management across agencies, with tribes, and with stakeholders through a variety of mechanisms to implement Washington’s Ocean Action Plan. The state is also taking initial steps to prepare for future implementation of a state law on marine spatial planning.


 News From the Region

May 27, 2016: West Coast Governors and B.C. Premier Make New Commitments to Address Climate Change at Global Clean Energy Ministerial
On June 1, California, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia will make new commitments through their Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan, updating pledges made in 2013 with increasingly bold objectives to reflect the need for swift, decisive climate action to match the bigger commitments to greenhouse gas reductions reflected in the COP21 global climate change talks in Paris in December.

May 27, 2016: West Coast Governors, Premier, and Mayors to Sign Comprehensive Agreement at Global Clean Energy Ministerial
Following through on pledges and declarations forged during the COP21 global climate change talks in Paris last December, West Coast jurisdictions are joining forces on a regional level by signing the Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco, demonstrating their commitment and leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

February 16, 2016: Governors Announce Bipartisan Accord for a New Energy Future
Washington DC – A bipartisan group of 17 governors today signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future - a joint commitment to take action to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices, a modern electrical grid, and plan for a new energy future.

December 7, 2015: Governors and Mayors Commit to Deep Emission Reductions in Drive to Forge a Global Agreement on Climate
PARIS – In a high-profile drive to get national leaders to come together on a meaningful agreement addressing climate change this week, nine of the world’s carbon-reduction champion states, provinces and cities joined together today, redoubling their commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita, or 80-95% below a 1990 benchmark by 2050.

LOS ANGELES – As the COP 21 global climate conference gets underway in Paris, leaders from four jurisdictions of North America’s West Coast—British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington—are holding up a new report as evidence that the region’s collective leadership on climate change is bringing positive changes to the area.

July 30, 2015: New PCC Iinitiative Accelerates West Coast's Drive for Electric Vehicle Purchases
PORTLAND—The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington and the premier of British Columbia are teaming up with West Coast cities, counties and utilities to launch a major new initiative designed to accelerate adoption of zero-emission vehicles in public and private fleets on the West Coast.

July 28, 2015: Governor Inslee directs development of regulatory cap on carbon emissions
OLYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee today directed the state Department of Ecology to step up enforcement of existing state pollution laws and develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions. Inslee said Washingtonians have too much at stake to wait any longer for legislative action.

May 19, 2015: Governor Brown, International Leaders Form Historic Partnership to Fight Climate Change
SACRAMENTO – California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with international leaders from 11 other states and provinces, collectively representing more than $4.5 trillion in GDP and 100 million people, to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius – the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions.