If you are a community member interested in plastics and California's environment, then this page is for you. We invite you to peruse the information shared below as well as information on the primary project page.
What follows is a description of the opportunities, as a community member, to engage in the development of a statewide plastics monitoring plan.
Purpose and Goals
The purpose of early public engagement in the development of the Monitoring Strategy is multifaceted and includes the following objectives:
- Increase public awareness and education on the challenges and impacts of plastics in state waters.
- Provide information on the need for, and role of, a statewide Monitoring Strategy.
- Present an opportunity to help shape a statewide monitoring program based on community priorities, concerns, and resources.
- Specifically target and ensure outreach to underserved, underrepresented, and/or disadvantaged communities.
- Offer information on existing local programs or efforts that may be utilized or coordinated as part of the Monitoring Strategy.
- Provide comments on a draft Monitoring Strategy.
Equity and Inclusion Goals
The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) has an explicit commitment to equity as reflected in OPCs Equity Plan (October 2022). Explicit goals identified in the plan include:
- Goal 1: Establish and implement more equitable and sustainable community engagement and funding methods to expand and enhance opportunities for ocean and coastal projects, policies, and research.
- Goal 2: Create a more inclusive workplace through creative and equitable employee recruitment and retention, building staff fluency on equity and environmental justice, and increasing internal staff capacity.
- Goal 3: Lead equitable ocean and coastal policymaking in California.
- Goal 4: Lead the state in a comprehensive approach to coastal and ocean science through intentional investments in research and monitoring that value and integrate broader knowledge sources.
To help achieve these explicit goals, all OPC engagement efforts in this plan will make deliberate efforts to identify and engage underserved, underrepresented, and/or disadvantaged communities. These efforts will include:
- Consulting with public stakeholders from these communities to identify additional strategies to facilitate participation in engagement activities.
- Potentially enlisting/contracting stakeholder(s) to assist with outreach and solicitation for participation.
- Anticipating and accommodating translation for meetings and informational materials.
- Making multiple attempts to personally engage key stakeholders (such as phone calls and emails) beyond the general notifications to the public.
- Continuous consideration of input from underserved, underrepresented, and/or disadvantaged communities.
Desired Stakeholder Input
It is understood that stakeholders may possess varying degrees of understanding of the issues and/or awareness of existing efforts regarding plastics monitoring or mitigation efforts, therefore it is important to highlight the types of input that may be the most impactful to the development of the Monitoring Strategy.
If you would like to contribute...
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Programs and Focus Areas:
Environmental Informatics Program
Statewide Plastics Monitoring Plan & Strategy
Plastics, in their various chemical composition and sizes, pose serious challenges to the vitality of California's ecosystems. Once escaped into the environment, plastic contamination persists for very long periods and breaks down into ever smaller pieces, becoming more readily available to wildlife and populations who live, work, and play in those same habitats.