Protect Our Oceans

Testimony: Restore the Budget and Protect Our Ocean

Ben Grundy, Environment California's conservation associate, testified at the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water's hearing about California's pathway to protecting 30% of our state's land and coastal waters by 2030. Here is his testimony:


Conservation Associate Ben Grundy speaks at rally
Ben Grundy | TPIN
Conservation Associate Ben Grundy speaks at rally

“Environment California is in strong support of the legislature fulfilling its commitment to conservation and tackling the climate crisis by funding the 30×30 initiative. 

Establishing and funding clear pathways to protect 30% of our land and coastal waters by 2030 is critical to mitigating and building resilience to climate change and protecting biodiversity. 

These key objectives of protecting biodiversity, increasing access to nature, and mitigating and building resilience to climate change are not being met consistently. While approximately 16% of California’s coastal waters meet the state’s definition of “conserved,” only 9% have the level of protection scientists say is needed to defend against biodiversity loss and climate impacts.

High levels of protection in new, expanded, or strengthened MPAs would benefit the millions of Californians that access the coast without the need to take anything from it.

The Pathways Strategy sets forth a goal of conserving an additional 6 million acres of land and a half a million acres of coastal waters by 2030 to meet the goal. We support this goal and the work to involve stakeholders in planning efforts.

However, a goal and strategy without a clear implementation plan will not result in 6 million acres of conservation in less than 7 years. We need considerable investment now to support acquisition, restoration and ongoing management of lands and waters.

The successful implementation of California’s 30×30 goals requires clear, science-based criteria,  funding, and equitable access. 

We need to protect 30% of California’s ocean by 2030, but we need to protect nature with people – not keep our communities from it.”

Ben Grundy

Former Conservation Campaign Associate, Environment California

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