Building Your OA Action Plan

There are many approaches to building an OA Action Plan.

 As an Alliance we aim to showcase a mix of options and unique ways that members are approaching their commitments to taking actions on OA.

Members are supported in their work to develop and advance OA Action Plans through information exchange of the most recent and relevant science and policy best practices. Members also have access to the OA Action Toolkit, webinars, technical information exchanges, and through in-person meetings and phone consultations.  Members also have the opportunity to meet in person throughout the year at international oceans and climate meetings.

A Few Examples of How Members are Responding to the Call to Action

OA Action plans will not all have the same framework or structure, for example some members may choose to write a stand-alone plan, while others may decide to address ocean acidification mitigation, adaptation and resiliency within existing Climate Action Plans, Ocean Action Plans, Nationally Determined Contributions persuant to the Paris Climate Agreement, or decide to integrate actions across ecosystem management tools.

The Alliances encourages Affiliate members to create OA Action Plans that describe how they can use their capacity to support and encourage actions that mitigate, adapt and build resiliency to OA and serve a critical role in education, outreach, data gathering, information sharing.

(1)  Advance Scientific Understanding of Ocean Acidification

  • Members are joining, launching, or expanding nearshore and deep ocean monitoring networks that help determine where and at what rate regions are experiencing changing conditions;
  • Conducting studies to better understand the biological responses of local species to increased acidification;
  • Conducting OA vulnerability assessments across a region.

(2)  Take Meaningful Actions to Reduce Causes of Acidification

  • Members are working to drastically reduce carbon emissions – the main cause of ocean acidification – through Climate Action Plans or other commitments and targets that advance clean and efficient technologies;
  • Assessing and reducing the impact of local inputs and nutrients that can exacerbate OA impacts nearshore;
  • Managing stormwater and other land-based pollutants that cause damage to critical ecosystems.

(3)  Protect the Environment and Coastal Communities from Impacts of a Changing Ocean

  • Members are launching pilots to determine how submerged aquatic vegetation, like sea grass, kelp or mangroves, can sequester carbon in the water column and protect key resources like oysters, reefs, or shellfish;
  • Working with resource managers to better incorporate OA into existing management practices including habitat restoration projects and the creation of Marine Protected Areas;
  • Accounting for climate change and OA in fisheries management plans.

(4)  Expand Public Awareness and Understanding of Acidification

  • Members are engaging government, scientists, industry, community members and other key stakeholders through panels, task forces, committees, and workshops to increase understanding and awareness, develop recommendations, and build support for implementing actions.
  • Engaging the seafood industry, aquaria, NGOs and other private sector partners around ways to connect with their membership about what is at risk;
  • Creating public education curriculum to teach youth about climate change impacts felt in our oceans.

(5)  Build Support for Addressing this Global Problem

  • The OA Alliance registered a voluntary commitment to build the coalition and advance OA Action Plans at the United Nations Ocean Conference to Implement Sustainable Development Goal 14.
  • OA Alliance joined the Ocean Pathways Partnership, led by Fiji, the COP23 Presidency, which is working to integrate oceans into the UNFCCC process and into Nationally Determined Contributions as called for by the Paris Climate Agreement.

Questions for new Alliance members to consider when starting an OA Action Plan


  • What are the particular impacts, or potential impacts that are of greatest concern?
  • Does your government work with other non-state or state actors on OA related activities?
  • Where are you now in the process of responding to or understanding those threats or impacts?
  • Who should begin to develop the plan?
  • Does the process begin with government or agency leaders? Do stakeholders or other partners help begin development?
  • What should the scope of the plan be?
  • Will you document existing actions? Expand upon existing actions? Call for new actions?
  • What government office or entity will implement the plan?
  • Are you asking for actions from government, agencies, or from the public?
  • Are there existing government ocean plans or climate plans that could incorporate actions to address ocean acidification?

The guidelines and proposed process below may help get you started.

OA Alliance Call to Action

Upon joining the OA Alliance, review foundational documents:

  • Call to Action
  • OA Action Plan Toolkit
  • Other reports/ studies/ resources
Outline Existing & Future Actions

Begin outlining the existing or future actions you might include in your own OA Action Plan:

  • What are your priorities?
  • Which of the Call to Action goals are most relevant?
  • Are any actions already being taken to address OA in your jurisdiction through other policies or plans?
  • Who should initiate or convene a planning process?
  • Is there capacity to implement the plan?
Public Process

Engage the Community and Tell Your Story.

Find opportunities to reach the public, local policy makers, regional industry and other stakeholders:

  • Do you want to engage in a public process that identifies new actions or identifies priorities?
  • How can you share information about OA and its potential impacts?
  • How can stakeholders shape or endorse the development of your OA Action Plan?
Detailed Action Plan

Release your OA Action Plan.

  • Detail what your jurisdiction has done, is doing, or will do to advance the goals stated in the Call to Action and address the impacts of OA.
  • The OA Alliance can showcase your plan on their website and help communicate its impact.