2016 California Coastal Commission Conservation Report Card

From ActCoastal

The 2016 California Coastal Commission Conservation Report Card is out and can be found here.

The Conservation Report Card evaluates the voting records of the California Coastal Commission based on adherence to the state’s Coastal Act. As a result, the Report Card focuses on high-priority, high-stakes coastal development projects and issues that often pit the interests of coastal developers – who employ experienced and politically connected paid lobbyists –against public values and interest. In the face of such intense political pressure, commissioners must make these important decisions with both transparency and accountability. The ActCoastal Vote Charts and Conservation Report Cards are designed to help the public quickly see what issues are affecting California’s coast and how well our Commissioners are protecting the public’s rights and interests.


For 2016, the average conservation score for the Coastal Commission was 65 percent, up from an overall score of 47 percent in 2015 and down from 72 percent in 2014.

In total, 126 of the 192 total votes cast supported conservation outcomes. This conservation voting score is below the Commission’s all-time high score of 76 percent in 1997.

Among the commissioners who serve as elected officials, Carole Groom scored the highest at 83 percent, with Eric Howell scoring the lowest at 50 percent.

Governor appointments resulted in the most votes against the coast with an average score of 60 percent, up from 35 percent in 2015.

Commissioner Effie Turnbull-Sanders improved her 33 percent in 2015 to a 69 percent in 2016.

Senate Rules Committee appointments had the most positive votes for the coast with an average score of 71 percent: Commissioners Mary Shallenberger and Dayna Bochco tied for the most coastal-minded scores of 88 percent, while Roberto Uranga scored a dismal 39 percent.

Appointments by the Assembly Speaker scored 64 percent on average, an increase from 51 percent in 2015: Commissioner Mary Luévano scored the highest at 75 percent and Commissioner Mark Vargas scored the lowest at 44 percent.

The Conservation Report Card provides detailed descriptions of the issues and resources affected by each vote, as well as the voting record of each individual Commissioner and his or her alternate. These vote records have been compared with the official records kept by the Coastal Commission.

Any errors are the sole responsibility of the preparers.