The California Coastal Commission is an independent state agency created by the California Coastal Act of 1976. The mission of the Coastal Commission is to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.
The Commission is comprised of 12 voting members (and up to 12 alternate members) and three non-voting ex officio members. The Commission meets monthly in different coastal communities up and down the coast. They deliberate the merits of proposed coastal development projects within the 1.5-million acre, 1,100-mile long California coastal zone. The Coastal Act itself provides the policies and standards that must guide the Commissioner’s decisions.
The independence, balance and integrity of the Commission depend upon the appointment process. Voting members are appointed by California’s Governor, the Senate Rules Committee, and the State Assembly Speaker. Each appoints four Commissioners, two from the general public and two local elected officials.
To ensure statewide representation, six coastal regions are designated to have one “local elected” voting member seat: San Diego, South, South Central, Central, North Central, and the North Coast region. Each Commissioner may have an alternate, subject to the approval of their appointing authority. Biographies of most Commissioners can be seen here.