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Welcome to ActCoastal, the California Coast Accountability Project. ActCoastal is a campaign to protect California’s coast by bringing transparency and accountability to the actions of the California Coastal Commission.

2016 California Coastal Commission Conservation Report Card

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2016 California Coastal Commission Conservation Report Card, which summarizes the voting records of the California Coastal Commission in relation to how well Commissioners voted in adherence to the Coastal Act. Read an overview here [1] and see the full report card here [2].

News Alert

Great news for coastal access in California: Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher's bill, AB 250 sailed through the Assembly Natural Resources Committee with a 7-1 vote. The bill will expand coastal access by creating more affordable lodging. Read all about it in the press release here.

March Coastal Commission Hearing

The March Coastal Commission hearing resulted in only one vote chart item; however, several important issues were raised over the two-day meeting. The public comment period was well utilized to raise awareness of nonagenda topics and impending items of interest.

The much-anticipated final phase of restoration at the Crystal Cove State Beach cottages was approved on Wednesday along with a robust lower cost visitor serving accommodations program that is expected to significantly improve public access in a historically inaccessible portion of the Orange County coast. (More in the Los Angeles Times here.)

New commissioners, Donne Brownsey and Aaron Peskin were sworn in and made a strong showing at their first meeting with plenty of constructive questions and informed discussion resulting in “good” vote scores on Crystal Cove.

Improving Access Opportunities with Underserved Communities

During public comment, StokeShare founder Joel Cesare, who also chairs Surfrider Foundation’s West LA / Malibu Chapter, presented on the organization’s One Watershed program, a collaboration with Surfrider that connects underserved youth to nature through action sports. StokeShare uses surfing to inspire appreciation for the ocean through engaging young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit the coast. The “One Watershed” name highlights the fact that everything we do has an impact downstream. To date, StokeShare and Surfrider have held eight events, partnered with six different at-risk youth non-profits and introduced surfing to over 200 kids. StokeShare asked the Coastal Commission to continue to emphasize improving coastal access for underserved communities through partnerships with nonprofits, and to support and build upon established programs.

Coastal Armoring at San Onofre State Park

Late February, the Coastal Commission issued an emergency permit to San Onofre State Park for a 900 ft. rock revetment to protect a coastal access road and parking lot. In an effort to raise awareness about significant concerns with this project – especially the likelihood of this becoming a permanent solution – Surfrider presented community concerns to the Coastal Commission following the San Diego Deputy Director’s Report on Wednesday. The revetment is likely to negatively impact the nearby surf break and increase beach erosion. At the very least, it is important that the revetment be removed when the emergency permit elapses on Nov. 1, 2017, and a long-term solution that protects this beloved park and associated recreational resources be found.

Dredging at Humboldt Bay

The Surfrider Foundation also spoke during public comment to warn Commissioners about an impending dredging issue on the North Coast. The marinas in Humboldt Bay require dredging every seven-to-10 years or so, but when Humboldt Bay Harbor District and City of Eureka dumped dredge materials onto the beach in 2008, it caused a major disruption to beachgoers, surfers and other recreationists with smelly sludge that made the beach impassable.

Despite warnings from permitting agencies and the Coastal Commission itself that this practice would never be allowed again, the Harbor District and City of Eureka are expected to come forward with a proposal to repeat this practice in June, saying they can’t afford anything other than dumping dredge spoils directly on the beach – approximately 200,000 cubic yards of sediment. For the sake of beach access and general fair application of regulations, it is imperative that history does not repeat itself.

Crystal Cove

The Coastal Commission approved the final phase of the restoration of Crystal Cove State Park. Commission staff, State Parks and the Crystal Cove Alliance worked tirelessly to develop a project that will benefit the public and honor the historic nature of the location. This project will double the number of cottages available and includes a significant lower cost accommodations component with a hostel style dorm and a youth educational program. Overall a win for coastal access in Southern California! The California Coastal Protection Network along with Surfrider Foundation voiced strong for the project and its public access benefits. This project sailed through the diocese without controversy – any and all discrepancies have long since been worked out over the multi year permit process.

You can read last month's full meeting report here. Don't forget to check the Vote Chart for a breakdown of March's key conservation vote.

Recommended reading: The Verde Paper – Latino Perspectives on Conservation Leadership

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, too! As ever, thanks for your support and dedication to access, open space protection and coastal preservation! Please let us know of your coastal concerns – we must all work together to #SaveOurCoast!

ActCoastal Blog

June Hearing Report19 July 2017
May Hearing Report14 June 2017
California Will Reject More Dirty and Dangerous Drilling5 May 2017
AB 250 Coastal Cabin Bill Moves Forward21 March 2017
March Hearing Report17 March 2017
... further results