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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].

July Coastal Commission Hearing

The July hearing took place at California State University Monterey Bay in Seaside. Commissioners heard several important issues ranging from beach access and coastal armoring to cease and desist orders for the last sand mine in California. Indeed, a landmark enforcement settlement was approved, marking the end of the sand mining era and a huge win for coastal preservation.

Pacific Grove Retainment Wall

The City of Pacific Grove proposed to reconstruct a 31 ft. by 5 ft. collapsed portion of a bluff top retainment wall that protects a coastal trail, outlook point and open space.

The Surfrider Foundation and number of local residents raised concerns about the proposed repair given the lack of a long term shoreline management plan for this area as well as insufficient analysis with regards to environmentally preferred alternatives, need and sea level rise impacts. Notably, there is 80 ft. of open space adjacent to the coastal trail that would provide ample space for this portion of the trail to retreat from the eroding coastline and eliminate the need for retainment wall repairs.

The City of Pacific Grove is currently in violation of permit conditions for repairs to the same retainment wall. The City never completed a shoreline management plan for this area as required in permit number 3-6-024 in 2007 and therefore is in violation of the permit.

Ultimately, Commissioners approved the permit based on the notion that other portions of the retainment wall may be jeopardized if this repair is not made - despite not having any data to support this notion. In order to fulfill the approved conditions, the City must come back with a shoreline management plan within 3 years and seek a new permit for the repairs - should that be in their plan.

Unfortunately, this decision perpetuates a culture of do now, plan later and is one in a long history of so-called “emergency” armoring requests that use urgency as an excuse for poor planning decisions. These urgent, quick fix armoring projects are rarely removed once installed due to the cost and momentum associated – causing lasting harm to our precious coastal resources and only to be exacerbated in the face of sea level rise.

Cemex Sand Mine - Cease and Desist Consent Orders

The consent order reached between the California Coastal Commission and the CEMEX building material company is a clear victory for all those who live, work and play on the Monterey coast. Its significance also extends far beyond geographical boundaries. In a time when so many of our natural resources and protected areas are under threat, to see the perseverance of a small group of citizens and public agencies pay off gives a much-needed reminder that these efforts are worthwhile. As Coastal Commission Executive Direct Jack Ainsworth said, the consent order was, “A truly historic decision” and one of most significant Coastal Commission accomplishments in the agency’s existence.

For a breakdown of July's key conservation votes and the full meeting report, click here.


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

TitleDate
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