Happy New Year: New Commissioner Update and December Meeting Report

Mandy Sackett
January 11, 2024
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Happy New Year! We are looking forward to another year of bringing transparency and accountability to the actions of the California Coastal Commission. The Commission is on a break from their monthly meetings in January and will resume with their first meeting for 2024 in Oceanside on February 7-9.

Of note, past Commission Chair, Donne Brownsey, has stepped down as a Commissioner. On December 14, Governor Newsom appointed Susan Lowenberg, of San Francisco to fill her seat. The December meeting featured a heartfelt goodbye to Commissioner Brownsey, complete with an original song by the Zen Mountain Poets in collaboration with Mickey Hart (!). You can watch it on Cal-Span under Item 2, ‘Election of Officers’ and we've included a short clip for your viewing pleasure, below. Former Vice Commissioner, Caryl Hart was elected to serve as the new Chair of the Coastal Commission. We are looking forward to her tenure as Chair!

                                            December Meeting Report

Image: South San Clemente near Trestles Surf Break

The December Coastal Commission meeting took place in Santa Cruz. The Commission's agenda was busy with a well attended Informational Briefing on Affordable Housing, a somewhat contentious enforcement item and the approval of a seawall along 17 Mile Drive. The meeting resulted in one vote chart, on the enforcement item. In general public comment, Surfrider raised concerns about erosion in San Clemente and the Ocean Beach coastal resiliency project.

Read the full December meeting report - where we discuss affordable housing in more detail.

                                                November Meeting Report

The November Coastal Commission meeting took place in Rohnert Park. On Wednesday, the Commission approved official correspondence, calling for action on the Tijuana River Valley border pollution crisis, and denied an appeal of a sewage infrastructure project in Pacific Grove - both items resulted in vote charts. On Thursday, the Commission approved Nordic Aquafarms’ ocean discharge permit with major improvements - check out this vote summary by Humboldt Waterkeeper. During general public comment, Surfrider representatives brought attention to OCTA’s outstanding permit application for the massive railroad seawall in San Clemente.

Read the full November meeting report.