The Surfrider Foundation and two other environmental nonprofits have joined forces for a campaign aimed at reminding the California Coastal Commission about the coast they've been mandated to protect for all. Joining San Clemente-based Surfrider in the California Coast Accountability Project citizen engagement campaign are Environment California, a Los Angeles lobbying organization for state and national environmental legislation, and WILDCOAST, an Imperial Beach- and Tijuana-based international coastal/marine ecosystem/wildlife conservation group.
Just formed, they've nonetheless already raised awareness of California Coastal Commission (CCC) actions, as the chart below from the ActCoastal.org home page shows how individual commissioners voted earlier this month on the Poseidon desalination plant proposal in Huntington Beach and the CCC Strategic Plan, two unanimous, pro-conservation votes.
Only three of the 11 commissioners gave positive conservation votes for the Del Mar Fairgrounds wetlands proposal, according to the chart that will be updated after each monthly CCC meeting.
The commission reviews up to 1,000 projects a year, but ActCoastal will only focus on those "that uphold the vision and legacy of the California Coastal Act's goals to protect public access and coastal resources for current and future generations," according to Nathan Weaver of Environment California.
Why do this?
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"The commission manages some of the most valued and visited coastline on the planet," explains Surfrider's Stefanie Sekich-Quinn. "ActCoastal hopes to shed light on how commission votes directly impact coastal resources, public access, and can set statewide precedent."
After all, the commission's very reason for being, as mandated under state law, is to protect our coast so everyone can get to and enjoy it. And that means everyone, according to WILDCOAST's Zach Plopper.
"Another goal of ActCoastal is to encourage diverse communities, who might be presently under-represented, to get more involved," notes Plopper. "We are engaging environmental justice organizations to represent all communities that make up California."