Public Trust Guiding Principles and Action Plan

From ActCoastal

Month May
Year 2023
Summary The Coastal Commission voted unanimously to approve its Public Trust Guiding Principles and Action Plan, which includes ten principles and actions that outline how the Commission views the Coastal Act in addressing threats to public trust resources caused by sea level rise and related decision making. ActCoastal partner, Surfrider Foundation, strongly supported many aspects of this plan, in particular. 'Principle 6, which pertains to armoring and clarifies that property owners may not unilaterally occupy the public trust. Read the Action Plan here.
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Outcome Description Ralph Faust, former chief counsel at the Coastal Commission, made comments to support the Commission's affirmative duty to make development decisions to protect the public trust, stating that Coastal Act Section 30235 cannot be overridden to approve seawalls and that 'takings' claims do not take precedence over public trust doctrine. Mr. Faust, as well as other commenters, noted the ambulatory nature of the mean high tideline and the need to continue working with the State Lands Commission on its identification and use in conditioning shoreline protective devices with a 'life.'

Vice Chair Hart noted that in Southern California, segments of LOSSAN are clearly impacting the public trust and asked about related federal law. Commissioners Turnbull-Sanders and Nothoff noted the need to think about broad outreach to environmental justice communities as part of the plan's Principle 8 to advance environmental justice. Commissioner Harmon and others noted how helpful the document will be in decisionmaking with Chair Brownsey calling it a 'touchstone [document]' for the Commission.

Why You Should Care The California coast is home to a wealth of public trust resources, including beaches, tidelands, wetlands, and marine habitats. These resources are held in trust by the state for the benefit of the public. The guiding principles document ensures that the management and decision-making processes related to sea level rise consider the protection, preservation, and accessibility of these resources for present and future generations. Sea level rise is a long-term challenge that requires a forward-thinking and sustainable approach which this document has achieved.
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Decision Type Guidance Document
Staff Recommendation Approval
Staff Report
Opposition to Project Smart Coast California, City of Del Mar
Coastal Act Policies Chapter 3

Voting Detail for Public Trust Guiding Principles and Action Plan

Individual vote detail for Issue: Public Trust Guiding Principles and Action Plan
Katie RiceGood Vote
Effie Turnbull-SandersGood Vote
Caryl HartGood Vote
Meagan HarmonGood Vote
Donne BrownseyGood Vote
Justin CummingsGood Vote
Ann NotthoffGood Vote
Paloma AguirreGood Vote
Mike WilsonGood Vote
Dayna BochcoGood Vote
Roberto UrangaGood Vote
Linda EscalanteGood Vote

Meeting Page

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