|Description||The Coastal Commission’s November meeting took place on Wednesday, November 17 and Friday, November 19. The Commission’s November meeting was jam-packed with important informational updates, the Hollister Ranch Public Access Workshop and two emergency seawall permit extensions for Capistrano Beach (Dana Point) and Ocean Beach (San Francisco.) On Wednesday, the Commission received a report by Director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Institute at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Charles Lester. The report presented policy recommendations for safeguarding public trust resources in light of sea level rise. The Commission also adopted new sea level rise guidance, Critical Infrastructure at Risk: Sea Level Rise Planning Guidance for California’s Coastal Zone. The meeting resulted in one vote chart.|
Issues voted on at this Meeting
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|Critical Infrastructure Guidance||The Coastal Commission adopted Critical Infrastructure at Risk: Sea Level Rise Planning Guidance for California’s Coastal Zone – new state guidance to help local jurisdictions plan and adapt critical water and transportation infrastructure to climate change hazards and sea level rise.
ActCoastal partners, along with a larger coalition of other nonprofit organizations, overall supported the guidance document. The guidance clearly suggests phased adaptation approaches, evaluation of extreme sea level rise scenarios, and prioritization of nature-based adaptation solutions. It also guides users in addressing the disproportionate burden that sea level rise inflicts on environmental justice communities and acknowledges that decisions we make today will impact coastal species, migratory birds and marine wildlife in the future as they adapt to future climate change scenarios.
A coalition of partners including ActCoastal members also focused comments on the need to address seawater desalination structures more thoroughly as part of the guidance on water infrastructure, especially given pending desalination projects in Huntington Beach and statewide that are imminent before the Commission. Coastal Commission staff resisted this recommendation citing capacity and the need to evaluate desalination facilities on a case-by-case basis, but did incorporate some specific criteria that could be used to evaluate whether a proposed desalination plant would be considered critical infrastructure.