|Description||The Coastal Commission’s October meeting took place on Wednesday, October 13 and Friday, October 15. Thursday’s meeting was scheduled for the Hollister Ranch Public Access Workshop but was postponed due to the Alisal Fire. The meeting contained several important informational updates including the Orange County oil spill in the Executive Director’s report and the state’s sea level rise education campaign - The Ocean is Moving In. The Commission also approved the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s two year mitigation monitoring program work plan as well as the proposed Ocean Rainforest pilot kelp aquaculture farm near Santa Barbara. The meeting resulted in one vote chart for the Ocean Rainforest.|
Issues voted on at this Meeting
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|Ocean Rainforest||Ocean Rainforest, Inc. submitted a consistency certification request to temporarily install and operate a demonstration seaweed aquaculture facility on an 86-acre site in federal waters approximately 4.4 nautical miles offshore of Santa Barbara. The facility would consist of a variety of ropes, lines, buoys, and cultivation equipment that would be anchored to the seafloor and held submerged below the ocean surface. The facility would be in place for two years and expects to harvest kelp every 3 to 4 months over the lifespan of the project. At the end of two years, Ocean Rainforest would fully remove the aquaculture facility and all associated anchors, buoys, cultivation lines and kelp.
Environmental groups including Defenders of Wildlife requested that the special conditions be modified to ensure the removal plan is complete prior to construction of the operation, rather than prior to completion of the permit as originally stated in the staff recommendation. Those changes were incorporated into the addendum. The staff special conditions also include wildlife entanglement monitoring plan and a letter of credit to ensure funding is available for removal of the operations.