|Description||The November Coastal Commission meeting took place in Salinas on November 16-18. The Commission had a fairly busy agenda that resulted in two vote charts - the Capistrano Beach seawall and nature-based adaptation project, and the California American Water desalination facility in Marina.|
Issues voted on at this Meeting
Click on an issue to read full description
|California American Water Desalination Facility||The Coastal Commission approved a coastal development permit for California American Water to construct and operate a 4.8 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) desalination facility in Marina. The plant would use subsurface seawater intake wells located within a CalAm easement in part of the CEMEX sand mining facility adjacent to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The desalination facility itself would be constructed inland of the coastal zone and would discharge processed saline brine to an existing outfall operated by the regional wastewater treatment agency, Monterey One Water. The proposed project has a controversial history involving multiple agency reviews, spawning at least 10 lawsuits, including several against the California Public Utilities Commission, and raising significant environmental justice concerns.
While the Monterey Pure Water Expansion provides a feasible and less environmentally damaging alternative to Cal-Am’s Project in the near term, Commission staff concluded that the Project is needed in the longer term and therefore recommended approval of the project, a shift from their 2020 staff recommendation for denial.
|Capistrano Beach Park Nature Based Project and Seawall||The Coastal Commission approved Orange County Parks’ interim plan to address severe erosion at Capistrano Beach County Park. The County plans to install a nature-based adaptation pilot project involving a 1,150 ft. buried cobble berm with vegetated sand dunes seaward of the coastal trail at the southeast end of Doheny Beach and north end of Capistrano Beach Park. This is an innovative step forward for managing the beach park after several emergency permits for armoring spanning back to 2008. The County’s plan also includes retention of shoreline armoring seaward of the parking lot, along with an additional 800 ft. of armoring along the southern reach of the parking lot. Surfrider opposed the seawall due to the availability of free public street parking adjacent to the beach. Although a portion of the project is a step in the right direction, it feels like a distraction from the fact that the County is planning an enormous seawall for the majority of the beach. Commissioners approved the project unanimously.|