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Coastal Commission’s New Strategic Plan To Focus On Sea Level Rise

The La Jolla coast is pictured on a cloudy morning, Sept. 25, 2019.

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: The La Jolla coast is pictured on a cloudy morning, Sept. 25, 2019.

The California Coastal Commission will focus a bit more on rising sea levels as the agency moves forward.

The commission monitors hundreds of miles of the coastal zone in California and members voted to approve a new strategic plan.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

The new guiding document strengthens the focus on coping with sea-level rise.

The coastal panel will pay extra attention to the development and implementation of local coastal plans because they are politically challenging and a source of tension.

RELATED: San Diego, Other California Cities Top List Ranking Climate Action Plans

“If you have a lot of wealthy coastal property owners who are right there in vulnerable areas, the parts that are vulnerable to sea-level rise,” said Jennifer Savage, a member of Surfrider Foundation. “And you start having conflicts because what they want to do, usually, is put up seawalls.”

The issue is difficult because the commission will have to balance the needs of property owners and the public.

The new plan also considers environmental justice issues.

“For the past few years, a number of agencies have really gained a deeper understanding of how environmental justice is in their day to day operations,” Savage said.

The commission will continue to focus on a long time goal of making sure developers and private property owners do not close off public access to the state’s beaches.

The new strategic plan replaces one that was adopted in 2013.

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Photo of Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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