MALIBU— The California Costal Commission has just revealed its strategic five-year plan. The proposal suggested 199 actions items are to be intended to be undertaken by the Commission between 2021- 2025.

The Commission is focused on a series of goals pertaining to “internal agency capacity and effectiveness; public access; coastal resources; climate change and sea level rise; environmental justice, diversity, and tribal relations; coastal planning and permitting; enforcement; public presence and partnerships; and information management and e-government” stated in press release.

The Commission will propose its final proposal for adoption during the November 6, 2020 meeting via Zoom and teleconference.

In 1972 voters passed Prop 20 by which states to protect and enhance California’s coast for present and future generations. With the help of the (LCP) Local Coastal Programs and with the participation of citizenry the Coastal Act will help manage these unexpected future circumstances.

The strategic five year plan proposed that goal 1 is going to focus on enhance agency capacity and maintaining an effective and diverse workforce. Goal 2 will maximize all public access and recreation. Goal 3 will protect and enhance coastal resources. Goal 4 is supporting resilient coastal communities in the face of climate change and sea level rise. Goal 5 will be to prioritize advance diversity, equity, environmental justice, and tribal relations. Goal 6 aims to continue to enhance the LCP planning program and refine implementation of the regulatory program. Goal 7 will expand an enhance the enforcement program. Goal 8 will continue to develop and maintain partnerships and enhance public presence. Lastly, goal 9 oversees enhanced information management and e-government.

Goal 1 will help the community as the building of the agency’s capacity will boost program funding and support, staffing, training, and addressing like staff retention and recruitment. Staff capacity could very much be the future of the Commission. The following circumstances are to be met within this goal the number of new positions authorized and established through the annual budget process, conduct annual staff satisfaction / engagement survey, and the number of trainings conducted and number of conferences attended.

Goal 2 public access along with recreation for all. The Commission has stated that as California’s population grows, costal recreation and tourism have seen an increase in foot traffic. With climate change and sea levels rising may affect the public’s availability to get onto these state beaches, trails, and other costal possibilities. The Strategic plan to ensure public access at ease all while protecting existing beaches and spaces. The strategic plan also notes communication with State Coastal Conservancy and California State Parks will work collaboratively to “identify, plan for, and provide new public access and lower-cost visitor-serving accommodations” stated in press release.

Goal 3 of the California Coastal Commission strategic plan deals with coastal resources.  This goal will “protect wetland along with environmentally sensitive habitat areas, agricultural resources, marine resources, and coastal water quality” In press release. The commission has then stated that the prioritization of marine debris reduction, aquaculture, planning and management, renewable energy and related opportunities need to continue.

Jack Ainsworth Executive Director California Coastal Commission stated in a meeting on Wednesday October 4 that “last month’s participation within coastal cleanup month was very successful. Over 13,000 people came out to help volunteer their time and help restore the community. As still advising people to socially distance. Future clean ups and hoping we can get back to the since of community moving forward during critical and challenging times”.

Goal 4 looks at supporting costal communities while dealing with climate change and rising sea levels. With a high priority to focus on climate change the Costal Commission planning and permitting collaborative work through stakeholders with the local costal programs and costal development permit. This goal will support local adaptation projects. The strategic plan also proposed to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow the process of climate change, including addressing the housing crisis and new housing requirements in the context of smart and sustainable land use”. As expanding communication between the general public on the topic of rising sea levels will help support planning ideas.

Goal 5 is going to focus on relationships pertaining to environmental justice, tribal, and diversity. Environmental justice is defined as “the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies”. The Coastal Commission Act must take into consideration of environmental justice when considering ideas to be permanent solutions.  As the strategic plan proposed to engage upon meaningful engagement, equitable process, more effective communication, and to create a more efficient coastal protection plan for all California’s. This goal can be met by training to build awareness of environmental, racial, and social equity concepts.

Goal 6 deals with the California Coastal Commission strategic plan to monitor coastal planning and permitting to resolve these difficult tasks that arise within collaboration, management, and permitting challenges. The strategic plan proposal stated to address the enhancing and expansion of the LCP program. Aside from that the the Commission has the power to permit planning within coastal zones to help regain consistency within federal agencies activities or just federally permitted or funded.

Goal 7 dealt with enforcement programs. Improvements towards this program will help while addressing the backlog and and focus on compliance issues.

Goal 8 will foresee the public presence and partnerships. “Create and Maintain Partnerships and opportunities for collaboration to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and to address complex coastal management issues, work proactively with the media to provide information about commission Programs and Decisions, and advance public awareness of coastal resources and protection issues, engaging the public, organizations, and interested parties in the stewardship of coastal resources.

Lastly, goal 9 pertained to information management and E-government. The Commission promises to maximize use of the digital technology. Also the Coastal Commission strategic plan will address more transparency, digital process, online permit applications. The Commission hearings function with virtual staff for time being with common goal to maximize public relations.

More information on the 2021-2025 Strategic plan proposal can be found on the website.