SIERRA CLUB CALIFORNIA
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2011
Michael Endicott ““ Sierra Club California
Cell ““ 415-971-1652
or, Penny Elia, Sierra Club California ““ 949-499-4499
Today, Sierra Club California is pleased to announce the release of the 2010 California Coastal Commission Conservation Voting Chart. This chart, entering its 23nd year, is a combined effort of various coastal environmental groups, and measures the pro-conservation scores of the Commission. The 2010 chart examines 21 separate votes, which were selected in consultation with coastal conservation activists, based on their likely impact on coastal resources and their potential to set statewide precedent.
“We are disappointed that the overall conservation score for the Commission dropped from 66 % in 2009 to 61% in 2010,” said Michael Endicott, Advocate for Sierra Club California. “Commissioners appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger, in particular, have backslid from gains in 2009 to casting pro coast votes in 2010 only 43% of the time.”
Though some votes show that the Commissioners are willing to support staff enforcement recommendations and to honor past precedent for development standards like bluff top setbacks, other votes demonstrate an inconsistent approach to protecting Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas and a failure to ensure long term enforceability of agricultural and open space permit restrictions.
Still other votes allow high intensity projects, specifically desalination and wastewater treatment plants, to proceed despite probable potential to significantly degrade the coastline features, habitat and surface and ground waters that support the wildlife and activities that drive the success of California’s coastal economy. “It’s also troublesome,” added Michael Endicott, “that the sites of these projects do not appear to have been scrutinized for sustainability in the face of sea level rise. And, that the Commission’s two desalination plant votes have respectively undermined California’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts, and set a precedent for segmenting impact assessments and approvals for such projects. These decisions highlight the importance and value of ongoing public involvement to make sure that the Commissioners adequately and correctly review proposed projects against California Coastal Act criteria. Sierra Club California and activists from our eight coastal chapters are committed to continuing fulfilling this role along with our coastal allies. “
For more information and the complete report card please go to the main page for SCCA which is http://www.sierraclubcalifornia.org/.
Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and staff of the following groups for testifying, and tracking the Coastal Commission hearings, especially-
Sierra Club CA — CA Coastkeepers Alliance””Surfrider Foundation ““ League for Coastal Protection ““ CA Coastal Protection Network””Coastwalk California.