Friday, May 15, 2009


California Coastal Commission Voting Chart for 2008 Released: Insight to Upcoming Appointments

Today marks the release of the 2008 California Coastal Commission Conservation Voting Chart, which measures the pro-conservation scores of the California Coastal Commission, the State’s most powerful land use agency, charged with the protecting our 1,100 mile coastline. The voting chart is produced by Sierra Club Coastal Programs, Surfrider Foundation, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Coastwalk California, Coastal Protection Network, and League for Coastal Protection, who teamed up to record, analyze and report on the most important coastal votes of 2008. The 31 votes in this year's chart involve significant coastal issues decided by the Commission during their twelve monthly meetings in 2008, including the denial of the proposed 241 toll road through San Onofre State Park, and approval of the largest desalination facility in North America. The voting chart is designed to illuminate individual Commissioners' voting records. In addition, the report illustrates the relative successes and failures of the appointments made by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senate Rules Committee led by Don Perata, and then Speaker of the Assembly Fabián Nuñez. The scoring information in the 2008 chart also sheds light on upcoming Commission appointments in 2009, including seats currently held by Commissioners Ben Hueso and Dave Potter.

"This year's chart reports on several critical coastal issues in California. Whereas the Commission did a wonderful job of analyzing and eventually denying the proposed toll road that would have jeopardized the Trestles surf spot, it is disconcerting that the Commission's overall conservation score has decreased," remarks Surfrider Foundation's Angela Howe. "It marks a clear and worrisome trend of declining protection for our coast, with the Commission's overall conservation score at a mere 38% in 2008, down from 44% last year and 60% in 2005."

"In these hard economic times, it is especially important that the Coastal Commission be encouraged to do all it can to protect one of the State's most important assets, the California coast. We believe these voting records will help the public understand how well Commissioners are performing," says League for Coastal Protection's Mel Nutter.

"Once again our analysis underscores the relative failure of Governor Schwarzenegger and his appointments to live up to their rhetoric regarding coastal protection, and the failure of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez when it comes to coastal protection in the public interest," said Mark Massara of Sierra Club's Coastal Programs. "If not for the Senate Rules Committee appointments, developers and lobbyists would dictate coastal development and loss of resources and beach access in California."

A copy of the CCC Voting Chart is available by clicking here.

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