October 10 2016

Action Alert: Protect Your California Coast

by Mandy Sackett

That California's 1,100 miles of coastline remains accessible to all is thanks to over 40 years of Coastal Act enforcement. Whether or not California's coast remains public and protected rests in the hands of 12 people, California's Coastal Commissioners, and the staff hired to inform them.

The fragility of this relationship became evident last February, over the protest of thousands of Californians, the Coastal Commission fired its highly revered Executive Director, Dr. Charles Lester.

Since then, the public has demanded a seat at the table to help with the search for his replacement. The Commission has hired a consulting firm to assist with its national search and is seeking public input via a Survey Monkey questionnaire that will inform the final Executive Director position and interview questions.

Take the Survey today! It's time to #SaveOurCoast.

Below are the 5 questions with suggested responses – feel free to use these or your own, but please help protect the future of our coast and take the survey today!

Survey Monkey Questions & Draft Responses for CCC Executive Director

1) Please identify the five professional characteristics you deem to be the most important in the next Executive Director. 

  • A strong leader who can earn trust and respect of Commission’s highly educated and experienced staff
  • An advanced degree in law or science
  • A minimum 15 years working directly with the California Coastal Act
  • Commitment to protection of environmentally sensitive habitat areas and coastal resources
  • Commitment to environmental and climate justice, and to interests of California Native Nations

2) Please identify the five personal characteristics you deem to be the most important in the next Executive Director. 

  • Integrity, evidenced by respect of peers
  • Honesty and trustworthiness, evidenced by track record of following the rules
  • Appreciation for 40 years of Coastal Act success
  • Empathy
  • Political Savvy

3) Please identify the five priorities/projects you would like to see the next Executive Director address in their first year of service. 

  • Completion of 2014 Strategic Plan priorities, including public transportation to coastal access areas
  • Consultation Policy to comply with Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-10-11 for Tribal Consultation
  • Increased grant funding through Whale Tail Grant
  • Increased grant funding for LCP updates to address sea level rise
  • New strategies for lower-cost overnight coastal accommodations

4) Are there any particular stakeholders or individuals you would suggest we contact in regard to this position either as potential candidates or referral sources and/or to gain particular insight regarding the agency and position? 

  • Yes, we recommend the Commission staff and its consultant meet with Surfrider coastal advocates throughout the State, as well as other engaged environmental, civil rights, coastal, and environmental justice organizations.

5) Additional Comments:

  • The new ED should not be a political figure or elected official, and they should not seek to politicize this important agency. Rather, the new ED should be a leader with a demonstrated record of commitment to both the letter and spirit of the law that governs coastal protection, the Coastal Act.

For more information, visit our campaign page.