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Support AB 72: Coastal Adaptation Permitting Act of 2021

10 • 01 • 2021

Support AB 72: Coastal Adaptation Permitting Act of 2021

This bill was signed into law to ensure state agencies can establish a more coordinated and efficient regulatory review and permitting process for natural infrastructure adaptation projects.

This bill was signed into law on September 28, 2021 by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

More than 70 percent of California's residents live, work and play in coastal counties, where almost 86 percent of the state's total gross domestic product is generated. And three in four Californians across the entirety of the state say the condition of the ocean and beaches is very important to California’s quality of life.

But our coastal habitats, economy and recreational opportunities are under profound threat from sea level rise. In 2019, California's Legislative Analyst's Office detailed the urgent need for meaningful sea level rise adaptation planning and called for the state to support beneficial adaptation projects that protect public resources, reduce damage to critical infrastructure and address the needs of vulnerable communities. The report also noted these projects face many challenges, including funding and other resources and a lengthy, complicated approval process. To address the threat of SLR with the urgency required, we must improve the current review process for valuable coastal adaptation projects.

This aligns with the Natural Resources Agency’s own Cutting Green Tape initiative, which is designed to maintain the state’s strong environmental protections while increasing the pace and scale of projects that restore essential habitat and imperiled ecosystems.

AB 72 supports both the state’s own recommendations for sea level rise planning and the agency’s new initiative. AB 72 offers hope for local governments, frontline communities and all those who care about a healthy California coast – which is all of us.