Laws and Regulations
The three key principles of the common law Public Trust Doctrine; the right to fish, the right to navigate, and the right to access public tidelands and submerged lands, have been enshrined in the California Constitution since 1879. The constitutional prohibition on the sale of sovereign lands has been modified only once to address a specific issue relating to the state's sales of sovereign lands prior to the 1879 prohibition.
The Legislature has placed certain laws relating to the Commission’s authority and jurisdiction in the Civil Code and in the Government Code, including but not limited to retrocessions, cessions, and certain boundary and navigation determinations.
The primary location of the Commission's statutory authority is in Divisions 6, 7, 7.5, 7.7, 7.8 and 36 of the Public Resources Code and Government Code. The links to laws governing the Commission below will take you to the California Legislative Information website. Those statutes can be found directly by clicking here to go directly the California Legislature's website. Following these links will take you to locations outside of the Commission's website.
The Legislature has granted control of portions of sovereign lands to approximately 75 local municipalities. With the exception of the grants to the San Diego Unified Port District and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Conservation, and Recreation District, these statutes are not located in the Civil Code, Government Code, Public Resources Code, or any other code. They are uncodified.
Under state law, the Commission is required to enact regulations to implement its statutory authority. With the exception of a portion of the Marine Oil Terminal regulations, the Commission's regulations are located in Title 2 (Administration), Division 3 (State Property Operations), Chapter 1 (State Lands Commission), of the California's Code of Regulations. The table below indicates which Articles relate to what topics. Only Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations (Marine Oil Terminals), maintained by the California Building Standards Commission, is available directly from this website. Please note that following these links will take you to locations outside of the Commission's website.
As a state agency, the Commission updates its existing regulations in conformance with the Administrative Procedures Act, which is overseen by the state Office of Administrative Law. All of the Commission's pending regulatory changes are available here.
The Legislative Affairs Office provides the Commission with legislative strategies to advance the Commission's management of public trust lands and resources. The Legislative Affairs Office also provides expert policy advice to the Administration and the Legislature on policy and fiscal implications of public land and resource management-related legislation. Additionally, the Legislative Affairs Office articulates the Commission's position on legislation proposed by the state Legislature and Congress and represents the Commission at Committee hearings. The full versions of chaptered bills impacting the Commission are available on the Legislative Counsel's Bill Information web page.