The Commission held its December public meeting in San Diego. Chairwoman Erica Pinto of the Jamul Indian Village of California welcomed the Commission and gave a brief history of her tribal history. The Port of San Diego Chair, Rafael Castellanos, also welcomed the Commission and expressed support for two key agenda items; the Environmental Justice Policy and the San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership Preliminary Assessment Report.
The Commission expressed its gratitude to Lt. Governor and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom and his staff, Rhys Williams and Sloane Viola, for their service on the Commission and tremendous contributions to the people of California over the past several years. They will be missed. Below is a snapshot of some of the significant Commission actions that occurred during the meeting.
Following extensive public engagement over the past year and a half, the Commission adopted a comprehensive Environmental Justice Policy and Implementation Blueprint that is responsive to the needs of environmental justice communities and Native Nations. The Policy will apply to the Commission’s management of State-owned sovereign land and resources and State-owned school land and resources, its regulatory authority under the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act and the Marine Invasive Species Act, and will inform its oversight of land legislatively granted to local jurisdictions.
Marine Invasive Species Program
The Commission approved a report to the Legislature, the 2018 Assessment of the Efficacy, Availability, and Environmental Impacts of Ballast Water Treatment Technologies for Use in California Waters. Staff noted that the Report comes on the heels of Congress passing the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, which has significant implications to the Commission’s Marine Invasive Species Program. Staff also noted that it is working with Congress and others to continue assessing the implications of the legislation, should it be signed into law, and that it intends to work with the California Legislature as appropriate to update California law to reflect the findings in the Report.
San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership
The Commission approved a final Preliminary Assessment Report for the San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership, a huge milestone for the Commission. The Assessment Report is a key deliverable for this forward-thinking pilot project, a collaboration between the Commission and the Port of San Diego, that approaches planning from the perspectives of diverse stakeholders, best available science, and data collection. The Assessment Report will help build the foundation for robust communication and coordination while incorporating the best available science and data to glean more informed resource-management decision-making. Importantly, the Commission directed staff to develop an early engagement framework for stakeholders, users of the ocean space, and potential applicants using the Web Mapping Application.
Sea-level Rise Planning
Dr. David Revell, the Principal and Chief Coastal Scientist of Revell Coastal, LLC, briefed the Commission about its collaboration with the City of Imperial Beach to plan for sea-level rise and presented the results of recent coastal hazard vulnerabilities and economic impact assessment. Dr. Revell also described ways that the Commission can help to support future adaptation and protect the State’s valuable Public Trust resources.
Crockett Marine Services
The Commission found Crockett Marine Services in default of its lease, terminated the lease, and authorized the Executive Officer to take all steps necessary, including litigation or acceptance of quitclaim, to secure payment of back rent; the removal of an existing commercial marina, restaurant, boat repair facility, and appurtenant facilities, located in the Carquinez Strait; and to restore the land to its previous condition.
The Commission’s next meeting will be in early 2019 and likely will include consideration of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Units 2 and 3 Decommissioning Project, and a progress report on the Commission’s Strategic Plan.