Loving our coast

Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan is still taking comments. There’s plenty of issues that need to be resolved including Marine Protection Zones and Endangered Species Areas which have been either eliminated or scaled back drastically. Have you made your comments to planning staff?

Attention: Ms. Cecily Condon

Permit Sonoma

2550 Ventura Avenue

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Submitted to: PRMD-LCP-Update@sonoma-county.org

Op-Ed:  California’s Beaches Closures Offer A Glimpse Of The Likely Future. That Should Frighten Us. 

According to The Washington Post, “There’s nothing like a global pandemic to remind us of what we truly value.

As mortality rates and economic upheaval fill the headlines, we in coastal California are also grappling with another significant change: the closing of our beaches and the severing of our access to the sea. For the first time in history, most people in Southern California, under stay-at-home orders, are completely banned from surfing, sunbathing, fishing or building sandcastles at the ocean’s edge. It is hard to understate the magnitude of this situation or how portentous it is.

Californians are extremely attached to coastal places. The annual California State University Channel Islands Coastal Survey has found that sandy beaches are so central to our identity that when asked for words that come to mind when prompted with ‘California,’ survey respondents overwhelmingly answered ‘sunny,’ ‘beach’ or similar phrases.

The survey also found that 8% of the residents of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties go to the beach daily, 31% go at least weekly and 61% go at least monthly. One-third of us went to the beach before our first birthday; half of us before our second. Some 77% of Californians say the ‘condition of the ocean and beaches is very important to the economy and quality of life for California’s future.’ This deep love of the coast is what prompted Californians, by an overwhelming majority of initiative voters and then legislators, to create the Coastal Act, ensuring and protecting the public’s access to the shore. The monetary value of this access adds up, with ocean-dependent tourism and recreation in Southern California’s five coastal counties alone contributing more than $12 billion to the state GDP in 2016.” [The Washington Post, 4/3/20 (+)]