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RELEASE: Earth Day Focus on Sea-Level Rise Prevention

Leading Experts Strategize to Safeguard California’s Coast and Cut Green Tape

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – In celebration of Earth Day, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris held a virtual press conference with leading scientists and advocates to highlight the risks threatening California’s coastal communities. The Assemblywoman highlighted legislative efforts to cut green tape and expand coastal protection. 
“On Earth Day we renew our focus on protecting and restoring the health of our planet,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “Leading experts across the state are ready with solutions to safeguard our coast from sea-level rise. We must ensure that coastal habitat restoration is a top priority for California, and we can do that by removing bureaucratic Green Tape that’s only slowing down innovative solutions.”

“Get Inspired has been dedicated to ocean restoration projects since 2009.  We have been restoring the kelp forests and other species that are in decline with the help of thousands of students and volunteers,” said Nancy Caruso, Marine Biologist and Founder of Get Inspired, Inc. “We are so grateful for the support of Assemblywoman Petrie Norris, her work for the ocean and our environment is tireless and appreciated.”
"The Coastal Commission has been protecting the California Coast for almost as long as Earth Day has been around," said Coastal Commission Chairman Steve Padilla. "But figuring out how to preserve our beloved beaches in an era of climate change is the biggest challenge we've ever grappled with. Sea Level Rise is requiring us to rethink how we plan and build our coastal cities in a way that keeps people safe as well as safeguarding the beaches, bluffs and trails for all Californians to enjoy."
Earth Day provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are to live on such a beautiful and fragile planet,” said Louisa Morris, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. “It’s so important that each of us do our part to “give back” and act as stewards for our earth.  We must work together to address and prevent climate change and all of its permanent and serious long-term effects.”
“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,” said Jennifer Savage, Surfrider Foundation. “But our coastal habitats, economy and recreational opportunities are under profound threat from sea level rise. The state must support beneficial adaptation projects that protect public resources, reduce damage to critical infrastructure and address the needs of vulnerable communities.”
Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris has introduced several bills this legislative session to address sea-level rise and cutting green tape:

  • AB 63: Cuts green tape, allowing for the restoration of marine life along California’s Coast.
  • AB 67: Sea Level Rise Preparedness Act of 2021 - Ensures that Sea Level Rise analyses are included when state agencies plan for and invest in state infrastructure.
  • AB 72: Coastal Adaptation Permitting Act of 2021 - Establishes a coordinated and efficient process for coastal adaptation permitting.
  • AB 1408: Removes costly barriers to innovative coastal adaptation projects along the coast.
  • SB 1 (Atkins): Directs the California Coastal Commission to take sea level rise into account in its planning, policies, and activities, and would establish the California Sea Level Rise State and Regional Support Collaborative.