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California Coastal Commission - Reforming the environmental regulatory system

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Reforming the environmental regulatory system is a central theme of SINS OF COMMISSION.

As a filmmaker who has swum upstream against the tide of public perception in California, it is thrilling to hear other voices in support of our central theme - that reforming the environmental regulatory system is way past due.  SINS OF COMMISSION is in alignment with, and at the forefront of, a new progressive, and sound  environmental policy…a policy that  honors both the environment and people’s rights.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative today released its much anticipated report, “One Coast, One Future: Securing the Health of West Coast Ecosystems and Economies.” The report, requested by 19 elected officials from California, Oregon and Washington State, offers guidance to local, state and federal leaders on how to improve the health of coastal ecosystems and the economies that depend on them through integrated decision making.

“Protecting our oceans and coasts starts at the local level,” said Leon E. Panetta, co-chair of the Joint Initiative and former White House Chief of Staff. “We are pleased to see so much interest in finding solutions to the critical problems facing our oceans and coasts. The Joint Initiative has provided the input that will lead to meaningful ocean policy reform at the state and local level,” Panetta continued.

This information will be critical for protecting human health and safety and the economic vitality and quality of life of coastal communities.  The bolding is mine because the report makes a salient point that The California Coastal Commission refuses to acknowledge, and has refused for over 30 years: People have a right to live…and even prosper….. 

One of the Partnership’s six goals is “a quality of human life that is sustained by a functioning…  ecosystem.” Which seems to be what the California Coastal Commission goes out of its way to ignore, choosing instead, the status quo, cronyism, and environmental degradation.

The Action Agenda lays out initial outcomes and measures for human well-being that include aesthetic values, opportunities for recreation and access, adequate upland and marine resources to sustain tribal treaty rights and needs, thriving natural resource and marine industries, and economic prosperity that is supported by and compatible with ecosystem protection and restoration. The Partnership is currently working to identify specific measures and targets for human well-being.  

Strategic priorities are to work effectively and efficiently across jurisdictions and sectors on priority actions.

This includes planning, implementing and decision-making in an integrated way with an ecosystem perspective, building and sustaining the long-term capacity of partners to effectively and efficiently implement the Action Agenda, and reforming the environmental regulatory system, including aligning regulatory programs. The coordinating structure of the Partnership includes a seven-member, governor-appointed Leadership Council that governs the Partnership and an Ecosystem Coordination Board that advises the Leadership Council on implementation issues.

The Ecosystem Coordination Board includes representatives from federal, state, tribal, county and local governments; each of the action areas; and business and environmental interests.

Conspicuously absent from the report was any reference to or mention of the California Coastal Commission….could it have something to do with reforming the CCC as SINS OF COMMISSION suggests?



 
 
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