AB 72 Will Increase Sea-Level Rise Initiatives Along the Coast
SACRAMENTO – With bipartisan support in the Legislature, AB 72 – The 2021 Coastal Adaptation Permitting Act – passed out of the Assembly. AB 72, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, will rationalize the regulatory approval process for critical coastal adaptation projects.
Scientists have identified promising nature-based coastal adaptation initiatives to help mitigate the effects of sea-level rise. These green solutions include the rehabilitation of tidal marshes to buffer rising tides, replacing shoreline armoring with living shorelines through beach nourishments and planting vegetation and using natural breakwaters of oysters to dissipate wave action and protect shorelines. Coastal adaptation initiatives like these are costly, lack resources and face unnecessarily complicated approval processes.
“The valuable time, expertise and resources of scientists working to combat sea-level rise should be spent on solutions, not bureaucracy,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “Time is of the essence as seas continue to rise along our coast, and we cannot waste resources trying to navigate unnecessary green tape.”
AB 72 seeks to cut green tape by directing the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to evaluate and implement a more a coordinated and efficient regulatory review process for coastal adaptation projects and report their findings to the Legislature.
“AB 72 sensibly connects both the state’s own recommendations for sea level rise planning with the Natural Resource Agency’s ‘Cutting Green Tape’ initiative in a way that offers hope for local governments, frontline communities and all those who depend on preserving a healthy California coast and coastal economy,” said Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation.
AB 72 is supported by the California Environmental Justice League, East Bay Park District and Surfrider Foundation and will be heard by the Senate later this summer.