EJ Update to SLR Guidance Banner

California King Tides Project, Embarcadero at Pier 14, San Francisco. Photo Taken: Feb 9, 2020.

The California Coastal Commission is working to integrate the principles of environmental justice (EJ) into the agency’s sea level rise (SLR) policy and adaptation work. The work builds upon the Commission’s existing Environmental Justice Policy and intends to provide information on how to address EJ communities, impacts, and benefits when planning and analyzing for sea level rise. The final product of this work will be an environmental justice update to the Commission’s existing sea level rise policy guidance and will support consideration of EJ and SLR in coastal development permits as well as Local Coastal Program (LCP) updates, including in vulnerability assessments, adaptation plans, and draft LCP policies on sea level rise.

Meaningful Engagement:

We intend to incorporate community input throughout the entirety of this project. We have identified five primary audiences for engagement: project advisors, environmental justice community members, local governments, state agencies, and the general public. During the first phase, the project advisors will provide feedback on the draft update outline and an engagement plan. The second phase will include outreach to environmental justice community members and representatives by hosting a series of informational webinars and community meetings. The third phase of engagement will focus on outreach to our local government and state agency partners. The fourth and final phase of engagement will focus on outreach to members of the general public. We will be inviting members of the general public to engage, comment, and recommend updates to our policy guidance in 2024.

  • EJ and SLR Policy Guidance Advisors – Staff selected eight EJ and SLR subject matter experts in early 2023 to help provide guidance and feedback on the development of this project. See section below for more detail on the project’s advisors.
  • EJ community members and representatives – Staff will engage with EJ communities and representatives throughout the state who may be affected by the Commission’s sea level rise work. Engagement will occur directly, or through members of the policy guidance advisors.
  • Local governments – Staff will collaborate with local governments in the Coastal Zone who are implementing the Coastal Act through LCPs.
  • State agencies – Staff will collaborate with local governments in the Coastal Zone who are implementing the Coastal Act through LCPs.
  • General public – Staff will engage with broader members of the public who may be affected by, and/or are generally interested in, the Commission’s sea level rise work.

Engagement Plan Audiences Image

EJ and SLR Policy Guidance Advisors:

The Commission invited environmental justice and sea level rise subject matter experts throughout California to apply for a position to help advise staff on the development of the environmental justice update to its existing sea level rise policy guidance. Eight individuals were selected to participate as project advisors and will be paid a stipend to provide input over the development of the policy outline, public engagement plan, and final update to the sea level rise policy guidance.

The project advisors will inform the first steps of the project by providing input on the draft policy updates and feedback on the public engagement plan. Staff will then implement the community engagement plan and develop a draft update to the Commission’s existing sea level rise policy guidance. The update will eventually be adopted by the Coastal Commission and shared with local governments and the public. Members of the general public are invited to participate and submit comments during the hearing procedures. Below are the eight project advisors:

Below are the eight project advisors:

  • Adam Canter (he/him) is the Natural Resources Director for the Wiyot Tribe Natural Resources Department, located on the Wig (Humboldt Bay), where he has worked overseeing a variety of grant programs and projects since 2014, where he currently also acts as the community Co-Chair for the Cal Poly Humboldt SLR Institute.
  • Allene Villa (she/her) is a lifelong Océano resident of Latin origin. Currently working with Océano Beach Community Association, she has been advocating for environmental justice for 5 years. Her community is a coastal town that has endured decades EJ issues due off-roading the beach and dunes.
  • Cameron Yee (he/him) works at the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), where he organizes and engages residents of working-class immigrant communities in Oxnard in support of coastal access and environmental justice.
  • Charming Evelyn (she/her) has been working on water issues for the last 15 years through the Sierra Club as the Co-Chair of the CA Water Committee and Chair of the Angeles Chapter Water Committee (OC & LAC). Charming is also the Vice Chair of the Angeles Chapter Environmental & Social Justice Committee.
  • Delaney Alamillo (she/ella) was raised in Los Angeles, is a transwomyn, second generation Mexican American, and parent of two kids. She is the Executive Director of Community Nature Connection, a non-profit that provides transformative outdoor experiences, leadership development, and community engagement to all Angeleno youth and families.
  • Lesly Gallegos (she/her) is a first-generation graduate from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Sustainability. She has been involved with the community-based organization, Casa Familiar for over 4 years as a volunteer, advocate, educator, and organizer specializing in EJ and air quality.
  • Naama Raz Yaseef (she/her) is the Community Engagement Manager at The Watershed Project, a Bay Area nonprofit that works to better connect disadvantaged communities with their watersheds. Using a participatory lens on large-scale planning projects, she supports the enhancement of climate resiliency, especially around sea level rise. Previously, Naama worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab & UC Berkeley as an Environmental Scientist / Ecohydrologist.
  • Orion Camero (they/he/she) is an Oakland-based queer Filipinx multi-medium artist, coalition-builder and community advocate focused on nurturing the conditions for better worlds with a decade of experience. They believe the heart of collective liberation are the ingredients of inter-identity solidarity, cross-cultural connection, and exponential collaboration.

This work is being supported by Equilibrium Collaborative who are providing logistical support and facilitation services.

How to Get Involved:

There will be additional opportunities for public participation in the future. We will be updating this project page with more details. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at EnvironmentalJustice@coastal.ca.gov.

Finally, we invite you to stay tuned by signing up for our environmental justice newsletter and our sea level rise newsletter at www.coastal.ca.gov/signup.