|Governor Davis signs legislation to save the Coastal Commission
by Bill Allayaud, State Legislative Director, Sierra Club California
On February 20, 2003 Governor Gray Davis signed legislation that will hopefully
resolve the constitutional issue raised by the composition of the California Coastal
This legislative response was needed in the face of an adverse Court of Appeals
ruling of December 30, 2002 in the Marine Forests vs. Coastal Commission case.
The Marine Forests case involves a man in the Los Angeles area who has illegally
dumped old tires and other objects in the ocean just offshore. His claim is that
he is doing an experiment to show that habitat can be created from these materials.
However, he failed to comply with various state laws including the Coastal Act
that requires he receive a permit from the Coastal Commission for such a project.
The resulting lawsuit challenged the legality of the Coastal Commission itself
and resulted ultimately in the new legislation signed by Governor Davis in February.
So for now, this issue is put to rest. But be assured that the conservative legal
foundation that handled the case will pursue this matter as they would like nothing
better than having no Coastal Commission around. The Sierra Club and other environmental
organizations are equally committed to preserving the California coast. Stay tuned
for the rest of the story.