Attack on Our California Coast: Defending State’s Rights in Response to Federal Offshore Drilling Under the Coastal Zone Management Act

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released a March 11 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for public and corporate comments on ways the Trump Administration could “streamline” the all-important federal consistency process under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), thus weakening long-held state’s rights with respect to virtually all facets of federal offshore oil and gas drilling, seismic airgun petroleum exploration, and renewable energy projects. Public comments on this Federal Register Notice are due on April 25, 2019.

Hog Island Coastal Development Project Approved

Hog Island Oyster Company (Hog Island) submitted a coastal development permit amendment application to the California Coastal Commission (Commission) for four coastal development permits. The application was approved unanimously by the Commission on February 8, 2019. The application included requests to expand shellfish aquaculture operations to 54 acres of state tidelands including the use of new equipment and additional species, approval for after-the-fact permits for cultivation development, and requests for the approval of installation and use of cultivation equipment within Hog Island’s current 25 acres of operations.

Aquaculture BMPs Move Forward

The aquaculture best management practices (BMPs) are moving forward. On October 25th, EAC represented the environmental interest along with a member of our Waters Advisory Committee, participating at an additional stakeholder meeting in Santa Rosa. Then on November 14th, Ashley Eagle-Gibbs, EAC’s Conservation Director, traveled to Sacramento with a member of our Waters Advisory Committee to continue to advocate for BMPs to the Fish and Game Commission’s Marine Resources Committee (MRC).

California Loves the Coast - No Drill No Spill!

Californians love the coast. That is why EAC is part of an offshore oil opposition coalition that is working to protect the West Coast from oil drilling. EAC supports AB 1775 and SB 834, which would prohibit the leasing of state waters for new construction of oil and gas-related infrastructure. These bills are moving their way through the California legislature.

Tomales Bay Aquaculture & MPA Updates

On March 6th 2018, EAC traveled to Santa Rosa to provide testimony before the Fish and Game Commission's Marine Resources Committee (MRC) on several topics including EAC's Marine Protected Area (MPA) Citizen Science Watch program, aquaculture Best Management Practices (BMPs), the proposed new aquaculture (Brodsky) lease, and future programmatic planning for the Bay.