Bill Encouraging Coastal Stewardship Passes Key Policy Committee
Sacramento, CA – April 24, 2018 – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) secured the unanimous approval of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee for his bill that seeks to increase public awareness about issues affecting the coast and spread knowledge about the need to mitigate human impact. The legislation, SB 1365, now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
SB 1365 would require that mitigation funds paid to the State Coastal Conservancy (The Conservancy) that are not otherwise restricted be awarded for funding grants to nonprofit organizations that offer scientific, educational, cultural or heritage programs that focus on the history and stewardship of the ocean and coastal resources.
“As California continues to enhance our coastal and ocean resources, it is important that we increase public awareness about the threats to our coast”, said Senator Hueso. “By prioritizing funding for these types of programs, this bill will help ensure that all Californians are active stewards of the coast”.
Research commissioned by The Conservancy found that 89.3 percent of Californian adults feel that the coast is important and 68.9 percent wish they could visit more often. While Californians understand that the coast is important, access and knowledge about the coast and its resources is a growing problem. The Conservancy reported that barriers to coastal access disproportionately impact low-income populations and populations away from the coast.
A recent study conducted by UCLA that focused on the next generation of challenges to coastal access supports an increase in recreational and educational opportunities as a solution to these challenges. Educational programs can have multiple societal benefits, including exposing people to the need for conservation, and encouraging the public to be active participants in mitigating and reversing the impacts of human activity on climate change and the environment.
Senate Bill No. 1365 is sponsored by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.