Effort to stabilize coastal bluffs gains momentum

The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee yesterday heard Senate Bill 1090 by California Senator Patricia Bates that would help prevent further tragedies on public beaches such as the Encinitas bluff collapse that killed three people in August 2019.

Image source: USACE

The committee did not vote on the bill. Instead, the committee’s chair, Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), announced that he will work with Senator Bates to try to pass bipartisan legislation before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn the 2020 legislative session on August 31.

“I welcome today’s outcome as my effort has always been about saving lives and preserving beach access for all Californians,” said Senator Bates. “I appreciate the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee for giving me an opportunity to rebut the claims of critics who have grossly distorted my bill. Working with Senator Stern, I look forward to continuing the conversation on how we can best protect public safety, preserve beach access, and safeguard private and public infrastructure.”

As currently written, SB 1090 would require the Coastal Commission to approve a public agency’s or homeowner’s application for erosion mitigation efforts for planting, drainage, and seawall or shoreline protective device installation – but only if certain requirements for coastal mitigation are met.

If the Commission grants a permit to an applicant, the applicant would also pay for a specified amount of sand replenishment and permit processing costs.

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