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Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan

Call to Action: Speak out at Local Coastal Plan final vote

Please attend June 17th special Board of Supervisor's meeting to speak out against new additions to pesticide policy in the Local Coastal Plan that could allow for vineyards in sensitive coastal areas and uncontrolled insecticide use.


Sonoma County's Local Coastal Plan is set for a final vote at 9am this Monday, July 17th. Sonoma SASS has been working with the County for many years to insure the LCP included language to prohibit pesticide use in the sensitive coastal zone. This type of prohibition is currently being used in other LCPs such as those in Malibu and Ventura.


The Planning Commission included language to prohibit pesticide use in the draft they voted to support. Now that the LCP is moving to final vote by the Board of Supervisor, the language has been changed at the last minute, and the changes are extremely concerning. The new language would allow for unrestricted insecticide use in the case of issues with a "state or federal quarantined pest" and open up a loophole that could allow agriculture (read vineyards) in sensitive coastal environments where they are currently not allowed.


Please write to your supervisors and, most importantly, SHOW UP at the Monday July 17th Board of Supervisors meeting to voice your concerns. Local environmental advocacy groups have been working for years with the county to create an environmentally responsible LCP. Industry influence has come in at the last minute and has been allowed to influence many substantial changes that threaten our coastline. The LCP will likely not be updated again for several decades. What is in this document will be guiding development decisions for the next generation.


Talking points:


  1. Thank you for your support to include language that would prohibit pesticide use in the coastal zone. We support including the same language used in Malibu and Ventura Counties. Thank you for your intentions to protect Sonoma County's coastline from unnecessary toxic exposure!

  2. There are 2 recent changes being proposed by Permit Sonoma to the language regarding pesticide prohibitions. These amendments came in at the last minute and appear to open large loopholes. We ask that you reject these 2 proposed amendments, specifically:

**Please reject the proposed language that would allow "excludable activities" within mapped sanctuary preservation and conservation areas. This language opens a loophole that could allow for vineyards in sensitive coastal environments that they are currently not allowed in


**Please reject the proposed change in language that provides for the unrestricted use of insecticides in the coastal zone for "the eradication of invasive state or federal quarantined pests".



What: Local Coastal Plan special Board of Supervisors meeting When: Monday, July 17 at 9 a.m. Where: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers 575 Administration Drive 102A, Santa Rosa or on Zoom at


You can also email the Board of Supervisors at but please show up to the meeting (or, in the least, join by zoom) if you can!

Listen to Richard Charter talk about our Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan (3/29/23 KGUA 88.3FM)


Sonoma County is in the process of updating its Local Coastal Plan. The goal of this plan should be to strengthen coastline ecosystems and restore degraded land, not sponsor more development. Unfortunately, the revised plan proposed by the County has removed protections and does not adequately address things like ecological land management and restoration, climate change, sea level rise, and pesticide use. 


Ecosystems along the Sonoma coast are having a hard time. Climate change is altering natural cycles that food webs rely on, making it difficult for some species to survive. 90% of all sea live lives in the coastal zone. These animals can’t handle any more stressors! Natural Resource Management and Ocean Policy Experts name 2 things coastal communities like Sonoma County can do to help ocean animals be more adaptive to climate change. These include:

  1. Minimizing activities like pesticide use, agricultural and sewage runoff and land development that all bring pollutants into coastal waters, and

  2. Protecting the waters through better ocean management to keep out ocean energy projects and aquaculture.


The ocean represents the vastness of our collective souls. Though her breadth is great she is not immune to our carelessness, to a “business as usual” strategy. 


Your voice matters! Log into these upcoming public meetings and write your Planning Commissioners and County Supervisors. Tell them you want to see the health of our coastline prioritized. 


Together we can give our coastal species (which includes ourselves!) a better shot at weathering the changes ahead.

Climate Change and the Sonoma Coast

Ecosystems along the Sonoma coast are having a hard time. Climate change is altering natural cycles that food webs rely on, making it difficult for some species to survive. Rising temperatures, changes in seasonal upwelling cycles, Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB), dead zones, food shortages, and ocean acidification are creating an existential crisis for some animals.  We are blessed with a healthy dungenous crab fishery, but our abalone fishery may never recover from the 2015 Sea Star Wasting Syndrome event. Sunflower Sea Stars, a necessary predator to keep sea urchin populations in check, may be on the road to extinction.

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