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Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan

 

CALL TO ACTION:

Join the Zoom Planning Commission meeting at 1pm on October 7, 2021.

Comment on Item #1: Local Coastal Plan and ask the commissioners to give more time for public comment/input in this important document. Tell them to consider a pesticide ban in the coastal zone like what was implemented in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains.

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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