(Sacramento, CA) – Legislation by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D – North Bay) to expand the role of agriculture in decisions made along California’s coastal zone has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.
AB 1644 (Levine) authorizes the California Coastal Commission (Commission) to work with agricultural experts to address coastal erosion and geology, marine biodiversity, wetland restoration, sea level rise, desalination plans and the cumulative impact of coastal zone developments. This legislation brought together an unlikely coalition with both the California Coastal Commission and the California Farm Bureau Federation supporting AB 1644. Their support highlighted agriculture’s unique and critical role in shaping sustainable land use along California’s coast into the future.
“With the availability of new science substantiating agricultural practices, like carbon sequestration in soils and precision irrigation, it is pivotal that the (Coastal) Commission has access to these resources to ensure its decision-making guides sound and practical coastal planning, land conservation and development decisions in an agricultural context,” said Taylor Roschen, Policy Advocate for the California Farm Bureau Federation. “AB 1644 allows the Commission to pursue this worthy endeavor.”
Jack Ainsworth, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission noted that, “adding agriculture to the list of topics on which the Commission is especially encouraged to consider outside expertise would make clear that scientific input on agricultural issues is worthy of consideration and would further affirm that agriculture is a priority land use under the Coastal Act.”
“The North Bay is home to some of the most productive and delicious agriculture in California,” said Assemblymember Levine. “I am proud to have worked closely with the California Coastal Commission, the California Farm Bureau Federation, my legislative colleagues and Governor Newsom to ensure that we work with agricultural experts to address sea level rise, climate change other impacts to the coast. This work will ensure the sustainability of California agriculture for generations to come.”
AB 1644 received unanimous bipartisan support in the State Assembly and State Senate. AB 1644 takes effect on January 1, 2020.
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