Agency Seeks to Improve Coastal Conditions

The State Coastal Conservancy, according to new executive officer Peter Grenell, was established “to mediate coastal land use and resource conflicts and to help resolve issues not amenable to regulatory solution.”

Simply put, the conservancy, which began operating in 1978, regulates state funding to develop and restore coastal property. The State Coastal Commission, on the other hand, is a regulatory agency that issues permits for coastal development.

Grenell said the Oakland-based Conservancy dispenses much of its funding to local communities, who uses the money to develop public access, greenbelts and preserve wetlands. The agency has helped resolve the Bolsa Chica wetlands dispute, helped initiate the public stairway at Thousand Steps Beach in South Laguna, the Aliso Viejo Greenbelt, and partially funded the restoration of the Seal Beach Pier.

Grenell, writing in California WaterfrontAge,a Conservancy-published magazine, said it is time to confront the broader issues of land and resource management. For example, a coastal lagoon such as the Upper Newport Bay won’t remain in its natural state without adequate care for its watershed.


The problems of impending and continuing loss of agricultural lands as the result of development and salination, the destruction of remaining natural habitats and the demands of California’s burgeoning population “call for a vigorous and immediate response,” he said.

Grenell believes small coastal cities such as Laguna Beach must come to terms with the inherent development limitations and opportunities for growth. Larger cities face a crises in developing a water front that is acceptable economically as well as ecologically.

Grenell said the continuing economic and social importance of such industries as commercial fishing must be maintained in long-term waterfront revitalizations.

Sailing Notes


The Coast Guard is asking for help in preventing drug trafficking. Significant amounts of narcotics such as marijuana, hashish, cocaine and heroin enter the U.S. by sea, officials say. Mariners observing activity or having information that a vessel may be involved in narcotics trafficking are requested to contact the nearest Coast Guard unit or the Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District, (213) 590-2225. A report should include home port, flag displayed, date, time and position, estimated course and speed, description and color of vessel.

Those in need of a well-cared-for boat might try the Newport Used Boat Show Thursday through Sunday at Lido Marina Village, Newport Beach. More than 150 used boats are expected to be shown.

Other notable events: Spring Swap Meet sponsored by Dana West Yacht Club, Dana Point Harbor, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday; The Boat Lover’s Boat Show, featuring small boats for skiing, fishing and racing, at the Anaheim Convention Center, April 9-13; Spring Gold Cup sponsored by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, for all classes, April 12-13.

Hilde Brant has been installed as the Balboa Angling Club’s first woman president. Bob Kurz was named vice president.