Cottie Petrie-Norris

AB 65 to invest millions in green infrastructure along California’s coast

In an effort to combat the effects of our climate crisis, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) authored Assembly Bill 65 which was signed into law by Governor Newsom today. AB 65 invests in Green Infrastructure along the California coast in order to combat sea-level rise.

“The California coast is home to 840 miles of breathtaking beauty and nearly 70% of all Californians,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. “And all of this is under threat from sea-level rise. We must be proactive and invest in smart solutions to safeguard our coast.”

Sea-levels are expected to rise 4-8 feet by the end of this century. This is 20-40 times faster than the rate we experienced in the 20th century and the implications are potentially catastrophic. According to a new United Nations-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the rate of global sea-level rise was 2.5 times faster from 2006 to 2016 than it was for nearly all of the 20th century. In the Antarctic ice sheet, the rate of mass loss had tripled relative to the previous decade and in Greenland, it’s doubled over the past decade. This is a global climate crisis.

Proposition 68, approved by California voters on June 5, 2018, authorized $40 million to assist coastal communities with adaptation to climate change. AB 65 will invest in projects that utilize green-natural infrastructure for coastal adaptation to address sea-level rise. Examples of green infrastructure include: tidal marshes, which reduce flooding and replenish beaches; kelp & seagrass, which reduce wave impacts; marshes, which reduce flooding and erosion; and much more.

Natural restoration projects not only protect the coast – they restore ecosystems, are important for carbon sequestration, improve recreation and access opportunities, and support coastal economies. This is a cost-effective, resilient approach to combat sea-level rise and protect the California coast.

This bill will become operative on January 1, 2020. AB 65 is supported by: Audubon California, Azul, California CoastKeeper Alliance, California Interfaith Power & Light, California League of Conservation Voters, California Native Plant Society, California State PTA, California Trout, California Voices for Progress, California Waterfowl Association, California Wilderness Coalition, Ceres, City of Costa Mesa, City of Laguna Beach, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of Harbors Beaches and Parks, Heal the Bay, Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., Midpeninsula Regional OpenSpace, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Natural Resources Defense Council, Orange County Business Council, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, TreePeople, The Nature Conservancy, The Ocean Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Union of Concerned Scientists and Wholly H20.

This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris.