Coronavirus Disease Update

Please note that public counter hours for all Commission offices are currently suspended in light of the coronavirus. However, in order to provide the public with continuity of service while protecting both you and our employees, the Commission remains open for business, and you can contact staff by phone, email, and regular mail (see staff contact information at www.coastal.ca.gov/contact). In addition to the regular means required by the regulations or statute, please make sure that you also send a copy of all correspondence or other documents electronically, to the email for the relevant Commission staff person. If you are not sure who the correct staff member is, please consult the District and Programs Contact list at www.coastal.ca.gov/contact. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work through this public health crisis.

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Volunteers in the Community

Our Mission
Protecting & Enhancing California's Coast


The Commission is committed to protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations. It does so through careful planning and regulation of environmentally-sustainable development, rigorous use of science, strong public participation, education, and effective intergovernmental coordination.

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Property Owners

Property Owners
© Josh Edelson

Property owners can apply for a Coastal Development Permit to legally develop their property within the California Coastal Zone

Local Governments

Local Governments
© Kesma Rauf

Many local governments are empowered to issue Coastal Development Permits through Local Coastal Plans

Informed Citizens

Informed Citizens
© US Army Corps of Engineers

Everyone can learn about our coast & how to protect it. Join a beach cleanup, get teacher resources & grants, help out & have fun

California Coastal Trail
California Coastal Trail

California Coastal Trail

Find inspiration in the stories that shaped the iconic California Coastal Trail.


California Coastal Access Guide

California Coastal Access Guide

The fully revised 7th Edition has information on more than 1,150 public access areas.


California Coastal Access Guide
Whale Tail License Plate
Whale Tail License Plate

Whale Tail® License Plate

Help protect & restore the priceless resources of California's coast & ocean


Beach Wheelchair
© De-Bug Beach Wheelchair

Beach Wheelchair

Access the coast with ease in a free beach wheelchair, available throughout California


Beach Wheelchair
Check the Coast
Check the Coast

Check the Coast

Donate to the Protect Our Coast & Oceans Fund on your California Tax Form


John "Jack" Ainsworth, 58, came to the Coastal Commission from the private sector in 1989 as a Coastal Program Analyst. Over the past 27 years, he has shouldered a variety of responsibilities including overseeing the South Central and South Coast (LA County) district offices and as the agency's Senior Deputy Director beginning in May 2015. He was appointed Acting Executive Director in March 2016. Ainsworth has a BA in Environmental Studies & Geography and an MSc in Geography from the University of California, Riverside.