Environmental Justice Banner

The Coastal Commission is focused on ensuring California’s coast is accessible to all Californians, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status or place of residence. In order to integrate the principles of environmental, racial and social equity throughout the agency, the Commission has a three-phase approach which includes its Environmental Justice Policy, a racial equity plan, and an ongoing five-year strategic plan. The Environmental Justice Policy is the leading effort guiding the Commission’s decisions to protect coastal resources equitably.

The Environmental Justice Policy is a framework for identifying and analyzing project impacts on underserved and disadvantaged communities. The policy is designed to achieve more meaningful engagement, equitable process, effective communication and stronger coastal protection benefits for all Californians.

Effie Turnbull-Sanders Picture

Effie Turnbull-Sanders

Governor Brown appointed Commissioner Turnbull-Sanders as the environmental justice commissioner in 2017.

Staff Team

Coastal Commission Environmental Justice Policy

In 2019, the Coastal Commission unanimously adopted its first environmental justice policy to provide guidance for Commissioners, staff, and the public on how the Commission will implement its environmental justice authority and integrate the principles of environmental justice, equality, and social equity into all aspects of the Commission’s program and operations.

For additional information about the policy adoption, read the press release or watch the recording of the Commission meeting.

Statement of Principles

Environmental Justice Policy Story Map

Environmental Justice Year in Review

The Coastal Commission adopted its Environmental Justice Policy and implementation actions in March 2019. Over the last year, the Commission has made progress on a number of actions, which are highlighted in its first Environmental Justice Year in Review for 2020 and the implementation update

Want to stay updated with our work?

Stay Informed - Resources

Resources for Educators / Students

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Learn about the concept and history of environmental justice and access videos and classroom lessons for middle and high school students.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Sheets

In 2019, the Commission adopted its Environmental Justice Policy and committed to creating and sharing informational material about projects that can be easily understood by environmental justice communities affected by the Commission’s decisions. Towards that commitment, the Commission’s Environmental Justice Unit will create and send FAQ sheets for projects that meet at least one of the following criteria: 1) receives several questions from the public on environmental justice, 2) includes findings on environmental justice impacts, or 3) has a high level of public interest. We will send FAQ sheets for upcoming projects on the EJ listerv and post them on the Commission’s Environmental Justice webpage. To learn more about a specifc project, select from our list of FAQs below.


Upcoming Events

Past Events

  • October 21, 2019 Webinar

    • Staff recorded an informational webinar on Monday, October 21, 2019. The webinar covered an in-depth review of the Commission’s Environmental Justice Policy and how staff has been implementing it in their permitting and planning work. Staff answer questions from the audience at the end. Link to Webinar Recording

Tribal Consultation Policy

The Tribal Consultation Policy is a separate and distinct policy and process than the draft Environmental Justice Policy. More information about the Tribal Consultation Policy can be found here

Environmental Justice Updates to Sea Level Rise Guidance

The California Coastal Commission is developing new policy guidance on integrating the principles of environmental justice into the agency’s sea level rise adaptation work. Learn more.

Recursos en Español

Encontrara recursos sobre varios temas que hemos traducido en español en esta página.

Staff Team

To learn more about staff members in a specifc region or get contact information from a district office of interest, select the drop down toggle to the left.