Southern California environment news and trends

Coastal cities consider backing away from the beach

For Goleta Beach in Santa Barbara County, the best way of beating coastal erosion might very well be to just let it happen.

According to the Associated Press, Goleta Beach is one of the California locales looking into a “planned retreat” of moving roads, utilities and other developments further inland, allowing shoreline erosion to take it’s natural course.

This movement is in marked contrast to the more traditional methods of battling coastal erosion through seawalls and other barricades. As reported by AP, roughly 10 percent of California’s coastline is fortified, with a whole third of the Southern California shore behind some sort of wall.

"I like to think of it as getting out of the way gracefully," said David Revell, a senior coastal scientist involved in planned California retreats including Goleta Beach, to AP.


Patagonia is California’s first benefit corporation

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia (based in Ventura, CA) has always been one of the pioneers of environmentally conscious business practices. Spearheading a litany of Earth-preserving causes, Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard was the first in line on Tuesday to register his company to be a “benefit corporation” in California.

California is the seventh state to adopt this new status, which commits companies to make “a material positive impact on society or the environment.” The law allows businesses to put green initiatives ahead of shareholders’ interests. Without the designation, stockholders can sue a company for putting anything ahead of growing their stock worth.

"There is a way to create jobs and grow the economy while raising the bar for social and environmental responsibility," said Assemblyman Jared Huffman (who wrote the proposition) at a news conference this week. "With this new law, we are attracting new socially conscious companies, investors and consumers."