California’s Coastal Conservancy

This is a historial post from Hiking the California Trail, a 1998/2002 book set by Bob Lorentz and Richard Nichols. Where possible an update has been provided.

California’s Coastal Conservancy is a state agency that protects and improves coastal and San Francisco Bay natural resources and helps the public get to and enjoy the coast. It works in partnership with local governments, other public agencies, nonprofit organizations and private landowners. The Coastal Conservancy has undertaken more than 700 projects along California’s 1,100-mile coastline and around San Francisco Bay. Through such projects the Conservancy:

  • Protects and improves coastal wetlands, streams, watersheds, and wildlife habitat.
  • Helps people get to the coast and bayshores by building trails and stairways and by acquiring land and easements. It also assists in the creation of low-cost accommodations along the coast, including campgrounds and hostels.
  • Works with local communities to revitalize urban waterfronts.
  • Protects agricultural lands and supports coastal agriculture.
  • Helps to solve complex land-use problems.

The state of California created the Coastal Conservancy to serve as intermediary among government, citizens, and the private sector, recognizing that creative approaches would be needed to preserve California’s coast and San Francisco Bay lands for future generations.

Since its establishment in 1976, the Coastal Conservancy has:

  • Completed more than 450 projects, with over 150 projects currently active. These projects include construction of trails and other public access facilities, restoration and improvement of wetlands and other wildlife habitat, restoration of public piers and urban waterfronts, and preservation of farmland and open space.
  • Built more than 230 accessways and trails, including major portions of the California Coastal Trail and San Francisco Bay Trail, thus opening more than 70 miles of coastal and bay lands for public use.
  • Assisted in the completion of 100 urban waterfront projects, including work on nearly every public pier on the coast.
  • Helped preserve more than 50,000 acres of wetlands, dunes, wildlife habitat, parks, farmland and scenic open space. Retired more than 600 inappropriately planned subdivision lots.
  • Joined in partnerships with more than 100 local land trusts and other nonprofit groups in all parts of the coast and San Francisco Bay.

The Coastal Conservancy serves all Californians and visitors to the state who are interested in enjoying, improving, and protecting the spectacular natural resources of the California coast and San Francisco Bay.

Originally Published in Hiking the California Coastal Trail: Guide to Walking the Golden State's Beaches and Bluff from Border to Border - Volume Two: Monterey to Mexico by Bob Lorentzen and Richard Nichols