NRDC environmentalist named to Coastal Commission

A view of Stinson Beach in Marin County north of San Francisco. (Photo: Sundry Photography)

Linda Escalante, an environmental advocate and a legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, has been named to the California Coastal Commission, the powerful regulatory body with jurisdiction over 1,100 miles of coastline.

Her appointment as one of 12 voting members on the commission was announced by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

Rendon said the commission’s role is not just protecting the coast but also “making it accessible to communities that have historically been shut out. Linda’s entire career has been about this exact cause, and I’m excited to be able to appoint someone who can contribute that critically important perspective.”

Escalante is the Southern California legislative director for the NRDC.

The commission aims to “protect and enhance California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations” by managing all development that occurs along the California coast, excluding the San Francisco Bay.

The 15-member board – it has three non-voting commissioners — consists of members of the public and local officials, and includes attorneys, environmental activists, experts and others.

Voting members are appointed four each by the Assembly speaker, the Senate Rules Committee and the governor. The appointees serve staggered terms.

Escalante is the Southern California legislative director for the NRDC, a nonprofit, environmental activist group targeting water and oceans, coastal protections, urban areas and health.

Linda Escalante

Her NRDC role includes working with elected officials, building coalitions and advocating on behalf of environmental safeguards.

Escalante has written extensively (in both English and Spanish) on environmental and health issues for the NRDC’s online platform.

Prior to joining the NRDC in 2005, Escalante worked in the RAND Health and UCLA partnership program on Latino Children with Asthma as well as with Allies Against Asthma in Puerto Rico.

Escalante, who has a Bachelor’s degree in biology from UCLA, has received the Latina Magazine New Generation Award and was named one of PODER Magazine’s 100 U.S. Green Latino Leaders.

She also seeks to make environmental education more accessible to the Latino community by writing many of her pieces in Spanish.

Rendon named Escalante to the commission for a four-year term ending in 2023.

The commission meets once a month at different locations across the state. Their next meeting is June 12 in San Diego.

Escalante earlier served as an alternate member of the commission.

Editor’s Note: Sarah Abdeshahian is a Capitol Weekly intern from UC Berkeley.

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