Marta Golding Brown and Krista Pleiser, co-founders of Smart Coast California, made history recently when they became the first non-Realtors ever awarded Leadership Awards from the California Association of Realtors.
The pair were honored by Otto Catrina, CAR president, for being the driving force behind the creation of Smart Coast California, a nonprofit that works hand-in-hand with local and state agencies and the California Coastal Commission to ensure the rights of property owners, and visitors are protected as governments plan for ways to adapt to future sea-level rise.
Ms. Brown is vice president of advocacy and public affairs for the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors, and Ms. Pleiser is government affairs director for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.
Ms. Pleiser and Ms. Brown recognized five years ago that cities and counties along the coast were all dealing independently with the Coastal Commission on how to deal with sea-level rise. They believed that it was necessary for local governments to stand together to work for solutions that would protect important coastal resources instead of abandoning them in an approach called managed retreat.
Smart Coast California was formally created in 2019 and has become a recognized information source that works closely with the Coastal Commission, local governments, environmental groups and private property advocates.
Among its accomplishments was the first-ever sea-level rise summit in May that brought together representatives from all stakeholders to discuss multiple strategies and exchange ideas.
Joe Prian, a San Luis Obispo Realtor and this year’s Smart Coast California president, said Ms. Brown and Ms.Pleiser’s leadership was invaluable in the group’s formation.
“Marta and Krista recognized the need for Smart Coast before anyone else did and worked tirelessly to persuade CAR and other organizations to provide initial funding. They both work tirelessly for the continued growth of Smart Coast in addition to their ongoing responsibilities at their local association of realtors,” Mr. Prian said.
“Our magnificent 1,100-mile coast is a treasure, and thanks to Marta and Krista, Smart Coast is leading the way in working for environmentally sustainable solutions such as artificial reefs, oyster beds and dune restoration that in many cases can protect important waterfront properties from Imperial Beach to Crescent City for future generations to enjoy.”