ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Today, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley joined Congressmember Mike Levin, U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Amit Bose, CA State Senator Catherine Blakespear, and other local leaders in San Clemente to highlight the challenges facing the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail (LOSSAN) Corridor due to coastal erosion.
During the press conference, Supervisor Foley announced a new Task Force chaired by Dr. Brett Sanders, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Irvine, to coordinate local, state, and federal efforts to plan for long term solutions for South Orange County’s coastal communities. The offices of U.S Representative Mike Levin and California State Senator Catherine Blakespear, who serves as Chairs the new Senate Transportation Subcommittee on LOSSAN Rail Corridor Resiliency, will join the taskforce.
“I am pleased to announce this new task force to be chaired by Dr. Sanders”, said Supervisor Foley. “It is imperative that all governmental and academic experts are at the table as we begin the long and challenging work to find sustainable and practical solutions for ongoing challenges along our coast.”
In addition, Supervisor Foley commended U.S. Representative Mike Levin for formally submitting a request for $4 Million dollars in federal funding to expedite necessary studies underway by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
“I want to thank Congressman Mike Levin for taking the lead to bring us together and announcing $4 million in new federal funding for critical studies. This funding is urgently needed,” added Foley. “Time is up and we cannot wait any longer to act. For decades there were warning signs, but neglect and lack of action took its toll and the consequences are now at our doorstep.”
“Our eroding coastline in South County threatens our homes, our businesses, and the way of life we have enjoyed for generations in this beautiful community. I pledge to do everything in my power to replenish sand, protect our beaches, and maintain our important rail system.”
In the days following Supervisor Foley’s Sustainability Summit on September 29, 2022 (link), where topics including the future impacts of coastal erosion were discussed, Metrolink and Amtrak abruptly announced a suspension of service for South Orange County. At that time, Supervisor Foley called on OCTA to consider long term solutions for rail stabilization (link). This was followed up by an op-ed in the OC Register, titled ‘Coastal erosion is a threat to our Orange County way of life.’
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Law Library Board of Trustees, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, OC Public Libraries Advisory Board, Orange County Housing Finance Trust, Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Orange County Transportation Authority, and the Transportation Corridor Agency.