Smart Coast California co-founder honored for coastal protection work

Marta Golding Brown and Krista Pleiser, co-founders of Smart Coast California, recently received leadership awards from the California Association of Realtors. Next to them is Joe Prian, the President of Smart Coast California.

Marta Golding Brown and Krista Pleiser, co-founders of Smart Coast California, recently made history when they became the first non-realtors to ever receive leadership awards from the California Association of Realtors.

The couple were honored by Otto Catrina, CAR President, for being the driving force behind the creation of Smart Coast California, a non-profit organization that works hand-in-hand with local and state agencies and the California Coastal Commission to… Protecting property owners’ rights and protecting visitors as governments plan 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 director of government affairs for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

Ms Pleiser and Ms Brown realized five years ago that cities and counties along the coast were all independently negotiating with the Coastal Commission on how to deal with sea level rise. They believed there was a need for local governments to stand together to work on solutions that would protect important coastal resources, rather than abandon them in an approach dubbed a managed retreat.

Officially incorporated in 2019, Smart Coast California has grown into a recognized resource, working closely with the Coastal Commission, local governments, environmental groups and private property advocates.

Among its achievements was the first-ever sea level rise summit in May, which brought together representatives from all stakeholders to discuss multiple strategies and exchange ideas.

Joe Prian, a real estate agent from San Luis Obispo and this year’s president of Smart Coast, California, said Ms. Brown and Ms. Pleiser’s leadership was invaluable in founding the group.

“Marta and Krista recognized the need for Smart Coast before anyone else 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 real estate association,” said Mr. Prian.

“Our glorious 1,100-mile coastline is a treasure and thanks to Marta and Krista, Smart Coast is at the forefront of working on environmentally responsible solutions such as artificial reefs, oyster beds and dune restoration, which in many cases can protect important coastal properties from Imperial Beach after Crescent City for future generations.”

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For more information about Smart Coast California, visit