The California State Lands Commission provides the people of California with effective stewardship of the lands, waterways, and resources entrusted to its care through preservation, restoration, enhancement, responsible economic development, and the promotion of public access.
Established in 1938, the Commission manages 4 million acres of tide and submerged lands and the beds of navigable rivers, streams, lakes, bays, estuaries, inlets, and straits. These lands, often referred to as sovereign or Public Trust lands, stretch from the Klamath River and Goose Lake in the north to the Tijuana Estuary in the south, and from the Pacific Coast 3 miles offshore in the west to world-famous Lake Tahoe and the Colorado River in the east, and includes California’s two longest rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin. The Commission also manages about 458,000 acres of school lands held in fee ownership and the reserved mineral interests on about 790,000 acres where the surface land was sold. These lands are predominantly in the deserts in the southeast and the forested areas of the northeast portions of California.
The Commission also protects state waters from marine invasive species introductions and prevents oil spills by providing the best achievable protection of the marine environment at marine oil terminals and offshore oil platforms and production facilities. And the Commission oversees the management of waterfront land and coastal waters, including the major California ports and harbors, that the California Legislature granted in trust to about 70 local jurisdictions.