SAN FRANCISCO — As a teen-ager, Nancy Cave pedaled her bicycle from Westminster to nearby Huntington Beach to bask in the sun along the strand.
Now, she spends a lot less time enjoying the beach and a lot more time in a high-rise office building, fretting about illegal developments destroying the state's coastline.
For most of the past six years, Cave, 38, has been the California Coastal Commission's only full-time enforcement officer, the sole official responsible for investigating complaints ranging from illegal seawalls to massive grading along the state's 1,100-mile shoreline.
As concern among some legislators and environmentalists has mounted in recent years about the commission's ability to do its job, Cave has come to symbolize the panel's staffing problems. It is hardly a position the low-key Cave could have imagined for herself.