Sean Parker's $10 million fantasy-themed wedding has inadvertently become a massive environmental fundraiser.
The 33-year-old media mogul and former Facebook president, worth an estimated $2 billion, has agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with the California Coastal Commission after building structures in an ecologically sensitive area without any of the proper permits. According to TMZ, Parker reportedly hired a landscaping company to build fake ruins, waterfalls, man-made ponds, bridges and a gated cottage near a redwood forest by a luxury hotel. By the time the Coastal Commission caught wind of the event, many of the structures had already been built — with some in clear violation of environmental regulations.
"Mr. Parker has been extremely cooperative and actively involved in working with Coastal Commission staff to reach this resolution which both addresses our Coastal Act concerns and will result in greater coastal access and conservation in the Big Sur and Monterey Peninsula areas," Charles Lester, the commission's executive director, said in a statement.
In addition to the settlement, Parker also encouraged all of his (very wealthy) guests to donate to Save the Redwoods or the California League of Conservation Voters in lieu of giving gifts, according to a wedding program. In a nod to his tech background, the Napster co-founder will also work with the CCC to develop and distribute either a public education video or help create a mobile app "aimed at helping Californians and visitors explore the coast by identifying access points in proximity to their location."
Said Parker in a statement, "We always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on Earth. In continuing my foundation's mission, we are excited to support these important conservation-related projects for and with the local community."
With Parker's wedding to his wife Alexandra Lenas now complete, the CCC will oversee the proper dismantling and removal of all structures built for the ceremony. For pictures of some of the violations, check out Grist's coverage of the event here.
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