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App-ology: Tech tycoon atones for coastal damage with mobile guide

When tech whizz Sean Parker angered conservationists with a lavish but damaging outdoor wedding to match the excess of any Hollywood party he apologized in the only way he knew how -- he built an app.

Locals in Big Sur, California were enraged as the former Facebook chairman prepared to tie the knot to singer Alexandra Lenas by trampling all over their Redwood forest with a stack of artificial features.

On top of installing rock walls, the 39-year-old billionnaire had his workers put in a stone bridge, artificial pond and elevated platforms for the Tolkein inspired bash five years ago -- all without permits.

Reportedly mortified by the backlash, Parker agreed to pay the California Coastal Commission $2.5 million and build the free-of-charge YourCoast, which locates public beaches, campsites and other amenities along the state's picturesque 1,271-mile (2,045-kilometer) coast.

"This is a case of turning lemons into lemonade," said Lisa Haage, head of enforcement at the commission, as the Apple app was unveiled on Thursday.

"We negotiated a creative agreement with a willing partner of great ability and expertise that will widely benefit the public. We literally ended up working with some of the world's best tech engineers to create something that everyone can use and enjoy."

Published : December 14, 2018

By : Agence France-Presse Los Angeles