How Can We Prepare for Sea Level Rise?

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Sea levels on Marin County’s coast are rising – up by more than eight inches in the past 100 years. The rate is expected to accelerate, and that could affect hundreds of residents in our coastal communities in the future.

 

The C-SMART project (Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team) is working to bring West Marin communities together to better understand the challenges and identify possible preparedness solutions. The third set of C-SMART public workshops hosted by the Marin County Community Development Agency is taking place in May and June. The schedule is:

 

Saturday, May 30, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Point Reyes Station Dance Palace, 503 B Street, Point Reyes Station.

 

Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Stinson Beach Community Center, 32 Belvedere Ave., Stinson Beach.

 

“People have called sea-level rise a ‘slow moving emergency,’” said County Planning Manager Jack Liebster. “While we are already seeing initial impacts such as flooding of more area during the highest tides of the years, changes in sea level and storm patterns are expected to continue in a gradual way. We want to get prepared and develop ways to adapt to these changes so we can avoid suffering serious impacts in the future. Some of the responses we will need to consider have long lead times, and other may be required sooner. The people and communities who could be affected need to understand and consider the choices we all could face and actively participate in how those choices are made.”

 

Rising sea levels are driven by thermal expansion of the ocean and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. By 2100, climate experts estimate a nearly 70-inch rise in sea levels from what we experience today. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 500,000 people, one million jobs, and $100 billion in property are threatened by sea-level rise along the California coast over the next century.

 

At the meetings, subject matter experts will present concepts for helping to protect coastal assets from increased sea-level rise and storm impacts. To become familiar with this information, workshop attendees will be invited to participate in the ‘Game of Floods,’ a role-playing activity to educate about sea-level rise adaptation strategies including tradeoffs, impacts, and costs. Participants will be asked to suggest ideas on adaptation strategies that could work for their communities.

 

Get a taste of the science behind the work and the overall project scope by watching this video from a July 2014 meeting. Subscribe to receive e-mailed updates and find a lot more information on www.MarinSLR.org.

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