Faced with rise, county kicks off adaptation team

07/03/2014

Marin County is launching a two-year project to evaluate how it should prepare for and adapt to the effects of sea-level rise, kicking off the project with a public meeting next Thursday in the Point Reyes National Seashore. The project, called Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team, or C-SMART, will address the potential impacts to housing, beaches, roads, access to the coast and natural resources; according to the National Research Council, sea levels could rise anywhere from 16 to 65 inches by 2100 along the California coast south of Mendocino as global warming spurs the expansion of the ocean, the melting of glaciers and intense coastal storms. “The ultimate aim is to be prepared so we’re all good boy scouts and girl scouts and to look at what may be happening over the long term and what we need to do now to prepare for that,” said Jack Liebster, the county’s planning manager. Those who want to be more involved can apply to be on the C-SMART Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which will act as a liaison between residents and the county. But there will also be meetings with eight coastal communities to solicit public input and assistance, which will complement computer model projections and county data. “For instance, maybe someone will be willing to have their water well monitored for saltwater intrusion …We [also] want to ground truth our information to the reality of people’s neighborhoods. We want to ask, ‘Is this information right? Are we missing anything?’” Mr. Liebster explained. The county will also request public input when it considers any actions to adopt. The results of the project will be incorporated into the county’s Local Coastal Program in an amendment the county will submit to the California Coastal Commission in the spring of 2016. The C-SMART meeting will take place at the Red Barn Classroom at 1 Bear Valley Road in Point Reyes Station, on July 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on July 10. Applications for the advisory council can be found at marinSLR.org and are due July 31 at 5 p.m. For more information, email marinSLR@marincounty.org