County Vulnerability and Adaptation Planning Efforts
The County currently has a number of sea level rise projects in the works including the Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART) project, which will run from March 2014 through April 2016. C-SMART will evaluate the vulnerabilities to sea level rise along Marin County's western coast, define adaptation strategies that will increase that resiliency of the coastal resources there, and share lessons learned with others. Funding is provided by the Ocean Protection Council and the California Coastal Commission. Projects have also been launched along the Bay as well. Learn more at: http://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/divisions/planning/sea-level-rise/home
City of San Rafael "Climate Adaptation - Sea Level Rise" White Paper
In January 2014, the City of San Rafael's Community Development Director Paul Jensen prepared a report on potential sea level rise in San Rafael. The paper a) identifies the key agencies that have been involved in studying and planning for sea level rise; b) presents the most current information and studies on sea level rise, particularly in the Bay Area; c) identifies potential funding sources to pursue for next steps; d) summarizes the studies underway in Marin and the North Bay; e) describes techniques and tools that have been developed for adaptation; f) identifies the San Rafael shoreline and levees areas to study, as well as potential opportunity areas for studying adaptation; and g) presents suggestions for next steps in moving forward with preparing a vulnerability assessment and long-term planning for sea-level rise.
Southern Marin Pilot Project
The project, sponsored by Supervisor Sears with support from Marin County Public Works, the Community Development Agency and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, addresses how the climate change impacts of sea level rise will affect the future of Southern Marin communities, infrastructure, ecosystems and economy, and what strategies the County can pursue to reduce and manage these risks. The project area encompasses the Richardson Bay shoreline, from the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin treatment plant in Mill Valley to Marin City. One product of this project is a local sea-level rise GIS application that includes NOAA sea-level rise and local infrastructure data.
Marin County Watershed Programs
The Marin County Watershed Program, which is sponsored by the Marin County Department of Public Works provides a framework to integrate flood protection and environmental restoration with public and private partners to protect and enhance Marin's watersheds. The program has several on-going studies in many of Marin's watersheds that include analyses of potential sea level rise impacts.
Adapting to Sea Level Rise Along the North Bay Shoreline
The North Bay Watershed Association (NBWA) funded this study by PRBO Conservation on the shoreline of eastern Marin north to the Petaluma River. The study addressed the ecosystem value of tidal marshes by estimating the amount by which they attenuate incoming waves; analyzed tidal marshes and other sites of interest in the North Bay region by calculating projected marsh composition, wave attenuation, and tidal marsh bird abundance; and produced more detailed vulnerability assessments (including estimates of adaptive capacity) for three case study areas selected as being of high interest to workshop participants: Inner Richardson Bay, Gallinas Creek and Novato Creek. Link to the Full Report.
Innovative Wetland Adaptation Techniques in Lower Corte Madera Creek Watershed
The Innovative Wetland Techniques in Lower Corte Madera Creek Watershed project was one of the first Bay Area projects to examine how to reduce the vulnerability of tidal wetlands to sea level rise. Project partners include the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Marin County Flood Control District, USGS, UNESCO and private consultants.
Adapting to Rising Tides (East Bay - Bay Bridge to San Mateo Bridge)
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the NOAA Coastal Services Center lead this major sub-regional undertaking. Adapting to Rising Tides - the ART Project - is a collaborative planning effort that is working with Bay Area communities to increase their preparedness and resilience to sea level rise and storm events while protecting critical ecosystem and community services.
The Horizontal Levee
The Bay Institute's groundbreaking study about the economic value of tidal marshes, demonstrates that nature performs critical functions for society. During the era of sea level rise, the marshlands of San Francisco Bay have become a critical adaptation tool. The Horizontal Levee study shows that restoration of San Francisco Bay's tidal marshes is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to protect valuable shoreline development from sea level rise during the next several decades. By using tidal marshes in combination with earthen levees, construction and maintenance costs can be reduced by almost 50%.