Marin Coast Adaptation Planning

Community Development Agency

Nature-Based Adaptation Feasibility Studies

The County of Marin has received grant funding for two nature-based adaptation feasibility studies: one in Stinson Beach and the other in Tomales Bay. In 2014, the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) commenced Collaboration: Sea-Level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART) to develop adaptation solutions for West Marin. To date C-SMART has produced two major deliverables: the Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and the Adaptation Report, and these proposed projects would be part of CDA’s continued efforts. Both studies would convene unique cross disciplinary teams of experts to assess the feasibility of a multi-objective natural infrastructure as an alternative to coastal armoring. The studies would additionally have statewide and possibly national and global applicability through evaluating the interplay between physical and biological processes to inform similar projects.

In Stinson Beach, a feasibility analysis will examine the extent to which nature-based adaptation, such as dune restoration and enhancement, can sustain the beach and protect development from coastal flooding. This study assesses the feasibility of a nature-based green infrastructure project at Stinson Beach to develop a resilient beach and dune ecosystem that enhances existing habitats and public access, supports vibrant recreational opportunities for users of all socioeconomic circumstances, and provides flood and erosion protection against existing coastal hazards and future sea level rise. In Tomales Bay a range of living shoreline measures are being evaluated to determine the extent to which they are feasible for protection of habitat and shoreline development from flooding. Living shorelines such as eelgrass, oyster reefs, wetlands and other natural systems can provide services in adapting to climate change impacts, as well as sequester carbon. This study proposes to evaluate the feasibility of such adaptations at specific locations in Tomales Bay and developing preliminary project designs. For more information on these projects, read the one page summaries below or contact Leslie Lacko.

To learn more about nature-based solutions generally, several institutions and agencies provide fact sheets and websites that may be helpful:

Marin Ocean Coast Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning

On February 27, 2018 the Board of Supervisors accepted the Marin Ocean Coast Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Marin Ocean Coast Sea Level Rise Adaptation Report; and received an overview of the Phase II Work Program. The meeting can be viewed here.

Summer 2017 Adaptation Planning

Board of Supervisors August 2017 C-SMART Workshop

For those who were unable to attend the Board of Supervisors Workshop held August 1st, the meeting can be viewed here.

The Adaptation Report is the final Phase I deliverable of the Marin County Community Development Agency's Collaboration Sea Level Rise Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART) program.  Since 2014, Community Development Agency staff have worked in conjunction with local residents and a variety of agencies and technical experts on adaptation strategy development.  The Adaptation Report is not a plan, but rather an informational document compiling adaptation options proposed to date to set the foundation for continued planning in West Marin.  The report also outlines possible next steps as part of an ongoing adaptive management approach.

A thirty-day public comment period preceded this draft. Comment letters with Community Development Agency responses can be found here.

C-SMART Adaptation Plan Passport

Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) launched the Collaboration Sea Level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART) Adaptation Plan Passport.  The objective of this passport was to seek input from community members to inform next steps the County could take to address sea level rise in West Marin.

View Passport Results Summary.

Spring 2016 Adaptation Planning

Building on information gathered through the Vulnerability Assessment and public outreach efforts, Marin County is currently drafting an Adaptation Report.

Over 200 people participated in the West Marin Sea Level Rise Adaptation Poll between November 2015 and January 2016, helping Marin County Community Development Agency understand which adaptation strategies might receive the most public support in the future. View the West Marin Sea Level Rise Adaptation Poll Results.

Contact us at or (415) 473-4333 if you have any questions or would like to invite a planner to your group's meeting to explain the poll.

Presentation on Adaptation Strategies

Community Maps
East Shore
Point Reyes
Stinson Beach

Area Maps
South Tomales Bay
North Tomales Bay

Strategy Posters
Strategy Key
Beach Nourishment
Coastal Armoring
Green Infrastructure
Land Use Policies
FEMA IBC V Zone Construction Requirements
FEMA IRC V Zone Construction Requirements