County of Marin - News Releases - Game of Floods

For Immediate Release
March 18, 2019

Award-Winning Sea Level Rise Game to Go on Sale

Boxed versions soon available of County’s Game of Floods

San Rafael, CA – Further proving that climate change education can be fun, the County of Marin is coming up with a boxed version of its award-winning Game of Floods, which teaches players about adaptation choices to inevitable sea level rise. Pre-orders of the board game are being taken now.

An overhead view of the Game of Floods board gameThe Game of Floods was created by County of Marin employees in the Department of Public Works and Community Development Agency.

The game, created by Community Development Agency (CDA) staff members and their water resources cohorts from the Department of Public Works, is designed to engage and educate the community about sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation. It allows players to design solutions that protect entire communities as well as individual properties to address the permanent flooding impacts of sea level rise. The challenge requires collective approaches to build solutions that protect access, airports, wastewater treatment facilities as well as smaller communities while dealing with uncertainty and balancing priorities among players.

Players work around the board collaboratively and discuss adaptation strategies considering their effectiveness, impacts and relative costs. New boxed game features include a fixed budget, news cards, special action cards, and social and environmental health indicators.

The game received the Gold 2017 National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach from the American Planning Association (APA). Previously it received the California APA’s Public Outreach Award of Excellence, a California State Association of Counties’ Merit Award and the top County of Marin Innovation “Inny” Award.

The County received financial support from the North Bay Watershed Association to create the boxed game with a target audience of community groups, schools, libraries, professional networks or others interested in learning about sea level rise adaptation. With the funding, the County enlisted Berkeley-based game designer Alfred Twu to develop the boxed version.

The County is taking online pre-orders through April 5. Each set will be about $36 to recover costs, plus around $10 for shipping.

“We face difficult and complex decisions in responding to increasing threats of sea level rise, and playing the game helps people become our partners in this process,” said Public Works Senior Engineer Roger Leventhal, who came up with the idea for the game.

CDA staff has hosted sea level rise adaptation planning parties and played the game in a variety of settings, remarking that players often display energy and enthusiasm to translate the fun into grassroots actions in their neighborhoods. 

Contact:

Chris Choo
Principal Watershed Planner
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7586
Email: Chris Choo
Public Works website