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Sea-Level Program Awarded $200,000 Grant

Bolinas Lagoon (photo by Parks ranger Craig Solin)
Bolinas Lagoon (photo by Parks ranger Craig Solin)

With an eye on adapting to climate change, a Marin County project created to reduce risks to sea-level rise, storms and erosion was awarded a $200,000 grant from a state council.

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) awarded $1.3 million to seven local governments on Nov. 22, including the $200,000 grant to a

Collaborating on Sea-Level: Marin Adaptation Response Team, known locally as C-SMART. The program is overseen by the County of Marin  Community Development Agency.

Marin’s coastline has been the epicenter of advanced studies on sea-level rise by the C-SMART collaborators, which include the County of Marin’s Local Coastal Program (LCP), Department of Public Works, Office of Emergency Services, the County Counsel’s office, the Gulf of the Farallones  National Marine Sanctuary, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. National Park Service, Point Blue Conservation Science, the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the Coravai research and consulting firm.

The project will evaluate the potential risks to homes, businesses, public facilities – including Highway 1 – as well as coastal resources such as shoreline wetlands, beaches and recreational areas that could be subject to inundation and damage from extreme storm events.

“Marin’s coast is a perfect testing laboratory for grappling with sea-level rise and related climate change issues,” County Planning Manager Jack Liebster wrote in the grant application. “Its diverse biological resources, varied topography and highly susceptible human habitation present challenges that will need to be faced all along the California coast.

By starting now, we will have a better understanding of our options and more time to prepare in a well thought out and less costly way.”

In 1976, the California Legislature enacted the Coastal Act, which created a mandate for coastal counties to manage the conservation and development of coastal resources.  Marin’s Local Coastal Program identifies the location, type, densities and other ground rules for future development in the coastal zone. Each LCP throughout the state governs decisions that determine the short- and long-term conservation and use of coastal land, water and other resources.

"These voter-approved funds will assist coastal communities in preparing for a changing climate," California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said in an OPC release.

For more information on C-SMART, send an email to Jliebster@marincounty.org.  For details about Marin’s Local Coastal Program, subscribe to emailed updates by clicking “subscribe” at www.marincounty.org.

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Clayton Smith November 28, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Given the past verifiable oceanic trends, sea levels can be expected to rise by another 4 to 6 inches between now and the end of the century. This is likely to continue, regardless of the heightened possibility of a general cooling period that may last into the mid-century. This should be as unremarkable as the previous increases that occurred in the 20th Century. So, I have to asked, is this the best use of scarce resources. $200,000 for speculative studies in the midst of our crumbling infrastructure looks to me like waste. Who is going to do the studying and how did they get this grant?
Marin County December 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Good questions. Check in with Jack Liebster at Jliebster@marincounty.org and he will explain it.
Roger December 18, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Clayton: Tells us Patch readers what Jack says to you, OK?

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