Bay Area coastal region could expect 70-inch sea level rise by 2100, according to scientific predictions

Bay Area

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KRON) – Marin County officials on Monday announced the findings of an extensive study on sea-level rise adaptation for Stinson Beach will be revealed during an online public meeting Oct. 21.

According to officials, there are 773 homes, 630 residents, and 6 businesses on the west side of SR-1 (Shoreline Highway) in Stinson Beach that are at risk of constant flooding from sea-level rise or storm activity.

Over the past century, officials said there has been an 8-inch rise in ocean water over the past century along the Marin coast, but scientific predictions are that the Bay Area coastal region could expect a 70-inch rise versus today’s level by 2100.

In trying to find alternative models for future oceanfront projects statewide, one option according to the city is to create a dune system that protects beachfront and other low-lying homes from seawater inundation. Called a nature-based or “green alternative,” it would be the first of its kind in Marin County. It would also be more cost-friendly as opposed to more traditional hard-structure seawalls to build and maintain, officials said.

According to the county, Stinson Beach residents have reacted positively to this option.

“Your home is the place where you have family memories, a place where you feel the most comfortable,” she said, “and when that’s at risk, you feel a great sense of need to protect it. We are looking for a climate change adaptation that will allow people to stay in their places longer, protect natural resources, and sustain public beach access. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.” 

You can follow the county’s sea-level rise programs online at  www.marinSLR.org, on Facebook and on Twitter.

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