April 2015 home page

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Sea Change
Shirley King | Avenida Primavera

Fairgrounds flooded in 2010. Photo Art Olson.


Soon we will confront just how impermanent our beaches are when the City pursues its Sea-Level Rise studies. Our coastal education will expand to include the most precise understanding of the Mean High Tide Levels expected through this century. And going forward many of the City’s standard operating procedures will adjust forever to the specific considerations for these sea-level changes.

The City of Del Mar was awarded on December 2, 2014 a $100,000 California Ocean Protection Council Grant to update its Local Coastal Program (LCP), specifically to address sea-level rise, including sea-level rise modeling, vulnerability assessments, and adaptation planning and policy development. In total $200,000 will be required for this work spanning two years - in addition to the grant, $77,794 will be contributed from the City’s General Fund and $22,206 from City In-Kind Services, in the form of staff time of 3 to 5 hours per week.

On March 2nd the Council authorized the City Manager to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit consultant firms that provide professional services in the specialized area of climate change science and sea level rise studies focused on identifying vulnerabilities and appropriate adaptation strategies. The City’s LCP would be amended to include long-range planning for protecting the City’s shoreline and low-lying areas and the final product, the Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA), would be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for certification in May, 2017. The Council also authorized the formation of the Sea-Level Stakeholder-Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) and appointed Don Mosier and Dwight Worden to be the Council Liaisons to the committee.

Our two-miles of coastline will undergo an intense technical study - having the advantage of the models developed in The Sea-Level Adaptation Strategy of San Diego Bay from January 2012. A committee of our stakeholders consisting of residents, commercial owners, the North County Transit District and the 22nd Agricultural District will be assembled with the assistance of technical experts most likely available within the pool of our local residents with backgrounds in oceanic and atmospheric science, physics, wetlands biology, environmental health and architecture. Applications are due to the City by Monday, April 20, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. Citizen Interest Forms are available on the City website at www.delmar.ca.us/347/Committee-Vacancies.

What Del Mar has long relied upon as our coastal armaments will be questioned by the new realities of future expected sea-level rise. Our armor going forward will become the carefully crafted adaptation strategies from this essential study report.


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