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Sea Level Committee Rises to the Occasion
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court and Shirley King | Avenida Primavera

Wetlands Flood 1980. Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society.
Click on image to enlarge.


Sea Level Factoids
Source: Sea Level Rise Committee

1. For every 1 foot of sea level rise, the ocean encroaches about 100 feet inland.

2. Due to ocean warming (warm water expands) Del Mar has experienced 8-10 inches of sea level rise this year.

We are all stakeholders in planning for the sea level rise.. The serious consequences of climate change present Del Mar with complex planning challenges for our many public assets - beaches, parks, coastal access, wildlife habitats, open space, river channel and path, lagoon bluffs, rail corridor, public service maintenance and operations and the Fairgrounds not to mention our homes and commercial entities.

Many California coastal communities have already responded with carefully researched adaptation strategies. Del Mar’s Sea Level Stakeholder-Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) was constituted this spring and has convened for three meetings as of October 15th. Along with the expertise of the Committee members led by Chairperson, Dr. Terry Gaasterland, the consulting firms Environmental Science Associates and Katz and Associates will equip the Committee with the technical analytics and public communications tools. The two-year project costs are funded by an Ocean Protection Council Award ($100,000), the City of Del Mar General Fund ($77,794) and In-kind services, City of Del Mar ($22,206).

STAC’s final recommendations in early 2017 will result in an ‘Adaptation Plan’, that will be reviewed by the City Council and then submitted to the California Coastal Commission for final approval. The Adaptation Plan when approved will be integrated into the Local Coastal Program and will serve as the City’s long-range planning guide for sea level rise (SLR) management.

Community outreach and input are the most critical elements of this Committee’s work. From the outset a robust public communications campaign will be undertaken by the STAC committee with its consultant, Katz and Associates. Now is the time for our entire community to join the network of information forthcoming. Since no one is exempt from this planning endeavor, here are several important action steps for all of us to take:

• Sign up for ongoing project alerts. All community members and stakeholders are urged to register their contact information on the stakeholder contact database by contacting the Del Mar Planning and Community Development Department at www.coastalplanning@delmar.ca.us or (858) 755-9313 in order to receive project alerts.

• Earmark your calendars for the events below and keep track on the City’s website for the latest reports (www.delmar.ca.us/sealevelrise).
Community Forum: January 2016 Introductory information program
Community Workshop: Spring 2016 Potential vulnerabilities, risk assessment and adaptation approaches
Community Workshop: Fall 2016 Adaptation Plan

• Stay focused on the major elements of the Committee’s planning schedule and study topic areas: evaluation of the global mean sea level; the vulnerabilities and the risks associated with sea level rise, storm surge and coastal flooding; risk assessment for adaptation planning and the implications for land use and zoning.

• Study the just-completed Final Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan for the City of Goleta, CA as will our STAC members: www.cityofgoleta.org/city-hall/planning-and.../reference-material.


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