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January 09, 2014

Call to Action:The Coastal Commission Releases Sea Level Rise Guidance Document for Public Comment

An Extension for Public Comment has been Granted through February 14, 2014.
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San Diego Bay and South San Diego County are some of the state's most vulnerable areas to sea level rise

 

As Super Storm Hercules hurled the largest waves ever seen in the Atlantic Ocean along the Western European shoreline, swamping marinas, crushing seawalls and sweeping at least one individual out to sea, the California Coastal Commission extended the public comment period on what is potentially its most decisive agenda item to date: how the California Coast will accommodate for rising seas.

Over the next 85 years, the document forecasts, based on the National Research Council’s report on sea level rise, that ocean levels could rise as much as 5.5 feet in Southern California due to thermal expansions and melting ice sheets. This will have drastic implications for our region’s coastal communities, infrastructure, wetlands, beach access and public safety.

Nowhere in Southern California do we find the future impacts of sea level rise to be more significant than in South San Diego County, where low lying coastline, bay front and major wetlands support industrial, military, residential, ecological and recreational uses. Areas such as the Tijuana River Valley, the Tijuana River Mouth State Marine Conservation Area, the Otay Valley Regional Park and the South San Diego Bay shoreline will be particularly affected.

The future of these areas will depend on the guidelines set forth in this document, which not only seeks to protect communities, their safety, access and infrastructure, but also to protect and adaptively manage sensitive ecosystem areas such as the region’s wetlands.

WILDCOAST would like to thank the Commissioners and Staff for producing the Sea Level Rise Guidance Document and we encourage the public to make comment before February 14. The document can be found at the Coastal Commission website and ActCoastal.org.