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Sea Level Rise the Focus of Area Lawmakers

Rising sea levels will impact the entire Peninsula.

Beach erosion is one of the issues in rising sea levels. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Beach erosion is one of the issues in rising sea levels. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City), California Assemblyman Rich Gordon and San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine are holding a conference for city and agency officials to discuss planning for sea level rise in San Mateo County on Friday at the Foster City Council Chambers.

Many scientists agree that the sea level will rise by at least three feet by 2100. San Mateo County is particularly vulnerable and has been dubbed "ground zero" for sea level rise on the West Coast. The conference is designed to educate local land use policy makers about the profound impact of sea level rise and to start planning to protect communities on the Peninsula.

Speier stated, “We need to start preparing for higher tides, more damaging storms, and even inundation of our low-lying areas. That’s why it is particularly important that we start a county-wide planning process for the serious flooding that will likely occur. This meeting, which will bring together federal, state, local, and city officials, will continue our efforts to address the threats that sea level rise poses to people, property, and businesses - many of them the high tech giants in Silicon Valley.”  

Gordon, who chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise & the California Economy, stated, “Climate change is a great threat to our future. Cooperation between local, state, and federal agencies is needed to adequately respond to the serious effects of sea level rise. Friday’s conference is an important step in this direction and will begin the process of tackling this issue head-on.”

Pine stated, “Sea level rise is one of the most serious consequences of climate change and it will have a significant effect on San Mateo County which has more people and property value at risk from the rising sea than any other county in the state. Now is the time to prepare a detailed sea level rise vulnerability assessment for San Mateo County and to explore options for funding the adaptations that will be needed.”

--Information from Sen. Speier's office

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