Sea Level Rise Will Not Wait

Coastal Commission's JUNE Actions

Tidepools at Duxbury Reef © EAC 2018

Tidepools at Duxbury Reef © EAC 2018

Today, the Coastal Commission considered Marin County's submission of amendments 1, 2, and 6 at their monthly meeting. The Commission unanimously concurred in the Executive Director's determination that these amendments are legally adequate. Commissioner Peskin thanked the Commission staff for their work with the County.  

The Commission staff report indicated that the submission by the County was considered legally adequate and recommended that the Commission concur with its Executive Director's determination, moving the process forward. 

EAC submitted comments concerning the certification of these amendments and agreed with the Commission staff's analysis that the April 24, 2018 County resolution, adopted without caveats or interpretations, is legally adequate for amendments 1, 2, and 6. Read our comment letter.

EAC is eager to move the Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment process forward so we can turn to the Environmental Hazards sections, because the 1981 LCP has no policies to address sea level rise. Until all amendments are adopted, we will live under the 1981 LCP. 

Where does this leave the LCP process?

Several questions and concerns remain around the status of the LCP update, including are amendments 1, 2, and 6 considered final agency action? When will Marin County prioritize planning for sea level rise policies?

we need sea level rise policies ASAP

Sea level rise will not wait for a new LCP. It is critical the LCP process continues to move forward so that we can adopt policies that deal with sea level rise and help us adapt to climate change.

The National Park Service recently released a report entitled, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Projections for the National Park Service, which includes data on the Point Reyes National Seashore and other parks. A recent KQED piece entitled, Like It Or Not, the Water Is Coming: Will the Bay Area Defend Against Rising Seas, or Embrace Them? are examples that highlight the need to plan for sea level rise. 

Marin County currently lacks comprehensive policies to adapt the changing conditions presented by climate change including sea-level rise, storm surges, and flooding. The current 1981 LCP will remain in effect until all of the amendments have been certified by the Coastal Commission and adopted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Until that happens, we are going to have to work with our 1981 LCP and its limitations, since it does not include any policies to cope with rising seas. 

Ensuring West Marin's coastal zone has an LCP update that includes comprehensive and forward-thinking sea level rise planning is a top priority for EAC. As Marin County moves forward with large-scale green infrastructure projects to protect property and beaches, we are concerned that the missing policies will hinder the process as there is no foundational legal framework for the projects. EAC will continue to push the importance of this issue to the CDA and our local community. 

Stay tuned as EAC continues our now decade long involvement in the LCP amendment process.