Sea level is projected to rise at least 16 inches along the California coast by 2050, with a 55-inch rise predicted by 2100. The primary impacts from sea level rise are increases in flooding and erosion. Sea level rise will expand the area vulnerable to flooding during major storms, as well as in the rare but catastrophic event of a major tsunami. 

The term 100-year flood is used as a standard for planning, insurance, and environmental analysis.  People, infrastructure, and property are already located in areas vulnerable to flooding from a 100-year event. Sea level rise will cause more frequent—and more damaging—floods to those already at risk and will increase the size of the coastal floodplain, placing new areas at risk to flooding.

On one of the most vulnerable islands in America, a longtime caretaker makes peace with climate change.

 

12/2/14

 

At the south end of Assateague Island, on a storm-shaped hook called Tom’s Cove, Ishmael Ennis likes to pace the beach. Autumn Sundays are the best time of year, he said, when the dawn chill clears out the crowds. In those solitary moments, the sands seem vast enough to drown any human concerns.


“No, that’s getting too romantic,” he said, suddenly self-conscious. Ennis, 59, grew up near a crabbing town on the Chesapeake Bay. He’s tall, hay-haired, and speaks with a waterman’s drawl. “I don’t feel nothing too special,” he said. “Just sometimes you’ve got to get away from all the normal stuff. The island offers that.”


Not for long, perhaps.

Why is sea level rising twice as fast here as it is along the rest of the Pacific coast? Which areas around Humboldt Bay are most likely to be under water in the future? How will sea level rise affect the agricultural lands on former bay tidelands? How will Caltrans keep Highway 101 above water? What will happen in low-lying areas of Arcata and Eureka?

 

The Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning Project will provide an update for the public at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, 921 Waterfront Drive, Eureka.

Relative sea level rise on Humboldt Bay highest in state



11/9/14

Climate change has been called a “long emergency,” with impacts ranging from the current extreme drought in California to globe-spanning disruptions of weather patterns and ecosystems predicted for the coming decades. Here in Humboldt County, one of the many predicted impacts is sea level rise, which experts say could threaten underground utilities and U.S. Highway 101. Here’s a look at what the county is doing to adapt.

Sea level rise proposal will be updated; 

City to provide info to coastal commission on future development plans

9/5/14



With its local coastal development program last updated in 1989, Arcata has been working to incorporate sea level rise into its future development standards and will provide an update on its efforts next week at the California Coastal Commission’s meeting in Del Norte County.

1/24/14

(Arcata, CA) – The California Coastal Conservancy awarded the City of Arcata an $86,000 Climate Ready Grant on Wednesday. The grant will fund design and permitting of fringe salt marshes or “living shorelines” to protect vulnerable City facilities including the wastewater treatment plant, Klopp Lake and coastal access at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Arcata is one of 20 cities, counties and nonprofit organization awarded funds to reduce risks from the warming climate and rising sea levels.