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.


What do Bay Area airports and some big Silicon Valley companies have in common? They sit right on the edge of San Francisco Bay, where sea level rise is expected to have a big impact by the end of the century.

That may seem far in the future, but state agencies are preparing for climate change now by writing new rules for construction along the bay’s shoreline. As you can imagine, developers and environmentalists aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye.

At 11:30 am on Wed. Dec. 14, Humboldt Baykeeper and Sea Level Rise Planner Aldaron Laird will host a tour during the highest tide of 2016-17. The tide is predicted to reach 8.6' at noon, although it could be up to a foot higher in stormy conditions.


We'll meet at the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Facility on South G Street. From there, we'll walk to the King Tides Observation Bench, which was donated to the City by Aldaron & Christy Laird in January.


The highest tides this winter - known as King Tides - will occur on Oct. 17, Nov. 17, Dec. 13-14, Jan. 11-12. 

To help document this year’s King Tide, All you need is a camera or a smartphone. Submit photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Be very cautious of rising water, eroding shoreline, flooded roadways, and high winds during any extreme high tide events. 

Photo by Saroj Gilbert, South I Street in Arcata, 10-28-15.