County of Marin - News Releases - Sea-Level Rise Workshop

For Immediate Release
November 03, 2015

Sea-Level Rise Workshop Comes to West Marin

Impacts examined in new vulnerability assessment on November 14

San Rafael, CA – The phrase ”sea-level rise” is no surprise to Marin County residents who live near the Pacific Ocean. The ocean level along the Marin coast has risen eight inches since recordkeeping began, and the best science available says it will rise substantially more in over the next century.

On November 14, the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) is hosting a public workshop that will serve as an excellent opportunity for West Marin residents to discuss options to protect, accommodate or retreat from sea-level rise over time. In addition, CDA staff will present a report to the Marin County Planning Commission at 1 p.m. November 9 and a 30-minute informational workshop during the Marin County Board of Supervisors meeting at 10 a.m. November 17. Webcasts of both presentations – before the Supervisors and before the Planning Commission – can be viewed on the County website either live or archived.

A view from a hill looking down on southern Tomales Bay depicting how a king tide has breeched a levee.The C-SMART project, short for Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team, is working to bring communities together to better understand the nature of the challenge and examine possible responses to sea-level rise. Marin CDA planners who serve as C-SMART organizers have hosted public meetings over the past few years, and dozens of residents are now familiar with the acronym SLR.

Here’s why the effort is so important: The combination of sea-level rise and storms could:

  • damage and flood one in five properties in West Marin
  • spoil septic systems and water supplies through saltwater intrusion
  • flood or wash out 10 to 20 miles of public and private roads
  • erode beaches and cliffs at increasing rates
  • drown marsh and intertidal habitats

Over the past year, C-SMART has gathered information from technical experts, utility managers and coastal residents to identify the vulnerability of West Marin’s built and natural assets. While there is a broad range of projected changes in sea level, the overarching message is that residents need to prepare for rising waters.

“There are concerns in both the short term, such as within our lifetimes, and the long term,” said Marin CDA Planning Manager Jack Liebster. “By doing the planning and public engagement we are doing now, we can manage it.”

To help in that work, C-SMART has just released its draft Marin Ocean Coast Vulnerability Assessment, a detailed analysis of the possible near- to long-term impacts of sea-level rise. Enriched by a better understanding of the potential impacts of sea-level rise, Marin now faces the task of adapting to a changing environment and finding solutions to flooding from sea-level rise and storms.

Join neighbors, County staff, and state and federal experts in Stinson Beach from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 14 for the public workshop at the Stinson Beach Community Center. There will be presentations in the morning from technical experts and surveys for residents to evaluate conceptual sea-level rise strategies, followed by an open house. “Having some evidence about community preferences will help us with our adaptation report as we identify next steps to take,” Liebster said. 

The community center is at 32 Belvedere Ave., next to the Stinson Beach Fire Station.

Can’t make it to the workshop? Visit to learn more, share your input, and sign up to stay in contact.


Jack Liebster
Planning Manager
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6278
Email: Jack Liebster
Community Development website