County of Marin - News Releases - Sea-Level Rise on Open Marin

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2015

Conversation about Sea-Level Rise Goes Online

Public feedback sought on Open Marin webpage

San Rafael, CA - Residents of Marin County’s Pacific Coast are invited to get involved online with the effort to address the long-range effects of impending sea-level rise.

The Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) is getting a web-based conversation started by posing questions on its Open Marin webpage. Residents are asked to share facts and opinions about local changes being seen because of high tides and sea-level rise, increased risks and potential adaptations.

The Open Marin conversation is a follow-up to public workshops held in West Marin during late October 2014, when residents helped planners identify key assets along the coast that may be vulnerable to higher sea levels and intense storms.

Debuted in 2013, Open Marin is a web-based civic forum that expands options for participation in County government. It encourages dialogue on specific issues and allows constituents to read what others are saying about hot-button topics. Open Marin makes it easier for people to provide feedback on County program and projects – especially for residents who have a tough time attending public hearings in person because of work schedules, family commitments, travel and other “real life” events.

County planners are deep into a public education campaign about the Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART), which is assessing the vulnerabilities of coastal towns to potential rising ocean levels and intensifying storms. Scientific evidence shows that sea-level rise is accelerating because of thermal expansion of the oceans and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. Sea level has risen 8 inches along Marin’s Pacific Coast since record keeping began.

Although there is no immediate danger to residents, climate experts predict that the sea level could rise nearly 5 ½ feet between now and the year 2100, putting communities such as Bolinas, Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, Point Reyes Station, Inverness and Marshall at risk. Additionally, the intensity and frequency of storms are expected to increase, compounding potential hazards. Natural resources, such as wetlands and habitat areas, also are in jeopardy.

The C-SMART program is partially funded with grants from the Ocean Protection Council and the California Coastal Commission. Additional partner organizations include the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the U.S. Geological Survey, Point Blue Conservation Science,  the Marin County Department of Public Works, Caltrans, the National Park Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In addition to Open Marin, residents man still send an email, mail a letter or attend a public meeting to share thoughts with County officials. Learn more at


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