County of Marin - News Releases - Shrinking Shores and Sea-Level Rise

For Immediate Release
May 25, 2017

Where’s the Beach? Drowned by Sea-Level Rise

Coastal impacts of climate change shown at ‘Shrinking Shores’ event June 3

San Rafael, CA – Look at that nice warm sand on the beach. Isn’t it inviting? Well, enjoy it while it lasts. By 2100, California’s coastline probably won’t have much sand left to build a castle, plant an umbrella or bury your toes because of climate change.

Signs in the sand at Stinson Beach show where expected ocean levels will be in 2050 and 2100.The Shrinking Shores event June 3 will include a dramatic illustration about expected sea-level rise in the decades to come.

On June 3, the County of Marin’s Community Development Agency (CDA) will host an informational event about sea-level rise on Stinson Beach that’s part of a statewide campaign organized by Marin CDA called Shrinking Shores. Shrinking Shores events will be hosted as far south as Santa Monica and as far north as Humboldt Bay in anticipation of World Oceans Day, a global celebration and collaboration for a better future on June 8.

At Stinson Beach, beachgoers will see a dramatic illustration about predicted ocean levels through the end of the century. Temporary signposts and flags will be stuck into the sand to depict scenarios of future sea level rise. Shrinking Shores organizers will staff a booth near the “Year 2100” level of the beach. Experts will be available to discuss the science behind the predicted rises and the County’s Sustainability Team will be there providing information about ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Marin and other coastal jurisdictions are working to create awareness of sea-level rise before it drastically changes life near our beaches. Locally, CDA planners created Collaboration: Sea-level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART) to get more people educated and involved in the process of planning for a coordinated response.

Sea-level rise is already threatening billions of dollars’ worth of homes, businesses, roads and infrastructure statewide. Local governments are caught in an awkward position; they need to level with people about the realities of sea-level rise without resorting to a doomsday approach and an urgent warning to head for higher ground. Communities will be better prepared to meet the challenges by assessing what is vulnerable to rising tides, creating opportunities for residents to learn from the experts, and by involving everyone in collaborative planning for the expected environmental changes.

“While we know these changes are happening, we can only estimate how soon we will see more dramatic impacts,” said Jack Liebster, CDA Planning Manager. “By beginning to prepare now, we can find ways to live with higher water levels as well as create suitable defenses.”

The Shrinking Shores tent will be located on Stinson Beach near the main parking lot and restrooms from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 3.

The County also is hosting two public workshops about sea-level rise at 6:30 p.m. June 8 (Dance Palace, 503 B Street, Point Reyes Station) and 6:30 p.m. June 14 (Stinson Beach Community Center, 32 Belvedere Ave.). Staff will speak about a new C-SMART Public Draft Adaptation Report that was released May 25. Public comment on the draft report is open until June 23.

Follow the County’s sea-level rise programs at, on Facebook and on Twitter


Leslie Lacko
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-4333
Email: Leslie Lacko
Community Development website