LAO: How the State Can Help Cities and Counties Address Sea Level Rise
Sea levels are rising across the globe, with an average growth rate of one-eighth of an inch per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The ramifications will be felt worldwide, but coastal areas are on the frontlines. Because local governments control so much of the development that happens along the California coast, they will play a pivotal role in addressing sea level rise.
The California Legislative Analyst’s Office has published a report titled, “Preparing for Rising Seas: How the State Can Help Support Local Coastal Adaptation Efforts.” It warns that local governments are moving too slowly to address the problem, which could result in a 7 foot sea level rise by the year 2100. The state has an important role to play in assisting local governments, the report concludes.
The LAO has offered a series of recommendations. These include increased assistance for cities and counties to conduct vulnerability assessments, adaptation plans, and project-specific responses; establishment of the California Climate Adaptation Center and Regional Support Network to provide support to local governments; developing a standard that local governments can use to conduct economic analyses of rising sea levels; a review of regulatory permitting by the California Natural Resources Agency; and educating local governments and the public at large about the threat of rising sea levels and the various means of addressing sea level rise and climate change.
Read the full study here.