Case Studies of Natural Shoreline Infrastructure in Coastal California

New Case Studies show potential of nature-based infrastructure to mitigate sea level rise.

Sea level rise and associated flooding will threaten nearly $100 billion worth of property along the California coast by 2100, and there is no question that coastal landowners and planners will act to protect their assets from these losses. In the absence of compelling reasons or guidance to do otherwise, they will overwhelmingly default to the industry standard – specifically, the construction of coastal armoring (seawalls, revetments, dikes, and levees).

Dunes at Surfers Point

One alternative to coastal armoring is natural infrastructure, which has been shown to be a cost-effective approach to mitigating risk of floods, storms and sea level rise in many places. Natural infrastructure enhances the ability of natural systems to respond to sea level rise and migrate landward, ensuring their survival. In turn, these systems provide co-benefits for coastal communities: coastal ecosystems can serve as protective buffers against sea level rise and storm events while continuing to provide access, recreation opportunities, and other social benefits.

In spite of the well-known advantages of natural infrastructure, property owners continue to default to coastal armoring to protect their assets. There are a number of obstacles in deploying natural infrastructure that result in this preference for coastal armoring, but among them is a documented lack of familiarity with what natural infrastructure is and how it works.

Ironically, California already has numerous examples of natural infrastructure at work! In order to fill this awareness gap, a team of experts from The Nature Conservancy, Point Blue Conservation Science, Environmental Science Associates, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the NOAA Sentinel Site Cooperative have released a report with detailed case studies of coastal natural infrastructure in action. These projects, ranging from sediment augmentation in Seal Beach to dune restoration in Humboldt, are designed to give coastal managers a sense of the breadth of approaches to coastal adaptation and what it takes to plan, permit, implement, and monitor them.

Five projects that spanned the California coast and represented different coastal settings and corresponding approaches were selected for the purposes of this report:

  • Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge Thin-layer Salt Marsh Sediment Augmentation Pilot Project
  • Surfers’ Point Managed Shoreline Retreat Project
  • San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines: Nearshore Linkages Project
  • Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project
  • Humboldt Coastal Dune Vulnerability and Adaptation Climate Ready Project

The case studies investigation was conducted as a component of “Identification of Natural Infrastructure Options for Adapting to Sea Level Rise,” a project under California’s Fourth Climate Assessment.

Read the full report: Case Studies of Natural Shoreline Infrastructure in Coastal California

 

San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Implementation Meeting #24 – December 1, 2017

AGENDA

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 

Location 

Association of Bay Area Governments
375 Beale Street, Ohlone Conference Room, 1st Floor
San Francisco, California

Conference Call / Webinar Information:
To participate remotely by telephone, dial 1-877-336-1829; Participant code: 555450#. Please use your mute button when not speaking and do not put us on hold.

For live, online viewing of meeting materials, go to this address: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/662319589

 

Desired Outcomes of Meeting:

  • Attendees are informed of Water Trail-related activities, progress, and accomplishments.
  • Attendees informed of Canoemobile and SEED SF collaboration
  • Attendees provide input on draft Water Trail Strategic Implementation Plan.

 

Time – Agenda Items

10:00 – Welcome, Introductions, Agenda Review, and Meeting Ground Rules

10:10 – Updates and Announcements from Water Trail Staff, Project Management Team, and Advisory Committee Members

10:25 – Canoemobile / SEED SF Presentation

  • Overview
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

10:45 – Water Trail 5-Year Strategic Implementation Plan Presentation

11:00 – Break

11:10 – Water Trail 5-Year Strategic Plan Discussion and Brainstorming Session

  • Participatory process will be explained during the meeting

12:35 – Prioritization of objectives and concerns exercise

12:45 – Discussion and Public Comments

1:00 – Adjourn

 

Agenda items may be taken out of sequence at the discretion of the Project Management Team; times are approximate.

Questions regarding this meeting may be addressed to Avra Heller, Coastal Conservancy Project Manager, at (510) 286-1212, or avra.heller@scc.ca.gov.

The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. Any person who has a disability and requires reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting should contact Avra Heller (contact information above) no later than five days prior to the meeting.

Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions in Marin County Grant Due Date Extended to November 15

Please note that in light of the fires in the North Bay we’ve extended the Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions in Marin County due date by two weeks. MCF grant applications will now be due Nov 15.

RFP for this grant can be found at this link.

The Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions grant program seeks to support planning, design, permitting, implementation, education, and/or community-based restoration activities to address the risks and impacts of climate change and sea level rise; and to further advance nature-based adaptation solutions to protect and enhance the Marin County bay shoreline and outer coast. These funds can be used to support the following types of projects:

  • Small to moderate size, high-priority restoration projects located within Marin County that advance regional coastal and baylands ecosystem habitat goals, particularly ‘living shoreline’ concepts, including restoring native oyster and eelgrass habitats, sand beaches and dunes, tidal marshes, and other shoreline habitats;
  • Education and engagement of the public, especially underserved youth and communities more directly impacted by sea level rise, in restoration efforts, where possible;
  • Capacity building among critical partners in order to translate scientific data and analysis into practical solutions for broader implementation.

A Coast For All of Us Webinar Recordings and Materials

As economic inequality grows in California, the beach is one space that is truly for everyone.  But are all Californians able to access the coast in the same way?

In the summer and early fall of 2017, the Coastal Conservancy held a 2-part webinar on coastal access in California. Below are the recordings and materials from both parts.

Webinar Recording: A Coast For All of Us

PART 1 | PART 2

Presentation slides and supplemental reports

Adam Probolsky – Coastal Conservancy Statewide Survey // PART 1 | PART 2

Jon Christensen – Access for All: A New Generation’s Challenges on the California Coast // Presentation | Report

David Kordus – PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment

 

Grant Announcement: Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions in Marin County, Due Nov 15, 2017

The California State Coastal Conservancy announces the availability of a second round of funding through its Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions grant program for Marin County. These grants are made possible by funding from the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation to address the impacts of climate change, specifically sea level rise, particularly on low-income communities and other underserved populations in Marin County.

Up to $750,000 is available for awards through this year’s competitive grant program.  The minimum grant amount is anticipated to be $50,000; the maximum grant amount is anticipated to be $200,000.  All applicants must submit a proposal application.  Proposals will be evaluated and the top-ranked proposals will be approved in early 2018. In light of the North Bay fires, applications are now due November 15, 2017.

 

The proposal application can be found here: SCC_Nature Based Adaptation_RFP_101317_final

There will be an informational meeting on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 1:30-2:30pm at the offices of Marin Community Foundation, 5 Hamilton Landing, Suite 200, 94949 in Novato. Please come up to the second floor and check in with reception when you arrive. Please indicate your interest in attending by sending an RSVP to marilyn.latta@scc.ca.gov by September 29.

The Advancing Nature-Based Adaptation Solutions grant program seeks to support planning, design, permitting, implementation, education, and/or community-based restoration activities to address the risks and impacts of climate change and sea level rise; and to further advance nature-based adaptation solutions to protect and enhance the Marin County bay shoreline and outer coast. These funds can be used to support the following types of projects:

  • Small to moderate size, high-priority restoration projects located within Marin County that advance regional coastal and baylands ecosystem habitat goals, particularly ‘living shoreline’ concepts, including restoring native oyster and eelgrass habitats, sand beaches and dunes, tidal marshes, and other shoreline habitats;
  • Education and engagement of the public, especially underserved youth and communities more directly impacted by sea level rise, in restoration efforts, where possible;
  • Capacity building among critical partners in order to translate scientific data and analysis into practical solutions for broader implementation.

Questions about the application process and potential projects may be directed to Marilyn Latta, 510-286-4157 or marilyn.latta@scc.ca.gov.

San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Implementation Meeting #23 – September 15, 2017

AGENDA

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location

Elihu M. Harris State Office Building
1515 Clay Street, 2nd Floor, Room 12
Oakland, California

Conference Call / Webinar Information:
To participate remotely by telephone, dial 1-877-336-1829; Participant code: 555450#. Please use your mute button when not speaking and do not put us on hold.

For live, online viewing of meeting materials, go to this address: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/197762181 

Desired Outcomes of Meeting:

  • Attendees are informed of Water Trail-related activities, progress, and accomplishments.
  • Attendees informed of and provide input on draft Water Trail Strategic Plan.
  • Attendees are informed of progress in the development of Water Trail outreach materials.
  • Attendees informed of stand-up paddle boarding techniques and use requirements.
  • After receiving Advisory Committee guidance, Project Management Team makes consensus-based decisions on two trailhead designations: Keller Beach and Encinal Beach and Boat Launch.

Time – Agenda Items

10:00 – Welcome, Introductions, Agenda Review, and Meeting Ground Rules

10:10 – Updates and Announcements from Water Trail Staff, Project Management Team, and Advisory Committee Members

10:20 – Water Trail outreach (website and maps) update

  • Overview
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

10:35 – Water Trail 5-Year Strategic Plan Discussion

  • Overview
  • Draft Objectives and Goals
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

11:10 – Trailhead Designation Consideration: Keller Beach (Richmond, Contra Costa County)

  • Presentation and Site Description review
  • Discussion with Advisory Committee
  • Public comments
  • Advisory Committee consensus guidance to Project Management Team on trailhead designation
  • Project Management Team discussion and decision on conditional designation

11:40 – Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) Presentation

  • Overview of sport and user needs
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

12:00 – Break

12:10 – Trailhead Designation Consideration: Encinal Beach and Boat Launch (Alameda, Alameda County)

  • Presentation and Site Description review
  • Discussion with Advisory Committee
  • Public comments
  • Advisory Committee consensus guidance to Project Management Team on trailhead designation
  • Project Management Team discussion and decision on conditional designation

12:55 – Public Comments

1:00 – Adjourn

 

Agenda items may be taken out of sequence at the discretion of the Project Management Team; times are approximate.

Questions regarding this meeting may be addressed to Avra Heller, Coastal Conservancy Project Manager, at (510) 286-1212, or avra.heller@scc.ca.gov.

The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. Any person who has a disability and requires reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting should contact Avra Heller (contact information above) no later than five days prior to the meeting.

Request for Services for the Terminal Four Wharf, Warehouse, and Piling Removal Project

The State Coastal Conservancy is seeking the services of a consultant firm or team to provide engineering and environmental and related services for the Terminal Four Wharf, Warehouse, and Piling Removal Project located at Point San Pablo (City of Richmond Terminal Four, San Pablo Bay, within San Francisco Bay).  The services will generally involve the further development of a plan and designs and preparation of environmental and permitting documentation for the removal of an existing, dilapidated wharf and warehouse and associated creosote and concrete pilings.

 

Please download the full RFS here- SCC_RequestforServices_Terminal Four

 

Interested firms should submit a response to this RFS, by 5:00 p.m. on Monday October 2, 2017.

Submittals should be emailed to Marilyn Latta at marilyn.latta@scc.ca.gov, AND mailed hard copy to:

State Coastal Conservancy

Attn: Marilyn Latta, Project Manager

1515 Clay St, 10th Floor

Oakland CA 94612

Upcoming Webinar: Sea-level rise effects on coastal wetlands in Southern California

Nearly half of Southern California’s marsh habitat could be lost to sea level rise by 2100.  Join us for a webinar hosted by the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative on the impact of rising seas on Southern California’s wetlands based on a new model that incorporates topography, sediment accretion rates, tidal inlet dynamics, and plant response to quantify wetland habitat conversion driven by sea level rise.

Tuesday, October 31, 11-12pm

 

Authors:

Eric Stein (presenter)Southern California Coastal Water Research Project

Cheryl Doughty, University of California Los Angeles

Megan Cooper, State Coastal Conservancy

This standardized approach can be developed for all wetlands in a region regardless of differing levels of data availability, making it ideal for quantifying regional effects. We applied the model to approximately 100 wetlands along the Southern California coast, representing a broad range of wetland type and data availability. Our findings suggest that if wetlands are confined to their current extents, the region will lose 12% of marsh habitats (vegetated marsh and unvegetated intertidal flats) with 0.6 m of sea-level rise (by 2050) and 48% with 1.6 m of sea-level rise (by 2100). Habitat conversion was more drastic in wetlands with larger proportions of marsh habitats relative to subtidal habitats and occurred more rapidly in small coastal lagoons relative to larger systems. Our assessment can inform management of coastal wetlands by improving our understanding of the drivers relevant to individual wetlands and the significant gaps in data impeding our ability to model response at large scales.

To register, click here

San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Implementation Meeting #22 – June 2, 2017

AGENDA

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location

Elihu M. Harris State Office Building
1515 Clay Street, 2nd Floor, Room 12
Oakland, California

Conference Call / Webinar Information:
To participate remotely by telephone, dial 1-877-336-1829; Participant code: 555450#. Please use your mute button when not speaking and do not put us on hold.

For live, online viewing of meeting materials, go to this address:  https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/641145861.

Desired Outcomes of Meeting:
• Attendees are informed of Water Trail-related activities, progress, and accomplishments.
• PMT confirms Charter clarification language
• Attendees informed of Water Trail progress to date, and provide input on program direction.
• Attendees are informed of progress in the development of Water Trail outreach materials and site use information.
• Attendees informed of kiteboarding techniques and use requirements.
• After receiving Advisory Committee guidance, Project Management Team makes consensus-based decisions on two trailhead designations: Keller Beach and Albany Beach

 

Time – Agenda Items

10:00 – Welcome, Introductions, Agenda Review, and Meeting Ground Rules

10:10 – Updates and Announcements from Water Trail Staff, Project Management Team, and Advisory Committee Members

10:20 – Confirmation of PMT Decision Making Language

10:25 – Water Trail outreach update

  • Overview
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

10:35 – Water Trail Progress Report and Check In

  • Overview
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

11:15 – Trailhead Designation Consideration: Keller Beach (Richmond, Contra Costa County)

  • Presentation and Site Description review
  • Discussion with Advisory Committee
  • Public comments
  • Advisory Committee consensus guidance to Project Management Team on trailhead designation
  • Project Management Team discussion and decision on conditional designation

11:50 – Break

12:00 – Kiteboarding Presentation

  • Overview of sport and user needs
  • Advisory Committee and public questions and discussion

12:20 – Trailhead Designation Consideration: Albany Beach (Albany, Alameda County)

  • Presentation and Site Description review
  • Discussion with Advisory Committee
  • Public comments
  • Advisory Committee consensus guidance to Project Management Team on trailhead designation
  • Project Management Team discussion and decision on conditional designation

12:55 – Public Comments

1:00 – Adjourn

 

Agenda items may be taken out of sequence at the discretion of the Project Management Team; times are approximate.

Questions regarding this meeting may be addressed to Avra Heller, Coastal Conservancy Project Manager, at (510) 286-1212, or avra.heller@scc.ca.gov.

The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. Any person who has a disability and requires reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting should contact Avra Heller (contact information above) no later than five days prior to the meeting.

SCC Public Comment on Dept. of Interior Review of National Monuments

The Department of the Interior is currently reviewing the status of 27 national monuments and has solicited public comments as part of this process.  The State Coastal Conservancy has issued the statement below, encouraging Secretary Zinke to leave these protected public lands intact.  Learn more about the review and leave a comment of your own here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001 

Secretary Zinke,

On behalf of the California State Coastal Conservancy, the agency charged with protection and restoration of California’s coastline and coastal watersheds, I urge you to leave the 27 national monuments currently under review intact. These monuments are of great cultural and ecological significance, and they are public lands treasured by millions of Americans.

In California, the San Gabriel Mountains are vital to the quality of life of Los Angeles residents. These soaring mountains are a space to hike, play, ski and camp. They comprise 70% of the open space available to Angelenos and supply 30% of the city’s drinking water. They are also one of the only substantial natural spaces available to many of the urban, diverse and historically underserved communities in Los Angeles.

Berryessa Snow Mountain is the headwaters of the Eel River, California’s third largest river system, and an important salmon and steelhead trout watershed enjoyed by many for recreation and fishing.

America’s public lands are national treasure and should be protected as such. I ask that you consider the many benefits these monuments deliver to their local communities, to fragile ecosystems and to the fabric of our great country in your review.

Sincerely,
Sam Schuchat
Executive Officer
California State Coastal Conservancy
scc.ca.gov