Sea Level Rise: Understanding Our Coast - June 16

Post date: Jun 11, 2017 5:8:19 AM

Sea Level Rise: Understanding Our CoastFriday, June 16, 6:45 PM

Pacifica Coastside Museum

Until today no humans have had the technology to measure the changes that occurred as the last Ice Age melted away. During the last 18,000 years the sea level rose 325 feet and the shore retreated about 25 miles from the Farallones to where today we go to the beach.

Modern science and technology measurements allow us to calculate the possibility of another 150 feet of sea rise if the remaining ice sheets melt. However, “Waiting for the scientific certainty is neither a safe nor prudent option” according the 2017 study “Rising Seas in California.”

On Friday, June 16, join experts to examine and ask questions about the realities of sea level rise for Pacifica. Pacifica’s Environmental Family and the Pacifica Climate Committee have invited specialists from both the science and the policy community to speak at the Pacifica Coastside Museum at 6:45 PM.


    • Moderator for the evening Brenda Goeden has long experience with negotiating the rocky intersection between science, policy and politics with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

    • Samuel Johnson will open the evening with dramatic views of the seafloor using LIDAR imagery and offer a framework for understanding Pacifica’s coastal geology and evolution to explain how and why the waves that hit our shore have so much effect on Pacifica. Dr. Johnson is a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and lead for the California Seafloor Mapping Program.

    • Gary Griggs is Director of Marine Sciences at U.C. Santa Cruz and author of the book “Living on the Changing California Coast.” Dr. Griggs will review some of Pacifica’s recent erosion history, show us examples of sea level rise adaptation, and summarize the findings of the newly completed Rising Seas study.

    • Jasneet Sharma from the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability will share information about the on-going county-wide Sea Change planning efforts that focus on three vulnerable areas in Pacifica.

    • A representative from the Pacifica Planning Department will give us an update on progress on the revision of our Local Coastal Use Plan and the contract with the Army Corps of Engineer for repairs along the coast north of the pier.

The themes throughout the evening will weave between history, ongoing scientific investigation and responsive policy. As Pacifica responds to new information over the next several years, determining our course between adaptation measures and hazard mitigation will be a continuing challenge. Join the discussion and help identify priorities that can help to minimize or postpone the impacts of sea level rise.