Home Sea Level Rise
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Sea Level Rise

Sea level is projected to rise at least 16 inches along the California coast by 2050, with a 55-inch rise predicted by 2100. The primary impacts from sea level rise are increases in flooding and erosion. Sea level rise will expand the area vulnerable to flooding during major storms, as well as in the rare but catastrophic event of a major tsunami. 

The term 100-year flood is used as a standard for planning, insurance, and environmental analysis.  People, infrastructure, and property are already located in areas vulnerable to flooding from a 100-year event. Sea level rise will cause more frequent—and more damaging—floods to those already at risk and will increase the size of the coastal floodplain, placing new areas at risk to flooding.



East coast flooding: Wake up call for Humboldt County
Written by Kevin Forestieri, HSU Lumberjack   

11/28/12


This year America watched sea levels rise and the ocean flood cities across the east coast in late October. Humboldt County faces a similar threat.
 
Mid-November to early December is when flood risk is the highest. A storm during the high tides of that time can overtake the dikes around Humboldt Bay, flood the area and cost the county millions of dollars to recover.

Read more...
 
Supervisors back study of rising sea; Bay infrastructure threatened
Written by Grant Scott-Goforth, Times Standard   

10/10/12

The county is looking at ways to protect coastal com­munities on Humboldt Bay threatened by rising sea levels and aging dikes. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to sup­port a recent application for a $250,000 Coastal Conservan­cy grant that would allow nonprofit Coastal Ecosys­tems Institute of Northern California to adapt planning and technical studies associ­ated with sea level rise in Humboldt Bay.

Aldaron Laird of Trinity Associates said at Tuesday’s meeting that the first phase of the project — the first com­prehensive mapping of Humboldt Bay, funded by the Coastal Conservancy — was complete. Seventy-five per­cent of Humboldt Bay’s 102 ­mile shoreline is artificial, Laird said, meaning it needs maintenance.

Laird said Humboldt Bay has the highest rate of sea ­level rise on the West Coast and showed examples of crumbling dikes and shore­line areas that already flood yearly.

Harbor district Director of Conservation Division Dan Berman said it was an important issue for the dis­trict, adding that even if sea level rise goes more slowly than expected, it’s already a problem on the bay.

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Rising Seas Pose Risks Around Humboldt Bay
Written by Jennifer Kalt for EcoNews   

Thousands of acres of former tidal wetlands currently at or below sea level around Humboldt Bay—including most of Manila, Samoa, Fairhaven, some residential and commercial areas of Eureka and Arcata, and many agricultural lands near the bay—are at risk of increased flooding in the coming years.


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California faces more serious risk of sea level rise than other areas
Written by Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News   

6/22/12

As the world continues to warm from climate change, most of California -- including San Francisco Bay -- will see a greater rise in sea level than other parts of the planet, according to a prominent national study released Friday.

The report, from the National Academy of Sciences, found that the impacts of melting ice and warming, expanding oceans will hit California harder because most of the state's coastline is slowly sinking due to geological forces.

Ocean levels south of Humboldt County will rise up to 1 foot in the next 20 years, 2 feet by 2050, and up to 5 feet by 2100, the study showed.

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Rising sea levels around Humboldt Bay



Aldaron Laird, who walked or kayaked all 102 miles of Humboldt Bay’s shoreline and its sloughs as part of his study, “Hum­boldt Bay Shoreline Invento­ry, Mapping and Sea Level Rise Assessment,” was the featured speaker on May 30 at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center.

Laird is an environmental planner who specializes in getting permits for wetland enhancement projects and doing historical studies of rivers and tidal waters. He produced the Humboldt Bay Historical Atlas in 2007.



This year, Laird is complet­ing work for a California Coastal Conservancy grant to inventory the bay’s shore­line and “ground truth” GIS data on the shoreline’s attributes — part of a statewide effort to map areas that will be affected by sea level rise.

 During his tour of the bay's shoreline, Laird discovered that acres of diked farmland are currently ill-equipped to hold back the rising sea. The last native salt marsh ecosystems are also at risk of being drowned out by sea level rise.

 Laird’s presentation will include some of his 14,000 photographs taken during the project.

To watch online, click HERE. Thanks to Access Humboldt!

For more info, see "Aldaron's Walkabout" in January's North Coast Journal.

 
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