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.

1/30/15

President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Friday directing federal, state and local agencies to incorporate projections for sea level rise in planning and construction along the coasts.

 

The new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard requires that all federally funded projects located in floodplains, including buildings and roads, be built to withstand flooding. The requirement, the White House said in a release Friday, would “reduce the risk and cost of future flood disasters” and “help ensure federal projects last as long as intended.”

Solar-lunar alignment create big waves, but flooding risk minimal

 
1/20/15

The winter’s highest tides are predicted for this week, but without the storms that hit Humboldt County in late December, flood risk is minimal, according to the National Weather Service.


National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Kidwell said the tide, which is considered a King Tide because of the alignment of the sun and the moon, peaked at 8.4 feet Monday morning and will probably be a little higher today and Wednesday.


“It’s actually going to be the highest (today), probably around 8.4 feet again,” Kidwell said. “But it usually has to get up to around 8.8 feet before we start seeing flooding.”

12/23/14


The highest and lowest tides of 2014 known — as the “king tides” — hit California’s coast on Monday, with this year’s event getting a leg up from the recent offshore winds, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kathleen Lewis.

 

“The tides have been predicted to be just around 8 feet, but they’ve been higher,” she said. “One reason is because of the southerly winds offshore, and that helps create a surge that pushed against the coast. We have been seeing southerly winds for quite a while. That has been causing the difference in the tide to be higher than projected levels.”

On one of the most vulnerable islands in America, a longtime caretaker makes peace with climate change.

 

12/2/14

 

At the south end of Assateague Island, on a storm-shaped hook called Tom’s Cove, Ishmael Ennis likes to pace the beach. Autumn Sundays are the best time of year, he said, when the dawn chill clears out the crowds. In those solitary moments, the sands seem vast enough to drown any human concerns.


“No, that’s getting too romantic,” he said, suddenly self-conscious. Ennis, 59, grew up near a crabbing town on the Chesapeake Bay. He’s tall, hay-haired, and speaks with a waterman’s drawl. “I don’t feel nothing too special,” he said. “Just sometimes you’ve got to get away from all the normal stuff. The island offers that.”


Not for long, perhaps.

Why is sea level rising twice as fast here as it is along the rest of the Pacific coast? Which areas around Humboldt Bay are most likely to be under water in the future? How will sea level rise affect the agricultural lands on former bay tidelands? How will Caltrans keep Highway 101 above water? What will happen in low-lying areas of Arcata and Eureka?

 

The Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning Project will provide an update for the public at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, 921 Waterfront Drive, Eureka.