Stinson Beach Implements Sea Level Action Plan

Stinson Beach (photo by Elyse Omernick)

Stinson Beach, the most vulnerable among the seven coastal communities in West Marin to sea level rise, will collaborate with multiple agencies, including the County of Marin Community Development Agency, to implement a sea level action plan that could start as soon as May and involves a three-year planning process. The agencies are dedicated to making Stinson Beach residents and people who frequent the area part of the solution.

“The existential questions related to sea level rise require the community to reach absolute understanding of their situation and be deeply engaged in developing an effective response. We want to take a radical approach by providing technical and organizational support, but ownership and direction of the work will be the responsibility of the whole community,” says Jack Liebster, planning manager at the County of Marin Community Development Agency.

Suggested adaptation measures include closing flooded roads, flood-proofing homes, constructing sand dunes and installing seawalls, and Liebster says that land swaps, where homes are moved to safer locations and the vacated parcels are restored to native conditions, are potentially in the cards as well. “Preliminary assessments indicate that with the slow dual disaster of shore erosion and downright [land] drowning, most of the beach at Stinson could be gone in 40 to 50 years,” adds Liebster. “Our kids and grandkids will curse us for that.”