SAN MATEO (KCBS) – A just released report finds rising sea levels, one of the biggest climate change challenges, is putting billions of dollars in property and resources at risk in San Mateo County.
Board of Supervisors vice president Dave Pine was among those briefed this week on a two-year study called Sea Change San Mateo.
“The report confirms that San Mateo County is the most vulnerable county in California to future sea level rise,” Pine told KCBS.
Billions of dollars of assets are at risk because historically, building was allowed to the edge of the bay or into the bay.
Among the assets that would be affected by rising waters, Highway 101, San Francisco International Airport, and a number of low-lying communities.
“These maps that show areas that are flooded are a snapshot of if we don’t do anything. We have the opportunity to build in protective actions and modifications for future development,” said Hilary Pappendick, climate change program manager for San Mateo County.
Pine notes sea rise does not know county and city jurisdiction lines.
“Our first step is to think hard about our land planning process, what type of buildings should be built out to the Bay shore,” Pine said.
The report will be presented at two community meetings, one in Burlingame and one in Half Moon Bay later this month, and to a number of city councils.