STINSON BEACH (KPIX) — Sea levels may be rising but one Bay Area beach community is not going down without a fight.
In Stinson Beach many believe sand dunes are the key to battling erosion.
It’s a top tourist destination that is also a top priority for Marin county when it comes to sea level rise, not to mention those like Diane Scott who live there.
I live a block away, so I’m very concerned. I am in a flood zone, and I also have a creek to deal with,” says Scott.
A Marin rendering shows what could happen to Stinson if it doesn’t take any action to protect it. It’s vulnerable from a double threat, says Jack Liebster with the county.
“That area where the beach itself will erode with more increased sea level rise and actually could go under water – drown, essentially,” he said.
Marin County is considering several options, but one of them is creating a sand dune that would blend in to the environment and provide a natural habitat. It would also provide a barrier between rising sea levels and the houses on the other side.
There are about 700 houses and millions in revenue at risk. It’s one of the county’s biggest beaches.
“We have a tremendous number of visitors and if that beach is gone it’ll will really affect the ability for recreation, and the economy of the county,” said Liebster.
It’s still very early in the process, but if funded, the study would even look into using sand from the ocean floor just off the coast, in a spot between the San Andreas and Golden Gate faults in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
“It would be a big ordeal,” says Scott.
Is it worth it? Scott seems unsure.
“Gosh, I don’t know.”
Marin County is deep into the process of getting the money together for for the study. When they do, the study will likely take several years. Public commenting, permitting, will add even more time so beachgoers won’t see construction any time soon..