Environmental Planner Aldaron Laird presented the Harbor Commission’s study on sea level rise and climate change at their lunch today. For those of you who enjoy getting bad news, it was a delightful occasion.
Mr Laird’s presentation was gripping, if you care about the Bay. We are looking at a 3-foot sea level rise by 2070 and if I were you I wouldn’t be buying any property in King Salmon. (Someone better tell the HGTV folks who were pimping King Salmon as a place for a Beachfront Bargain Hunt.) King Salmon and Jacobs Avenue are the areas most at risk for inundation; Fields Landing is somewhat more protected. Take a look at the maps in the study that show the inundation zones. Hwy 101 will be covered by water and the Bay will eventually merge with the Mad River.
Global warming isn’t the problem here. We would experience at least a foot sea level rise from ground-levels sinking, a natural phenomenon.
It’s not just the inundated buildings that will be a problem; all our local utilities are underground and our wastewater treatment facilities are at sea level. Fixing all this will be enormously expensive and competition for funds will be intense.
BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS! Thanks to Mr Laird , our local Adaptation activists and the many agencies who collaborated on the study, we are ‘way ahead of the rest of the State in our planning and are serving as a resource for others as they catch up.
We do, indeed, live in interesting times.