Sea level rise preparation plan puts Pacifica property owners on edge


By: Brooks Jarosz

Posted: Nov 28 2018 10:25PM PST

Updated: Nov 29 2018 10:36AM PST

PACIFICA, Calif. (KTVU) – The Fairway Park West neighborhood in Pacifica has been the place Jeff Guillet and his family have called home for nearly a decade, but he’s concerned his property and its value could soon be at risk with the passage of a new coastal plan.

The City of Pacifica is working on updating the Local Coastal Program plan or LCP, which includes preparing for sea level rise over the next 50 to 100 years. It involves making tough decisions to prepare for the worst case scenario. Guillet claims his entire neighborhood is located in a hazard zone, made up of any land west of Highway 1 in Pacifica.

“My home is a third of a mile from the beach, 40 feet above sea level,” Guillet said. “There is no way that I’m going to be affected by sea level rise in the next 100 years.”

Pacifica Pier credit ctm

While the city has looked at maintaining ocean barriers and replenishing beaches with sand, it’s one controversial proposal that would negatively affect Guillet’s property that has him outraged. The proposal is called managed retreat, which means moving homes and businesses located in the hazard zone to allow nature to do what it wants and maintain the beach.

Pacifica credit ctm

“We were shocked,” Guillet said. “I just feel angry that this is being done to me by my city that should be protecting me.”

In addition to property values, Guillet is concerned about insurance and also said if managed retreat were to ever be mandated by the city, Pacifica could then restrict renovations and prevent homeowners from pulling permits. With word spreading throughout the community, it has left not just homeowners but business owners on edge.

“I don’t get it,” business owner Cheryl Yoes said. “It’s allowing erosion to happen without trying to do something about it to save the homes and businesses.”

Yoes and her husband own Dial Glass and Window Company. They just renovated and are frustrated that Pacifica even considered managed retreat. She fears it will push people away right now for a problem that may happen decades later.

“I’ve lived here my entire life and the sea level couldn’t have risen more than an inch or two,” Yoes said. “There’s no way.”

That view has dozens of homes and businesses displaying bright, yellow signs talking down managed retreat with worry that even the city’s long-term plan could have short-term consequences.

Pacifica received a grant to assess and consider several strategies to deal with climate change and ocean rise in the future. While what happens is not certain, the city looked at numerous options and is set to approve the sea-level rise adaptation plan this December. Pacifica has received more than 100 comment letters from people concerned with the plan.

“Since no one has a crystal ball about what the future holds related to climate change and sea level rise, the important  component of this plan is its adaptability,” Pacifica City Manager Kevin Woodhouse explained. “If we implement strategies but in future decades they don’t seem to be protective, we’re going to need to reevaluate at that time.”

Woodhouse said the strategies being considered and implemented right now are armoring the coast with sea walls and boulders or adding sand to beaches to prevent coastal erosion. However, within the draft policies it does mentioned managed retreat as a potentially “cost effective” and “long-term solution” but also pointing out the effects in the near-term could be “severe.”

“To be absolutely clear, managed retreat is not recommended in the draft policies,” Woodhouse said. “We’re actively working on these other protective measures.”

Right now, millions of dollars is being spent to armor the coast and prevent erosion that could affect homes and businesses. However, homeowner Suzanne Drake who lives on Beach Boulevard feet from the beach is skeptical and said the truth is buried in the paperwork of the draft policies.

Overlooking Paciifca Pier with Farallon Islands credit ctm

“I’m just going through it and right in there it says retreat,” Drake said. “I think it’s a shame.”

She’s concerned that eventually if managed retreat is implemented that she and her family will be flooded out or forced from their home.

The final draft does mention that managed retreat of existing development and infrastructure may be required. To understand why managed retreat will have to be considered by 60 plus coastal cities, 2 Investigates went to the California Coastal Commission. Scientist Carey Batha explained the Pacific Ocean has risen about eight inches over the last century but with more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it’s important coastal cities prepare for a major increase in sea levels.

Read the full story here

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 1, 2018 2:24 am

Managed retreat is a green euphemism for can’t be bothered to do anything and who cares if a few people see their homes destroyed. It is practised extensively in a the U.K., especially East Anglia where people’s homes are washed away. This process has been going on for centuries and is nothing new, although eco-activitist hysteria misleads people to believe otherwise.
Across the North Sea the Dutch are not surrender monkeys to the sea and have been recovering large tracts of land to extend their country and protect their people. We have a choice but choose not to care when we could do something about it.
(No, I am not threatened personally by coastal erosion, so no axe to grind)

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 1, 2018 3:31 am

No, it’s much worse than ‘we can’t be bothered’!

It s rather ‘we’ll make you an example by punishing you before the sea level rises’.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 1, 2018 7:50 am

Different topography, different strategies. The coast of the Netherlands is low lying. Since sea level rise is somewhere between 6 and 13 inches per century, they can realistically build sea walls several meters high that will survive several centuries before ultimately succumbing to the sea (unless the next glacial period rescues them). Sea walls preclude beaches. You can have one or the other.

Conversely, it is virtually impossible to protect rapidly eroding coastal bluffs like those along portions of the Pacific Coast that aren’t rocky. Lamdslides regularly close parts of the Pacific Coast Highway because the land is unstable. It is impossible, or prohibitively expensive, with current technology to shore up these areas. Eventually the sea will claim it. Erosion is inevitable.

Reply to  stinkerp
December 1, 2018 9:55 am

The Netherlands also have a massively shorter coastline than the UK and of course a head start in setting up sea defenses of up to 300 years! a less difficult task for the Dutch therefore…

but the Dutch are also realists and some of them have to move too:

Reply to  griff
December 1, 2018 10:53 am


The Romans were the first to set up sea defences in Britain

Others followed suit with Romney marsh and Ely and the Somerset levels all dating back to medieval times. There ate plenty of other examples of very old sea defences

The dutch were especially good at it but it is a very old art


Reply to  griff
December 1, 2018 4:39 pm

The Netherlands has a shorter coastline, it also has a lot fewer people.

Reply to  griff
December 2, 2018 5:58 am

Fortunately this junk is dead and buried in Australia there have been a number of prominent court cases starting with Vaughan vs Byron Shire Council. The Byron council had a strategy of ‘planned retreat’ and the private property rights were upheld.

In 2012, the Commonwealth government released a discussion paper on roles and
responsibilities for climate change adaptation, including a number of “Guiding Principles” for the management and allocation of climate change risks. It lays out guidelines that have been established for legal arguments in this area.

Now all shire councils can do is offer advice on likely changes to an area they can not make planning decisions based on future sea level rise. So almost all shire councils have a risk management plan with key points at when they would abandon an area and that is it.

Reply to  stinkerp
December 2, 2018 1:28 pm

‘ it is virtually impossible to protect rapidly eroding coastal bluffs like those along portions of the Pacific Coast that aren’t rocky. ‘

This is not about protecting or not protecting, but not-protecting or disallowing property owners to protect their property.

It’s OK if property can”t be protected. It is not OK to force people give up their property by denying development permissions long beforehand.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 1, 2018 12:42 pm

In some areas of California residents on the coast were given one life-time allowance to shore up their area of the shoreline. After that, they must allow nature to take its course. They had a relatively short span to decide the option they wanted to take. No rationale was given for the ruling.
Pacifica is lucky. They still have options – for a while.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 3, 2018 9:33 am

It’s an argument over who pays. Existing coastal homeowners want all of society to pay to protect their coastal properties … and everybody else does not want to be stuck with the bill to maintain coastal properties. Not a whole lot of sympathy for coastal property owners since in today’s world, coastal property are already inordinately more valuable than inland properties .. to to subsidize coastal property owners smacks of the poor subsidizing the rich.

There is also a lot of confusion over “erosion” – which is a process independent of absolute sea level – and sea level rise. Erosion naturally occurs no matter what the sea level is, and is a function of tidal changes, natural ocean currents, prevailing winds, the effects of storms,sea bottom profiles, estuarine discharges, man-made structures (like levies, groins, dredged channels, etc.) and many more factors.

The rich already live on the coast and generally try to keep the rifraff out of their beaches and ocean views, but ironically the rich are also anxious to force the poor and middle class taxpayers and insurance ratepayers to subsidize their choices in property acquisition. Sorry, no sympathy here.

PJ Moran
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
December 6, 2018 5:42 am

A lot if the erosion control issues on the California coast and regulations restricting people from protecting their property arise from just who people vote far. Here in Texas we constantly see people coming from Michigan because Texas has jobs galore and Michigan does not. Same with people from California where both jobs and the cost of living are issues. After they settle in here they continue to vote Democrat. That is the behavior that necessitated them moving to Texas. Californians have these issues because of the politicians they elect. US CO2 levels are the lowest since 1992 and have been declining. The rest of the world is up almost 50% from 1992 levels. Of course, there appears to be no clear correlation between CO2 rise and temperature except that temperature rise usually precedes CO2 level increases. Most rational people recognize the cause of something must orecede the effect. California has a greater who they vote for problem than a sea level rise problem.

December 1, 2018 2:28 am

“Scientist Carey Batha explained the Pacific Ocean has risen about eight inches over the last century but with more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it’s important coastal cities prepare for a major increase in sea levels.”

Nothing to worry about, there is another idiotic idea from the usual suspects.
A scheme to dim the sun by mimicking the impact of volcanic eruptions will move a step closer next year with the first experiment in the stratosphere, they want to cool the planet by about 0.5C.

David Hood
Reply to  vukcevic
December 1, 2018 2:55 am

Sitting here typing this, I am shaking my head….
Where is the endangerment of a change in climate, done ‘naturally’ – as has happened since earth was a mere slip of a planet?
BUT, there IS endangerment to the earth – by mankind – not from adding a couple of molecules of the fantastic and life giving gas, CO2, but rather, from cocking it up by deliberately fiddling with the very thing that has been self regulating itself for all those millennial?

I don’t even want to go down the rabbit hole of what sort of reaction may develop should this sort of silliness ever see the light of day.
God forbid and help us all!! (and I’m an agnostic).

Reply to  David Hood
December 1, 2018 4:37 am

David Hood

I believe scientists on both side of the climate debate agree, not enough is known about clouds.

Two things spill from this:

1. How can one predict what a climate will do when there is an enormous unknown elephant in the room, and;

2. If one doesn’t know much about something, screwing around with it will end badly.

Reply to  David Hood
December 2, 2018 6:15 am

That’s the daftest thing about the CO2 scare. If it was correct and there is a clear, direct link between CO2 and climate*, then humans can control climate. Controlling climate makes for an awesome weapon. And even if we choose not to weaponise this amazing power, how the hell do we decide what ‘climate’ we want? All old thoughts, but quite apt in this context.

I agree, the risk of making a ‘solution’ worse than the original problem is very real with climate engineering.

*and let’s be clear, I do not see any evidence that it is correct.

Reply to  David Hood
December 5, 2018 6:28 pm

I don’t get it either. The more I understand about solar cycles and their relatively immediate impact on our climate, the more I believe that things may be cooling down a bit in the near future.

Reply to  vukcevic
December 1, 2018 7:32 am

Where is Derek Flint when the world really needs him?

David Hood
December 1, 2018 2:45 am

Sad to say, this is a very hoary topic here in Christchurch (NZ) as well, AND in all other ‘low’ and ‘flood prone’ areas through-out NZ.
In excess of 18,000 homes are ‘designated’ as at risk from storm surge and sea level rise.
Now, added to that are many 10,000’s of other homes, businesses and commercial properties….all because of an engineering report done by a local (and reputable) survey/engineering company.
As I am given to understand, much of the report was based upon the various climate models, and therefore the upper end or extreme levels said to occur to the sea level as a result.

Here where I live in Christchurch, the annual sea level rise is 1.73/1.76mm per year (as measured at the nearby harbour of Lytellton) – and has been for the past 120 or so years… I ask ANYONE, if it has been thus for that period of time and that NO acceleration has been recorded, other than via some bloody computer climate model, why oh why can a report be officially followed by the local council and government agencies, and affect so many law abiding, honest and good citizens of the country, in such a detrimental fashion?
Insurance for many has become problematic, or impossible.
Valuations are at risk if not already severely eroded (NO pun intended).
Council permits are being with-held or denied.
Future planning for the people affect, likewise is on hold or up in the air.

REAL issues do occur of course – everywhere – not just in my lovely city, Christchurch. Creating real world problems where they need not be, for so many, makes waste of the funds that could be allocated to those real issues.

Reply to  David Hood
December 1, 2018 3:28 am

Yesterday I read this:
Hundreds of whales die in new mass stranding in New Zealand as spate of deaths linked to warming seas
Last weekend, 145 pilot whales died on Stewart Island.
In the latest stranding, up to 90 pilot whales beached themselves late Thursday at Hanson Bay on the remote Chatham Islands.
Apparently pilot whales live on average around 50 years (male less, females more), and it is thought they navigate by some kind of a biological compass following earth’s magnetic field.
Considering the distance the pilot whales travel, I wonder if part of that navigation system is genetically inherited from previous generations as well as learned in the infancy. In either way, NZ is close enough to the South magnetic pole that with the magnetic pole drift over life time of a single generations ‘magnetic map’ could be sufficiently altered to lead to the events regularly reported in the media.
In the map I show here
it can be seen that since the beginning of the last century the drift represents about 15 to 20 degrees in direction of the magnetic pole from the NZ’s point of view.

David Hood
Reply to  vukcevic
December 1, 2018 12:21 pm

Hello vukcevic,
that is something I haven’t thought about, but holds a certain logic – or perspective.
Is it the case for there poor creatures?
Who can be certain, but there are strandings all around the world, so the proximity of NZ to the magnetic pole may not be as much a factor in those other stranding more distant for the pole.
The poles do wonder about a bit though, as can be thought the case when the large ice sheets were covering much of what is Canada and the USA today.
While that huge ice sheet covered the area in mile(s) deep ice, the neighbouring landmass of modern day eastern Russia, was ice free.
The land between the two land masses of Nth America and Russia was continuous, the sea level being many of hundreds of feet lower than today.
How would that impact the migratory habits of sea and avian creatures?
So, your point is well taken, and certainly has the odds tipped in its favour – simple of logic alone.

IF the Nth pole were to wonder again in that direction, I think those living in Canada and the northern states of the USA, might just want a bit of global warming.
I poise for thought about the arctic ice and the lands of Iceland and Greenland – what were the conditions they were experiencing back then?

Reply to  David Hood
December 1, 2018 1:32 pm

I live in Sumner on the hill. The report is based on the NIWA modeled sea level rise using IPCC highest 8.5 projections. NIWA are our national safe house for alarmists.

They feed the green and labor parties the fuel. Now National are singing the same unfortunate song.

David Hood
Reply to  Ozonebust
December 1, 2018 3:12 pm

Mmmm…yes Martin, that the various political parties are using the same song book is dis-quietening.
NIWA too is an agency which seems to chirp about climate change in unison with the ‘general consensus’.
I was under the impression that the report was created by the Survey Engineering company Tonkin & Taylor, who title themselves a ‘New Zealand’s leading Environmental and Engineering Consultancy’.
I think their branding/re-branding is while understandable, also revealing.

How could such a reputable company – and they are – align with what I might label, shoddy science?
The RCP 8.5 scenario, is what I refer to as the ‘shoddy’ science – just for clarity.

Reply to  David Hood
December 2, 2018 6:24 am

I cannot understand why anyone in NZ would spend time worrying about a few mm of sea level rise per year, when this (2m land rise!) can happen overnight!

Tom Halla
December 1, 2018 3:52 am

For that area of Pacifica, it would not be sea level rise, but erosion of the bluff immediately in back of the beach. The bluff is sedimentary rock, and rather soft, and some houses built in the early part of the 20th Century have had the bluff erode away from what was a safe distance from the cliff edge.

Don K
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 1, 2018 11:19 pm

Sounds right to me Tom. A couple of points.

1. The sea cliffs along the California Coast are, in many places, poorly consolidated sediments. The cliffs are there because the ocean has managed in times past to reach and erode the base of the cliff. In many places, there are wave benches well above current cliff bases, but it’s usually a bit unclear if the sea used to be higher or the land has risen. California is not the most tectonically stable place on the planet.

2. Even the most skeptical analysts agree that sea levels are rising at a modest rate.

3. Pacifica being in California, the town faces a non-geological hazard. If the cliffs erode at a significant rate, hordes of lawyers will descend from the skies to sue anyone and everyone within reach for negligence and anything else they can think of. For example, when poorly sited developments at Portuguese Bend started to slide toward/into the Pacific in the 1950s, the city of Los Angeles was successfully sued for $10,000,000 (around $85,000,000 in current dollars) The town is probably well advised to use the highest remotely plausible sea level rise figures in planning.

4. I don’t think there is any generally accepted model that says a sea cliff will recede X meters given Y cm of sea level rise.

5. The seacliffs are, I assume, protected by a sand beach. In many places along the coast, the sand is not local. It originates in streams and rivers, slowly migrates South under the influence of Winter storms, and eventually disappears into one of the submarine canyons. In most places, the input of new sand has been cut substantially by upstream flood control efforts. Pacifica would, I should think, be especially problemetic as its sand probably comes from California’s Central Valley via the Sacramento Delta, Suisun Bay, the Straits of Carquinez, San Francisco Bay, and the Golden Gate. Who the heck knows if and how much the sand supply has been affected by the high dams on the rivers draining into the Central Valley?

All in all, a fair mess.

Ivor Ward
December 1, 2018 4:09 am

As David says, the only real measure is a local tide gauge.
All the airy fairy predictions and computer models are utterly meaningless. Planning should be done on the basis of local conditions which take into account local subsidence and post glacial rebound. Even the dumbest person in the world must have some cognisence of the inertia in the Earth system.
Nothing major will happen in our lifetime through natural processes of climate. We have to be aware of possible earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroid strikes, volcanos etc but in terms of how fast a massive system like the Earth Climate can change we are not going to get much excitement in a human lifetime.
Nothing has changed here in 70 years (Mind you this is Cornwall…a County that is beyond the back end of beyond) but coastal erosion has continued as it always has; a few tumbling rocks at a time; a bit of ice expanding into a crack; rain washing out the clay and the slate cracking away. So we add a little concrete at the end of the slipway and pile up some stones in front of the clay cliffs. Nature takes its course .
Yesterday the waves were hitting the beach at 3 metres high. I am pretty sure that 3metres + 1.2 mms p.a. ain’t gonna make much difference.

David Hood
Reply to  Ivor Ward
December 1, 2018 12:28 pm

As I recall too Ivor, the sea level or sea shore, goes both ways in the your neck of the woods.
A historic site still in existence today – a castle no less (I can’t recall its name) once has a sea shore/port at or near its walls, but today the coast is quite some distance away.

So too the fact that the British Isles (is it still allowed to be called that) is itself more like a see-saw – with the Scottish area lifting and the English area subsiding – all to do with the isostatic rebound/subsidence from the great ice sheets melting many thousands of years ago.

If factors such as that take geologic time scales to work their way out of the system, how can the CO2 of a couple of decades be thought to be the major driver of modern day sea level change???

December 1, 2018 4:32 am

We’ve had the problem of sand erosion in Adelaide South Australia for some decades like this. Adelaide sits on the eastern side of Gulf St Vincent and much of the greater metro coastline was flanked by sandhills and you guessed it the ancestors levelled a lot of them to build on them and still do. It wasn’t a problem until the 1970s when it was noticed that seagrass off the coast was dying and no longer holding sand from northern drift and that meant erosion with winter storms for the southern half.

That’s when sandcarting began from north to south as well as building groynes and in some places rock walls when esplanades were threatened. However groynes were 6 of one half a dozen of the other as sure snad would build up on the windward southern side but cause even more wave erosion on the leeward northern side. What we’d overlooked was the sand dunes were a natural moving buffer for violent storm surges to vent their fury on coming and going with the ups and downs of seasons and climactic variation.

Well we’re into sand dredging and pumping and now carting sand from historical sand dunes from well inland but the annual expense has grown enormously. The simple truth is had we recognised what the future held it would have made more economic sense to cease all foreshore development forthwith and go down the retreat road compensating owners and restoring the natural sandhills shock absorber. Zilch to do with sea level rise but who wants to be the ones to slowly lose their homes and businesses by the sea? Politics beats economics and you end up with the less well to do subsidising wealthy seaside RE owners.

December 1, 2018 4:51 am

This is just another alarmist sea level trick: California has land SINKING, not ocean rising, re the last ice age when e.g. Alaska was under a heavy ice load and consequently has land RISING today (hark hark, no climate scientist says that Alaska has a sinking lea level, I guess?), while California is in the opposite position. But that does not keep the usual suspects for turning this into a rising sea level in California. How stupid do they think we are?!

Reply to  Telehiv
December 1, 2018 5:28 am

“How stupid do they think we are?!” That’s a rhetorical question, right?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Telehiv
December 1, 2018 8:02 am

I thought that California was rising due to the plate tectonics that generate the earthquakes>

Don K
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 2, 2018 11:54 am

There’s rather a lot of California It’s bigger than Italy or Japan. As a result, there’s room for a lot of different geologies. The best known — but far from the only — major fault system is the San Andreas which is a right lateral slip fault separating coastal Southern and Central California which sit on the Pacific Plate from the rest of the state which is (still) on the North American Plate. The last really BIG quake on the San Andreas — San Francisco 1906 — involved a lot of horizontal motion and very little vertical movement. OTOH, the Sierra Nevada fault along the East side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Cascadia fault offshore of the NorthWest coast will surely involve a substantial vertical motion if (when) they next move.

December 1, 2018 5:38 am

Ok…here’s the plan…

Gotta get all that water out of the ocean, right?
Most geologists know that subduction has a huge impact on sea level. Even National Geographic who pushes the cagw sea level rise did an article on subduction in 2015.

Here’s my plan….start digging canals and giant pipelines, install hydro plants along them to these areas:

and voila! Lots of clean, reliable renewable energy and you can control the level of the sea! As an added plus, this will generate precipitation to desert areas!

Heh, heh….I even have Elon Musk beat on this one! I can’t wait to hear the howls from greenpeace screaming “save the sand”!

December 1, 2018 5:40 am

Nat. Geo. On sea levels and sea floor spreading:

December 1, 2018 7:14 am

Hopefully, some day those in California will wake up a kick these leftists out of office, otherwise they will need to tolerate the consequence.

December 1, 2018 7:36 am

Houses are not permanent. They are built to protect people from the elements for the length of time they occupy them. They aren’t built with lifetimes of hundreds of years in mind. If you build one in an area prone to hazards like periodic landslides, mudslides, floods, rapid erosion, earthquakes, etc., you take your chances. Insurance companies won’t insure homes built in those areas, or they require expensive premiums, which is a clue that maybe you should build somewhere else. Spending millions or billions of taxpayers’ money on mitigation strategies to temporarily prolong the lifetime of a house when Mother Nature is ultimately going to win should be done only with great deliberation over the value of doing so.

Curious George
Reply to  stinkerp
December 1, 2018 8:06 am

I agree. I live in an earthquake zone – not because it is an earthquake zone, but because I like it here, and benefits outweigh the dangers for me. These people in Pacifica like their climate and their views, and accepted the danger of earthquakes and erosion. They are unhappy because they now face a new unforeseen danger – the danger of a progressive government.

Walter Sobchak
December 1, 2018 8:06 am

Californians have voted for leftists politicans who despise private property rights. Now they reap the whirlwind. Boo-hoo T_T

December 1, 2018 9:23 am

See those islands out on the horizon from Pacifica, that used to be the coast line.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  nc
December 1, 2018 11:53 am

Are any islands visible off the coast of Pacifica?


Steve Reddish
Reply to  nc
December 1, 2018 11:56 am

Oops!, I meant visible from the beach, where sea level matters.


Steve Reddish
Reply to  nc
December 2, 2018 5:55 pm

Farrallon Islands were last connected to the mainland when the ocean was 300 feet lower. Absolutely nothing to do with any recent events.


steve case
December 1, 2018 9:26 am

Sea level predictions are unrealistic; this one just a day or so ago:

When Will Sea Level Rise Swallow Santa Barbara’s Beaches?

Where in you will find this study:
Adaptation Plan
Click on the pdf link if you want. What it says is:

       The Vulnerability Assessment Update evaluated hazards to the coastal zone
       for existing conditions and three main future sea-level rise scenarios:
       0.8 feet at 2030, [22 mm/yr]
       2.5 feet at 2060, and [18.5 mm/yr]
       6.6 feet at 2100 [25 mm/yr]

I added the [rates] in brackets.

Checking the California tide gauges shows rates 1, 2, or 3 mm/yr.

7 to 20 times today’s rates in just the next few years. Why does anyone believe these reports?

Politicians are writing laws and bureaucrats are drafting regulations based on this stuff.

desert rat
December 1, 2018 9:28 am

Just there any data on sea level rise as a result of volcanoes flowing lava into the sea (displacement)?

Also, as the planet core slowly cools, does the planet shrink in size? That’s less surface area for a constant water volume?

December 1, 2018 9:53 am

One of the main tactics of the climate alarmists is to mislead people about what is being talked about.

The threat to Jeff Guillet’s house is erosion, which has absolutely nothing to do with sea level. Pretending the issue is sea level rise enables the alarmist to scare gullible people and enables the local government to wash their hands of the issue.

There is no ideal solution to erosion. You can reduce erosion in one place by putting lots of hard rock or concrete along the shore; however, material eroded from one place is often deposited in another, so protecting one place creates erosion elsewhere.

December 1, 2018 11:12 am

Destroy the present to save the future. What is wrong with these people?

December 1, 2018 11:49 am

Charles the Moderator

I assume this is the same series of reports as we have been discussing over at Climate Etc?

I have set out the exchanges here but to get the full context and understand what Mosh was originally arguing, the full link starts here

There was some contention about 10 foot sea rises mentioned by Dr Curry when rises of up to 2 foot were the ones explicitly mentioned in the Pacifica report

Mosh kindly posted a link to the report which I read and commented on a number of times as I read it morev fully and referred back to some of the statements made

Mosh said “Pacifica?
Right across the street from me. Yup my old backyard.

The article you cite does not support the claim you made

10 foot projections are not driving local adaption

I replied

“I don’t know the context of this series of posts about pacifica (as I am from the UK) but I have read the link that Mosh has given at 7.51 that references a report dated November 2018.

its a pretty good document, but as far as I can see its very much still a work in progress with a final comments date of December 10th. This has caused some complaints that its too short

Several of the comments also complain that the source of the sea level references has not been given. I didn’t see any direct references to 10 feet but I can’t claim to have read it all in full detail.

On page 114 there is a reference to a SLR of up to 5.7 feet by 2100, which period seems to be outside of the scope of this report and has caused concern, as that scenario was coupled with a 1 in 100 year storm.

This meant that commenters were worried that decisions made about the protection of their communities might be based on information that is outside the scope of the plan, which goes only to 2040.

This seems a very short-term overview. 70 to 100 years would be more common elsewhere, but that time scale is dictated by the Kyoto protocol which I don’t think America ever signed?

So presumably we need to wait until some time in the New Year, when all comments are in, all references furnished and the final report drafted.

I then commented further a few minutes later

climatereason | November 30, 2018 at 2:49 pm |

In addition we have an interesting and perhaps pertinent comment, presumably from an individual, on page 113 point 13. (I use an Ipad)

“All city maps, hazard zones and all external references must have public links to their sources. This document is intentionally vague and confusing. it sends the public and city staff on wild goose chases trying to find the source data.’

so as yet this document- clearly labelled ‘draft’ -should not be taken as any sort of definitive statement and it will need to be sharpened up considerably before it can be presented to what appears to be a sceptical public.


A little later I commented again
climatereason | November 30, 2018 at 3:38 pm |

I don’t know the players over there, but presumably this is where the 10 feet comes from?

The link Mosh originally sent is version 7 of the Pacifica document (dating) from this month. It started off life some time ago. The relevant overall commission has now asked only in September that the 40 cities involved (Pacifica?) should also allow for this more drastic scenario of 10 feet which exceeds the ‘medium scenario’ the Pacifica document had originally planned for as a worst case scenario

As a result of this recent advice the Pacifica report of November appears to have rapidly revised things and are now expecting people to make final comments on a work in progress by December 10th, when so much information and references are still missing.

There seems to be lots of people lobbying, as the unreferenced draft guidance now seems to be pulling in areas as susceptible to SLR that goes well beyond what can be justified by the stuff that has been properly referenced and people are concerned their properties will be devalued or not protected when the time comes

I have never heard of people being asked to make final comments on what is still a very immature draft and have no idea what the hurry is, but clearly the report from the commission I just referenced seems to want the Pacifica authority to take into account more alarming scenarios than was originally intended.



That was as far as I went. It all seems a good stab at getting a plan together but is clearly deficient in many respects as it is still a draft and needs properly referencing before the residents can properly comment. It looks as if the agency responsible has thrown a bit of a curved ball in late in the day (apparently) expecting a much higher slr to be considered than was the theme of the local report.

As a result many more residents have been drawn into the scenarios as clearly a very large SLR increase will affect more people and need entirely different measures than an SLR of only up to 2 feet.

In the case of up to 10 feet SLR a ‘managed retreat’ would be a very sensible scenario, but if the data presented in the pacifica report only expects up to 2 foot SLR the former appears to be a very scary scenario that is not rooted in the available facts.

However we must distinguish between erosion and SLR. A very modest SLR can cause a huge amount of erosion, but I do not know the area at all so can not comment on the geology or how well protected any cliffs or beaches currently are


John F. Hultquist
Reply to  tonyb
December 1, 2018 1:39 pm

Read the post by Jim Steele, link below at 1:18.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 1, 2018 6:13 pm

Nice photos ctm. A very clear day.

December 1, 2018 12:26 pm

The laissez faire solution would be to allow property owners to pay the cost of mitigation measures if and when they become necessary. That way the public wouldn’t have to pay for it, and the property owners wouldn’t be obstructed by meddling bureaucrats. But hey, that would make too much sense.

John F. Hultquist
December 1, 2018 1:18 pm

Back in January 2016, Jim Steele had a post on Pacifica and the local coast:
Pacifica, California’s Natural Coastal Erosion

Background reading for today’s post.

Also, search and read about Washaway Beach, WA.

Jon Jewett
December 1, 2018 1:21 pm

Half a century ago my parents took us to visit one of his cousins who lived on the bluffs south of Santa Cruz. The Pacific Ocean had eaten the houses across the street and they were speculating on how long they had. Anyway, this is not a new problem.

December 1, 2018 3:12 pm

So, they’re freaking out about 1.96mm a year, equivelant to .64 rise over 100 years? The San Fran guage is one of the longest active ones in the nation.

J. Philip Peterson
Reply to  William Teach
December 1, 2018 3:37 pm

.64 what?…..are you pulling numbers straight out of your large intestine?

Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 1, 2018 10:18 pm

I’m seeing the same trend (or lack thereof) for SFO from this site:

The annual mean SL data since 1855 for that location is here:

Plop those number into Excel and graph it, roughly 1.6mm annual SLR over a century and a half with no sign of accelerating. How exactly does this translate to “catastrophic sea level rise”?

December 1, 2018 5:10 pm

Protecting beaches is a cinch .Go to Google Earth and check out what the Isrealis did and are doing at Tele Aviv. Also,check out Fort Monroe.

R. Wright
December 1, 2018 5:10 pm

Pacifica is only about ten miles southwest of NOAA’s San Francisco tide station. The most recent sea level measurements at that station are lower than the peak sea level measurements of the 1990s. Pacifica was in fact subject to higher seas during the late 1990s than during the last few years. Why don’t city officials acknowledge that the sea level has actually declined slightly in recent years? Can’t residents demand that the officials examine the tide station data?

The real threat to land at the coast appears to be from the wind and rain, eating away the land, rather than sea level rise.

Neil Jordan
December 1, 2018 8:02 pm

The following is cross posted from
Neil Jordan November 30, 2018 at 11:50 pm
California sea level rise analysis is included in the just-released California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project/Open Pacific Coast (CCAMP/OPC), sponsored by FEMA with input from NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There are four intermediate data submittals. Volumes 1 and 2 are germane to sea level rise. The highest stated range of sea level rise rate is 14 mm/year based on starting year 2000 and ending year 1,400 mm in 2100. The measured sea level rises are mostly in the 1 to 3 mm/year range. Eyeball mode is 2 mm/year.
“Intermediate Data Submittal Vol. 1
“PDF 164 1. Background
“1.1 Mapping California’s Land-Ocean Interface
Rising sea level will have significant impacts on California’s coastline with some estimates up to a 1.4 m sea level rise by 2100.(1) As stated in the California Climate Adaptation Strategy, “Much of the damage from this accelerated sea-level rise will likely be caused by an increase in the frequency and intensity of coastal flooding and erosion associated with extreme weather events and storm surges.”(2) While bays and estuaries are expected to experience the most dramatic modifications in the coming century, changes. . .”
Intermediate Data Submittal Vol. 2
“PDF 96 Sea Level Rise
“Table 1. Summary of data for the tide stations used in the frequency analysis.”
(Full table not typed in. Three of 16 tide gages shown.
9419750 Crescent City -0.65 mm/year lowest
9414290 San Francisco 2.01 mm/year middle and generally indicative of most
9418767 Humboldt 4.73 mm/year highest

Steven Mosher
December 1, 2018 10:54 pm

anyone finding 10 feet being used to set policy?

I good clear traceable set of facts to support the claim that 10 foot SLR is being used to set policies

That would be a specific policy ( like with respect to say the golf course on shrp road) and a specif reference to 10 feet.

Should be easy.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 1, 2018 11:50 pm


Should I bother correcting your above mistakes or do you have the ability to “self edit” ?

Should be easy.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 2, 2018 11:18 pm

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Proofread three times. “Post Comment”.

December 2, 2018 5:25 am

Nobody has a right to do either option in this instance.

The government should not be giving insurance companies riches by passing laws about things that are decades away.
And the people dont have the right to have taxpayers pay to make thier property survive the natural elements.

At one time people and buisnesses took the chance and build near waterways because that was almost exclusively the best mode of transportation. We dont need to do that anymore, and spreading the cost of people continuing to live and work in floodplain and such should be on them.

Mark Fraser
December 2, 2018 11:12 am

Watch who buys coastal properties when their owners get spooked or financially drained by this BS. In NZ, it is rumored to be those on the political “green” or “left”. A nice mix of hypocrisy and greed.

December 2, 2018 3:25 pm

Planning is good. I would put a slow trigger on any implementation

The biggest threat is not really natural sea level increases of 2-3 mm/yr. Sea levels are about 20 meters below the halocene maximum 6000 years ago, and over 100 meters higher than the last glacial period. A major quake could cause parts of the coast to immediately sink 1-3 ft. Major quakes are inevitable but unpredictable. Same with climate.

Living on the coast one must accept risk. Perhaps homeowners and developments should be required to sign a legal waiver before permits are issuing absolving cities and towns of any responsibility. Live and let live.

December 3, 2018 1:59 pm

“I don’t get it,” business owner Cheryl Yoes said. “It’s allowing erosion to happen without trying to do something about it to save the homes and businesses.”

— If people who have homes on the beach are concerned about beach erosion, and want to natural-driven changes in the coastline from obliterating their property, then that sounds like a private problem to me. If a city or township wants to expend resources for the benefit of the owners of a narrow strip of homes, there should be a special assessment.

December 3, 2018 8:07 pm
Johann Wundersamer
December 5, 2018 1:07 am

Nothing to do with “CO2”; Californian shores eroding since “geological times” and everybody could know that.

December 5, 2018 6:23 pm

How did previous generations of citizens around the world deal with sea level rise without a “Sea Level Rise Preparation Plan”?

Verified by MonsterInsights