Del Mar CA demonstrates the idiocy of “managed retreat” from sea level

Guest “I couldn’t make this sort of schist up, if I tried” by David Middleton

California is feuding with this SoCal city over ‘planned retreat’ from sea level rise

OCT. 6, 2019
 10:19 AM

DEL MAR, Calif. —  Del Mar is gearing up for a tussle with the California Coastal Commission over the best way to adapt to rising sea levels, an issue with statewide implications.

The city north of San Diego has taken the position that one of the Coastal Commission’s basic strategies, called “managed retreat” or sometimes “planned retreat,” will not work in Del Mar.

“We have a plan, and we stand by our plan,” Del Mar Councilman Dwight Worden said Friday.

The City Council is scheduled to review its sea level rise adaptation plan Monday in preparation for a Coastal Commission hearing on Oct. 16. The commission’s staff has recommended its board reject Del Mar’s plan unless the city agrees to a list of 25 modifications that Worden said could be a “back door” to managed retreat.


Del Mar, after nearly five years of community meetings and work by residents, staffers and consultants, has agreed to reject the idea of managed retreat. Instead, the city intends to focus on restoring sand to eroding beaches, reinforcing its existing seawalls and dredging the channel of the nearby San Dieguito River.

“The extremely high land value in Del Mar means that public acquisition of any property the city does not control will be difficult and cost-prohibitive,” states a resolution approved last year by the City Council.


Planning for sea level rise is a relatively new requirement of the Coastal Commission. The state agency was founded in 1972 when there was little knowledge of climate change and rising sea levels.


Los Angeles Times

Planning for sea level rise is a relatively new requirement of the Coastal Commission. The state agency was founded in 1972 when there was little knowledge of climate change and rising sea levels.

Now that’s funny right there.
Figure 1. “I don’t care who you are. That there is funny,” Larry, the cable guy.

The morons hawking the “ExxonKnew” horst schist keep telling us that the oil industry knew all about climate change as early as the 1960’s… And everything the industry knew came from publications from groups like the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society and the government of these sort of United States of America. All of the “secret science” was publicly available. So… Why the hell didn’t the Coastal Commission try doing a bit of research?

Figure 2. “Next time, maybe do a little research.”

The even funnier thing is this bit:

The state agency was founded in 1972 when there was little knowledge of climate change and rising sea levels.

The schist I couldn’t have made up if I was trying.

“The city north of San Diego has” no excuse for being ignorant of sea level rise before 1972.

Figure 3. San Diego CA. “The relative sea level trend is 2.19 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
interval of +/- 0.18 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
1906 to 2018 which is equivalent to a change of 0.72 feet in 100 years.” NOAA
Figure 4. La Jolla CA. “The relative sea level trend is 2.17 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
interval of +/- 0.27 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
1924 to 2016 which is equivalent to a change of 0.71 feet in 100 years.”

Del Mar experienced more sea level rise from 1906-1971 (145 mm) than it has since 1972 (103 mm). How many inches is that? 5.6 inches from 1906-1971 and 4.0 inches from 1972-2018. The daily tidal range is nearly 5 feet.

The even funnier thing, is that Del Mar grew from nothing to some of the most expensive real estate in the world while that catastrophic 10 inches of sea level rise was inundating the coastline.

Old Del Mar

On August 14, 1882, the first California Southern Railroad train rode the tracks of its new route from San Diego to San Bernardino. Theodore M. Loop – the contractor and engineer who worked on the project – had acquired acreage and built a home on the north shore of Los Peñasquitos Creek, a setting he described as “the most attractive place on the entire coast.” Loop built a tent city on the beach, now Torrey Pines State Beach.  His wife, Ella, called it “Del Mar” – words taken from a popular poem, The Fight on Paseo Del Mar.

In that same year “Colonel” Jacob Taylor (left) – who had come with his family to live on Rancho Peñasquitos – met Loop who suggested that they build a town. Taylor was captivated by the beauty and potential of the area, and in the summer of 1885, he purchased 338.11 acres at the northern end of the mesa from homesteader Enoch Talbert for $1,000. Thus the town of Del Mar was officially founded.

Taylor was a dynamic visionary who pictured Del Mar as a seaside resort for the rich and famous. With technical support from family and friends, he designed and built a town whose focal point was Casa del Mar, a hotel-resort on what is now 10th Street. Other town attractions included a train station, a dance pavilion, and a bathing pool extending from the beach out into the sea.

The first Del Mar store, located on the north side of 9th Street, was owned by Henry John Gottesburen and his wife Mary who had moved from Atchison, Kansas, to Del Mar in 1884. 


The Fairgrounds and The Racetrack
In 1933, a search for a permanent location for the San Diego County Fair began. Ed Fletcher suggested that the 184 acre site in the San Dieguito Valley – just off the main highways and the Santa Fe Railroad – would be easily accessible and a perfect setting for a fairground.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided initial funding and the “Del Mar” Fair opened to a great fanfare on October 8, 1936. Fifty thousand people came to enjoy the exhibits and entertainment. Selection of a queen – the Fairest of the Fair – soon became a highlight of this annual event. The final touch on the fairgrounds was the mile-long oval racetrack.

Bing Crosby took the leadership role in making the Del Mar Turf Club a reality, and Pat O’Brien became the Vice President. On opening day of the race track (July 3, 1937), a new era began in Del Mar. The track was hailed as Bing’s Baby or Movieland’s Own Track. In 1938, Bing recorded the song that would open and close every day of racing since those early days – Where the Turf Meets the Surf (click to listen to the song).

For decades racing season has brought crowds to Del Mar.  Hollywood celebrities, such as Pat O’Brien, Jimmy and Marge Durante, Lucy and Desi Arnaz and their children, as well as Burt Bachrach and Angie Dickenson,

Post World War II and The University Years
By 1959, Del Mar decided to incorporate as a city and the 60s marked a time of relative tranquility with the exception of a local student uprising. As the University of California in San Diego came into being, its presence influenced the social, cultural, and political life of the area. The city of Del Mar gained new residents, many of whom were politically active, providing new community leadership. Emphasis began to shift to protecting the environment and beautifying Del Mar. From the late 60s to the early 80s people spoke of the “open space decade,” thus Seagrove Park was born. The 80s marked an increasing emphasis on beautification, coupled with progress and a higher cosmopolitan profile. Del Mar grew to become home to a major publishing concern and attracted artists, writers, and business. In 1985, Del Mar celebrated its centennial, and the Del Mar Historical Society was born.

The centerpieces of new Del Mar are L’Auberge – a beautiful hotel designed with the Hotel Del Mar in mind – and the elegant shops and boutiques of the picturesque seaside shopping center, Del Mar Plaza. Its selection of restaurants provides great taste, mood, and rave reviews.
Jacob Taylor would be pleased to know that his vision retains its elegant ambiance, hosting guests from all over the world in the crown jewel of San Diego, our Del Mar.

Del Mar Historical Society

I think I actually have more empathy for the sea level rise fraudsters in Kiribati and Vanuatu… They, at least, have the excuse of being impoverished.

That said, Del Mar deserves credit for not surrendering to sea level and simply continuing employ standard civil engineering methods of coexisting with sea level.

[T]he city intends to focus on restoring sand to eroding beaches, reinforcing its existing seawalls and dredging the channel of the nearby San Dieguito River.


The commission’s staff has recommended its board reject Del Mar’s plan unless the city agrees to a list of 25 modifications that Worden said could be a “back door” to managed retreat.

“Retreat, hell! We’re just attacking in the other direction!”

Obviously, the Peoples Republic of California thinks this sort of thing is unacceptable.

Del Mar CA earns a Jon Lovitz award for choosing civil engineering over stupidity…

“Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

Addendum 1

Figure 5. R² = 0.0979… No trend of acceleration. (NOAA)
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October 7, 2019 6:12 pm

Most of Del Mar is quite well above sea level, excepting the beach areas. It’s a bitch walking up hill.

John Q Public
October 7, 2019 6:20 pm

Just like Holland.

CD in Wisconsin
October 7, 2019 6:23 pm


“The extremely high land value in Del Mar means that public acquisition of any property the city does not control will be difficult and cost-prohibitive,” states a resolution approved last year by the City Council.


No, it is not difficult. Just declare a Marxist-Socialist climate revolution and seize the land in the name of the people. It won’t cost you one red cent.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
October 7, 2019 6:43 pm

Or just wait until The land vale plummets. But maybe The scheme won’t work then, so they are acting now.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
October 7, 2019 6:43 pm

and people wonder why there isn’t enough housing in California, and what’s there is too expensive. Take enough property off the market with this kind of foolishness, and that’s what you get…

October 8, 2019 8:02 am

There is plenty of open land for housing. The ‘homeless’ don’t want to live further away from the cities where the open land is (less than 50 miles from downtown).
Just inland from Del Mar are acres of undeveloped land.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
October 8, 2019 10:21 am

I don’t know California’s land use laws but I do know Oregon’s, mostly implemented by Californian transplants (we ruined our lands, we will not allow you to ruin yours type people). Open land that homes could be built on does not mean land use laws allow homes to be built on that open land. We have these pesky things called urban growth boundaries. Inside the boundary high density housing/subdivisions are allowed/encouraged, outside of those boundaries it’s one home per tax lot on anything less than 80 acres unless hard to meet requirements are met. Mostly takes money and/or connections to subdivide land outside of urban growth boundaries.

Current median price of a home is now ~340k, good luck affording that on the median income without coming up with one heck of a down. The only homes the lower income bracket can afford are either older mobile homes banks wont lend on or homes in serious need of repair that cant pass inspection so one can’t get a loan for it either. There’s no longer such a thing as a starter home young couples can get into.

I laugh a bitter laugh every time I hear our politicians go one about studying the lack of available affordable housing. They caused the mess they are studying and will do nothing in the end but toss a few million of taxpayer money at an apartment complex or two with the requirement a couple of units be set aside for low income applicants.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Darrin
October 8, 2019 12:55 pm

Yeah and they complain about the congestion and yet keep converting 4 lane roads to 2 lane roads and reducing the speed limits. The main road near where I live has had it’s speed limit reduced by 30% in fifteen years.

Reply to  Darrin
October 8, 2019 1:55 pm

“They caused the mess they are studying and will do nothing in the end but toss a few million of taxpayer money at an apartment complex or two with the requirement a couple of units be set aside for low income applicants more studies by companies owned by the brother-in-law of the commissioner.


October 7, 2019 6:32 pm

You could build a dike or you could raise the town much like Seattle did. link

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  commieBob
October 7, 2019 7:16 pm

Galveston TX did build a wall and raise the town. You can look it up.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 7, 2019 8:48 pm

Galveston reacted in response to a devastatong hurricane and storm surge, nkt a few mm of sea level rise per year.

Don Jindra
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 8, 2019 6:45 am

Galveston probably isn’t a good example since most of its beaches are gone.

Reply to  Don Jindra
October 8, 2019 1:37 pm

The beaches will be back in a couple of years. Galveston is basically sitting on a very large sand bar. They grow, they shrink.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 8, 2019 6:08 pm

Chicago … 1855 passed ordinance to raise part of the city.

4 to 14 feet to allow for better drainage and gravity sewer.

Reply to  commieBob
October 8, 2019 3:27 pm

I thought they had a lot of dikes in California already.

Taylor Pohlman
October 7, 2019 6:41 pm

The Coastal Commission is the worst example of government control of private property – they have enormous power, not just to reject, but to delay simple permits for years. When I was working with them to build a house on the mid-coast Monterey area, they required me to hire a palentologist to look for native american bones, a botanist to look for endangered species, and an historian to make sure the property didn’t ever belong to anyone famous. And, oh, they required all outside lights to face down in such a way it wouldn’t upset the passing whales (one would assume), since no neighbors were in line of sight. Why do you think I’m no longer there?

Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
October 7, 2019 7:00 pm

A sane judge would find that all in violation of the US Constitution takings clause, unless you were compensated for you expenses and loss of use from your property.

Reply to  peterh
October 8, 2019 7:38 am

A sane judge.
Good luck finding one of those in CA.

Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
October 8, 2019 11:38 am

Which leads to my general complaint: SO WHAT?

If I build a house on the beach and it gets washed away, it’s MY PROBLEM.

No commission needed.

I sea level rises significantly over the next 100 years, people will move. It’s what we do.

No commission needed.

Ron Long
October 7, 2019 6:41 pm

Nice posting, David. Here is my comment re Geology 101: The entire west coast of North, Central, and South America is a convergent plate margin, with some interruption by transcurrent faults. This convergent plate margin is complete with subduction, thermal inflation, and even volcanism. The entire coast line is essentially straight, and cliffs down to the sea are common. This is an emergent coastline. Sure, local dewatering of sedimentary basins, levee build-up, and tectonic complications produce some subsidence, but the coast is generally an emerging one. This is in sharp contrast to eastern coastlines, which are floundering plate margins, with extensive continental shelfs. The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia might be so desperate to virtue-signal that they do any number of crazy things, and retreating from sea level would therein be included.

October 7, 2019 6:42 pm

The tide gauges show a relative sea level rise of about 2 mm/year while the GPS elevation sensors show that all of it is due to land subsidence of about 2 mm/yr. And this is “climate change” for Californians? Perhaps they should base their plans on real data.

Reply to  DHr
October 7, 2019 8:05 pm


The tide gauges show a relative sea level rise of about 2 mm/year while the GPS elevation sensors show that all of it is due to land subsidence of about 2 mm/yr.

The best global average sea level rise remains steady at 2.2 to 2.3 mm per year, less than 1 inch per decade, less than 10 inches per century, or 1 meter in 400 years. (Memorize that little phrase, it will serve useful in many hundred replies in other places – and puts the whole “Oh my God we’re gonna die!” crowd out of their misery with “visible” numbers. All the while you”are acknowledging” climate change, just showing that is is very little over very many years. )

But – if globally sea level going up by 2.2 mm per year, and the local GPS land surveys are going “down” by 2 mm per year, they should be seeing 4 mm per year relative rise. (Gosh – that would be 20 inches per century! )

But their math doesn’t add up for a seismically active sea coast – Even further up north, where the Juan de Fuca plate is wedging under the landside plate, they don’t see those kind of addition differences.

New York City (the lower tip of Manhattan specifically – which is all they think about anyway) is going down at 0.6 mm per year. The relative sea level rise there is just at 3 mm per year, 12 inches per century, or slightly more than 1 meter in 400 years.

Hudson Bay region (and much of northern New England as well) is rising, so the relative sea level “rise” there is actually negative: The land is rising faster than the sea level is going up.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 7, 2019 9:24 pm

It is “relative sea level rise”, so the amount measured by the tide gauges is not additive to the change in land elevation due to geological factors, it includes it.

Reply to  DHr
October 7, 2019 9:25 pm

planning for 2mm/yr is making an assumption.

assumption: the future rate will equal the past rate.

There are basically 2 ways to predict the future: stats ( future will be like the past); Physics the future might be slower or faster than the past.

Planners typically look at both, as do risk managers.

Example: defense planning. History says the russians have never attcked us on us soil.
Physics says they could hit us with missiles. No credible risk manager limits his information
to mere history.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 7, 2019 10:18 pm

Get a life Mosher. You’re nuts. Planning looks seriously at realistic risks. Why don’t you get a real, productive, job?

Bryan A
Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 7, 2019 10:41 pm

So, if the past indicates that Sea levels will raise 12″ in the next 100 years, build a 60″sea wall and be prepared for half a millennia. Or if the rate of rise increases 5 fold, you are prepared for the next century at least.
Then, if your preparations prove only to be good for the next century due to increasing sea level rise, you can see the increase and have time to redouble the wall height.

Logic and Reason
Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 8, 2019 4:55 am

If you had ever been to Del Mar, you would realize there is very little that is within 10′ of sea level. The vast majority is 50-125′ ASL. The issue is the eroding cliffs that are eating away at that valuable beachfront property.

Reply to  Logic and Reason
October 8, 2019 6:13 am

I am only marginally familiar with that portion of the California Coast, but I wonder how much beach “sand starvation” contributes to coastal erosion? Does this proposed (and any past) channel-dredging have anything to do with the interruption of the natural “flow” (transport) of sand along the coast?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 8, 2019 7:40 am

No sane manager plans for events with zero likelihood of happening.
For example, you alarmists have been telling us that SLR is going to start rising dramatically any time now for almost 40 years. It hasn’t.
In this case assuming the past will continue into the future is a safe bet.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 8, 2019 6:28 pm

It doesn’t matter what kind of stats, assumptions, or predictions are utilized if yer bias is the strongest weighted variable. and yers is.

spangled drongo
Reply to  DHr
October 7, 2019 9:39 pm

Yes DHr, and on the other side of the Pacific [the biggest piece of ocean on earth] in the fairly stable continent of Australia, the Fort Denison tide gauge is showing the official latest mean sea level measurement ~ 4 inches LOWER than it was when the first measurement was taken over a century ago:

October 7, 2019 6:45 pm

Interesting. I wonder if we are going to start hearing about the Deplorables of Del Mar. They’re certainly going outside the climate change message with their position.

October 7, 2019 6:45 pm

David, am I correct in thinking that this region is subject to geologic instability that can inflict tremors without warning at any time?

So the sea level measurement recorder can flash the “tilt” light when least expected?

What does central planning have to say about the possibility that Del Mar sea level could DROP (if this is possible)?

Larry Hamlin
October 7, 2019 6:49 pm

Just another example of the idiocy of the monumentally ignorant and stupid California politicians all over the state – most all of them Democrats of course.

Ian MacCulloch
October 7, 2019 6:51 pm

Next stop 2.0 metres above ASL. Last there a mere 6,000 years BP

John F. Hultquist
October 7, 2019 6:59 pm

Job openings for consultants and lawyers!
May the contests be lively, long, and loud.

Tom Abbott
October 7, 2019 7:01 pm

Alarmists are always trying to turn sea level rise into a crisis.

I think I’m getting sea level rise crisis fatigue It’s such a ridiculous thing to be worrying about.

John Q Public
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 7, 2019 7:28 pm

Unless you happen to own a $15MM mansion on Martha’s Vineyard near the beach…

Reply to  John Q Public
October 8, 2019 12:19 am

Only 3 ft above sea level?😎

Mark Broderick
October 7, 2019 7:04 pm


“That said, Del Mar deserves credit for not surrendering to sea level and simply continuing to ? employ standard civil engineering methods of coexisting with sea level.”

Mark Broderick
October 7, 2019 7:16 pm

Just for laughs….

“Mini AOC is back with ‘climate apocalypse in 12 years’ parody video”

D’OH !

Bruce of Newcastle
October 7, 2019 7:16 pm

At 2 mm per year one man with a shovel could build a levee around that town, if he lived long enough.
Building levee banks never seemed to be too hard for the Dutch in the 9thC. They used shovels.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
October 7, 2019 8:12 pm

And windmills!

The Dutch solution should be a match made in heaven for Californians.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
October 7, 2019 10:23 pm

They’d find a way to balls it up.

Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
October 7, 2019 8:45 pm

Why on earth would you do that when you can elect 10 well-paid politicians who will hire 100 people to put in those fabulous bike lanes, make gasoline a virtuous $5/gallon, and generally extract money for the common good of the world. Which would, of course, be altering the course of the Keeling Curve downwards, thereby making the world a lovely cooler/colder place, increasing ice in Greenland and Antarctica, thereby causing sea levels to fall or remain constant. Easy peasy. Didn’t you do any maths in school?

Don K
Reply to  Bruce of Newcastle
October 7, 2019 9:26 pm

Sea level rise probably isn’t a major concern, but it is just barely possible for an East Pacific hurricane to make it to Southern California, and a lot of the coastal towns are ill prepared for significant storm surge. Fortunately, the ocean off California tends to be somewhere between cold and frigid even in Summer which doesn’t encourage tropical systems. A strong tropical storm or minimal hurricane did come ashore near Los Angeles in 1939 and did a fair amount of damage.

Del Mar doesn’t seem to me to be especially vulnerable except possibly for about a kilometer of sandspit South of the mouth of the San Dieguito River, but there is some real estate elsewhere along the Southern California coast that seems to me to be remarkably ill conceived. You’d think that if you saw a wave carved sea cliff next to a narrow beach, you wouldn’t build at its base or on its crest. If so, you are not a Southern California real estate developer.

Reply to  Don K
October 8, 2019 5:17 pm

Along the coast north of LA there’s an old landslide which slid halfway to the sea. There’s now a housing tract built on it. I wonder when it will continue its descent.

October 7, 2019 7:36 pm

“The state agency was founded in 1972 when there was little knowledge of climate change and rising sea levels.”
I remember 1972. There was a lot of talk and fearmongering about climate change back then, only they called it global cooling at the time.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Art
October 7, 2019 8:28 pm

And the concern then was sea level fall, with water being sequestered at the poles and Greenland and the impending continental glaciers. The first of the state agency’s sea level documents came out ~2000, with references to past sea level fall during the last ice age, and sea level rise as the continental glaciers melted. At about the time the policy was published, the agency policy was about 11 inches by 2100, with 1987 as the starting point. The US Army Corps of Engineers built a levee based on the 11 inch figure. Last year, FEMA, NOAA, and Scripps Institution for Oceanography published the California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project, Open Pacific Coast. Sixteen sea level rise projections (mm per year) were provided from Oregon to San Diego. A few: Crescent City MINUS 0.65; San Francisco, 2.01; Los Angeles, 0.83; Newport Bay, 2.22; La Jolla, 2.07; and San Diego, 2.06. In round numbers, 2 mm per year or about 8 inches per century.

Reply to  Art
October 8, 2019 12:51 am

No, they called it the New Ice Age!

October 7, 2019 7:59 pm

The California Coastal Commission is getting there, slowly but surely. As you know, the plan to forbid Del Mar from protecting itself is just a ruse. If you will, a gambit, designed to up the pressure in the residents of Del Mar. But why, you ask. Why would they do such a thing?

Attend, dear reader, and I shall illuminate.

First, the Coastal Commission seizes the entire town under Eminent Domain. They must have a proper “for public purpose” reason. The good and proper reason will be to prevent catastrophic loss of life due to sea level rise. Remember, this is California. Always remember that.

Second, they will decide that “the facts have changed”. With further research, and new insights into the problem, it is now seen that that a coastal defense plan is, indeed viable. With this keen new insight, they announce that it will not be necessary to destroy the whole city after all. {How very progressive of them}

Third, the Coastal Commission will deed over the entire city to a Real Estate Commission set up specifically for the purpose. This Commission will have the responsibility for the management, sale, and final disposition of all the properties and businesses in the city. For the sake of Transparency and of course, Accountability, all the members of the Real Estate Commission will be family members, relatives, and friends of the Coastal Commission members. {How about that?}

And this, gentile reader, is what powerful, unaccountable bureaucrats do when they realize that their pensions are woefully underfunded. In their lives, they may never understand anything else, but this, they will understand.

Insufficiently Sensitive
October 7, 2019 8:02 pm

the Coastal Commission. The state agency was founded in 1972 when there was little knowledge of climate change and rising sea levels.

It was founded specifically to seize control of private property within 1/2 mile of the ocean and to forbid and deny (or to extort painful punishments from) the plans and dreams of the rightful owners. It’s a political body, a brigade in the class war against the civil rights of those owners.

It didn’t need to know no about no steenkin’ climate change nor long-term geomorphology. The Enemy were property owners, and the Mission was their suppression.

October 7, 2019 8:29 pm

To save the lives of our children and grandchildren, California should declare any structure within one mile of the high tide mark as unsafe and force an immediate evacuation. Relocate all citizens who are within the climate emergency zone to the safety of Bakersfield in temporary housing (tents, portapotties, etc.) and start communal farms to feed them.

Michael Jankowski
October 7, 2019 8:52 pm

Del Mae racetrack is known to be “where the turf meets the surf”…not “where the turf relocates itself as far as possible from the surf to appease CA goverment in response to a snail’s.pace in sea level rise.

J Mac
October 7, 2019 9:02 pm

Del Mar…. “Of the Sea” and by the sea! Those who live by seas know the risks.

Those that live by volcanoes know the risks. Those that live in flood plains know the risks. Those that live in drought prone regions know the risks. Those that live in earthquake prone regions know the risks. Those that live in forest fire prone regions know the risks. None of them need to consult unproven, unverified, uncertifiable climate models to know the well established risks.

I salute the City of Del Mar! They know the tangible and real risks and are preparing to mitigate them without the interference of fools that refuse to accept the known risks because they are focused on self-induced delusions of fantasy future ‘risks’. In doing so, the City of Del Mar demonstrates that not all of California is suffering from the Climate Change delusions.

Shoki Kaneda
October 7, 2019 9:20 pm

The west coast is rising slightly and there is no credible threat to Del Mar. The coastal commission is controlled by San Francisco leftists and Sacramento apparatchiks. Del Mar is absolutely correct to reject the CCC’s absurd virtue signaling and bullying.

Nicholas McGinley
October 7, 2019 9:35 pm

Interesting that the ultra rich people, who are threatened by the bizarro world maniacs from the state of California with having their lil slice o’ Heaven on Earth condemned and confiscated for what is, to any rational observer, absolutely no reason at all…a mere fantasy fever-dream vision…do not simply say so.
IOW, why have they not and when are they going to call the whole thing out for what it is?
It is inconceivable that whole towns, of the most valuable real estate on the planet, will simply allow it to be taken on a pretext with no basis in reality.
Imagine the scenario: After all those uber wealthy are forced to leave and so simply pack up instead of calling out the schistheads who are evicting them on false pretenses, the very next morning hordes of homeless people leave their sidewalk paradises further north and move into the abandoned coastal properties, where they live happily ever after!
The only thing that would be funnier is if some of the evicted rick folks wind up living in the abandoned refrigerator boxes of the people who had moved into their condemned beachside homes!

October 7, 2019 11:16 pm

Acceleration is the trend in the trend.
Is it so hard to cope with?
Excellent graph with the information needed:

October 8, 2019 12:56 am

What ought to be done, is to construct a massive concrete wall out into the sea to create an enclosed lagoon, and simply dump all the county waste into it over a period of years,

Then compact it and build fantatstically expensive condos.

October 8, 2019 1:02 am

Coastal erosion has very little to do with sea-level rise, and has a lot to do with the ever-present effect of waves, especially during storm surges.

October 8, 2019 1:12 am

To those that are really worried about melting ice caps causing rising sea levels:
To melt ice we need to heat it, that is, we need to add heat energy to it.
If we are to heat it with warmer air the air needs to be at a higher temperature than the ice at the shared surface.
This is elementary high school physics – heat energy can only flow from a hot body to a cooler body.
Thus the ice at the surface must be raised by the air to zero degrees C for melting to even begin.
Over this ice sheet, the air temperatures range from
–11C to –40C in summer and –28C to –57C in winter.
The air temperatures here are always below the freezing point of ice. (Check the data for yourself)
With those air temperatures being always so much lower than zero and lower than the ice temperature
(The Antarctic ice is typically –5C), no heat transfer to the ice can occur to raise its temperature to zero, therefore no melting can occur. For this reason, air temperatures would need to increase, not by half a degree or even two degrees as the IPCC predicts, but by tens of degrees for any melting to even begin. Since the Antarctic ice cap contains 90% of the world’s ice, any risk of warmer air causing ice cap melting or hazardous sea level rise is nonsense.
The alarmists behind the scare (self appointed experts) need to brush up on their high school physics.

October 8, 2019 2:16 am

….”The even funnier thing, is that Del Mar grew from nothing to some of the most expensive real estate in the world while that catastrophic 10 inches of sea level rise was inundating the coastline….”

That says it all, really, David. A sense of perspective, or indeed knowledge of history, seems near-totally lacking in the climate business. Even were the rate of rise to treble, it still wouldn’t pose anything like the threat that the doomsters expect us to assume.

Sure, there is an arguable case in places for retreat from rapidly-eroding coasts (we have that on parts of the North Sea coast in UK) but rapid erosion is not quite the same thing as sea level rise. Where there are few coast dwellers with few funds or political clout, they are losing their homes as the land is being given up to the sea, and the normal sea defences are being abandoned. In this, the planners are assuming things will get a lot worse due climate change, making defending the line a likely lost cause, and this overrides the pleas of the residents for help. Sad.

Yet another good post, thanks.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  mothcatcher
October 8, 2019 4:54 am

To say erosion is “not quite the same thing as sea level rise” is to conflate two completely separate processes.
When material is eroded from one location, it is deposited somewhere else, often nearby, especially in regard to sand on a beach.
Sea level rise has little to do with this.
They are not only not quite the same, they are nothing like the same.

October 8, 2019 2:34 am

AS good example of adaptation to a rising sea is of course to build a sea wall.

A extreme example of this is Canvey Island in Essex , UK. Previously just a mud flat off the coast, the King way back invited some Dutch dyke builders to reclaim this lad and link it to the mainland.

They were both paid well and a bonus was to own a parcel of land. A original Dutch house is still there.

The sea wall is about a 100 feet in height, so none of the residents can see the sea, but they can and do walk to the top and enjoy a walk above the sea. As a child I lived there for a few months.

Bring it up on Goggle.


October 8, 2019 3:08 am

Piling new sand on beaches may not work.

Here in Norfolk, UK, we have serious coastal erosion and a minimal relative sea level rise (isostatic rebound is mainly responsible for what there is). There are large towns now under the sea due to erosion: Google Dunwich.

On the coast just a few miles from us is a huge natural gas terminal at Bacton. The beach was eroding so very recently it was topped up by 1.8 million tons of sand dumped without much care. Those of us with basic knowledge of the long shore drift and hydrology of the local coastline simply said, “wait”.

Sure enough, within a few weeks a lot of that introduced sand has vanished.

A few miles to the east, there was a sea wall built following the serious tidal inundation in 1953. The wall remains intact and has been supplemented by a barrier of imported rocks in places. If you walk to the western end of the sea wall the natural shoreline is now some 200ft behind that line and is receding: the lifeboat station that was there twenty years ago has gone as the sea maintains its inward encroachment.

The answer to Del Mar’s situation is obvious: forget reliance upon sand and build a strong sea wall.

Coram Deo
October 8, 2019 4:00 am

Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

October 8, 2019 5:15 am

I don’t understand the complaint at all. I just don’t. Lake Michigan (a/k/a Michi Gamu) is notorious for rising and falling lake levels and eroding beaches on its west side,never mind what happens over on the east side.

So the DNR people bring in and replace the beach sands that the lake stole during its more tempestuous moments between fall and spring, and add more riprap (e.g., jumbled concrete blocks and BIG rocks) in less popular places, and get the beaches read for the summer season.

HOWEVER: if Mother Nature decided that SHE wants to reclaim the entire scoop of the (current) Great Lakes, all SHE has to do is flood them with enough snow runoff and rain to raise the levels of Michi Gamu and Gichi Gamu (Superior) so that Lake Michigan’s waterline is right back up at the ridge that Clark Street follows in Chicago and everything lower than Clark Street will be T-O-A-S-T….. or submerged, if you don’t get “toast’. And all that will eventually flow out through Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie and flood those areas. That would be interesting.

That article’s context says that the state of LaLaLand wants to seize Del Mar at some point in the future and the people who live there know it. I wish them good luck in defending their turf from the predators on land. Of course, the down side to seizing it is that if the landowners moved away, they’d take their taxes with them.

October 8, 2019 6:41 am

Beach erosion has never occurred until now, especially along active margins. /s

Bryan A
Reply to  Jimmy
October 8, 2019 12:33 pm

Active margins used to be only marginally active

Mr Pete
October 8, 2019 7:33 am

Of course, sandy beaches are NEVER stable.
Apparently Del Mar understands this. They’re allocating ongoing funds to maintain their beaches. It’s a neverending battle, having nothing to do with climate… and much to do with how oceans function.

October 8, 2019 7:57 am

Hmmm…does planned retreat mean public acquisition of prime value property from private owners (for their own good, of course)?

Seems legit.

October 8, 2019 8:19 am

A meteorite strike in the Pacific Basin would create massive tsunamis so some prep for the wrong reasons is okay as long as the informed class of AGW skeptics is not harmed by policy adventures and virtue signaling.

Steve Z
October 8, 2019 8:34 am

The city of Del Mar has it right–building a sea wall (10 inches in 100 years) is a whole lot cheaper than moving a city.

In response to Mardler’s comment about the futility of building beaches by moving sand, there was a recent example in western France, near the mouth of the Loire River, where it flows westward into the Atlantic Ocean, where the river is spanned by the Saint-Nazaire Bridge. To the north of the river, the coastline turns westward for about 30 miles, with south-facing beaches, including the ritzy casino resort of La Baule. To the south of the river, the coastline extends southward for about 15 miles, with west-facing beaches (with much lower land values) of Saint-Brevin and Tharon, until another shorter peninsula (Pointe de Sainte-Gildas) extends westward, with rocky beaches facing north and south.

The bay has a very strong tidal flow, and owners of expensive homes in La Baule complain that sand was disappearing from their ritzy beach, and piling up in Tharon, where the width of the beach below the barrier dune has actually grown toward the sea, making the Tharon beach more attractive to tourists than the La Baule beach. So, every winter, lots of large diesel-fueled dump trucks are hauling pretty white sand about 40 miles from Tharon to La Baule, to cover up all the gravel for the rich folks at La Baule. who don’t worry that the CO2 emissions from the dump trucks might be raising sea levels somewhere else, and the other air pollutants from the trucks are blown by the prevailing westerlies back toward Tharon.

Of course, the waves and tides will bring all that pretty sand back to Tharon every summer…

Reply to  Steve Z
October 8, 2019 10:55 am


I guess the issue will be who pays for the trucks in the future amidst organized finger pointing and money bag handling. The French have excellent diplomatic skills in that department.

October 8, 2019 8:52 am

“We have a plan, and we stand by our plan,” said councilman Canute.

michael hart
October 8, 2019 10:21 am

Ahhhh…1885. Those were the days, when a couple of guys could get together over drinks and decide to build a whole new town.

October 10, 2019 9:33 pm

Another California shit show . In 50 years move your beach furniture an inch or move .
Guaranteed there will be lots of buyers for waterfront .
Maybe people just have too much time on their hands .
The new family unit is a cat .

October 10, 2019 9:34 pm

Another California gong show . In 50 years move your beach furniture an inch or move .
Guaranteed there will be lots of buyers for waterfront .
Maybe people just have too much time on their hands .
The new family unit is a cat .

William Haas
October 12, 2019 3:09 am

Maybe it would be best if the entire town were abandoned and turned into a wilderness area. I am sure that the current residents would be more than happy to pay for their homes to be torn down and carted away and the whole area returned to its wild state.

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