Orange County Regional Sea Level Rise & Coastal Impacts Workshop

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February 23, 2015 | University of California, Irvine, Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering

The Orange County Regional Sea Level Rise and Coastal Impacts Meeting, held in Irvine on February 23, 2015, was attended by over 50 representatives from the Coastal Conservancy, County of Orange, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, Orange County Parks, OC Coastkeeper, UC Irvine, and many others.  This workshop provided information on sea level rise models and planning tools, training on vulnerability assessments and adaptive management planning, and provided a venue to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the region.

Workshop participants discuss ongoing projects in the region and opportunities for collabortion (Photo credit: Holly Rindge)

Scientific models are always improving, so management plans must be developed to adapt when new scientific information is available. A main theme that emerged from the workshop is the importance of modeling the risks of sea level rise and other coastal impacts at the local level.  The USGS’s Coastal Storms Modeling System, CoSMoS 3.0, is currently being developed for the Southern California region.  The model will project shoreline change, erosion, and flooding resulting from increased sea level rise, storm surge, and river discharge. Cities and municipalities will be able to access this information next year.

The workshop also served as a forum to build capacity and discuss the current state of climate change collaboration among cities, agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations within Orange County.  Several ongoing projects were discussed, including the FloodRISE project at UC Irvine, US Fish Wildlife’s salt marsh sediment augmentation project in Seal Beach, and a project to consider sea level rise in coastal wetland restoration projects. Workshop participants expressed a strong interest in increasing information sharing and collaboration within the region. Taking steps to increase communication, and share management plans and lessons learned between cities in the region will help support decision-making and ensure that the best available science is applied when planning for the impacts of climate change.

Over 50 participants from across Orange County gathered at UC Irvine to discuss sea level rise & coastal impacts (Photo credit: Victoria Balentine)

This workshop was held in partnership with UC Irvine through its Sustainability Initiative and FloodRISE project, the County of Orange, and the California Coastal Conservancy

  • USC Sea Grant
  • 3454 Trousdale Pkwy, CAS 200
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0373
  • (213) 740 - 1961