Climate Access wrapped up the Marin County Here Now Us pilot project last month with a community dialogue session that aimed to facilitate a shared conversation between residents and the County of Marin. The goal was looking at how the area can work together to plan for climate adaptation in the face of rising sea levels to ensure a more resilient community as the climate changes.
Given the demographics of the County of Marin; where there’s a high proportion of home ownership, large amounts of protected greenspace and not as much density as somewhere like downtown San Francisco, I was hoping the conversation wouldn’t devolve into ‘how are you going to protect my land and my property?’
To the credit of the dialogue participants, the overwhelming majority discussed the need for a coordinated response that ensured people (especially vulnerable residents) and critical infrastructure were protected.
Many participants were concerned about road access when flooding occurs from king tides, and the ability of emergency services to reach people when roads are closed, but many also took a longer term view – should a school that’s in a flood plain upgrade their sports field when the field will get flooded more often with rising sea levels? Is that being considered before school funds are being spent on the upgrade?
Adapting to a changing climate in the face of climate disruption is something that can only be done successfully through collaborative processes. At the end of the evening, many people thanked the County Supervisor, Kate Sears for the work that she and her office have done over the past years in office to bring people together to begin this discussion that is so critical to determining what the future of Marin County looks like.