New platform to bring clarity to sea-level rise modeling in California

King Tide at Pier 14 (Agnos Pier). Photo by Tom Hilton
September 25, 2019
Media Contact— Brenna Mahoney / brenna.mahoney@noaa.gov / 617-851-9855

Today, the California State Coastal Conservancy, NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, the San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative, and California Sea Grant announced the launch of a new decision support platform, Sea the Future, to help coastal planners and land managers identify the best sea-level rise visualization tool for their projects.

“We developed Sea the Future to be a first stop for anyone working in coastal land management to understand what tools are available to them, and determine which best meets their needs,” said Brenna Mahoney, California Sea Grant extension team member and coordinator of the San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative (California Sea Grant, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, NOAA Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and the NOAA Office for Coastal Management). “This project was a collaboration between state and federal agencies, using input from tool developers, coastal land managers and planners to create a platform that would be user-friendly and comprehensive.”

Sea the Future platform
Sea the Future, a free online platform to compare sea level rise modeling tools in the state of California, is designed to support planners in choosing the most appropriate sea level rise visualization tool for their community.

Sea the Future, a free online platform to compare sea-level rise modeling tools in the state of California, is designed to support planners in choosing the most appropriate visualization tool for their community based on its coverage area, features, methods and more. An increasing number of coastal communities in California are considering the effects of climate change when updating their Local Coastal Program, a planning document that identifies guidelines for future development in the coastal zone.

“The science of predicting sea-level rise is getting more and more precise, leading local governments to realize the importance of preparation,” said Dan Hossfeld, California Sea Grant State Fellow at the State Coastal Conservancy. “One important first step is investigating community vulnerability to sea-level rise, with a detailed understanding of where those vulnerabilities will occur. Planning for impacts will lessen any extreme effects in the future.”

The platform was a long-term project worked on by three years of California Sea Grant State Fellows placed at the State Coastal Conservancy. Fellows Hossfeld, Carrie Boyle (2018) and Liz Gagneron (2017) developed the initial project plan, assisted with content development and the design, and coordinated with partners.

Register for an informational webinar on Wednesday, October 2, from 12-1pm.

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.