Climate Resilience

Alongside efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, various local and regional agencies have started discussing how to collaboratively tackle the impacts of climate change. Rising seas, water availability, increased fire danger, and extreme heat are moving to the top of state and regional planning efforts. 

County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability

A multi-stakeholder working group has been established to address the issue of sea level rise in San Mateo County. On January 29, 2015, the California Coastal Conservancy authorized the disbursement of up to $500,000 to complete a coordinated Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for San Mateo County. The funding includes a grant to San Mateo County of up to $220,000 and direct Conservancy expenditures of up to $280,000.  San Mateo County and the Coastal Conservancy are now in the process of formulating a timeline for the implementation of the vulnerability assessment, which is scheduled to be completed no later than December 2016. For more information, visit the Office of Sustainability website.

Joint Policy Committee - Bay Area Climate & Energy Resilience Project

This project is a collaborative of more than 100 public, private, and non-profit stakeholders in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The primary purpose of the project is to support and enhance the local climate adaptation efforts of cities, counties and other organizations. The JPC is focused on specific actions that will help all Bay Area stakeholders to move forward in a more efficient and powerful manner.  For more information, visit the project website.

Past Events

Planning for Sea Level Rise in San Mateo County (June 27, 2014)

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Rich Gordon, and Supervisor Dave Pine hosted a conference at the Foster City Council Chambers to discuss planning for sea level rise in San Mateo County. Sea level rise is one of the most serious consequences of climate change and it will have a profound effect on our county which has more people and property value at risk from the rising sea than any other county in the state. The conference was attended by approximately 100 leaders, including councilmembers and representatives from 19 of the county's 20 cities, officials from special districts and regulatory agencies, and members of the public. Highlights of the conference included: a presentation on why we should plan for three feet of sea level rise to occur in this century; a perspective on how the Santa Clara Valley Water District is preparing for sea level rise; and breakout group discussions on local planning and financing options for addressing sea level rise.  Video of the conference is posted here.

The conference concluded with a plan to form working groups to investigate and bring back recommendations on three subjects:

  • Preparing a county-wide sea level rise vulnerability assessment: This working group will consider the scope of such a study, the unique issues that need to be considered on both the Coastside and the Bayshore, and how the study's cost could be shared across jurisdictions.
  • Local financing options for addressing sea level rise: This working group will review local financing options for funding the adaptations that will be needed to protect our communities, including the possibility of forming a county-wide flood control and financing district.
  • Organizational structure for our on-going sea level rise planning efforts: This working group will develop an organizational structure for bringing together cities, special districts, businesses, policy experts and other stakeholders so that we can collaborate in an effective and consistent way over the long term to address sea level rise in San Mateo County. This working group will also identify potential staffing and funding resources, such as foundation and government grants, to support this ongoing collaborative effort.

If you are interested in serving on a working group, please contact Michael Barber in Supervisor Pine's office (650-363-4528).

Meeting the Challenge of Sea Level Rise in San Mateo County (December 9, 2013)

Sea level rise is one of the most serious consequences of climate change and it will have a profound effect on San Mateo County which has more people and property at risk from the rising sea than any other Bay Area county.  Federal, state and local experts described the magnitude of the challenge we face and the options and strategies that are available to plan for and adapt to this new reality. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Rich Gordon, and Supervisor Dave Pine convened this half-day session.

Meeting agenda, presentations and video are posted on the event website

Climate Adaptation Planning for San Mateo County - The local/regional connection (June 4, 2013)

At this interactive workshop hosted by C/CAG and Joint Venture Silicon Valley, elected officials and staff from local governments in San Mateo County provided input to quickly developing regional strategies. Presentations:

  • The latest on predicted impacts- David Ackerly, UC Berkeley
  • Proposed general plan guidelines- Michael McCormick, Governor's Office of Planning and Research
  • Regional collaboration efforts- Bruce Riordan, Joint Policy Committee
  • Developing an adaptation plan- Matt Seubert, County of San Mateo

Workshop agenda, presentations, and video are posted on Joint Venture's website.