“The sea is rising and we are not prepared. It’s really time for us to pull together across city boundaries to help our citizens in the battle against rising waters and the rising costs of coping with this global threat.
To do that, San Mateo County cities must create a joint agency along with the County to ask for federal help.”
— Jackie Speier
“San Mateo County is highly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme storm events. To avoid devastating consequences to our economy, infrastructure and communities, we must take action now to reduce flooding risks and pre- pare for sea level rise. If ever there was a case where ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ this is it.”
— Dave Pine
San Mateo County Supervisor
“As the sea rises, we can either retreat with devastating consequences for San Mateo County or we can collaborate and address the serious challenges of a rising sea. Although a daunting task, a countywide joint water agency would make the strongest case for federal dollars, which will be used to redesign and rebuild our most vulnerable shorelines and beachfronts. The time to act is now.”
— Mike Callagy
“The proposed Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency Agency will provide critical results that benefit all residents and businesses in San Mateo County by cost-effectively planning and implementing necessary sea level rise, flooding and coastal erosion resiliency projects throughout the region.”
— Nicole Sandkulla
CEO, Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency
San Mateo County Needs a
Flood and Sea Level Rise Agency
Floodwaters Know No Boundaries
Sea level rise (SLR) is one of the most serious consequences of climate change and it will have a significant effect on San Mateo County, which has more people and property value at risk from the rising sea than any other county in the state. The San Mateo County Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment completed in March 2018 found that in the event of a mid-level 2100 sea level rise scenario, property with an assessed value of $34 billion would be flooded on the Bayshore and on the Coastside north of Half Moon Bay. In addition, the Vulnerability Assessment found that $932 million in assessed property value could be at risk from erosion on the Coastside north of Half Moon Bay.
Financial Benefit of Acting Now to Create a Resilient Shoreline
Each $1 spent on mitigation saves an average of $6 in future disaster costs.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier identified the need for a countywide agency to address the challenges of flooding, sea level rise and coastal erosion at the “Floods, Droughts, Rising Seas, Oh My!” water summit convened by the County and the City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG) in March 2018.
A countywide agency would: allow San Mateo County and its cities to coordinate across jurisdictional lines; avoid duplication of efforts and build expertise; and create a unified voice that would better position the County and its cities to obtain state and federal funds for addressing flooding, SLR, coastal erosion, and stormwater infrastructure improvements.
Mission and Vision
The Agency’s Mission. The agency would consolidate the work of the SMC Flood Control District (FCD) and Flood Resiliency Program (FRP) and initiate new countywide efforts to address sea level rise, flooding, coastal erosion, and large-scale stormwater infrastructure improvements through integrated regional planning, project implementation, and long-term maintenance.
Create Multi-Jurisdictional Solutions. The agency would facilitate and monitor existing FRP Memorandum Of Understandings (MOU) and create new MOUs, which would address cross-jurisdictional issues.
Leverage State & Federal Funding. By prioritizing and coordinating projects countywide, the agency would position the County to seek substantial state and federal funding.
First Priority Actions
Create the Agency. The Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency Agency would be created by modifying the existing FCD through state legislation. A 7 person board (2 county supervisors, 5 city councilmembers) will govern the agency.