Friday, December 4, 2009

Global Warming Plan (A)dapation and Plan (B)ackup

By Amy Ricard, Communications and Policy Associate

A series of recent articles published in the San Francisco Chronicle detail the urgency in California – and perhaps more directly, the Bay Area – to address the very real issue of sea level rise as a result of global warming.

On Wednesday, the Chron reported Governor Schwarzenegger's call for a backup plan on global warming; and just yesterday readers were left to ponder this: "adapt to climate change or die."

According to recent reports, sea level may rise as much as 18 inches in the next 40 years and over four feet by 2100. Experts are recommending that local governments adapt to the effects of global warming, which includes developing backup plans to "prepare for the worst."

Much of Save The Bay's work gets to the core of these recommendations, which include restricting development in areas vulnerable to climate change impacts and considering higher water levels in planning transportation. We are currently fighting to save over 1,400 acres of retired salt ponds in Redwood City, where agri-business giant Cargill plans to build a mini-city with up to 12,000 housing units. With the site currently sitting right at sea level, any development on these ponds directly opposes the recommendations.

Further, experts are advocating for better flood control systems to mitigate the effects of sea level rise. That's why Save The Bay is working diligently to re-establish 100,000 acres of healthy wetlands around the Bay, since wetlands work like sponges, absorbing runoff and acting as buffers as water levels grow ever higher. Restoring more wetlands sooner will help Bay Area cities combat the effects of climate change and protect our communities.

To learn more about Save The Bay's work, visit

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