Today, the County of Humboldt pushed out this press release about their efforts to prepare for sea-level rise on their website earlier this month:
County to address sea level rise in vulnerable areas
On August 9 the Coastal Commission awarded a $50,000 grant to Humboldt County to develop collaborative strategies to address sea level rise for some of the county’s most vulnerable areas – King Salmon, Fields Landing, and Fairhaven/Finn Town.
In the Humboldt Bay region, sea level is anticipated to rise faster than anywhere else in California due to the combined effects of land subsidence and sea level rise. The grant funding will support public meetings to discuss potential effects of sea level rise, and develop policies and regulations in the Humboldt Bay Area Plan to adapt to the challenges associated with sea level rise.
Allow us to run that through the THC translation machine, and this is what it boils down to:
The county is going to spend $50K for some “collaborative visioning” to develop policies to make it too expensive to build or maintain your residence in the affected areas.
See, at THC, we think the appropriate role for a government in this particular situation would be to just advise people that, hey, if you build along the coastline, you might have some problems with water in the future. Maybe a tsunami, or even rising sea levels if you’re lucky enough to live that long.
From what we’ve read of the County’s sea-level rise materials, the worst projections put us at an extra six feet of water in 80 years. Which sucks, because our Manila vacation property might have some issues. But we came up with a policy years ago when we were considering moving into one of the derelict industrial buildings which we think the County could use, and do could so free of charge. Take a look at a map – maybe even the tsunami hazard zone map that was so painstakingly put together – and, if it’s in the tsunami zone, you should move, build a dike, or take your chances.
Such a policy also wouldn’t make it impossible for people comfortable with that level of risk from pursuing their dream of living by the water.
But of course, we all know that the County isn’t good at listening to reason. Or looking at their maps.