Del Mar Council agrees to address sea level rise

Seagrove Park near Del Mar's beach
(Kristina Houck)

In an effort to protect Del Mar’s coastline, the Del Mar City Council on March 2 unanimously agreed to search for a consultant and establish a committee to prepare a Local Coastal Program Amendment to address rising sea levels and coastal flooding impacts.

“I just wanted to make a very brief statement about how important this is,” said Councilman Dwight Worden, who pulled the item from the council’s consent calendar, a list of items approved with a single vote and no discussion.

“It’s not just the homeowners and all the low-lying improvements that are at risk from sea level rise, it’s also our key recreational asset, which is our beach.”

The two-year project is estimated to cost $200,000.

A $100,000 grant from the California Ocean Protection Council will help cover the costs. Del Mar applied for the grant in November 2013, but it was awarded to the city of Solana Beach. In December, the OPC awarded the grant to Del Mar to incorporate strategies to address sea level rise in the city’s certified Local Coastal Program.

Del Mar has also budgeted nearly $78,000 from the city’s general funds and more than $22,000 in in-kind services from city staff.

“It is basically the city’s long-range plan and guide for shoreline management,” said Associate Planner Joseph Smith.

With the council’s 4-0 vote, the city will issue a request for proposals to solicit a consultant to prepare the LCPA. The council also established the Sea-Level Rise Stakeholder-Technical Advisory Committee to provide assistance throughout the LCPA process. Council members Don Mosier and Worden will serve as liaisons to the committee.