Del Mar working on plan to deal with rising ocean level

A citizen’s advisory committee will soon release a report with recommendations on how the city of Del Mar and private property owners should deal with rising ocean levels, which scientists anticipate will be one result of global warming.

Del Mar council members Dave Druker and Dwight Worden, who serve as liaisons to the committee, are launching a series of meetings with residents of areas that could be affected by sea level rise, to explain the city’s process of creating an “adaptation plan.”

Once the report is completed, it will be brought before the city Planning Commission. The City Council heard an update on the ongoing effort at its meeting on Monday, March 21.

The plan, when completed, will include “trigger” events, such as flooding or other adverse impacts of sea level rise, and options for dealing with those impacts.

A staff report for Monday’s meeting said, “The City’s intent is to create a toolbox full of options that will be available to the City and private property owners moving forward. The approach being contemplated involves monitoring the amount of sea level rise, flooding, storm frequency, and beach width over time to measure the extent of change and corresponding risk of hazard. The exact ‘triggers’ for future action are still to be determined by the City Council. Action will only be required by the City and private property owners if and when an established trigger is reached.”

The California Coastal Commission has directed that all cities along the state’s coast begin planning for their response if and when ocean levels begin to rise, Druker said Monday.

The city has received two state grants to help pay the planning costs for both a risk assessment and draft adaptation plan. The city will also have to seek an amendment to its local coast plan.

The documents can be found on the city’s website at