BCDC Executive Director Clarifies BCDC Proposals Concerning Sea-Level Rise


As a follow up to our August 2nd post concerning BCDC’s regulatory proposals to address climate change-induced sea-level rise, this post presents a response to that August 2nd post from BCDC’s Executive Director, Will Travis.

According to Mr. Travis, “the Commission does not view sea level rise as an opportunity to expand BCDC’s regulatory reach. Rather we believe that dealing with sea level rise presents an immense challenge for a region — a challenge which will require a broad mosaic of initiatives to address. Wise land use policies will be needed, and new or different regulatory authorities may be appropriate. However, investment strategies, insurance practices and public attitudes will probably be more important in an overall climate strategy for keeping our region resilient in the face of climate change impacts that are inevitable.

Consistent with this perspective, the Commission rejected a suggestion from an environmental organization that the Commission should support legislation that would immediately extend BCDC’s regulatory authority over all areas that might be vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise in the future. Instead, the Commission pledged itself to work with its regional partner agencies, local governments, business, labor, environmentalists and the general public to develop a regional climate strategy. This commitment is embodied in the Bay Plan amendments the Commission is now considering. In addition, the Commission is providing assistance to local governments that are interested in conducting sea level rise vulnerability assessments and developing adaptation strategies.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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