California Needs SB 272: Sea Level Rise Planning and Adaptation

The Bay Area faces the most direct risk of disastrous flooding due to sea level rise of any region in California. The State of California estimates that under some projections the Bay Area could see up to 2 feet of sea level rise by 2050, and up to 7 feet by 2100. But cities are largely left to figure out how, or if, to plan for those risks which has led to delay, inconsistency, and many communities at risk being left unprotected.

SB 272, introduced this session by Sen. John Laird (Santa Cruz), would help the state and the Bay Area become more climate resilient by giving new authority to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to set standards for how cities should plan for sea level rise, and to require cities to submit shoreline resilience plans that meet state standards.

This commonsense approach would better protect the most vulnerable communities in the Bay Area, and guide development so that new homes and businesses aren’t put in harm’s way. Unfortunately, Governor Newsom vetoed a similar bill introduced last year by Sen Laird after it passed out of the legislature with broad bipartisan support. This year, we’re hoping the Governor changes his position and supports improved sea level rise and flood protections by signing SB 272.

This approach has now received the support of local elected officials who are calling on Governor Newsom to endorse SB 272. See our letter for everyone who recognizes the importance of this bill to build a more climate resilient Bay Area.