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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | chapter wide
Resilient Habitats Campaign will address effects of sea level rise
April 2011

Carmel ValleyCapitola Beach eroded away by king tides event in February 2011. Is this a glimpse of sea level rise?
Photo: Susan Hillyard

Sierra Club California has recently launched the California Coast Resilient Habitats Campaign to address the effects of climate change on the state’s coastal regions. The campaign will focus on protecting, connecting, and restoring California’s coastal habitats in order to allow our wildlife to adapt to changing conditions. The most urgent issue facing Central Coast residents is the rising sea level (see maps: www.pacinst.org/reports/sea_level_rise/maps/). Even if we are able to successfully implement CO2 reduction measures, sea level rise has already been set in motion. We must now turn our attention to ways to adapt to this inevitability.

Addressing sea level rise
The initial focus of the California Coast Resilient Habitats Campaign will be to foster the best planning and development policies possible at the state level through the Ocean Protection Council, California Coastal Commission, and Bay Conservation and Development Commission. These policies will influence State activities and work their way to the local level, where most land use decisions are made. In local communities, the Campaign will show people how to protect shorelines using natural systems that protect and expand habitat. The campaign will be looking for areas that are ripe for positive shoreline protection policies to focus its efforts.

Seawalls: the wrong answer
When the sea threatens property, the first response is often to build a seawall. Seawalls are both expensive to build and maintain, and destructive to habitats and beaches. The Pacific Institute estimates it would cost $14 billion to armor California’s coast against sea level rise and $1.4 billion annually in maintenance costs. Furthermore, seawalls cause the loss of beaches in front of and below the wall, create beach access issues, and do not support half the diversity of marine life that natural rocky areas support.

We have options. We can stop placing people and businesses in harm’s way, by not allowing development in projected flood plains. We can build natural habitats that act as wave breaks to lessen beach erosion, such as kelp forests and oyster beds. We can build dunes and establish vegetation barriers to protect shorelines. We can allow for the expansion of wetlands to assure that these important ecosystems don’t drown and to provide flood buffers. And we can make choices to concede to nature and plan retreat from the shore, which is often the most cost effective and safest option.

Growing the campaign
As the campaign is able to fundraise and grow, it intends to expand into key conservation area protection (marine sanctuaries, wildlife corridors, wetlands preservation and expansion), updating the State Wildlife Action Plan, and engage in protection of the upland watershed to encompass issues such as water quality, inflow, and fish barriers.

Volunteers sought
Volunteers are needed to explore the potential for positive shoreline protection polices in local communities and to educate public officials, Sierra Club members, and community members on the use of natural systems to protect the shoreline and wildlife habitats. If you are interested in getting involved, you are encouraged to call Lesli at 916-557-1100x105. Please come and make a difference: Conserve & Protect California’s Coast!



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In This Section

Current
Humpback whale visit poses eco-ethics questions
December 2011

California leads in fighting oil addiction
October 2011

Plastic bag ban gaining momentum
October 2011

WTO rules dolphin-safe tuna a trade violation
August 2011

WTO may cut US meat labeling
October 2011

Club's Beyond Coal Campaign awarded $50 million
August 2011

Whales store carbon
August 2011

Watershed Dippers
August 2011

Richardson Grove redwoods get reprieve
August 2011

Richardson Grove redwoods threatened by highway widening
June 2011

Resilient Habitats Campaign will address effects of sea level rise
April 2011

Enviros defeat Bohemian Grove logging plan
April 2011

Sierra Club works to phase out coal
April 2011

Protect CEQA and Environmental Laws in the State Budget Process
March 2011

FDA ponders genetically engineered salmon
December 2010

State of the air
December 2010

Antibacterial soap affects fish reproductive behavior
December 2010

State bill would ban single-use plastic bags
August 2010

Atrazine affects fish reproduction
August 2010

New law will protect Americans from formaldehyde
August 2010

Opt out of unwanted phone books
August 2010

You might not be planning for climate change, but the State is
June 2010

Club report explores ending oil dependence
June 2010

American pika
June 2010

Will Commercial Whaling Resume?
May 2010

Our national parks: a vision for the second century
February 2010

Former Yosemite Supervisors call for restoring Hetch Hetchy
December 2009

Assembly resolution puts pressure on Feds to enforce Marine Mammal Act
October 2009

Report proposes sustainable water solutions for California
October 2009

Free online course on Clean Water Act
October 2009

Only 11 states have bottle laws
October 2009

UCSC makes list of “Coolest” Schools
Sierra’s top 20 coolest schools of 2009
October 2009

Farr seeks upgrade of Pinnacles to National Park
October 2009

Fishing rods donated to youth programs
October 2009

State releases climate change adaptation plan
October 2009

State still considering new logging rules
August 2009

Old Growth Redwoods
August 2009

Protected land database now available
August 2009

How much would you save by ditching your gas guzzler?
August 2009

NOAA website provides resources for coastal cities dealing with climate change
August 2009

Stimulus funds to benefit national forests
August 2009

New report shows birds in decline
June 2009

700,000 acres of new wilderness designated in California
June 2009

Researchers map West Coast ocean threats
June 2009

Sierra Club successfully challenges Stockton’s General Plan Update
June 2009

Say NO to bottled water
June 2009

Local residents propose environmental laws
June 2009

Traffic pollution linked to new cases of asthma
June 2009

County Supervisors support net metering
June 2009

Labor and enviros join forces
April 2009

Restore Hetch Hetchy moves HQ to San Francisco
April 2009

Carl Pope to step down
January 2009

Border wall harming wildlife
January 2009

Learning bird behavior turns kids into scientists
January 2009

Air Board warns consumers about air purifiers
January 2009

Green Streets improve water quality
January 2009

State body proposes plastic bag fees
January 2009

Clean coal is a myth
January 2009

Cutting their carbon footprints
January 2009

Carl Pope to step down as Executive Director of Sierra Club
January 2009

Legislation needed to increase amount of renewable energy
December 2008

Recycling alone is not the answer
December 2008

Patented seeds violate farmer's rights
December 2008

Sierra Club organizer mobilizing volunteers against clearcutting
October 2008

PG&E invests in gas, nuclear and hot air
August 2008

Help prepare Sierra Club huts for winter
August 2008

Air Board develops draft plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
August 2008

Eating for a Healthy Planet
May 2008


Global Warming rekindles nuclear power debate
May 2008


Volunteers needed for LeConte Lodge
March 2008


Action Alert!
Tell the Governor to support Zero Emission Vehicles
March 2008


A gift for the Corrizo Plain pronghorn
January 2008


SB 375 would link land use planning and transportation
January 2008


Governor proposes closing state parks & cutting lifeguards
January 2008


Track green-ness of your electricity
December 2007


UC named 4th in Sierra's list of cool schools
December 2007


Clair Tappaan Warming Hut property protected by conservation easement
October 2007


Cutting back on meat can help global warming
October 2007


Disappearing polar bear habitat
October 2007


International trade
August 2007


Green wedding
August 2007


New roles for our National Parks
August 2007


How we reduced our carbon footprint
April 2007


Joyce Stevens turns 80!
February 2007


Sierra Club launches weekly radio show
February 2007


Co-op America's 12-Step Plan for Climate Action
February 2007


A visit with the great California condors
June 2006


Bush administration abandons long-standing protections for critical wildlife habitat on Alaska’s North Slope

Chapter opposes water management scheme for Seaside Aquifer

Chapter and Group events to highlight marine sanctuary

End of an era: Ventana Chapter Bookstore closes

California has opportunities to reduce mercury poisoning

A biting issue

Sanctuary Draft Management Plan due out this summer

Nature Conservancy acquires gateway to Pinnacles National Monument

Elkhorn Slough threatened by subdivisions

Open space preserved on San Mateo County Coast

Greased lightning - Peregrine falcons in California

It’s time to restore Hetch Hetchy

Appeal to deny subdivision near Elkhorn Slough successful

Chapter revises Los Padres National Forest map

Forest geneticists visit Point Lobos

Methyl bromide poisoning devastates farm workers’ health

Resurrect those old Sierra Club cups?

Transit - highway rules unfair

California's oak woodlands need your help!