Letter from the Executive Director

2018 was a milestone year in Resilient Shore’s quest to increase awareness of flood risk and the need to prepare San Rafael for rising seas.  Our city made progress on resiliency projects in China Camp, Tiscornia Marsh, and McInnis bay lands. This builds on landmark projects including the Aramburu Island Restoration, the 2014 white paper prepared by Paul Jensen (San Rafael’s Community Development Director), and the 2017 Bay Wave Vulnerability Assessment prepared under Chris Choo’s leadership for Marin County.

The Bionic Team’s Resilient by Design Challenge’s Elevate San Rafael project brought our community together. We now have a better understanding of existing and future climate challenges and are starting to consider how to respond. The research and exhibits show the impacts of flooding and rising tides and their effect on the heart of our city over time. Bionic’s design ideas are certainly thought provoking and provide an excellent starting point for creating a Shore Plan.

We are urgently aware that as a community we need to double down immediately on our efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing our carbon footprint, increasing carbon sequestration, and adapting by planning for a resilient future.

At Resilient Shore, we aim to ride this wave of community awareness and engagement in 2019.  Further delay will reduce our community’s choices, result in hardship, and drive up cost and competition for resources.

San Rafael’s 2040 General Plan update provides an opportunity to include mitigation and adaptation policies in the city’s key blueprint for the future. Resilient Shore will work with the city and community representatives to incorporate policies to reduce flood risk and adapt to seal level rise into the General Plan.

We will continue to inform the community through Shore News stories about our remarkable shoreline, its natural and cultural history and the good works being done by many to protect and enhance it. We will also provide information on how to address challenges.

The Resilient Shore team will continue to reach out to all community groups: our immigrant community, the Channel Association, environmental stewards, business, government, recreation, and residents. When people better understand each other’s needs, it is easier to develop mutual respect and trust. We’ll work on identifying a range of potential risk-reduction and adaptation solutions through community-based planning. That way we can evaluate social, economic and environmental impacts and build consensus on how to move forward together.

This coming year in 2019, we will be creating a public/private partnership that features a robust Advisory Board. We aim to focus technical and design resources to build a planning team in partnership with the City of San Rafael. Our goal is to raise seed funds to serve as a local match for grants to fund a San Rafael Shore Plan.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.  Please help us achieve our 2019 goals by participating in meetings and events, making tax deductible donations to Resilient Shore through MarinLINK, and providing stories for Shore News.  Together we can do this!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Joyous New Year

Jeff Rhoads
Executive Director
Resilient Shore

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September 2019

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