Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment

The county of San Mateo initiated a countywide Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment in June 2015. The Assessment is part of a long-term resilience strategy to ensure our communities, ecosystems, and economy are prepared for climate change.

We are pleased to announce the release of the ‘DRAFT SEA LEVEL RISE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT REPORT.’ The Draft Vulnerability Assessment was released on April 5, 2017 and was available for review and comment through May 15, 2017.

We thank everyone who took the time to review the Draft report and provide feedback. We have provided responses to all of these comments in the document below. Thank you again for your feedback and your continued engagement in this process. Please stay tuned for our final report!

Full Report and Compiled Appendices

Responses to Public Comments


Program Overview

The goal of the assessment is to identify vulnerable assets on the bay and coast side of the San Mateo County peninsula, determine types of impacts, issue initial recommendations on adaptation measures, and improve flooding and sea level rise mapping. The County of San Mateo will manage and oversee the collaboration of many organizations working together to plan and adapt for sea level rise, in partnership with the California State Coastal Conservancy.

Sea Change San Mateo
El Granada, CA

Using the best available science, information from existing relevant efforts, and guidance from stakeholders, the assessment will identify key assets at risk from multiple scenarios of sea level rise and storm events.

The Vulnerability Assessment is being developed through an inclusive process with maximum participation from San Mateo County cities and relevant agencies, businesses, organizations, and community groups. This effort includes a focus on nature-based solutions and reducing impacts to underserved communities.
The objective is to set the stage for future efforts to increase resiliency by identifying and prioritizing near, mid-, and long-term actions for key assets, identifying potential funding sources for actions, and increasing the County’s staff capacity to address sea level rise challenges.

Vulnerability assessment deliverables include:

  • An inventory of key assets throughout the County at risk from multiple scenarios of sea level rise and storm events.
  • An understanding of the types of sea level rise and storm related impacts that San Mateo County will experience.
  • A road map for taking actions to increase resiliency that includes initial recommended adaptation measures and improved flood and sea level rise mapping and data.
  • A replicable methodology available for use by others in San Mateo County
  • A collaborative network through which to plan future efforts.

Program Stakeholders

The project will be informed by a Technical Working Group, Policy Advisory Committee, and by community input through public meetings.

Technical Working Group (TWG) is comprised of individuals with a working knowledge and familiarity with the physical location, surrounding environment, proximity to sea level rise-associated risks, and the operation of key assets in San Mateo County such as water treatment and pumping facilities, civil infrastructure, communications and power stations, hospitals, schools, population centers, and natural resources.

Sea Change San Mateo
Mirada Surf Park, El Granada, CA

Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), made up of individuals who are familiar with, have some experience with the formation or implementation of regulations, policies and programs related to land uses including but not limited to transportation, real estate development, disaster planning and wildlife management as they may be impacted by sea level rise, storm surge, high tides and salt water intrusion. PAC members will help provide high level input into the project.

Community Task Force (CTF), consists of community group representatives who are actively involved in the community and are able to help plan and conduct outreach efforts to raise public awareness on the sea level rise initiative. The Community Task Force advise the Project Management Team on outreach efforts and guidance on public engagement and the planning of public workshops.


sea change san mateo county project timeline graphic

Background Documents