Tag: 2022-02-nn-roundup

Marin to spend $4M in pandemic aid on climate projects

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, December 20, 2021

“[Marin] County supervisors approved $932,000 for three mitigation projects and over $3 million for six adaptation projects [using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act].

“The supervisors approved the outlay with virtually no discussion. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Bill Carney, president of Sustainable San Rafael, raised a concern.

“ ‘We should always strive to spend a dollar on mitigation for every dollar we spend on adaptation,’ Carney said.

“The project receiving the most money, over $1 million, will go toward restoring 30 acres of wetlands in the Novato Baylands. The project design incorporates so-called ‘horizontal levees’ designed for 3.5 feet of sea level rise.

“[Chris Choo, principal watershed planner for the county’s Department of Public Works,] said like the Novato tidal marsh restoration, the other five adaptation projects will plan for sea-level rise, improve flooding and create more habitat for wildlife.

“The mitigation allocations also included $360,000 to fund education and outreach with the goal of having 45 percent of the county’s passenger vehicles be zero emission vehicles by 2030, [a] goal of the [county’s] Climate Action Plan 2030.

“In another allocation, $100,000 was earmarked to help the Marin Resource Conservation District provide 20 to 40 West Marin farmers and ranchers with the technical expertise to implement carbon farming practices.

“It is estimated this level participation could result in sequestration of 250 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

“[Supervisor] Moulton-Peters added that she would like to see more collaboration with local municipalities when future planning is done.”

Read the full article here. (~3 min.)

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Newark residents wonder why the city plans to develop against a rising shoreline

By Ezra David Romero, KQED, December 13, 2021

“Newark — a Bay Area enclave of fewer than 50,000 people — is located on the east side of the Dumbarton Bridge near Fremont in Alameda County, a place that has struggled mightily to build new housing even as costs have skyrocketed.

“Sanctuary West could help by adding hundreds of new tract homes, but the project is controversial because they would be built within a federal flood zone along fragile wetlands on the city’s western shore.

“After the city approved the project, the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge and other environmentalists sued, arguing the sea level rise protections weren’t strong enough; the lawsuit created the latest wrinkle in the circuitous planning process.

“Newark Mayor Alan L. Nagy said the city is committed to protecting its shoreline from sea level rise. Their planning documents consider a 50-year life for Sanctuary West, and say it will have ‘sufficient protection from 100-year flood events’ within that time frame.

“Sanctuary West could help fill in the gap for much-needed housing in the Bay Area, but scientists like Mark Lubell, who studies sea level rise and governance at UC Davis, say the proposed site ‘is a terrible place to put a development.’

“Only about 10 percent of the original marsh area remains in San Francisco Bay, [but Sanctuary West would be built alongside one of the Bay Area’s last wetlands, a natural flood protector]. In a recent study, [SPUR] concluded that by maximizing infill, converting homes into duplexes, triplexes and adding accessory dwelling units, the Bay Area could address the housing crisis without building in areas vulnerable to flooding.

According to Larry Goldzband, executive director of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Sanctuary West is strategically located outside their regulatory jurisdiction. However, “officials at the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board say they will make it difficult for developers to build on the wetlands in Newark … [since] the dirt needed to raise the potential homes out of the floodplain will impact the wetlands and ‘alter the existing wetland hydrology.’ ”

Read the full article here. (~9 min.)

Return to Northern News here.