San Mateo Wetlands: How will wetland benefits change with rising seas?
April 25, 2019
In a new report, Point Blue Conservation Science, in partnership with the County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability, the California State Coastal Conservancy, and local stakeholders, evaluated multiple benefits of tidal marshes along San Mateo County baylands in terms of supporting tidal marsh biodiversity, reducing wave energy hitting the shoreline, and keeping carbon stored in vegetation. We then modeled how these benefits were projected to change with rising seas and sediment availability through 2100.
Maps of where and how multiple-benefits are projected to shift with rising seas allow decision makers to better integrate natural and built assets into adaptation planning by providing information that can:
- Support timing and prioritization of adaptation actions;
- Account for benefits derived from natural and nature-based adaptation strategies (often missing from traditional cost-benefit analyses);
- Develop adaptation responses that can achieve multiple objectives; and
- More accurately assess tradeoffs when weighing adaptation options.
Our case study provides a framework that others can modify and improve upon to better incorporate natural resources into their vulnerability and adaptation planning efforts. The team continues to engage with decision-makers to integrate this more detailed risk assessment of tidal wetlands with concurrent vulnerability and adaptation planning efforts occurring at local and regional scales.
The full technical report can be downloaded here.
Hayden, M.*, L. Salas, N. Elliott, D. Jongsomjit, S. Veloz, N. Nur, J. Wood, H. Papendick, and K. Malinowski. 2019. Informing sea level rise adaptation planning through quantitative assessment of the risks and broader consequences of tidal wetland loss: A case study in San Mateo County. Point Blue Conservation Science (Contribution No. 2217), Petaluma, CA.
*Corresponding author: mhayden(at)pointblue.org
For more information about the County of San Mateo’s vulnerability and adaptation planning work, visit: https://seachangesmc.org/
California Sea Grant highlighted our work in story discussing how communities are planning for rising seas: https://caseagrant.ucsd.edu/news/california-coastal-communities-brace-for-rising-seas