2018 Sea Level Rise Science Update


November 1, 2018

The Coastal Commission continues its legacy of leadership on coastal sea level rise adaptation. At the November hearing, the Commission approved incorporating the Ocean Protection Council’s Rising Seas science report and 2018 Sea Level Rise Guidance to help facilitate local governments’ ability to make planning and permitting decisions with the best available science, including the latest sea level rise models and projections. The Surfrider Foundation, along with Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club California, the Environmental Center of San Diego and the California Coastal Protection Network, supported the update and also suggested additional guidance including proactive consideration of managed retreat and increasing the adaptive capacity for coastal habitats. While those specific updates were not ultimately included, the Science Update is an advancement in planning for sea level rise.

Why You Should Care

As climate change and sea level rise bear down on the future of our coastlines, it is imperative that California stays ahead of the curve by proactively planning for changes at the local level.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Commissioner Donne Brownsey motioned for adoption and Commissioner Sara Aminzadeh seconded the motion. Commissioner Brownsey mentioned that she would like to work with staff to ensure members of the legislation, especially new elected officials, receive the report.

Organizations Opposed

Decision Type

Policy Guidance

Staff Recommendation


Coastal Act Policy