Flooding on Seacoast Drive during king tide
Flooding at the south end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach during a king tide in 2015. Photo by Chris Helmer / City of Imperial Beach

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1 on Thursday to provide coastal communities with up to $100 million annually to mitigate the impact of rising seal level due to global warning.

The legislation, sponsored by Senate President Toni Atkins of San Diego, directs the California Coastal Commission to take sea level rise into account in its planning, policies, and activities, and would establish the California Sea Level Rise State and Regional Support Collaborative to coordinate efforts.

“Sea level rise and climate change have begun to threaten iconic communities, precious ecosystems, and critical infrastructure up and down California’s coast,” said Atkins after the governor’s signature. “It’s vital that we make key investments and changes to our planning strategies to account for this climate reality.”

“This is yet another demonstration of California’s leadership in the fight against climate change and our commitment to protect California communities,” she added.

Atkins’ bill passed 33-2 in the Senate and 60-12 in the Assembly on Sept. 1.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that California could experience up to seven feet of sea level rise by 2100, which would have massive impacts on the state’s lands, economy, and physical environment.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.