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Our Coastal Climate: Rising Waters in West Marin

November 12, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

| Free

Join us for our first free brown bag lunch exploring Our Coastal Climate: Rising Sea Levels in West Marin on Thursday, November 12:00 – 1:30 pm. This online meeting format will explore rising sea levels, emergent groundwater, and ways to build coastal resilience through local action and planning the special speakers.

RSVP today to get the Zoom link and event reminders.

Dr. Charles Lester

The passage of California’s Proposition 20 Coastal Initiative in 1972 launched perhaps the greatest coastal protection experiment ever. California has since become an international leader in coastal management, with a vision to protect the coast for present and future generations while providing for its sustainable development. By most accounts, California’s coastal protection effort has been a huge success. Yet today, the state faces incredible challenges from climate change, including accelerating flooding, erosion and long-term sea-level rise. Californians have started asking how they can adapt to these looming changes, but they are confronting a more fundamental question about the resilience of the coast itself: How can communities reduce the growing coastal hazard risks of climate change while still protecting the people’s broader interests in the coast, including the public beaches and diverse ecosystems that are so integral to California’s economic, social and cultural identity? Dr. Charles Lester, former Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission and Director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Center at the Marine Science Institute at UCSB will reflect on this question, and discuss some of the core coastal challenges facing the state and local communities.

Dr. Kevin Befus and Dr. Patrick Barnard

Learn how the United States Geological Survey (USGS) CoSMoS-Groundwater (GW) team used numerical models to forecast how coastal water tables may rise with higher sea levels to understand the potential for sea-level rise to cause groundwater flooding and shoaling along California’s coastline. Learn more including reading the team’s recently published paper and the corresponding press.


Dr. Charles Lester

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Dr. Patrick BArnard

Paolo Vescia

Paolo Vescia

Dr. Charles Lester is the director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Center in the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara, where he researches, writes, and advises about sea level rise, coastal resilience, and other aspects of coastal law, policy and management. Charles previously worked for the State of California and the California Coastal Commission for twenty years, including serving as the agency’s fourth executive director from 2011 to 2016. Previously, Charles was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he taught environmental law and policy, with a focus on public lands governance and coastal zone management. He received his Ph.D. and J.D. from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Geochemistry from Columbia University. Charles is an expert in integrated coastal management and California coastal law and policy. He has extensive experience in California, including managing or directing hundreds of coastal planning and regulatory projects for the Coastal Commission. In 2015, he led the agency’s completion of California’s first comprehensive land use guidance for addressing sea level rise and coastal protection on the outer coast (Sea Level Rise—Adopted Policy Guidance). Charles speaks regularly on coastal management, adaptation and resilience, including recently as part of a Congressional briefing on west coast resilience.

Dr. Patrick Barnard has been a Research Geologist with the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz since 2003, is the Research Director for the Coastal Climate Impacts Program and Co-Developer of the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS). His research focuses on the coastal hazards driven by storms and climate change along U.S. beaches and estuaries. His research has been published in over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and he serves on numerous regional, national and international scientific review panels related to climate change and coastal hazards, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and has advised members of the U.S. Congress and Cabinet, as well as state and local government representatives.

Dr. Kevin Befus

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Dr. Kevin Befus is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Befus began his faculty career in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming. Prior to moving west, Dr. Befus was a Mendenhall Post-doctoral Fellow at the U.S. Geological Woods Hole Survey Coastal and Marine Science Center. The academic path to these positions started at Wheaton College, IL, followed by a M.S. in Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas. Dr. Befus studies a wide range of hydrologic problems focused on how groundwater systems interact with changes at and near the land surface, ranging from the coast to mountainous continental interiors and extending as far back as the Last Glacial Maximum.


November 12, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
(415) 663-9312
View Organizer Website


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Danya Winterman