Governor Orders Plan for Rising Seas

Governor Schwarzenegger today issued an executive order (S-13-08) requiring state agencies to assess and plan for rising sea levels caused by climate change.

Wave

The order instructs the California Resources Agency, Dept. of Water Resources, Energy Commission and others to come up with a game plan for coping with the risk of encroaching sea water in coastal areas, and gives them two months to convene an “independent panel” to study the problem and make recommendations.

According to the Governor’s order:

“California’s water supply and coastal resources, including valuable natural habitat areas, are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise over the next century and could suffer devastating consequences if adaptive measures are not taken…”

The nation’s oldest continuously operating sea level gauge, located at Fort Point in San Francisco,  logged a seven-inch rise during the last century. Current projections, which combine data from traditional ground-based meters with satellite telemetry, project that with a lax response to climate change, the Pacific could rise three times that much this century.

The order goes out three days before Schwarzenegger hosts a Governors’ Climate Summit in Beverly Hills.