Sausalito is slated to receive $1 million from the state to plan infrastructure solutions for rising seas.
The money comes after a lobbying effort by the city to the office of Assemblyman Marc Levine, whose district includes Marin County. Levine, a Democrat who lives in Greenbrae, brought the appeal during state budget negotiations and was able to secure the funds, said Mayor Janelle Kellman.
“This is very meaningful for our community,” she said.
Kellman, a member of the city’s committee on the rising sea level, said Sausalito is seeking long-term resiliency to climate change, including flooding from tides and the sea level. The committee released a report in November 2021 on the threat to coastal communities and infrastructure.
In 2017, the county initiated a report called the “Bay Wave Vulnerability Assessment.” Kellman said it is about 70% complete. The funds would go first toward completing that assessment.
The funding will then support public outreach to determine which projects the community considers to be priorities. In order for projects to be eligible for grants, they must be considered “shovel ready,” or with at least 30% of the design completed and, if necessary, an environmental review.
Kellman said she hopes the process will be initiated at the beginning of 2023.
“We need to do this preliminary work in order to qualify for the grants,” Kellman said. “The county’s effort was a great start. We just need to finish it.”
After networking with other city leaders in the Bay Area, Kellman wrote a one-page proposal and submitted it to Levine’s office.
“With these funds, this shoreline will have a plan that the City and its public and private partners can use to develop shovel-ready projects to provide adequate ingress, egress, and evacuation; protect critical infrastructure, clean water, and homes and businesses near the Bay; and safeguard one of the last essential maritime industries in Richardson Bay –– now and for decades to come,” Kellman wrote.
On June 30, Kellman received word that the Legislature had passed a budget that includes $1 million for the city for sea level rise mitigation. Though it was less than the $4 million the city requested, officials were notified of the inclusion of an additional $5 billion in climate resilience funding in the budget.
Once the design and environmental reviews are complete, the city can apply for grants within that $5 billion allocation, Kellman said.
The money will pass through the Office of Emergency Services and is expected to be received before the end of the year.
The Sausalito City Council received a presentation from Public Works Director Kevin McGowan on a series of grants sought for infrastructure and development projects during a meeting on Sept. 13. The $1 million allocation was announced to the public during the meeting.
Levine credited the Sausalito officials with making a compelling argument.
“Sausalito is in the front lines of the climate crisis. We’re living through the impacts of climate on an annual basis and they’re felt directly in Sausalito,” Levine said. “To invest now in southern Marin sea level rise and infrastructure is planning for a climate resilient future.”
Levine added that the $5 billion climate resilience funding would also be available for projects countrywide.
“This is going to be the kind of thing that a lot of parts of Marin are dealing with,” Levine said.
Visit our sponsors
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the cheaper, easier way to send money abroad. It helps people move money quickly and easily between bank accounts in different countries. Convert 60+ currencies with ridiculously low fees - on average 7x cheaper than a bank. No hidden fees, no markup on the exchange rate, ever.