A Road-Flooding Fix for California State Park
The Takeaway: Park visitors and bayside neighbors will enjoy a safer, more accessible area because a group organized by NOAA’s Science Collaborative studied and rated various adaptation options.
China Camp State Park, located within the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, features a popular beachfront and trails by land and waterway. But winter’s extreme high tides and heavy rainfall often combine with sea level rise to flood the only roadway into the park, making it undrivable. Flood events also threaten marsh habitat and block emergency services from reaching bayside neighborhoods. But better days await, because a diverse local group studied the threat and determined the wisest adaptation options. Partners include NOAA’s Science Collaborative, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, California State Parks, and Marin County Department of Public Works.
Next up is an intensive feasibility study to help the partners craft the best plan of action. Their project reports, slides, and related documents can help other communities facing similar infrastructure threats.
In facilitated workshops organized by NOAA’s Science Collaborative team, the group weighed various adaptation pros and cons, giving the highest effectiveness and feasibility ratings to two options:
- Raising the most vulnerable road section using solid fill, while improving the marsh’s ability to handle and distribute water flow
- Raising the most vulnerable road section via a pile-supported causeway
Hazard resilience and improved public safety are not the only reasons to fix roadway flooding. The state park takes its name from a former settlement of Chinese immigrants, dating back to the 1860s, which is commemorated on site. Native American archaeological treasures also dot the area.
Workshop participants included representatives from neighborhood, conservation, and recreation organizations, as well as road, public safety, and park authorities. The project team received a grant of $157,321 from NOAA’s Science Collaborative, a program that’s managed in partnership with the University of Michigan. Visit the project page to learn more and access all products. (2020)
Partners: California State Parks, Marin County Department of Public Works, National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Science Collaborative, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research ReservePRINT