Climate change is now, not tomorrow

A volunteer assesses the difference between a normal high tide and Monday's King Tide. Photo by: Vivian Reed
A King Tide offers a preview of what’s coming as global climate change raises sea levels. Photo by: Vivian A. Reed

Climate deniers and climate supporters have long voiced their opinion about climate change and its projected impacts on the planet. While throwing a snowball in the senate certainly adds color to the conversation, within the last month we’ve witnessed a dramatic shift in climate change discourse on a global scale.

In America, the federal court confirmed the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal right to curb greenhouse gases from large power plants, refineries and chemical factories.  And on the international stage, Pope Francis called for swift, unified action on climate change in his encyclical.

Climate disruption in our own backyard

So what does climate change mean for us here in the Bay Area? This news segment by ABC 7 News (KGOTV) explains:

According to the newscast, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission estimates that a 55 inch rise in sea level could cost San Francisco $62 billion and put 270,000 people at risk of flooding. But, we’re expecting much more water to flood the region — another recent study estimated $10.4 billion from potential flooding damage after an extreme storm.

One significant way to prepare for the risks of a changing climate is to restore wetlands along the Bay shoreline. In addition to carbon sequestration and protecting endangered wildlife, transition zone wetlands act as a natural buffer that protects local communities, businesses, and residents from flooding by slowing down and soaking up large quantities of water runoff during rainstorms and tidal inflow.

Act Locally
Each weekend hundreds of community volunteers actively discover the many benefits our wetlands provide. Youth and adults dedicate 3 hours of their time to help restore our shoreline by planting native plants, removing invasive species, or cleaning up trash. Taken together, we know first hand the impact you can make:

Thanks to more than 65,000 volunteers and a dedicated staff, we’ve made a lot of progress in restoring our wetlands. With the projected impacts of climate change, it’s going to take all of us to help protect our region from an uncertain future.

National and global leaders have made it clear, climate change awareness isn’t enough, action is required on our part. Are you in?

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