With many competing priorities faced by local leaders, Greenbelt Alliance is poised to support cities by bringing our expertise in planning for climate resilience and nature-based solutions—like strategically placing and protecting greenbelts that serve as buffers to wildfires—that could greatly benefit these nearby communities. With your support, Greenbelt Alliance is excited to share our Resilience Hotspots research, forge local partnerships, and collaboratively develop recommendations to protect residents of around the region in ways that bring increased resilience to entire communities, landscapes, and ecosystems.
Suisun City is a located on the north end of the Suisun Marsh and Slough. The surrounding ecology blends elements of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the San Francisco Bay estuary. With rising tides, the community is suited for adapting to these challenges due to strong leadership and a community dedicated to making Suisun a great place to live.
Challenges and Actions:
Limited SLR-related policies in the General Plan and Local Hazard Mitigation Plan: Suisun City’s 2035 General Plan does not consider SLR. Additionally the City updated their Local Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2017 without consideration of SLR and coastal flooding Action: Local public officials and City leaders may require education on SLR and flooding concerns in Suisun City, as well as information on potential climate change policies and guidance documents available from regional, state, and federal agencies. Action: Updating the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan to include SLR and future coastal flooding hazards, along with potential mitigation actions, could expand the City’s eligibility to apply for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants to fund SLR adaptation and flood protection projects. Local jurisdictions are responsible to prepare and adopt a jurisdiction-wide natural hazard mitigation plan, in accordance with the Stafford Act and Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §201.6; and at a minimum, most review and update the plan every 5 years. Building and maintaining community flood support: Conversations and agreement at the city leadership level will be essential to develop clear messaging so the community does not feel misled or confused. Addressing and maintaining social equity: Suisun City has some of the highest social vulnerability in the region (ACS 2018). Although these communities are at risk of flooding today (see Figure 5.2), the flood risk will increase over time if no actions are taken. Vulnerable communities are often located in areas with the greatest risk of flooding and environmental hazards, and across the nation vulnerable communities are anticipated to be impacted first and the worst by climate change (Hayhoe et al. 2018). Adaptation actions should consider multi-benefit solutions that provide new connections to transportation corridors; access to community centers, recreational trails, green space, and the waterfront; and maintaining or supporting societal and cultural cohesion. Rising groundwater levels: As sea level rise, the shallow groundwater layer may also rise. Groundwater levels have been noted as a potential issue in Solano County (Solano County Water Agency 2015); however, the report does not include monitoring well information in the Suisun City focus area.Physical adaptation efforts that address SLR may be insufficient to address rising groundwater levels; therefore, the shallow groundwater layer must be considered when planning adaptation actions. Poor Air Quality: Air quality is a big issue. CalEnviroScreen 4.0 indicates that several census tracts in the city rank in the highest 95% percentile for asthma rates amidst all California census tracts. Inland Flooding: Flooding in Suisun will be exacerbated by SLR. There are already measurements of shallow groundwater (source) and that will be an additional issue. During the recent storm, the Suisun River, which lets out to the Suisun Slough, overtopped.
SW Santa Rosa
Along the South San Francisco Bay shoreline is a remarkable open space area known as Newark Area 4. The former home of the Whistling Wings and Pintail Duck Clubs, the 500-acre Area 4 is a mosaic of SF Bay wetlands and upland wildlife habitat directly bordering the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Area 4 supports dozens of Bay wildlife species, including the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, thousands of resident and annual migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, and the upper reaches of the tidal Mowry Slough. Where Mowry Slough meets the Bay is one of the largest harbor seal pupping sites in the Bay.
San Francisco Bay advocates and Newark residents have fought vigorously for decades to protect and restore these historic baylands and have them included in the adjacent SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge. However the City of Newark and developers have been advancing development plans that would pave over and degrade these restorable wetlands with 469 luxury housing units, putting new residents in a FEMA flood zone anticipated to be completely inundated by sea level rise.
San Rafael Canal District