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State Looking to Require Cities to Plan for Rising Seas

California officials are taking their first, tentative steps toward requiring cities to plan for severe sea level rise that scientists now say could conceivably elevate high tides by up to 22 feet by the middle of the next century. A state-funded study recommends that local planners adopt a risk-averse approach to permitting developments such as hospitals and housing in areas that have even little chance of flooding in the coming decades.

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Visionary Solutions to Bayfront Inundation

Responding to sea level rise requires actions that fall into three categories: fortify infrastructure, accommodate higher water and retreat from the shoreline. Given the economic and cultural ties Bay Area residents have to the water — retreat is a hard sell.