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Del Mar Council Rejects ‘Managed Retreat’ In Face Of Rising Sea Levels

A seawall is constructed along the beach in Del Mar to protect homes from ris...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS News

Above: A seawall is constructed along the beach in Del Mar to protect homes from rising ocean levels, May 21, 2018.

For years Del Mar has been working to create a sea level rise adaptation plan that balances public and private interests.

The Del Mar City Council on Monday voted 4-1 to adopt a sea level rise adaptation plan, but not before making a change to the resolution.

People living near the coast in Del Mar were concerned with two words, "managed retreat," which could mean relocating homes threatened by ocean flooding.

RELATED: Del Mar Beachfront Facing Challenges Of ‘Managed Retreat’

The council agreed to delete the sentence "... planned retreat will remain one strategy to be reevaluated and considered if necessary as part of future planning ..."

Homeowners voiced concerns that the terminology could drastically lower the value of their homes.

"If we implemented management retreat and required those seawalls that exist today to come out and removed the front row of houses, the ocean would inundate all the way back to the railroad," said Del Mar Mayor Dwight Worden. "About 600 homes and turn it into a lagoon. We’d lose the beach, we’d lose those homes."

The plan approved Monday calls for more sand replenishment and dredging to combat rising sea levels.

"We want to defend those homes as long as it’s possible to do so by maintaining a wide beach," Worden said.

Reported by Kris Arciaga


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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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