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FEMA Holds South Bay Workshop to Kick-off Detailed Analysis in the South Bay Counties
Kris May
FEMA, with assistance from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, hosted a packed workshop on April 25th to kick-off the detailed coastal hazard analysis phase of the San Francisco Bay Area Coastal Study in the South Bay.  The South Bay region is a nexus for several large-scale efforts that are designed to assess the challenge of coastal flooding and sea level rise, including Our Coast Our Future, the Shoreline Study, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, Adapting to Rising Tides, and Silicon Valley 2.0. Although each of these efforts has its own ultimate goal – such as large-scale wetland and habitat restoration, or the development of a decision support tool for understanding and visualizing sea level rise and storm-related vulnerabilities – there is a common thread between them: to enhance the overall understanding of the South Bay region’s vulnerabilities to flooding and climate change, and to protect, promote, and increase resilience in this region.
 
The workshop, which was graciously hosted in the Santa Clara Valley Water District boardroom, brought all of these efforts together with a goal of increasing awareness and enhancing coordination. The workshop was a follow-up to a previous coordination meeting held at the USACE’s San Francisco office in March 2012. At last year’s meeting, FEMA’s South Bay Regional Hydrodynamic and Storm Surge Modeling effort was underway. This effort was completed in February 2013, paving the way for FEMA’s detailed overland coastal hazard analysis to begin in Santa Clara and southern San Mateo Counties. The kick-off for these analyses spawned the desire to reconvene the South Bay workshop.
 
The 2012 workshop brought together approximately 25 people to share and discuss their respective efforts. For this year’s April 2013 workshop, both FEMA and the Santa Clara Valley Water District were overwhelmed with the interest in attending – more than  85 attendees filled the boardroom for the 4 hour session. The agenda included brief presentations by each respective study, followed by periods of discussion and questions and answers. The presentations and meeting minutes are available for viewing and download at the links below:
Plans are already underway for additional follow-up and coordination between many of the study teams. Additional next steps – such a follow up workshop in 2014 – are also in discussion.
 
 
 
 

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