Plans for sea level rise stoke concerns in Del Mar

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DEL MAR, Calif. - A new draft report on sea level rise in Del Mar has residents living close to the ocean worried.

The city of Del Mar issued the report to take a look at how to adapt to the rise in sea level.

The report predicted the ocean levels will rise 1 foot by the year 2050 and possibly 3 feet by 2100.

In the report, one of the several possible plans is called “managed retreat,” which eventually surrenders an area to the ocean.

“Our Del Mar fire station, our public works station and our sewage lift pump are vulnerable,” said Amanda Lee, a principal planner for Del Mar.

If those areas are in danger of sea flooding other areas are also in danger. Homes west of the train tracks in an area known as the beach colony have little but a sea wall protecting their homes.

The idea of a managed retreat doesn’t sit well with homeowners.

“If the city says at one point the ocean will take back this property… good luck getting insurance,” said Jeff Kelley, a homeowner. “At that point, things in Del Mar would change forever.”

City officials say their priority will be to protect homes with sand berms, seawalls and pump stations.  Planning for the next century every contingency must be planned for.

“We know there are rumors out there that we are coming to take your sea walls… let me just say no that’s not happening,” said Vice Mayor Dwight Worden. “We are committed to protecting our big beautiful beaches and in turn acting as these homeowners first line of defense.”

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