As of March 2016, the Oakland Team has made significant progress on defining their project.
Since their last meeting, TEX scientific partners, Patrick Hubbard and Brian Rowley, conducted a field traverse of one proposed site of the project – the Colosseum area. This is a region with significant infrastructure already in place and extensive development slated to take place in the near future, which may benefit from increased resilience information. Hubbard noted that there was interest and funding available in this region to explore the interface between rainfall events and rising tides. He also suggested that a close examination of the Lion Creek area could provide a case study useful to other communities in that area. The question they posed was whether to focus on this one critical site, or to think about the issue at a system level. Hamilton pointed out that, while the Colosseum was an important site, there were already a large number of stakeholders and an existing plan well in place.
The other option was to take a large system view of the project, dealing with updating and streamlining current resilience documents. Some resources the city already uses are Adapt to Rising Tides, and the Oakland Master Plan. The team suggested that building a nexus between the two may help the city how changing climate will affect their watershed, not only from a sea level rise perspective, but from a storm water management perspective as well. Hamilton noted that a review of the effects of King Tides alongside a 10-year storm event wasn’t something that had been looked at before. He suggested that the city’s environmental review standards may be subject to review as well.
All team members agreed that despite incremental progress, they had a couple of key accomplishments:
- The team agreed that city timelines are often intentionally slow. However, as a result, they have significantly expanded their baseline understanding of the issue and refined their understanding.
- Moreover, learning how the city’s system works has been a valuable educational experience for the scientific partners.
By the next project check-in, the team hopes to meet the following goals:
- Return to the Colosseum site they have traversed and compare that (post-rainfall, low tide) environment with high tide and king tide environments, taking photos for comparison.
- Schedule a meeting with Leslie Estis, the city’s storm water manager, to discuss the best course of action.
- The scientists would like to come away from that meeting with more details and options to decide upon the best course of action.
- The team’s expectation is to significantly refine the scope of the project by the end of April.