The Alamedan: Council considers sea rise protections for Alameda Point, November 21, 2013


City staffers are proposing a system of wetlands, berms and levies to protect the Point from rising seas that could inundate most of the former Naval air station by the end of the century – protections that they estimate will cost $175 million to construct. Ott said the money to pay for the protections will come from land sales and fees assessed to residents and businesses that settle at the Point, and that the city would also seek out grant funding to help cover flood protection costs.

Separately, the Department of Veterans affairs plans to raise the grade of the 112-acre Point property it wants to build clinics and an above-ground cemetery on by 1.3 feet to 2.3 feet, a final environmental assessment for the project released this month says. It says it will raise the grade of the property from 11.2 feet above sea level to between 12.5 feet and 13.5 feet.

Ott had originally proposed protections that would keep the Point dry for a sea level rise of up to 18 inches – an amount we could see as soon as 2048, based on estimates – but on Tuesday she proposed a plan to expand those initial protections to shield the former Navy base from up to two feet of sea level rise, in response to concerns offered by Planning Board members and Point watchers that the flood protections the city was proposing wouldn’t be enough.