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Please use the three tabs on this page to give feedback on ideas City staff have assembled for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing Alameda's resilience to the impacts of climate change.

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Greenhouse Gas Reduction - Introduction

Alameda first began working on GHG reduction in 2008

The most recent study of current GHG emissions in Alameda was in our 2015 greenhouse gas emissions inventory. That study found that Alameda has one of the lowest per capita rates of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area. A pie chart showing our emissions is below.

Alameda is building on the 2008 climate action plan with a new Climate Action and Resiliency Plan to be completed mid-2019. In this plan, we looked at how much we're expecting to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 based on changes the City is already planning on making: providing carbon neutral electricity through Alameda Municipal Power, building more bike lanes, and so forth. We're asking for the community's input on how much more we should do, beyond what's already planned. To help guide that discussion, we showed how much more we would need to reduce emissions in order to be in line with the targets set by the State of California for 2030 (40% below 2005 levels) and targets that we've seen the most ambitious cities aiming for (50% below 2005 levels). To give a sense of what we'll be aiming for later on, we also show the size of reductions needed to reduce our emissions 80% below what they were in 2005, our baseline year.

In the next section, we'll ask you whether you think the City and community should set our greenhouse gas emissions reduction target as "ambitious" (40% below 2005 levels) or "visionary" (50% below 2005 levels), and which actions you think we should prioritize as a pathway to reaching those goals. When selecting the greenhouse gas reduction goal, it is important to remember that the bar chart above, showing how much additional reduction we need for each goal, is based on an assumption that we will perfectly implement all of the plans and actions in the table below. We show a list of the actions we're assuming are implemented below.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction - Give Input

We got about 160 ideas for greenhouse gas reduction actions from the workshops we did in September. Through the expertise of City staff and our climate action consultant, we consolidated and whittled those down to about 40 actions that we analyzed in more detail. Below we present the proposed actions along with an estimate of how much greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they'll reduce per year in 2030.

Please click on the icon next to the proposed actions and leave a comment to tell us if you want this action to be prioritized, and if you have any other feedback or suggestions about it. The feedback you give here will influence the which actions we list as top priority in the draft plan. We will also use your input to make sure we get the details of the actions right, since you may have insights we haven't yet thought of. 

Before the list of actions is an opportunity to vote on whether you want the City to adopt an "ambitious" (40% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030) or a "visionary" (50% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030) goal for greenhouse gas reduction. Vote by clicking on the  icon next to the greenhouse gas goal you want the City to adopt. Greenhouse gas reduction strategies, with estimated reductions, are presented right afterwards. You can use that table to figure out which actions add up to how much in reductions, although the way we did the analysis means that implementing some actions will mean that the reduction from other actions is less than what is listed.

Drought, Heat, and Wilfire Smoke - Introduction

The impacts of climate change that are being considered in this plan are flooding due to sea level rise, flooding due to more intense rainstorms (though there will be less rain overall), rising temperatures, drought, and wildfire smoke. We are also considering earthquakes, since they are a major hazard in Alameda and as the sea level rises, groundwater will rise too, which can cause the soil in Alameda to act like a liquid instead of a solid during an earthquake. This phenomenon is called "liquefaction."

For this workshop, we are asking for input on strategies to address wildfire smoke, heat, and drought separately from strategies to address flooding. That's because flooding happens in specific areas that we can more or less predict, and the strategies to address flooding often require engineering knowledge. Heat, smoke, and drought, on the other hand, aren't impacts we can physically build a wall or an oyster reef to protect against. The best way to address them is probably by using a number of strategies at once, and fortunately, many of those strategies will have a much smaller price tag than what is needed to deal with flooding. As a result, we've grouped the strategies for those three impacts below for your input.

The exact nature of the changes we can expect from heat, wildfire smoke, and drought is even less predictable than what we can expect from flooding. For those who want to dig into the science, the most up-to-date projections for California are available at http://www.climateassessment.ca.gov/.

  • For heat, we can expect to see more heat waves, more extremely hot days, and more warm nights, which can be dangerous because it doesn't allow the body to fully cool down.
  • For drought, we can expect more of it as part of a more extreme "boom and bust" climate cycle in California that has very wet and very dry years. The Sierra snowpack, which is the main reservoir of water in the state, could shrink significantly.
  • For wildfire, thankfully we are not at risk of the fires themselves, but we do deal with the hazardous smoke. As climate change progresses, wildfires will likely become more frequent and more severe.

A summary of how Alameda is vulnerable to these three different impacts is below.

Drought, Heat, and Wildfire Smoke - Give Input

Below is a list of the current strategies under consideration. Many of these strategies came from the last round of community workshops in Septemer 2018. Please leave your feedback on strategies you are interested in by clicking the next to that strategy. The types of feedback that will be most helpful for us include:

  • Should we prioritize this strategy?
  • Suggestions for how to improve this strategy
  • Suggestions for how to implement this strategy
  • If this strategy has a physical location (like a cooling center), suggestions for where it should be located

After the list of strategies there is an opportunity to suggest any actions that are not described on the list here.

Sea Level Rise & Flooding - Introduction

One of the most significant climate change risks Alameda faces is due to sea level rise. Flooding from intense rainstorms is also a risk, but is not the focus of feedback for this workshop. For guidance, Alameda is following the most up-to-date science from the State of California, which is available at the following link: http://www.opc.ca.gov/updating-californias-sea-level-rise-guidance/. Sea level rise science is very unpredictable. Not only do we not know how much greenhouse gas emissions we will emit over the next few decades, which will make a big difference in how high seas rise, we also don't know how fast the ocean will rise for a given level of greenhouse gas emissions. All this makes forecasting the future very difficult.

For planning purposes, the City is focused mostly on what will be affected when water levels are 36 inches higher than today's high tide. We chose that number because that's the level of water at which significant flooding, beyond what already occurs today, starts to happen. That number also happens to be about the same as the 100-year storm, which is the basis of the FEMA floodplain maps released in 2018. According to the State of California, if we are to be "highly risk averse," then we might expect that 36" of sea level rise - meaning that level of water would occur every day at high tide - would happen around the year 2070. Under the same scenario, water would begin to rise very quickly at that point, reaching a high tide seven feet higher than today's around 2100. It is possible that the ocean will rise by significantly less than that, however, or by even more. If you want to see what flooding would be like at different water levels if we didn't implement any flood protection, you can do so at https://explorer.adaptingtorisingtides.org/home.

Because of the uncertainty, and the fact that 36 inches is a "threshold" for significant flooding, we chose to focus on areas affected at 36 inches above current high tide first. To further hone our analysis, we only looked at areas that weren't already covered in other plans. For example, Alameda Point is being planned for in the Master Infrastructure Plan. Ultimately, this approach led the team to focus on six priority areas along the shoreline, two of which are the focus for public input. The best solution for the other four - the seawall near the Posey and Webster Tubes, the Veteran's Court seawall, the Bay Farm Island Bridge touchdown area on the Alameda side, and the Harbor Bay Lagoon system tide gate structure - is probably some kind of elevated barrier, like a wall, and is difficult to discuss without engineering expertise. The two that are the focus for the workshop, the Eastshore shoreline and Crown Beach, have a number of possible options, and it is not clear what is the best path forward.

Below are instructions for giving feedback on proposed strategies for the two priority areas. For each, we present six strategies. In some cases, more than one of the strategies can be pursued at once. The strategies were developed based on the expertise of our consultant, but also reflect the input we got on sea level rise at the first workshop, which included a priority on groundwater issues and a preference for nature-based solutions. More specific instructions will be given below the map discussed in the next paragraph.

If you have any comments about the other stretches of shoreline, you can drop them on the map below at locations marked with the symbol. Many of the areas on this map are addressed in a different plan, like the Master Infrastructure Plan for Alameda Point, and are marked as such. Comments on those areas are welcome but may be less directly applicable to the outcome of the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. The "priority areas" for the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan are drawn from the areas that had not yet been covered in previous plans. The full list of strategies for all priority areas will be available for the draft Climate Action and Resiliency Plan, which will be presented for public comment in April.

Sea Level Rise & Flooding - Give Input

The City is asking for your input on which adaptation strategies should be pursued for the shoreline areas we're considering at this workshop: Crown Beach and the Eastshore shoreline. Key information about the two sites as well as potential strategies that could be pursued there are summarized in the pages below. We're asking for your input on the Discussion Questions below the strategies for each site. These are the same Discussion Questions that were used at the in-person workshop.

To provide your input, click the icon next to each Discussion Question and write your response. There is a lot of background information first - you have to scroll for a while! The first two pages are for Crown Beach; the second two pages are for the Eastshore shoreline.

2
   Which strategy best meets the criteria below?
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   What are the tradeoffs you considered?
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   What additional information is needed?
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   Which strategy best meets these criteria?
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   What considerations should be taken into account?
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   What other information would be helpful?
4
   Standardize EV charging stations
4
   Promote low- and zero-emission vehicles
3
   Electric vehicle only lanes
3
   Congestion pricing (2050)
3
   100% carbon neutral electricity
3
   Incentivize ownership of electric vehicles
2
   Convert existing buildings to all electric
4
   Increase rooftop solar
2
   Ban on natural gas
2
   More bike lanes
2
   Telecommuting
1
   Promote EV charger installations by businesses
2
   Electrify the City&#39;s fleet of vehicles
1
   Synchronize traffic signals
4
   Apply compost in Alameda parks
6
   Plant 1,500 more trees
3
   Citywide EasyPass program
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   Ban new gas appliances
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   Zero net energy for new construction
+
   Green roofs
2
   Zero waste culture in Alameda (2050)
4
   Ban gas powered leaf blowers
1
   New BART tube (2050)
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   Vote for 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction
8
   Vote for 50% greenhouse gas emissions reduction
2
   Heat islands
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   Green infrastructure
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   Heat-tolerant landscaping
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   Cooling centers
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   Cooling into building requirements
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   Shade tree codes
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   Wetland restoration and living shorelines
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   Heat alert system
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   Multilingual communication
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   Restrict outdoor work hours
1
   Wildfire smoke alert system
1
   Daily notices of air quality with health advice
1
   Provide masks at different locations in Alameda
1
   Air quality centers for respite from smoke
1
   Restrict certain outdoor activities
2
   Involve hospitals in planning
2
   Citywide water conservation program
3
   Drought-resistant landscaping
3
   Reduce outdoor water use
1
   Increase public awareness of Alameda water supply
2
   Provide incentives to encourage water conservation
1
   Water use restrictions
1
   System for detecting water leaks
2
   Work with EBMUD to improve water conservation
2
   Explore recycled water and groundwater for use
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   Doolittle Drive 2
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   Doolittle Drive 1
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   Harbor Bay Lagoon tide gate structure and dike
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   Veteran&#39;s Court seawall
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   Alameda Point
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   Northern Waterfront 1
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   Northern Waterfront 2
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   Posey and Webster Tubes
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   Alameda Landing
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   Eastshore shoreline
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   Crown Beach
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   Bay Farm Island Bridge touchdown area