Sea Level Rise: Regulatory Responses In San Francisco Bay And Across The Globe

Vol. 43 No. 2

Zane Gresham and Miles Imwalle are attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco, with practices emphasizing land use and natural resources law, particularly the development of large scale, complex projects within the United States and abroad.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has concluded that during the 20th century, sea levels rose some 5–9 inches throughout the world. On an annual basis, each increment was small; the cumulative effect was considerable. Recent research estimates that 10 percent of the world’s population lives in low lying areas potentially vulnerable to sea level rise impacts, a number that is expected to balloon as coastal areas are expected to see considerable population growth. It goes without saying that sea level rise has the potential to be utterly devastating. Regulatory agencies are starting to take note, and action.

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