San Mateo
Thanks SMC! Thousands of you used the OWLs and hundreds provided input via dialogue sessions. Your involvement is important to our efforts to prepare for change. Stay involved! Visit

Where and how the land meets the sea is changing in San Mateo County.

As recent flooding during storms and King Tide events attest, the region is already being impacted by rising waters. With the ocean level expected to continue to rise in the future, more coastal flooding and erosion could become the “new normal.”

Taking Steps to Prepare

San Mateo County and local officials are taking steps to prepare for an increase in sea level, high tides and storms, and community input is critical. Check out what is in the works, find out how you can be involved, and—if you haven’t done so already—take the virtual reality tour at Coyote Point.

The Look Ahead–San Mateo 
Virtual Reality Tour

The two OWL viewfinders at Coyote Point Recreation Area are part of the Look Ahead—San Mateo project produced by Climate Access and a project of the Sea Change SMC program. They show what a rising sea level could look like, how the county is responding, and ideas for responding to more dramatic sea level rise in the future.


Coyote Point, San Mateo

The Impacts of a

Rising Sea

Risks and Responses in San Mateo County

click or tap on the map markers to
see locations at risk

San Mateo is the county most at risk from sea level rise statewide. This map of 30 locations highlights some of the $24 billion in assets that could be affected from sea level rise. It includes a school, medical center, and Highway 101 along with many other buildings and structures that are essential to daily life.

County and city leaders are looking at ways to protect critical assets and considering strategies that reduce the impacts of erosion and flooding such as restoring wetlands, expanding oyster beds, developing horizontal levees and other green infrastructure solutions, as well as protecting and moving structures inland. Check out a timeline of key milestones in the County’s planning process and events you can plug into.



Voices in the Community

Although the prospect of a future with continually rising sea level is daunting, the news isn’t all doom and gloom. Our county is a leader in preparing for these challenges, and the work we are doing now could serve as a model for other communities.

Dave Pine
San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

I’m excited about this opportunity to raise awareness about sea level rise and the County’s preparedness efforts among community members. This project allows us to increase public participation in the County’s planning efforts.

Hilary Papendick
San Mateo County Climate Resiliency Specialist

Sea level rise we can see coming a mile away. It may well be the defining event of our children’s generation.

David Harris
Member of the Sea Change San Mateo County Community Task Force


Show your support for your community by participating in a region-wide response to the growing risk of coastal flooding.

San Mateo County and municipal leaders want to hear from you as they develop a plan to address sea level rise. Add your voice to the process.
  • Sign up to receive the latest updates on efforts in San Mateo County to prepare for and reduce the risk of flooding.

Look Ahead—San Mateo is produced by Climate Access in partnership with Owlized and funded by FEMA, and is part of the County’s Sea Change SMC program which is supported by the California State Coastal Conservancy. The project includes a research project designed to test visualizations as a tool to engage communities in planning for climate disruption overseen by Dr. Susanne Moser in conjunction with Antioch University. All survey and audio data collected will remain anonymous and confidential, and kept separate from contact information voluntarily provided. Data and responses may be analyzed, synthesized and reported in scientific publications as part of this research.