ABSTRACT

Gerrity, B.F. and Philips, M.R., 2020. Vulnerability and Resilience in San Mateo County: Identifying social, economic and physical discrepancies in stakeholder perception of risk. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 803–807. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Coastal communities and the coastal zone are under increasing threat from both climate change and anthropogenic development. As the climate changes, sea level is expected to rise causing instances of flooding as well as increased storm intensity triggering increased coastal erosion and coastal flooding along vulnerable shorelines. San Mateo County, the basis of this research is one of the most vulnerable areas in the United States for coastal flooding, erosion and climate change. San Mateo County's geography is unique in the sense that the County is set on a narrow peninsula surrounded by the San Francisco Bay on the East and the Pacific Ocean on the West. The population is concentrated primarily on the “bay side” whereas the population is considerably less dense on the “coast side” adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Research was conducted in order to measure stakeholder perception of risk and to uncover discrepancies between risk identified by a coastal vulnerability index (CVI) and risk as perceived by social, economic and environmental stakeholders. Measuring perception of risks and identifying discrepancies is exceptionally important to learn as the County grapples with where to invest resources to build resilience to sea level rise, flooding and erosion.

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