Water Equity Clearinghouse

Shore Up Marin

Marin County, CA

Shore Up Marin is a multi-racial environmental coalition that advocates for the equitable inclusion of low-income communities in areas of planning and community preparedness for environmental disasters. Their main focus is on emergency preparedness, flooding and hazard mitigation, sea level rise and climate adaptation, social equity, and quality of natural resources such as air, soil, and water. The organization works to identify community concerns around sea level rise, educate community members about resources and solutions, and foster dialogue, inclusion, and understanding between diverse stakeholders. Currently, Shore Up Marin focuses mainly on mobilizing residents and stakeholders from low-lying, under-served areas such as Marin City and the Canal Neighborhood of San Rafael.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

The Canal Neighborhood is considered to be one of the most vulnerable communities in Marin County, with a lower average family income, higher health disparities, lower life expectancies, and worse school performance than the county average. Due to climate change and sea level rise, these communities face further hardship and require emergency preparedness plans for individuals and families. Shore Up Marin seeks to provide these families with resources around flooding and its hazards. Since the neighborhood is home to more than 49,000 immigrants whose primary language is not English, Shore Up Marin provides culturally appropriate trainings and information in Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages spoken by residents, to promote a plan that reaches all communities.

Shore Up Marin also works to engage youth and youth leaders, community volunteers, professionals, and other stakeholders that wish to participate in an emergency preparedness plan. These residents can join an Emergency Preparedness Council that works on hazard mitigation and sea level rise adaptation efforts.

Marin City is another part of the county where Shore Up Marin does crucial work. Similar to the Canal Neighborhood, Marin City residents earn a lower family income, experience higher health disparities, have lower life expectancies, and perform worse in school than the county average. Marin City also experiences chronic flooding due to a landscape conducive to retaining floodwaters, rather than draining them into the bay. Sanitation system breakages further contribute to public health hazards. Shore Up Marin coordinates local community members to go door to door and share information on how to prepare for an emergency. These volunteers also ask each resident specifically what individual needs may have to be met by local officials in the case of a flood. Marin City Community Service District and Shore Up Marin are now working together to build a Disaster Preparedness Council to help the community be ready for floods, earthquakes, and disasters.