Climate summit looks to area’s environmental future

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The San Joaquin Council of Governments climate summit began its annual event discussing new plans on combating climate change in the county.

Andrew Chesley, executive director of the council of government, welcomed everyone to the summit to discuss the importance of taking climate change seriously.

“For the past year, we have been continuing the reliance study on climate change to address the issues in the San Joaquin County,” he said.

Christine Corrales, assistant planner for the Council of Governments, introduced the findings of the resilience study ranging from sea level to heat waves.

The findings show a huge drought could lead to shrinks and cracks on the earth’s surface, which can contribute to wildfires in some areas and flooding in areas like south Stockton.

There are multiple unannounced plans being worked on to tackle current climate change problems, but some plans that work on one specific area could end up harming another.

When asked whether the plans only tackle San Joaquin or apply to other areas?

“I believe that they were discussed but didn’t make it to the priority list but we will look into it,” Corrales said. “This study focuses on San Joaquin county but we are willing to collaborate with other districts and counties on the issues on climate change.”

Harriet Ross, assistant planner of the Delta Stewardship Council, is creating a model for anyone to use as a guideline to better understand the flood zones.

Information collected uses quantitative data to look at sea level rising and air temperature with Scenarios being used as the plan phase when agencies or counties apply it in their work giving them an understanding if they need any more information in their area.

Sinaren Pheng, director of Caltrans District 10, presented a vulnerability study and analyzed steps on how to handle the problem there are possibilities of floodings in the flood zone.

Scenarios from the Caltrans study demonstrate flood zone areas around west and south of stockton where transportation is affected but evacuation routes endangering the residents.

Examples are it’s train stations and the Stockton airport being flooded between 2050, as the sea levels can go to 1.68 to 3.28 feet based on the inflows and waterways like the Delta or in connection to other rivers resulting in a flood.

Rachael Hartofelis, resilience planner for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, introduced a plan Bay Area 2050 draft blueprint which is the growth of infrastructure and transportation.

The focus is on earthquakes and floods and examples like San Francisco show what dangers are but to better prepare in designing better structures.

It also highlighted how housing, transportation, economy and the environment are all connected if one is in trouble it can cause an impact on the others.

When asked on requests from stakeholders or counties based on the analysis of the statistics currently presented.

“One of the big things is to provide a framework to provide the numbers of people, we have a priority because in a project on where we look to get some principles together to get it moving forward,” he said.