Governor Newsom Signs Senate Leader Atkins’ Historic SB 1 – the Sea Level Rise Mitigation and Adaptation Act of 2021– Into Law

September 23, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released a statement today following Governor Gavin Newsom signing into law SB 1, the Sea Level Rise Mitigation and Adaptation Act of 2021, which would provide tools and resources for communities to address the impacts of sea level rise:

“Sea level rise and climate change have begun to threaten iconic communities, precious ecosystems, and critical infrastructure up and down California’s coast. It’s vital that we make key investments and changes to our planning strategies to account for this climate reality. SB 1 gives our local governments and communities tools and funding, which helps foster coordination and more inclusive solutions to the challenges of sea level rise. This is yet another demonstration of California’s leadership in the fight against climate change and our commitment to protect California communities. I want to thank Governor Newsom for signing SB 1 into law, and my principal coauthors, Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, for their tireless advocacy, along with my coauthors, Senators Bob Hertzberg, Ben Hueso, John Laird, Monique Limón, and Anthony Portantino, for their commitment to safeguarding California from the impact of sea level rise and protecting our most vulnerable communities. Sea level rise threatens homes, businesses, agriculture, and drinking water throughout California. SB 1 gives us the tools to push back.”

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) estimates that California could experience up to seven feet of sea level rise by 2100, which would have massive impacts on the state’s lands, economy, and physical environment – waiting too long to initiate adaptation efforts likely will cost the state and its economy billions of dollars. SB 1 directs the California Coastal Commission to take sea level rise into account in its planning, policies, and activities, and would establish a cross-government group tasked with educating the public and advising local, regional, and state government on feasible sea level rise mitigation efforts. The bill also would expand funding to assist more disadvantaged communities along the coast that are vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise and are actively working to address environmental justice issues. 

To see what others have said about SB 1, click here.


Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins:

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