Floodwaters don’t distinguish between rich and poor, black and white. They leave muddy, destructive footprints on structures in tony neighborhoods and industrial backwaters alike. The difference is how easily different communities can bounce back. Those with fewer financial resources, less ability to miss work, and limited fluency with English face far steeper hurdles to recovery.

In Marin, lower-income people of color are on the front lines of the inundation disaster. The Canal neighborhood of San Rafael is populated primarily by immigrant Latin American households, while Marin City has a high percentage of African American residents. The low-lying Canal neighborhood is projected to be one of the first to suffer from future sea-level rise, while the lone road into Marin City already experiences chronic flooding.

Though they face arguably greater risks from emergency hazards than the rest of the county, these communities have been poorly integrated into disaster planning, education, and preparedness. That’s where ShoreUp Marin comes in.

ShoreUp members go door-to-door in Marin City and the Canal neighborhood to make residents aware of the imminent dangers they face from climate change, learn about their disaster preparedness concerns, and work to ensure their interests are represented in local hazard and future adaptation planning.