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Building Resilience: Federal Policy Proposals to Mitigate Flooding in District 16

In the heart of California's District 16, cities like Palo Alto, Pacifica, and Half Moon Bay are vibrant hubs of community life and natural beauty. Yet, these coastal and creekside cities face a common adversary: the relentless threat of flooding and coastal erosion, exacerbated by climate change. As a Councilmember of Palo Alto, Greg Tanaka has witnessed firsthand the critical need for robust flood protection measures and sustainable coastal management. His commitment to safeguarding our communities is unwavering, and if elected to Congress, he pledges to champion federal policies that address these pressing challenges.

Help us turn the tide against floods!

The Current Challenge: Flooding and Erosion in District 16

Recent years have highlighted the vulnerability of infrastructure to natural forces. The Pope-Chaucer Bridge in Palo Alto, for instance, stands as a symbol of the urgent need for infrastructure that can withstand the pressures of climate change. Despite efforts by local authorities and the securing of significant federal funding, the bridge's susceptibility to flooding remains a concern, with the overall project, including its replacement, not yet fully funded. This situation poses not just an inconvenience but a genuine threat to the safety and well-being of the community.

Further west, the coastal towns of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay confront the relentless force of coastal erosion, a problem that poses existential threats to property and safety. Despite the involvement of federal agencies and the formulation of strategies like managed retreat, the challenge persists, demanding comprehensive solutions and dedicated funding to safeguard these treasured coastal communities.

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Credit: Heimsath Architects


  1. Enhanced Infrastructure Resilience:

    • Bridge Reinforcement and Flooding Mitigation: Advocate for the complete funding and expedited rebuilding of structures like the Pope-Chaucer Bridge, ensuring they are designed to withstand current and future climate-related challenges.

    • Infrastructure Resilience Grants: Establish a federal grant program specifically for communities like those in District 16, aimed at reinforcing infrastructure against flooding and erosion.

  2. Coastal Erosion Management:

    • Coordinated Federal Response to Coastal Erosion: Push for a unified federal response, harnessing the expertise and resources of agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NOAA to address coastal erosion in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay decisively.

    • Support for Managed Retreat and Resilience Planning: Advocate for federal support and clear guidelines for managed retreat strategies, ensuring that communities have the necessary resources and frameworks to adapt sustainably to coastal erosion.

  3. Federal Funding and Investment:

    • Closing the Funding Gap: Work tirelessly to secure the remaining funds needed for critical projects like the Pope-Chaucer Bridge replacement, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder safety and progress.

    • Investment in Nature-Based Solutions: Champion federal investment in nature-based solutions like wetland restoration and dune stabilization, which offer sustainable and cost-effective protection against erosion and flooding.

  4. Community-Centric Approach:

    • Local Stakeholder Engagement: Prioritize the voices and needs of local communities in federal decision-making, ensuring that policies and projects align with the unique needs and aspirations of the residents of District 16.

    • Transparency and Accountability: Advocate for transparent processes and stringent accountability measures in federal projects and funding allocations, ensuring that every dollar is spent effectively to safeguard communities against flooding and erosion.

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Councilmember Greg Tanaka's vision for District 16 is one of resilience, safety, and sustainable growth. By championing these federal policy proposals, he is committed to not just addressing the immediate challenges of flooding and coastal erosion but also to laying the foundation for a future where communities and natural habitats thrive in harmony. Together, we can turn the tide against these pressing challenges and ensure a secure, prosperous future for District 16 and beyond.


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