Political Powerhouses Converge at Seagrove Park

Rep. Levin Brings White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy, Local and Regional Leaders Together to Address Del Mar Bluff Erosion, Climate Change

A veritable Who’s Who of local and regional political leaders gathered at Seagrove Park on Tuesday, August 17, brought together by Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) to highlight the urgency of the climate action crisis, and the need to get the train tracks off the Del Mar Bluff.


The big draw: Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Advisor, who fired up the crowd with her full-throated support for comprehensive programs and funding to address climate change. Citing the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, she noted we have a “narrow opportunity” to act.


Rep. Levin highlighted the $11.5 million in federal funds he secured for Del Mar bluff stabilization, the urgent need to get the tracks off the bluffs, and the elements of the pending infrastructure legislation that would bring improvements and climate resilience to key infrastructure in our region. He is seeking $12.5 million in funding for study/design work for track relocation off the bluffs.

L-R: Councilmember Tracy Martinez, Deputy Mayor Dwight Worden, Interim City Manager Ashley Jones

Del Mar was well-represented, with all Councilmembers except Quirk present, along with Interim City Manager Ashley Jones. 


Mayor Gaasterland spoke, as did Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Chair Catherine Blakespear, Encinitas Deputy Mayor and NCTD Chair Tony Kranz, and Caltrans District 11 Director Gustavo Dallarda.


The politicos were joined by Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director Margaret Leinen and SIO coastal geomorphologist Adam Young (at right in the photo), who spoke about SIO’s scientific work on climate change issues. Young highlighted SIO’s research supported by a mobile lidar system that will improve predictions of coastal erosion and identification of coastal erosion trends, patterns and hotspots.


The event drew a sizable group of environmental activists, with one punctuating McCarthy’s remarks with criticisms of a fracking decision from her time as EPA Administrator. McCarthy spent time after the speeches talking with the activists, before leaving for a visit to Scripps Insitution of Oceanography.


With Del Mar facing daunting challenges from climate change, Rep. Levin’s leadership in bringing these political and scientific leaders together, above our fragile bluffs, was a powerful symbol. Levin has already achieved some notable legislative successes (particularly for veterans), and as a member of both the House Natural Resources Committee and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, he is well-positioned to back up the symbolism with federal support for key local and regional responses to the climate change crisis.