store flood

Climate insurance being proposed to help underserved communities like Pajaro

Roughly 1,700 people in Pajaro were impacted by flood waters that breached the Pajaro river levee but according to the state’s insurance commissioner less than 300 of them have flood insurance.“Only 270 have flood insurance policies so what happens to those community members who don’t have insurance,” said California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara.That’s a question many are struggling with in Pajaro right now. Insurance commissioner Lara says it’s time to start talking about “climate insurance” a proposal that would provide everyone coverage in underserved areas like Pajaro.“Which would be a community based insurance policy where the community or the local government enter to make sure that once a flood happens that everyone can recover equally because we know at the end of the day government’s always going to pay,” Lara said.Commissioner Lara talked about his proposal at a coastal climate symposium being held at the UCSC Seymour Marine Discovery center, in Santa Cruz consisting of scientists, conservationists, and insurance leaders where they talked about nature based solutions to manage and mitigate natural disasters like this week’s flooding of Pajaro. One suggestion; pay farmers to flood their fields near levees.“There’s damages maybe to crops but maybe this time of year the crop damages are not that great but at least you’ve agreed ahead of time about what those payments are going to be and in this case we’re paying them to store flood water,” said Michael Beck, director of the UCSC Center for Coastal Climate Resilience.In Monterey county many farmers along the Salinas river already have flood gates that they open to alleviate pressure on the levee so they don’t break during floods. Another idea is to use open spaces like public parks to store flood waters so communities don’t get flooded.“Climate change is here and now and we’re going to … Read the rest