WRA Joins Sea Level Rise Panel at AEP Cities in Transition Conference

aep-2016-conf-plus-san-diego-skyline-banner-698pxOn April 5, 2016, WRA, Inc. joined a panel of experts addressing sea-level rise at the Association of Environmental Planners (AEP) annual conference in San Diego. The panel was moderated by land use attorney Alan Murphy from Perkins Coie, LLP and also included Dilip Trivedi, PE coastal engineer at Moffat & Nichol; Aleka Seville, MPP from Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions; Michelle White, Principal, Planning and Green Port for the Port of San Diego; and Geoff Smick, President of WRA.

The panel presented in ‘town hall’ style with a vibrant discussion of many of the issues related to sea-level rise. Topics included: the science behind sea-level rise estimates; assessing vulnerable areas; how the private sector can become engaged in long-term solutions; evolving property rights issues; resilient ecological solutions that may help protect existing shorelines; and strategies for engaging local governments on a regional scale.

The interactive and thought provoking discussion proved engaging – positive notes for the multifaceted and often difficult planning that lies ahead for many urban communities in the U.S. and worldwide.

Members of WRA’s environmental planning team, Justin Semion, Geoff Reilly, Jonathan Hidalgo, and Christina Hirt, also attended the conference.

Read more in our original news post below.


March 30, 2016

Geoff Smick, President of WRA, Inc., will join a panel of sea level rise experts at the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) 2016 Conference in San Diego.  The panel Planning Sea-Level Rise and Cities: The Crossroads of Science, Policy, Planning and Communication will focus on how urban communities can prepare for the future in the face of climate change.

The panel will bring together regulatory, public policy, infrastructure, and environmental experts together in an interactive conversation about the latest sea-level rise predictions and current thinking on adaptation and planning strategies. Read the abstract here.


  • Alan Murphy, JD – Perkins Coie, LLP


  • Aleka Seville, MPP – Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions
  • Geoff Smick, MA – WRA, Inc.
  • Dilip Trivedi, P.E. – Moffatt & Nichol
  • Michelle White – Port of San Diego

Geoff will focus on ecological risks and strategies affecting natural resources including special status species and their habitats as well as regulatory policies related to sea-level rise.  He will feature experience from case studies in habitat restoration and public access as well as redevelopment efforts that strike a balance between economic vitality with public access to natural environments in an urban context.

Notable WRA projects include Ballona Wetlands Restoration/Tidal Enhancement in Los Angeles; Otay River Estuary Restoration and San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration projects in San Diego; Breuner Marsh Habitat Restoration and Public Access in Richmond, Yosemite Slough Restoration and Park Expansion in San Francisco; and redevelopment sites in the Bay Area including India Basin, Treasure Island, Pier 70, and Mission Bay.

About AEP 2016

San Diego city from harbor shutterstock_269721995 croppedThe 2016 AEP Conference, Cities in Transition, will be held April 3-6 in San Diego. This year’s conference will provide an interactive atmosphere where ideas, policy, and science work together to evaluate trends and create innovative concepts for evolving communities. Session topics will explore the transitions experienced by many evolving cities in California with a focus on local, regional, state, and national environmental issues. More information is available on the conference website.