County of Marin Health and Human Services

Marin County Climate and Health

Climate change increases the severity and frequency of conditions that threaten human health, including floods, fires, wildfire smoke, heat waves and other natural emergencies. Vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change varies between communities, based on environmental and social factors. Factors that determine vulnerability include:  

  • Rates of existing medical conditions which can be worsened by climate change impacts
  • Social isolation, especially among older people living alone.
  • Housing and infrastructure that may not be built to withstand climate-related events or where evacuation may be more difficult. 
  • Financial, cultural, language, or other social barriers that limit access to transportation, information, health care, social services, and food.

The maps on this dashboard describe factors at the community level which increase health risks in extreme weather events. The dashboard is designed for community planning purposes, to inform strategies to mitigate risk and increase community resilience.  

The maps are specific to types of emergency, such as flooding, heat, and wildfire. The first set of maps is related to flooding related to sea level rise. New maps will added here as they become available.

Sea Level Rise

Marin County is experiencing increasing coastal flooding due to sea level rise and increased extreme weather events. This dashboard describes the coastal communities that are most vulnerable to negative public health impacts of flooding, taking both the risk of flooding and social factors into account. Health impacts of floods include injury, displacement from homes, water-borne diseases, groundwater contamination, mold related illnesses and more. 

Definitions of Indicators Included on this Map:

  • Coastal Flood Risk: Proportion of the population within the census tract living in the coastal flood zone, based primarily on elevation.
  • Social Vulnerability: The number of social vulnerability factors in the community, compared to other census tracts in Marin
  • Built Environmental Risk Factors: Within the census tract, the amount of impervious surface, like asphalt, that prevent water from seeping into the ground.

The map below is a display of vulnerability to the effects of coastal flooding of each census tract to flooding in Marin County. 

  • The darkest purple areas are those with the highest flood related vulnerability, based on both flood risk and social factors, within Marin.   
  • The white areas are those at lowest risk, based on both coastal flooding risk and social vulnerability. Areas in bright pink have higher social vulnerability but lower coastal flooding risk, and areas in turquoise have higher coastal flooding risk but lower social vulnerability. 
  • Hatched lines indicate that 35% or more of the census tract is covered by impervious surfaces. 

How to Use this Interactive Dashboard

  • Click on a census tract or enter your address in the search tool to see Coastal Flooding risk, Built Environment risk, and Social Vulnerability Factors for that census tract.  
  • For each community, the most important Social Vulnerability Factors (those that stand out as being in the most socially vulnerable 25% of Marin census tracts for that indicator) have an asterisk and are highlighted in red font