Marin’s ‘Game of Floods’ sea-level-rise teaching tool wins national award

Players are put in charge of dealing with rising water in Game of Floods.

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

The county of Marin’s game about what some believe could one day be reality for those living in the North Bay is now set to get national recognition.

Game of Floods,” which puts players in charge of planning for rising sea levels in parts of the North Bay, has been played by thousands.

Now its developers, the staff members from the Community Development Agency and Department of Public Works in Marin County, will next week receive an American Planning Association’s s Gold 2017 National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach. The award will be presented May 8 in New York City.

Acting as planning commissions, players are asked to develop a 2050 vision for the hypothetical Marin Island which is been challenged by rising waters.

The conceptual game board highlights anticipated sea-level rise and more frequent and intense storms brought on by climate change that are projected to cause deterioration or loss of homes, roads, community facilities, utilities and other resources.

Players move around the board, working together to discuss adaptation strategies, considering their effectiveness, impacts and relative costs. Once the group reaches a consensus, players stick measures on the board, finalize recommendations and tally costs.

“We face difficult and complex decisions in responding to increasing threats of sea-level rise, and playing the game helps people become our partners in this process,” added Public Works Senior Engineer Roger Leventhal, who came up with the original idea.

The game, the subject of an August article in the North Bay Business Journal, has received the the California APA’s Public Outreach Award of Excellence, qualifying it for the national award; the California State Association of Counties Merit Award; and the top County of Marin Innovation “Inny” Award, the county stated.