CEO named for new Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District

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The San Mateo County Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District has its first CEO in Len Materman.

The brand new Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District launched on Jan. 1. It is a collaboration of 20 cities and the county to develop coordinated plans to address current and future coastal erosion, sea level rise and flooding, and to improve regional stormwater infrastructure.

Materman has over 30 years of experience in the government and nonprofit sectors, most recently serving as Executive Director of the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA), which recently completed a significant flood and sea level rise mitigation project along the creek from the Bay to U.S. Highway 101.

Before that, Materman worked at Stanford University and U.C. Berkeley and partnered with academics on books about flooding and climate change resilience, according to the County. He founded America’s River Communities Inc., a non-profit dedicated to education and outreach within watersheds across the country.

Materman has also served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, and advised the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Clinton Administration.

“I am excited that San Mateo County and its 20 cities have come together to create this district, and I am honored to be asked to lead it,” Materman said in a statement. “The time to build resilience to climate change is now and I am confident that this first-of-its-kind countywide district can be a model for others in California and beyond.”

San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, who chairs the Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District, called Materman a “talented public agency leader with a strong record of bringing stakeholders together and securing funding for flood control and sea level rise projects.”

“He is a respected expert on sea level rise and shoreline protection and brings to the new District the skill set we need to create a resilient San Mateo County shoreline,” Pine said.

The District, authorized by Assembly Bill 825 under Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, in part aims to position the County to more effectively compete for state and federal funding for local projects, and to work with the private sector and other key stakeholders, according to the County.