First-ever regionwide analysis of sea level rise impacts on Bay Area

March 31, 2020 – In an official press release, Caltrans, MTC/ABAG, the Bay Area Regional Collaborative, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) announced the release of “Adapting to Rising Tides (ART) Bay Area”:

“ART Bay Area is a product of a multi-agency collaboration, illuminating shared vulnerability to sea level rise across regional systems that Bay Area residents depend on to live and thrive.

“Rising sea level will fundamentally change our relationships with the Bay, including threatening our public access to the shoreline and enjoying of shoreline recreation.  And our natural habitats are truly at risk.

“But these impacts do not have to happen — some local planning is underway, and we need more, faster, and more coordinated planning to face the full magnitude of impacts. Planning how to adapt is an opportunity to address current issues and future threats.

“To support the region-wide analysis, 32 local deep-dive studies were done to understand how these impacts could play out within a community. These systems and locations were analyzed at a total of 10 flood levels ranging from 12 inches to 108 inches to show a wide range of impacts over time.

“Nearly 600 community members, nonprofit organizations, city and county planners, business representatives, elected officials, and state and federal staff were also engaged in developing this study over the past three years.”

BCDC’s Dana Brechwald, the ART Resilience and Climate Adaptation Manager, writes on LinkedIn: “This report provides a better understanding of where we are vulnerable and lays out a pathway to plan for the future. This project has been over three years in the making and involved hundreds of wonderful people whose contributions have ranged from thousands of hours of staff work to participating in meetings around the region. I am so proud of the ART staff — current and past — for making it to the finish line!”

Adapting to Rising Tides is a program of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). According to the Commission’s “About” page, “BCDC is the State agency responsible for leading the Bay Area’s preparedness for, and resilience to, rising sea level, tides, and storm surge due to climate change.”

Go here for the press release and here for the “short” and “main” reports, as well as additional details about the findings.

For a March 31 San Francisco Chronicle article on this report, go here (4 minutes, paywall).