Smack in the middle of the unprecedented disruption of normal life brought on by the Covid-19 crisis comes a new report detailing the challenges sea level rise might bring to the Bay region without proactive planning.
Released on March 26, Adapting to Rising Tides: Bay Area
compares the effects of rising waters on communities, natural lands and critical regional systems. “Shoreline flooding from sea level rise and storm events will impact everyone in the Bay Area because the transportation systems we rely on, schools, childcare, and hospitals we depend on, jobs at which we work, and beautiful natural areas we love are at risk, and interconnected across the Bay,” says Dana Brechwald of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. BCDC developed the report together with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Area Regional Collaborative, using funding from Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority. “We needed a study that showed us where the region is most vulnerable and how those vulnerabilities will be felt region-wide and beyond.” The report includes 13 cases studies of specific locations around the Bay, as well as four Regional Systems Assessments on transportation, vulnerable communities, future growth areas and natural lands. The report does not prescribe specific responses to sea level rise; rather it “provides a better understanding of where we are vulnerable and lays out a pathway to start planning for the future,” says Brechwald. (For an exploration of the various ways Bay and Delta counties are responding to climate change and sea level rise, keep an eye out for the June 2020 issue of Estuary Magazine