The San Francisco Bay Area long been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but mitigation alone will not be adequate to address impending sea level rise and other climate change impacts. The Bay Area must consider adaptation actions that will reduce the vulnerability of the built and natural environment to the effects of climate change.
Recognizing this need as well as the barriers to adaptation planning that local and regional entities face, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center (now called the Office for Coastal Management, NOAA OCM) in 2010 to work with Bay Area communities to plan for sea level rise.
This effort was founded in these agencies’ commitment to protecting and enhancing Bay Area communities, ecosystems and economic well-being, and it built upon significant experience in adaptation planning at BCDC and NOAA OCM.
Through the Adapting to Rising Tides (ART) project in Alameda County, BCDC and NOAA OCM brought together local, regional, state and federal agencies and organizations, as well as non-profit and private associations to collectively gain a better understanding of how sea level rise and other climate change impacts will affect the Bay Area’s ecosystems, infrastructure, and economy; and develop strategies to address these challenges.
Building on the partnerships, findings and experience gained in the subregional pilot project in Alameda County, the ART team at BCDC continues to lead and support sea level rise adaptation planning efforts throughout the Bay Area.