A Rising Bay

Rising sea level will dramatically affect our way of life in the Bay Area

Our daily commutes, the goods and services we depend on, the places we live and work, and the natural spaces that make the Bay Area a beautiful place to live will all be impacted. Highways will be affected with as little as 1 foot of flooding, impacting the commutes of hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors daily. With two feet of flooding, communities will start feeling serious impacts to their homes and jobs. Sea level rise will fundamentally change our relationship with the Bay, and will threaten our public access to the shoreline and our enjoyment of shoreline recreation and habitats. For more on the risks we face, read the Adapting to Rising Tides Bay Area report.


Much of the responsibility to adapt to rising sea level lies at the local city or county level. However, local initiatives alone will not be able to solve the problem and could result in:

  • Disproportionate impacts to disadvantaged communities
  • Unintended flood impacts to neighbors in a closed Bay system
  • Delay due to other, more pressing concerns like housing and transportation
  • Near-term loss of wetlands the ecosystems most at risk of flooding
  • Impacts to jobs and businesses, with a lack of financial tools and resources to solve the problem
  • Lack of incentives to work across jurisdictions to solve common problems
  • Lack of incentives to create multi-benefit, nature-based solutions
  • No way to measure collective progress

Regional action to reduce impacts due to climate change requires collective will, regionwide implementation, and broad leadership – no one agency, jurisdiction or community can or should do it alone.

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