SF Bay is rising - are we moving fast enough to adapt?

An article published in the San Francisco Chronicle today underscores the urgent need for action to address sea level rise on the Bay Area's 400 miles of shoreline, the costs of which could approach $100 billion over time. The article highlights some of the innovative financing and regulatory developments that have occurred to facilitate adaptation actions, with a specific focus on wetland restoration to create buffers against rising seas. Voters approved Measure AA, a parcel tax increase that will raise $25 million annually to move wetland restoration efforts forward. Although the creation of a dedicated funding source is a step in the right direction, the article underscores the need for action to speed up the permitting processes that allow such projects to move forward, which can take "a decade or more". 

The article highlights specific actions that are already occurring that could be models for the types of regulatory and collaborative actions needed to rapidly adapt to rising sea levels. One example is the Bay Conservation and Development Commission's (BCDC) Bay Plan amendment, which will change the agency's core plan allow the use of fill for the restoration of marshlands. Improving cross-agency collaboration is another area of opportunity. The article highlights the six-agency San Francisco Bay Restoration Regulatory Integration Team (BRRIT), which brings together the agencies that participate in the permitting of habitat projects to streamline new projects through the system.

Read the full article here.