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San Francisco laying plans for rising sea levels

San Francisco city agencies are developing a plan to deal with rising sea levels, which are expected to pose a threat to an estimated $75 billion in public and private assets by the year 2100.

The Sea Level Rise Action Plan, presented to the San Francisco Planning Commission today, includes an assessment of areas where the city is vulnerable based on current climate science. It will provide the basis for a citywide plan, expected to be completed by summer 2018, spelling out how to protect critical infrastructure and resources and adapt to the changing tides.

Rising sea levels are expected to be accompanied by more frequent and severe storms, meaning parts of the city could experience more flooding, officials said. Large portions of The City’s¬†eastern waterfront, in particular, are at risk.

John Rahaim, director of planning, said Thursday:

“If we choose not to act on the real threats of sea level rise, we are choosing to put some of the most socially and economically vulnerable communities, and some of its most valuable real estate, at significant risk,” Mayor Ed lee launched the Sea Level Rise Coordinating Committee, involving 12 city departments, in March last year:

“This Sea Level Rise Action Plan is a powerful call to action for San Francisco and reflects the city’s commitment to planning for and adapting to the current and future impacts of sea level rise.”

More information on the plan can be found on the San Francisco Planning Department’s web site at

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