Increasing Resilience in the San Francisco Bay Area

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The San Francisco Bay shoreline has a diverse mix of uses – everything from residential neighborhoods to industrial lands to critical habitats. The region is connected by freeways, railroads, power lines, and municipal infrastructure, and is home to socially vulnerable populations, over 100 cities and county jurisdictions, and an overlapping and complex regulatory environment. Rising seas and storm surge put it all at risk.


The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, along with NOAA and other partners, initiated the Adapting to Rising Tides (ART) project in Alameda County (2010). The project is a collaborative planning effort aimed at increasing local and regional preparedness and resilience.

Digital Coast resources helped project partners better understand sea level rise vulnerability and develop adaptation actions. They used NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer tool and high-resolution topographic data and water-surface elevations to model inundation and sea level rise. From this they created risk maps and engaged in adaptation planning.


The ART program has supported numerous local projects, launched new mapping data and tools, and helped foster a community of adaptation planners across the region. ART has been expanded to all nine San Francisco Bay counties.

The program includes a portfolio of tools and resources for local adaptation planning, a “help desk,” and staff engagement in a number of neighborhood and regional adaptation planning projects. (2019)

The Bay Shoreline Flood Explorer website borrowed some of the intuitive user-interface elements of the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer