Waterfront Resilience Program FAQ

The Port of San Francisco manages 7.5 miles of bayside shoreline that is home to some of the region’s most popular open spaces and attractions, a national historic district, hundreds of small businesses, nearby housing, and maritime and industrial uses. The Port’s jurisdiction includes transportation networks like BART and Muni, critical utilities including drinking and wastewater, and key emergency response facilities.

This page provides additional information about the Waterfront Resilience Program as a whole and the work being done through the Program in its three main geographies - Embarcadero, Mission Creek/Mission Bay, and Islais Creek/Bayview.


About the Waterfront Resilience Program



What is the Waterfront Resilience Program?

The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program efforts ensure the waterfront, and its important regional and citywide assets, are resilient in the face of hazards such as earthquakes, flooding, sea level rise due to climate change, shoreline erosion, and others.

The Waterfront Resilience Program is an inclusive effort that aligns with many different initiatives including:

  • The Port's 2021-2025 Strategic Plan
  • Waterfront Plan
  • Historic Pier Rehabilitation Program
  • Port-wide resilience efforts including flood proofing the piers, bulkhead retrofits, and the Southern Waterfront Seismic Assessment
  • Ongoing coordination with SF Planning, SFPUC, SFMTA, and other City partners on the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy and Mission Creek
  • Ongoing project-specific sea level rise adaptation strategies
  • Ongoing mitigation efforts





Who works on the Waterfront Resilience Program? What about outside the Bay Area?

The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program involves close coordination with other City departments and regional partners to ensure the work aligns with Citywide and regional guidance, policies, projects, and other efforts. City partners include SF Planning, SFMTA, SFPUC, and the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. The team also remains in close contact with regional, state, and federal partners, such as BART, MTC/ABAG, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The team has also connected with planners and experts from around the nation and world to ensure current best practices are considered.





What is the USACE Flood Resiliency Study?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Port have partnered to study flood risk along San Francisco’s bayside shoreline and to identify approaches to reducing coastal risk. The USACE Flood Resiliency Study area begins just north of the Port’s jurisdiction at Aquatic Park and ends just south of Heron’s Head Park at the Port’s southern boundary.





What are other Port resilience projects?

The Port has been planning for sea level rise for years. In recognition of the Port’s critical role in creating a resilient waterfront, the Port Commission requires that every project consider current and future flooding. Every new project means a stronger waterfront. This innovative approach is leading to sea level rise adaptation and project implementation along the waterfront. Some projects include:

  • The Brannan Street Wharf
  • Pier 43 Promenade
  • Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project
  • Fire Station 35
  • Mission Bay Ferry Landing
  • Mission Rock
  • Pier 70
The Port is not just focusing on adaptation. Successful mitigation measures include:
  • Over 300,000 square feet of dilapidated pier renovation
  • New buildings like the Exploratorium and James R. Herman Cruise Terminal that are LEED certified and the EcoCenter in the southern waterfront as San Francisco’s first LEED Platinum, zero net energy building
  • Cleaned contaminated property at Pier 70, Pier 39, and Mission Rock
  • Solar installation at Pier 15, Pier 1, Pier 96, and the San Francisco Giants ballpark
  • Partnerships with local commercial fishing industry to reduce packaging and fish processing related waste
  • Reduced air emissions from maritime operations by more than half
  • Zero-emission hydropower provided to cruise ships at Pier 27 and to large military, government, and commercial ships at Pier 70
  • Coordination with ferry provider partners to transition water fleets to renewable diesel by 2020
  • Transition of the Hyde Street Harbor public fuel dock in Fisherman’s Wharf to renewable diesel





What is the timeline for the Waterfront Resilience Program efforts? Are there opportunities in the future to participate and provide feedback?

The Program is currently in its planning stage where seismic and flood risks are assessed, potential improvements are identified, and first projects are prioritized based on risk and community priorities. The design and construction phases will follow in the future, along with efforts to obtain additional funding. The Program has been informed by community feedback since its beginning, and there will continue to be opportunities in the future to share your input.







Why are we continuing to build new developments along the waterfront when we know about earthquake and flood impacts?

All new projects that are built along the San Francisco waterfront are built to current seismic standards and address some amount of future flood risk. These projects increase the resilience of the shoreline where they are located.





Is the City going to fix these problems? Do tenants have to fix these problems themselves?

The resilience projects necessary to reduce the seismic and flood risks to the city and the Port will be carried out by the Port, the City, tenants, and other partners with a range of funds and through a variety of public/public and public/private partnerships. For example, Proposition A funds will be used to reduce risks to life safety, disaster response, and critical citywide assets and services (transportation, utilities, jobs, etc.). Other actions at specific sites or facilities will be coordinated between Port and tenants together in partnership and some actions may be led by other City departments with the Port as a partner. More details regarding these alternatives will be available for review later this year.





How is the Port engaging young people, future stewards of the waterfront, in the Waterfront Resilience Program?

The Port knows that today’s San Francisco youth will be stewards of the waterfront in the future. Since 2017, the team has engaged youth through age-appropriate outreach activities and partnered often with Cal Academy Family Nights and the Exploratorium.

In 2020, during shelter in place, the team worked with 826 Valencia’s Mission Bay Center to host a virtual field trip and writing exercise on Mission Creek resilience. In 2021, a robust virtual engagement effort with 15 youth-serving organizations is planned.







What is the Port's process for identifying and prioritizing adaptation strategies along the waterfront?

The team is approaching alternatives development or the development of adaptation strategies from a few different scales – waterfront-wide, geography-based, and smaller, neighborhood-scale segments of the waterfront where specific conditions and priorities can be addressed. The team will work with Port staff to develop draft strategies and then coordinate with City and regional partners. There will also be opportunities for the public to weigh in and share feedback in late 2021 and throughout 2022 and beyond.





Where do I find updates?

Updates are posted regularly here on the Program website (sfportresilience.com) as well as through the Port’s social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). You can also sign up on the website to receive e-newsletter updates. The Port team will also work to share updates with the news media as well as prominent public postings of upcoming meetings and events.




Embarcadero Resilience


What is the history of the Embarcadero Seawall?

San Francisco’s Embarcadero Seawall was constructed more than a century ago by the State of California to develop a deep-water port to support the state’s economy. The Embarcadero Seawall is the foundation of over three miles of San Francisco’s waterfront, stretching from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Creek, and provides flood protection to downtown and the Embarcadero MUNI tunnel.

Constructed between 1879 and 1916, the Embarcadero Seawall and bulkhead wall provide the foundation for the Embarcadero and pile-supported bulkhead wharves and buildings built on top of the Seawall and marginal wharf, including the historic bulkhead buildings and piers that make up the Embarcadero Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.





How was the original Embarcadero Seawall built?

The Embarcadero Seawall was built by dredging a trench through the mud, filling that trench with rock and rubble, capping the fill with a timber pile bulkhead wall and wharf, and then filling the tidal marshland area behind the Embarcadero Seawall. Over 100 years ago, the Port of San Francisco oversaw the construction of the Embarcadero Seawall in 23 unique rock and concrete sections, each approximately 30 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide. More than 500 acres of land were filled behind the Embarcadero Seawall, extending the footprint of the city to the water’s edge.





What is the problem with the Embarcadero Seawall?

The Embarcadero Seawall was built over a hundred years ago in earthquake country, without today’s seismic standards, atop “weak young bay mud” - a soft, weak mud that can amplify earthquake shaking. Portions of the Embarcadero Seawall have settled, increasing flooding along the Embarcadero. With rising sea levels, the Seawall no longer provides adequate flood protection to Downtown San Francisco. With over $100 billion in assets and annual economic activity along the waterfront supported by the Seawall, the Seawall truly is the City’s economic backbone, making improvements all the more urgent.





If we know about these urgent risks now, why won't construction start for a few years?

The Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (MHRA) provided us with the information necessary to understand the risk and consequences to people, assets, and services and the environment. Prior to the conclusion of the MHRA, the Port did not know that the seismic lateral spread risk was lower in the area south of the Bay Bridge and the precise risks associated with the bulkhead wharves. This assessment work has helped us to be efficient with resources and design projects that match the risks and will shorten the time it will take for us to design and implement these complicated projects.

It is also important to acknowledge that there are a number of safety projects that the Port and its partners have delivered to improve safety along the waterfront through seismic retrofit projects and adaptations for future sea level rise. These efforts include the floating Fire Station and the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project.

The Waterfront Resilience Program aims to address immediate life-safety hazards where appropriate through actions that can be immediately implemented, while also using a holistic approach to reduce risk in a manner that will fit with the future of the waterfront. For example, we could spend significant money now to shore up the roadway from seismic hazards, but without a holistic approach, it could require another project in 20 years to tackle sea level rise and flood risk.





How much will the Embarcadero Seawall Program cost?

It is unknown at this time. The Port has secured nearly $500 million. Current estimates are in the billions, over the next few decades. The Port is planning an initial phase of improvements to address the highest priority life safety projects. Ultimately, improvements to the Embarcadero Seawall will require local, state, and federal funding.





How will construction affect people near the Embarcadero Seawall? Commutes? Traffic? Parking?

Commutes, traffic, and parking will likely be affected, but the Port will make every effort to give advance notice for any disruptions in order to minimize delays. Construction is not expected to start until 2024. The public also will be involved in the planning and execution of this undertaking every step of the way. Additionally, the Port is committed to finding the approaches that will reduce seismic risk and address current flooding that will have the least disruption possible to the current assets and services along the waterfront.




Mission Creek / Mission Bay Resilience


What is the Port doing to increase open space and habitat along the central waterfront?

Since 2001, the Port has removed over 600,000 square feet of dilapidated piers, improving water quality in the Bay and enhancing public access and open spaces along the water’s edge. Through community engagement conducted to date for this Program, we’ve heard that open space and public access to the waterfront are critical community priorities. As the team develops flood and seismic adaptation strategies for this area, open space and habitat enhancement opportunities will be considered. The Port also seeks to align with additional Port efforts and partnerships, like the Blue Greenway Plan, to enhance open space, connectivity, and sustainability along this shoreline.





Who is paying for this? How are larger businesses involved?

The Waterfront Resilience Program is a large-scale effort to address waterfront resilience planning now to plan for future impacts across the next century. The team knows that funding will have a variety of sources including local, state, and federal agencies and likely will include public-private partnerships.





What is the Port doing to address soil subsidence in this area?

Mission Bay was once a marsh and shallow bay – hence its namesake. Over time, the area was filled in and has a rich history of rail transportation and industry. The Waterfront Resilience Program will address seismic and flood risk along its 7.5-mile jurisdiction and is prioritizing life-safety and disaster response. Due to differing soil and habitat conditions, the strategies implemented will differ depending on where you are along the waterfront. The Port also recognizes that these impacts do not stop at Port property and are committed to working collaboratively with City departments on these cross-cutting issues.




Islais Creek / Bayview Resilience


Why does the Port's project only go to Heron's Head Park? What is the City doing south of Heron's Head to protect against flooding?

While the Port’s jurisdiction and the Waterfront Resilience Program boundary do not extend south of Heron’s Head Park, the City department will be working together to develop projects across the entire shoreline to reduce flood risk, including the areas south of Heron’s Head to the San Mateo County line. The SF Planning Department has identified a project to be included in their work program in 2021 that focuses on Bayview Resilience and will extend the City resilience work south to the San Mateo County line.





Why do some parts of the Bayview flood already?

San Francisco currently experiences flooding from rainfall events that do not adequately drain out off of the land but rarely experiences flooding from Bay storm and tide events. This is the case in parts of the Bayview. However, that is changing as sea levels rise and lots of things that the community, City and Port rely on are at risk from this future flooding. The main idea behind the City and Port resilience work is to fix these problems before they become damaging to communities and businesses and not wait until an earthquake or flood does the damage and causes the harm. Future studies led by SF Planning with City partners will focus on addressing rainfall-based flooding as well as other types of flooding that could impact the neighborhood down to the county line.





What are the job and workforce development opportunities on this project?

The economic benefits of flood adaptation projects for communities and businesses can be described in two ways. First, the resilience projects that will be implemented would reduce damage and disruption from a flood or earthquake to communities, small businesses, and the things that they rely on (e.g. transportation, utilities, parks and open spaces, schools, hospitals, public safety). Second, the resilience projects in this area could also strengthen and rebuild aging but critical City assets (e.g. bridges), protect areas slated for economic growth, enhance public safety, and open space areas and Bay habitat where possible. For example, in addition to elevating the bridges over Islais Creek, it may also be possible to improve the corridor to reduce congestion and increase safety while adding open space. Resilience projects could also create new, flexible spaces for small and local businesses to operate.

The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program is developing a program to make it possible for people and small, local businesses to be able to strongly compete for the jobs and contracts that come from the resilience work. This effort is currently underway. We are working to identify examples of similar successful programs, talking with people within the community, and connecting with organizations such as Bayview Merchants Association and others to ensure that the program matches the needs and closes the gaps between the work and those that would like to do the work. The Port is committed to working with local businesses and building capacity within the community and its businesses to increase the work done locally. Resilience work will also occur all over the region over the next century and so there will be opportunities to bring skills learned to other parts of the region.

Read more at our Upcoming Job and Small Business Opportunities page.





I'm very concerned about gentrification and being displaced from my community. Won't this project make this worse?

These are valid concerns. The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program offers strategies for addressing urgent seismic and flood risk along San Francisco’s waterfront while also preserving and enhancing places and priorities important to residents. Community priorities and geographic goals for this segment of the waterfront were developed through multiple community meetings in 2019 and 2020. The goals and priorities were considered when the team developed a comprehensive set of evaluation criteria that aims to balance multiple priorities when identifying future projects and adaptation strategies to move forward. The evaluation criteria include criteria focused on equity and neighborhood impacts, such as gentrification, and serve to ensure that these issues are considered and weighed by decisionmakers, as specific adaptation projects are funded and proposed over time.

The Port of San Francisco manages 7.5 miles of bayside shoreline that is home to some of the region’s most popular open spaces and attractions, a national historic district, hundreds of small businesses, nearby housing, and maritime and industrial uses. The Port’s jurisdiction includes transportation networks like BART and Muni, critical utilities including drinking and wastewater, and key emergency response facilities.

This page provides additional information about the Waterfront Resilience Program as a whole and the work being done through the Program in its three main geographies - Embarcadero, Mission Creek/Mission Bay, and Islais Creek/Bayview.


About the Waterfront Resilience Program



What is the Waterfront Resilience Program?

The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program efforts ensure the waterfront, and its important regional and citywide assets, are resilient in the face of hazards such as earthquakes, flooding, sea level rise due to climate change, shoreline erosion, and others.

The Waterfront Resilience Program is an inclusive effort that aligns with many different initiatives including:

  • The Port's 2021-2025 Strategic Plan
  • Waterfront Plan
  • Historic Pier Rehabilitation Program
  • Port-wide resilience efforts including flood proofing the piers, bulkhead retrofits, and the Southern Waterfront Seismic Assessment
  • Ongoing coordination with SF Planning, SFPUC, SFMTA, and other City partners on the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy and Mission Creek
  • Ongoing project-specific sea level rise adaptation strategies
  • Ongoing mitigation efforts





Who works on the Waterfront Resilience Program? What about outside the Bay Area?

The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program involves close coordination with other City departments and regional partners to ensure the work aligns with Citywide and regional guidance, policies, projects, and other efforts. City partners include SF Planning, SFMTA, SFPUC, and the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. The team also remains in close contact with regional, state, and federal partners, such as BART, MTC/ABAG, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The team has also connected with planners and experts from around the nation and world to ensure current best practices are considered.





What is the USACE Flood Resiliency Study?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Port have partnered to study flood risk along San Francisco’s bayside shoreline and to identify approaches to reducing coastal risk. The USACE Flood Resiliency Study area begins just north of the Port’s jurisdiction at Aquatic Park and ends just south of Heron’s Head Park at the Port’s southern boundary.





What are other Port resilience projects?

The Port has been planning for sea level rise for years. In recognition of the Port’s critical role in creating a resilient waterfront, the Port Commission requires that every project consider current and future flooding. Every new project means a stronger waterfront. This innovative approach is leading to sea level rise adaptation and project implementation along the waterfront. Some projects include:

  • The Brannan Street Wharf
  • Pier 43 Promenade
  • Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project
  • Fire Station 35
  • Mission Bay Ferry Landing
  • Mission Rock
  • Pier 70
The Port is not just focusing on adaptation. Successful mitigation measures include:
  • Over 300,000 square feet of dilapidated pier renovation
  • New buildings like the Exploratorium and James R. Herman Cruise Terminal that are LEED certified and the EcoCenter in the southern waterfront as San Francisco’s first LEED Platinum, zero net energy building
  • Cleaned contaminated property at Pier 70, Pier 39, and Mission Rock
  • Solar installation at Pier 15, Pier 1, Pier 96, and the San Francisco Giants ballpark
  • Partnerships with local commercial fishing industry to reduce packaging and fish processing related waste
  • Reduced air emissions from maritime operations by more than half
  • Zero-emission hydropower provided to cruise ships at Pier 27 and to large military, government, and commercial ships at Pier 70
  • Coordination with ferry provider partners to transition water fleets to renewable diesel by 2020
  • Transition of the Hyde Street Harbor public fuel dock in Fisherman’s Wharf to renewable diesel





What is the timeline for the Waterfront Resilience Program efforts? Are there opportunities in the future to participate and provide feedback?

The Program is currently in its planning stage where seismic and flood risks are assessed, potential improvements are identified, and first projects are prioritized based on risk and community priorities. The design and construction phases will follow in the future, along with efforts to obtain additional funding. The Program has been informed by community feedback since its beginning, and there will continue to be opportunities in the future to share your input.







Why are we continuing to build new developments along the waterfront when we know about earthquake and flood impacts?

All new projects that are built along the San Francisco waterfront are built to current seismic standards and address some amount of future flood risk. These projects increase the resilience of the shoreline where they are located.





Is the City going to fix these problems? Do tenants have to fix these problems themselves?

The resilience projects necessary to reduce the seismic and flood risks to the city and the Port will be carried out by the Port, the City, tenants, and other partners with a range of funds and through a variety of public/public and public/private partnerships. For example, Proposition A funds will be used to reduce risks to life safety, disaster response, and critical citywide assets and services (transportation, utilities, jobs, etc.). Other actions at specific sites or facilities will be coordinated between Port and tenants together in partnership and some actions may be led by other City departments with the Port as a partner. More details regarding these alternatives will be available for review later this year.





How is the Port engaging young people, future stewards of the waterfront, in the Waterfront Resilience Program?

The Port knows that today’s San Francisco youth will be stewards of the waterfront in the future. Since 2017, the team has engaged youth through age-appropriate outreach activities and partnered often with Cal Academy Family Nights and the Exploratorium.

In 2020, during shelter in place, the team worked with 826 Valencia’s Mission Bay Center to host a virtual field trip and writing exercise on Mission Creek resilience. In 2021, a robust virtual engagement effort with 15 youth-serving organizations is planned.







What is the Port's process for identifying and prioritizing adaptation strategies along the waterfront?

The team is approaching alternatives development or the development of adaptation strategies from a few different scales – waterfront-wide, geography-based, and smaller, neighborhood-scale segments of the waterfront where specific conditions and priorities can be addressed. The team will work with Port staff to develop draft strategies and then coordinate with City and regional partners. There will also be opportunities for the public to weigh in and share feedback in late 2021 and throughout 2022 and beyond.





Where do I find updates?

Updates are posted regularly here on the Program website (sfportresilience.com) as well as through the Port’s social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). You can also sign up on the website to receive e-newsletter updates. The Port team will also work to share updates with the news media as well as prominent public postings of upcoming meetings and events.




Embarcadero Resilience


What is the history of the Embarcadero Seawall?

San Francisco’s Embarcadero Seawall was constructed more than a century ago by the State of California to develop a deep-water port to support the state’s economy. The Embarcadero Seawall is the foundation of over three miles of San Francisco’s waterfront, stretching from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Creek, and provides flood protection to downtown and the Embarcadero MUNI tunnel.

Constructed between 1879 and 1916, the Embarcadero Seawall and bulkhead wall provide the foundation for the Embarcadero and pile-supported bulkhead wharves and buildings built on top of the Seawall and marginal wharf, including the historic bulkhead buildings and piers that make up the Embarcadero Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.





How was the original Embarcadero Seawall built?

The Embarcadero Seawall was built by dredging a trench through the mud, filling that trench with rock and rubble, capping the fill with a timber pile bulkhead wall and wharf, and then filling the tidal marshland area behind the Embarcadero Seawall. Over 100 years ago, the Port of San Francisco oversaw the construction of the Embarcadero Seawall in 23 unique rock and concrete sections, each approximately 30 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide. More than 500 acres of land were filled behind the Embarcadero Seawall, extending the footprint of the city to the water’s edge.





What is the problem with the Embarcadero Seawall?

The Embarcadero Seawall was built over a hundred years ago in earthquake country, without today’s seismic standards, atop “weak young bay mud” - a soft, weak mud that can amplify earthquake shaking. Portions of the Embarcadero Seawall have settled, increasing flooding along the Embarcadero. With rising sea levels, the Seawall no longer provides adequate flood protection to Downtown San Francisco. With over $100 billion in assets and annual economic activity along the waterfront supported by the Seawall, the Seawall truly is the City’s economic backbone, making improvements all the more urgent.





If we know about these urgent risks now, why won't construction start for a few years?

The Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment (MHRA) provided us with the information necessary to understand the risk and consequences to people, assets, and services and the environment. Prior to the conclusion of the MHRA, the Port did not know that the seismic lateral spread risk was lower in the area south of the Bay Bridge and the precise risks associated with the bulkhead wharves. This assessment work has helped us to be efficient with resources and design projects that match the risks and will shorten the time it will take for us to design and implement these complicated projects.

It is also important to acknowledge that there are a number of safety projects that the Port and its partners have delivered to improve safety along the waterfront through seismic retrofit projects and adaptations for future sea level rise. These efforts include the floating Fire Station and the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project.

The Waterfront Resilience Program aims to address immediate life-safety hazards where appropriate through actions that can be immediately implemented, while also using a holistic approach to reduce risk in a manner that will fit with the future of the waterfront. For example, we could spend significant money now to shore up the roadway from seismic hazards, but without a holistic approach, it could require another project in 20 years to tackle sea level rise and flood risk.





How much will the Embarcadero Seawall Program cost?

It is unknown at this time. The Port has secured nearly $500 million. Current estimates are in the billions, over the next few decades. The Port is planning an initial phase of improvements to address the highest priority life safety projects. Ultimately, improvements to the Embarcadero Seawall will require local, state, and federal funding.





How will construction affect people near the Embarcadero Seawall? Commutes? Traffic? Parking?

Commutes, traffic, and parking will likely be affected, but the Port will make every effort to give advance notice for any disruptions in order to minimize delays. Construction is not expected to start until 2024. The public also will be involved in the planning and execution of this undertaking every step of the way. Additionally, the Port is committed to finding the approaches that will reduce seismic risk and address current flooding that will have the least disruption possible to the current assets and services along the waterfront.




Mission Creek / Mission Bay Resilience


What is the Port doing to increase open space and habitat along the central waterfront?

Since 2001, the Port has removed over 600,000 square feet of dilapidated piers, improving water quality in the Bay and enhancing public access and open spaces along the water’s edge. Through community engagement conducted to date for this Program, we’ve heard that open space and public access to the waterfront are critical community priorities. As the team develops flood and seismic adaptation strategies for this area, open space and habitat enhancement opportunities will be considered. The Port also seeks to align with additional Port efforts and partnerships, like the Blue Greenway Plan, to enhance open space, connectivity, and sustainability along this shoreline.





Who is paying for this? How are larger businesses involved?

The Waterfront Resilience Program is a large-scale effort to address waterfront resilience planning now to plan for future impacts across the next century. The team knows that funding will have a variety of sources including local, state, and federal agencies and likely will include public-private partnerships.





What is the Port doing to address soil subsidence in this area?

Mission Bay was once a marsh and shallow bay – hence its namesake. Over time, the area was filled in and has a rich history of rail transportation and industry. The Waterfront Resilience Program will address seismic and flood risk along its 7.5-mile jurisdiction and is prioritizing life-safety and disaster response. Due to differing soil and habitat conditions, the strategies implemented will differ depending on where you are along the waterfront. The Port also recognizes that these impacts do not stop at Port property and are committed to working collaboratively with City departments on these cross-cutting issues.




Islais Creek / Bayview Resilience


Why does the Port's project only go to Heron's Head Park? What is the City doing south of Heron's Head to protect against flooding?

While the Port’s jurisdiction and the Waterfront Resilience Program boundary do not extend south of Heron’s Head Park, the City department will be working together to develop projects across the entire shoreline to reduce flood risk, including the areas south of Heron’s Head to the San Mateo County line. The SF Planning Department has identified a project to be included in their work program in 2021 that focuses on Bayview Resilience and will extend the City resilience work south to the San Mateo County line.





Why do some parts of the Bayview flood already?

San Francisco currently experiences flooding from rainfall events that do not adequately drain out off of the land but rarely experiences flooding from Bay storm and tide events. This is the case in parts of the Bayview. However, that is changing as sea levels rise and lots of things that the community, City and Port rely on are at risk from this future flooding. The main idea behind the City and Port resilience work is to fix these problems before they become damaging to communities and businesses and not wait until an earthquake or flood does the damage and causes the harm. Future studies led by SF Planning with City partners will focus on addressing rainfall-based flooding as well as other types of flooding that could impact the neighborhood down to the county line.





What are the job and workforce development opportunities on this project?

The economic benefits of flood adaptation projects for communities and businesses can be described in two ways. First, the resilience projects that will be implemented would reduce damage and disruption from a flood or earthquake to communities, small businesses, and the things that they rely on (e.g. transportation, utilities, parks and open spaces, schools, hospitals, public safety). Second, the resilience projects in this area could also strengthen and rebuild aging but critical City assets (e.g. bridges), protect areas slated for economic growth, enhance public safety, and open space areas and Bay habitat where possible. For example, in addition to elevating the bridges over Islais Creek, it may also be possible to improve the corridor to reduce congestion and increase safety while adding open space. Resilience projects could also create new, flexible spaces for small and local businesses to operate.

The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program is developing a program to make it possible for people and small, local businesses to be able to strongly compete for the jobs and contracts that come from the resilience work. This effort is currently underway. We are working to identify examples of similar successful programs, talking with people within the community, and connecting with organizations such as Bayview Merchants Association and others to ensure that the program matches the needs and closes the gaps between the work and those that would like to do the work. The Port is committed to working with local businesses and building capacity within the community and its businesses to increase the work done locally. Resilience work will also occur all over the region over the next century and so there will be opportunities to bring skills learned to other parts of the region.

Read more at our Upcoming Job and Small Business Opportunities page.





I'm very concerned about gentrification and being displaced from my community. Won't this project make this worse?

These are valid concerns. The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program offers strategies for addressing urgent seismic and flood risk along San Francisco’s waterfront while also preserving and enhancing places and priorities important to residents. Community priorities and geographic goals for this segment of the waterfront were developed through multiple community meetings in 2019 and 2020. The goals and priorities were considered when the team developed a comprehensive set of evaluation criteria that aims to balance multiple priorities when identifying future projects and adaptation strategies to move forward. The evaluation criteria include criteria focused on equity and neighborhood impacts, such as gentrification, and serve to ensure that these issues are considered and weighed by decisionmakers, as specific adaptation projects are funded and proposed over time.