- Program Overview
- Planning for Our Future
- Find Your Waterfront
- Resilience Library
- Port of SF
How does Program work impact the newer developments happening along the central waterfront? Is the new development along the waterfront resilient to future sea level rise?
Thanks to guidance from the Port and the City, new development directly along the waterfront takes sea level rise into account. This means that projects like Mission Rock and Pier 70 have elements that address rising water levels over time, such as elevated shorelines and terraced and floodable open space and parks, elevated buildings, etc. Life safety and disaster response remain top priorities for the Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program and adaptation strategies that will be developed will consider flood protection measures.
Is it safe to live in Mission Bay during an earthquake?
Mission Bay and San Francisco is in earthquake country! Earthquakes are a part of living in the City by the Bay. The Port and City is committed to strengthening the waterfront to address urgent seismic risk, such as along the Embarcadero Seawall. In the central and southern waterfront, the Port is studying earthquake risk at a high level through the Southern Waterfront Seismic Vulnerability Assessment. Information gathered will help the Port develop more specific strategies for addressing flood and seismic risk in each waterfront neighborhood.
Wasn’t the Mission Bay area a marsh a long time ago? How will that affect sea level rise?
It was a marsh and shallow bay actually – hence the name of the neighborhood! With sea level rise, unmitigated coastal flooding in Mission Creek and Mission Bay could mimic the outline of the historic shoreline. The Port and City Office of Resilience and Capital Planning recognize how important it is to prepare and plan now, so that we’re prepared and resilient to future changes.
Is the Port working with City partners to address seismic and flood risk in Mission Bay?
Yes! The Port is working closely with the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning and other agency partners that manage and maintain the City’s utilities and roadway infrastructure, to ensure their waterfront resilience planning is aligned with other City climate action and adaptation efforts. In Mission Bay, the Port and City partners know that a coordinated response to rising sea levels is necessary given the potential impacts to housing, transportation, ecology, and the economy.
How will this work impact Mission Bay residents, not just big businesses?
The Port and City’s resilience efforts to address sea level rise is intended to benefit everyone, not just businesses. Future sea level rise could impact the ability to cross Mission Creek, use public transportation, access utilities, or utilize open space over time. Resilience planning allows the Port and City to plan for the future now and identify strategies for living with higher Bay water levels.
How will the Port’s waterfront resilience efforts address the flooding that currently exists in Bayview?
In the southern waterfront, the Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program - as well as the Port’s collaboration with other City departments on the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy - focuses primarily on Islais Creek and the communities directly adjacent to the creek. Flooding predicted to occur in these areas is mainly due to coastal flood risk from rising sea levels. Currently, flooding experienced in the Bayview results from rainfall and storms. A multiagency effort will launch the Bayview Resilience Strategy later this year. This effort, led by SF Planning, will examine the different types of flooding in the community.
How will this effort affect or impact Bayview residents and stakeholders?
With sea level rise, Islais Creek and the surrounding communities will be impacted by flooding and could experience disruptions or damage to transportation, critical infrastructure, open space, and more. The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program and related efforts with SF Planning offer ways for Bayview residents and stakeholders to get involved, learn more about the risks, and share feedback on strategies to adapt the waterfront and address future flooding.
Will there be affordable housing in Islais Creek / Bayview?
Housing is a critical priority for the City now and in the future. Affordable housing has been identified as a community priority through the Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program. Through the Program, the Port will work with City partners to ensure future adaptation strategies consider the need for resilient, affordable, and equitable housing along the waterfront.
How will the Port address the possible gentrification this project could bring to this community?
The Port recognizes gentrification is a critical issue to the Bayview community. Through the evaluation criteria, the Port and City have the opportunity to consider how different adaptation strategies address equity and displacement over time. These strategies are designed to not only prioritize life safety and disaster response but also offer community benefits and foster social cohesion, protecting communities in place. Across the Waterfront Resilience Program, the Port is taking a “people first” approach and planning for a variety of waterfront uses to support community priorities while protecting from earthquakes and future sea level rise.
What is the Port doing to address environmental contamination in the area?
Environmental contamination is another critical issue that the City is addressing. During our community engagement to date, we’ve heard from many members of the community that this issue is top of mind.
The Port has successfully protected and improved natural shoreline habitats in a handful of southern waterfront areas with unique geography and development history. Restoration projects along the banks of Mission Creek, the northeast shoreline of Pier 94, and the rocky shorelines and tidal salt marsh at Heron’s Head Park offer habitat to plants and wildlife in the San Francisco Bay and recreation and educational opportunities to San Francisco residents and visitors from throughout the region.
Although the Port’s jurisdiction ends at Heron’s Head Park and does not include the Shipyard, the Port recognizes sea level rise poses risks to environmental clean-up efforts. The Port will work closely with City partners to ensure future waterfront resilience adaptation strategies take into account risks due to environmental contamination and environmental justice concerns.
When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco, it took a long time to repair what was destroyed and rebuild. Will new structures be earthquake safe? Will families be displaced?
The primary purpose of the Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program is to make shoreline communities, businesses, and the things that they rely on safer. The Islais Creek Southeast Mobility Adaptation Strategy adds a focus on making transportation safer in the Islais Creek area, including roads, bridges, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian pathways. The idea is to reduce the damage and disruption that would be caused by earthquakes and floods. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused a lot of damage to San Francisco neighborhoods and businesses, with a lot of damage to utilities and roadways in spite of being centered in Santa Cruz and only being a small- to medium-sized event. Additionally, 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. 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.
What are the Port and City doing to address concerns about seismic improvements for the Sewer System Improvement Project and infrastructure along the creek?
Through the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy, the Port is working directly with SF Planning, SFMTA, and SFPUC, as well as other City partners, to address resilience along Islais Creek, with a focus on transportation, infrastructure, like sewer systems and wastewater treatment, and ecology. With sea level rise, critical utilities and infrastructure are at risk, impacting neighboring communities and across the city. The Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy effort is a multi-agency collaborative response to plan ahead of time for those risks.
What kind of job training will be available for the community and specifically for the youth (ages 18-24) in the community?
As part of its waterfront resilience work, the Port is working to develop a robust workforce development effort as well as youth engagement as part of its strategies for addressing earthquake and flood risk. This effort will include job training and outreach efforts, so the community knows what opportunities are available to work on this effort. Visit sfportresilience.com/jobs-contracts to learn more and sign up for alerts.
What will be the economic impact on our community? Will there be opportunities for local small businesses to contribute to this project?
The Port is committed to working with small businesses and LBEs to foster positive economic impact in the Bayview and strengthen the City’s economy now and in the future. There will be opportunities in the future to participate in the design and construction phases of the project. Resilience planning, design, construction, and maintenance will also be needed across the region and skills learned on the Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program will likely be transferable to other projects around the region.
What will the impact on the waterfront wildlife be?
Future sea level rise will impact existing habitat for waterfront wildlife. The Port understands that preserving and enhancing open space ecological opportunities along Islais Creek is an important adaptation strategy and will not only benefit the local ecology but will also have positive environmental impacts such as water quality for generations to come.
How will the toxic soils in the Bayview be addressed during this project?
The Port works closely with other City departments to stay up to date on environmental contamination in the Bayview and how rising sea levels might impact these clean-up efforts. Although the Program extends to Heron’s Head Park and not further south, the Port implements the many regulations and proactive policies that the City has adopted, including cleaning up contaminated land, within its jurisdiction to promote environmental health for San Francisco’s residents, workers, and visitors.
Since adoption of the Waterfront Land Use Plan almost 20 years ago, the Port has worked with parties responsible for pollution or with new development partners to clean up contaminated property along its 7.5 mile jurisdiction. For example:
Is the Port coordinating closely with SFPUC and SFMTA?
Yes, the Port is coordinating closely with the SFPUC and SFMTA on waterfront resilience efforts. Major SFPUC and SFMTA infrastructure in the Embarcadero is an important consideration in the Embarcadero seawall geography. The Islais Creek Southern Mobility Adaptation Strategy (ICSMAS) is a multiagency collaborative effort to address flood risk posed by sea level rise while also improving mobility, infrastructure, and access to open space. More information about this strategy will be available this year, for public review and feedback.
How can people from the community become a part of the project?
Community input collected so far has already helped shape the Port’s waterfront resilience work in the southern waterfront. Through the community meeting series, the Port has asked for input from members of the public at every stage of the process, including goal and priorities development, asset mapping, etc. The team has incorporated what we have heard so far into the Program development and community input will help Port staff identify adaptation strategies that are reflective of the needs and priorities of the community. More information can be found on the Community Feedback To Date webpage.
How can the community participate in the planning, design, and construction phases of the Waterfront Resilience Program and will there be opportunities to provide feedback on community priorities and benefits?
The Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program and the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy are both designed to invite participation from community members and organizations at each stage of the work. The Port is committed to meaningful community participation to help identify what should be included in resilience projects along San Francisco’s waterfront and within its communities. The Port is also working with community-based organizations to identify how best to engage to ensure that actions taken in the near-, mid- and long-term to make communities stronger reflect community priorities and provide benefits that advance community priorities.