Government agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area took a dry-eyed look at the threat sea level rise poses to their region and reached this stark conclusion: “Flooding and rising sea level pose a risk to everyone in the Bay Area, from local communities where homes and jobs may flood, to residents who rely on transportation to connect us, keep our economy humming, and potentially play a role in mitigating the impacts of climate change down the line.”
That finding was included in a recently published report titled “Adapting to Rising Tides — Bay Area” that considered what would happen in the region if no effort was made to address climate change and sea level rise flooding.
Drawing on hundreds of data sources, the report authors found that shoreline flooding would impact everyone who lived in the region. “Even if your home is far from the shoreline, the roads, rails and ferries we rely on; the schools, childcare, and hospitals we depend on; the job at which we work; and the beautiful natural areas we love are at risk,” the report said.
Among the dire predictions for real estate in the region, the report said with four feet of flooding over the next 40 to 100 years nearly 13,000 housing units would “no longer be habitable, insurable, or desirable places to live.” It also said 70,000 badly needed new housing units might not be built or will be built outside the area where they’re most needed.
The agencies that produced the report — Caltrans, Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Regional Collaborative, and San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission — are encouraging Bay Area entities to use it to “plan for rising seas level in a way that preserves and enhances the future for not just a select handful of cities or assets, but for everyone.”