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Waterfront Resilience Program


Port of San Francisco

Pathways Climate Institute is supporting Waterfront Resilience Program and USACE Flood Study as a subconsultant to CH2M Hill (Jacobs). 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 disaster response facilities.

Dr. May is the Planning Lead for the consultant team, working in close collaboration with the Port Planning Lead. Pathways and the broader Planning team are helping to shape the future vision of the waterfront through the end of this century and beyond. The team has launched a highly collaborative approach to adaptation strategy development, evaluation, and refinement. The development process leverages expertise across multiple departments, USACE partners, and experts in in resource and regulatory matters, natural and nature-based features, historic preservation, equity, maritime and industrial services, contamination and remediation, and engineering. In January 2024, the Port and USACE released the Draft Plan, which proposes flood defenses to address sea level rise along the Port’s 7.5-mile jurisdiction from Aquatic Park to Heron’s Head Park.

The Pathways team also supports a wide variety of Program efforts based on our expertise in climate science, flood risk management, flood modeling, nature-based features, and GIS. Examples include:

  • Adaptation strategy development

  • Living seawall pilot study

  • Coastal storm database development and flood modeling across California and USACE sea level rise projections

  • Online tools to improve Program data and information access for technical audiences and for community engagement

  • City Flood Risk Reduction Guidance

  • Technical white papers on tidal flooding and sea level rise projections in the context of San Francisco Bay

  • GIS analysis and cross-discipline coordination of a multi-hazard risk assessment

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