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Sea Level Rise

Warmer conditions that melt glaciers and ice sheets and expand sea water, are leading to sea level rise (SLR). An anticipated increase in sea level rise of 1-2 feet by mid-century and up to 6 feet 9 inches by end of century is projected for the Bay Area. Further coastal flooding due to storm surges are also projected as the changing climate leads to stronger storms.

Potential Physical Interventions

Click on any strategy below for more detailed descriptions. 

Mudflat Augmentation

Mudflat augmentation is the intentional placement of fine silts and clays to elevate mudflats relative to rising tides.

Ecotone Levee

Horizontal ecotone levees are sloped bankments of plants designed to slow wave velocity, reduce sea level rise impacts, and restore tidal marsh ecosystems.

Tidal Marsh Restoration

Tidal marsh restoration is the restoration of tidal marshes and tidal flats through added sediment and planted vegetation.

Constructed Inland Wetlands

Constructing or restoring wetlands aims to recreate natural wetlands in an urban environment, which provides flood mitigation and water purification.

Polder Management

Polder management is the revitalization of polders (human-impacted baylands) by removing and adding levees, reintroducing sediment, and reducing human impacts.

Increasing River Floodplain

Increasing riverine floodplains refers to restructuring river banks to their more natural form in order to mitigate flooding.


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Port Lands Flood Protection Project

Toronto’s Port Lands district is an ambitious flood protection project that has evolved into a large urban redevelopment program. The project is about 2 miles outside of Toronto's financial district and has been a industrial no-man zone near Lake Ontario. The project encompasses 600 acres with 64 acres of park , 75 acres of habitat, riverfront pathway and plans for 20,000 residential housing units.

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Bel Marin Key Wetlands Restoration

The Bel Marin Key Restoration Project is designed to enhance and create seasonal wetlands, reestablish healthy ecosystems while protecting endangered species, and mitigate effects from the changing climate.

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Sonoma Creek Baylands Strategy

The Sonoma Creek Baylands Strategy was created to mitigate flooding events and reintroduce public access to the restored environment. Further benefits are protecting endangered species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse.

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South Bay Salt Pond Restoration

This restoration project is the largest tidal restoration project on the west coast. The project is in the midst of restoring over 15,000 acres of industrial salt ponds to natural tidal marshes.

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Seal Beach Sediment Augmentation Project

Seal Beach, in Southern California, is a pilot project that consists of the addition of a thin-layer (8-10 inches) of clean dredged sediments to 10 acres of a low elevation salt marsh within the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge in Orange County, CA in order to increase habitat health and address sea level rise.

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Oro Loma Horizontal Levee Project

Oro Loma Sanitary District in San Lorenzo, CA is removing vertical levees and putting in horizontal levees to better adapt and prepare for rising tides.

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Moffett Park Specific Plan Urban Ecology

The Moffett Park Technical Plan lays out a city wide redevelopment of green infrastructure and Nature-Based Strategies that create habitats and natural corridors in order to reduce climate impacts and positively impact the community.

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Bair Island Wetlands Restoration

Bair Island in Redwood, CA is three islands in close proximity to each other that have undergone a massive restoration effort by local organizations to transform thousands of acres of salt ponds back into tidal flats.

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