The neighborhoods along the Embarcadero face urgent seismic risks and increasing flood risks from sea level rise. The Port of San Francisco, along with City partners, are addressing both of these risks through the Embarcadero Seawall Program and Embarcadero Early Projects, Waterfront Adaptation Strategies Development, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) San Francisco Waterfront Coastal Flood Study. You can learn more about flood and earthquake risks along the Embarcadero waterfront on the Waterfront Resilience Story Maps.
The Port is working to ensure that all resilience strategies developed create opportunities for San Francisco’s historically underserved communities to engage in decision making and benefit directly – both through job opportunities and post-construction conditions. Historically underserved communities, particularly in the southeast, are often hit first and worst by climate hazards such as storm and coastal flooding, impacting jobs, housing, and access to and from the community.
Resilience Efforts Underway
Embarcadero Early Projects
Embarcadero Early Projects address the areas of highest earthquake and sea level rise risks along the Embarcadero waterfront. They are near-term actions, focused on improving life safety and citywide disaster response capabilities, and are the first step toward building long-term, waterfront-wide resilience.
San Francisco Waterfront Coastal Flood Study
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Port have partnered to study flood risk along San Francisco's bayside shoreline. The San Francisco Waterfront Coastal Flood Study is an important opportunity to develop strategies and solutions to strengthen the waterfront's resilience in a way that protects life safety, as well as the assets, resources, and infrastructure that are most valued by those who live, work, and recreate in the neighborhood.
Waterfront Adaptation Strategies Development
Our storm modeling indicates that San Francisco will start experiencing potentially costly coastal flood damages in the period between 2030-2040. San Francisco will need to make key decisions about how to adapt the waterfront and defend critical assets from flooding to reach a locally-endorsed Waterfront Adaptation Strategy by early 2023 in order to access federal and state funding opportunities.
Through a robust public engagement process, the Port and other City partner agencies are developing a locally-endorsed Waterfront Adaptation Strategy, which will identify a preferred approach to adapting the waterfront to flood hazards. Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies will bring together the important adaptation work done to date in the Northern and Southern waterfronts to develop a plan for a resilient shoreline along all 7.5 miles of Port jurisdiction, from the Bayview to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Adaptation Strategies are a combination of construction and policy efforts to address the San Francisco waterfront’s unique combination of earthquake and flood risks in the short and long term. Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies will be ready for public feedback in Fall 2022, with a goal of reaching a final, locally-endorsed Waterfront Adaptation Strategy by Spring 2023.
The Waterfront Adaptation Strategies development process is guided by the Program's five years of community engagement and feedback which included asset mapping and input on resilience goals and priorities in Islais Creek / Bayview, Mission Creek / Mission Bay, and the Embarcadero Waterfront.
San Francisco Waterfront Coastal Flood Study
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Port have partnered on the San Francisco Waterfront Coastal Flood Study, which will study the costs and benefits of building flood defense infrastructure along the San Francisco shoreline from Bayview to Fisherman’s Wharf. The preferred strategy from the Flood Study will be presented to Congress for billions of dollars in possible federal funding.
Embarcadero Seawall Program
The Port is leading the Embarcadero Seawall Program, a citywide effort to create a more sustainable and resilient waterfront. Part of the Port's Waterfront Resilience Program, the Embarcadero Seawall Program will provide the tools to address current and future risks over time.
The Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment, or MHRA, provides a comprehensive understanding of existing earthquake and flood risks along the Embarcadero and establishes a basis for the development of Embarcadero Early Projects (see below).