Islais Creek / Bayview Resilience

The Islais Creek / Bayview neighborhood faces 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 Waterfront Adaptation Strategies Development, the San Francisco Waterfront Flood Study, Islais Creek Southeast Mobility Adaptation Strategy, and the Southern Waterfront Earthquake Assessment.

Flood and Earthquake Risks in Islais Creek / Bayview

Aerial of Heron's Head Park

Flooding from sea level rise has the potential to impact life in the Islais Creek / Bayview community. As sea levels continue to rise, there will be additional flood risks near Islais Creek and along the shoreline, including to Muni and key utility infrastructure. Flooding could disrupt local commercial corridors, commutes and transit options, parks and open spaces, and emergency services, posing serious challenges to the Islais Creek / Bayview community and the City as a whole.

Islais Creek was once a broad creek and marsh area that was filled for agricultural and industrial uses in the late 1800s. Areas filled in the 1800s, like Islais Creek, are subject to liquefaction in the event of an earthquake. 

Impacts of Flood and Seismic Risks

  • Transportation and mobility
  • Emergency response and recovery
  • Disruption and damage to small businesses
  • Disruption and damage to Port operations and tenants
  • Disruption and damage to community assets and services including parks, roadways, schools, and homes

Given the complex nature of these issues and the scale of potential impacts, many interrelated efforts are being conducted in the City to understand the severity and progression of climate change impacts, involve the people and communities that could be potentially affected by flooding or earthquakes, and create ideas and actions to defend communities, the economy, and the environment.

Resilience Efforts Underway

San Francisco Waterfront Flood Study - Draft Plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in collaboration with the City of San Francisco, has reached an important milestone in the San Francisco Waterfront Flood Study – the release of the Draft Plan. 

The Draft Plan is part of the San Francisco Waterfront Flood Study (Flood Study), which analyzes the coastal flood risk and effects of sea level rise for the 7.5 miles of waterfront within the Port of San Francisco’s jurisdiction, from Aquatic Park to Heron’s Head Park.

Reflecting more than six years of community engagement and public input, the Draft Plan proposes actions to defend the shoreline against rising sea levels and presents an environmental analysis of those actions. Visit the Draft Plan web page to learn more. 

Islais Creek Southeast Mobility Adaptation Strategy

The Islais Creek Southeast Mobility Adaptation Strategy led by San Francisco Planning, in partnership with the Port and SFMTA, was a two-year community planning process to address coastal flood risk by developing actionable strategies. This process helped develop actionable strategies to address coastal flood risk. Building on the Resilient by Design proposal, the Strategy developed a long-range vision for the Islais Creek shoreline, solutions for public infrastructure, and a funding and implementation strategy that increases the resilience of the community and provides improved transportation networks and new open space. Funded by a Caltrans Transportation Planning grant, the study was completed in August 2021.

Learn more about the Islais Creek Adaptation Strategy.

Southern Waterfront Earthquake Assessment

Cargo ship at Pier 96

The Port is leading an effort in the southern part of the Port's jurisdiction to fill any gaps in the Port, City, and community understanding of the earthquake risks and opportunities. The Assessment will draw from, and integrate with, a number of existing efforts, including the Islais Creek Southeast Mobility Adaptation Strategy, the Embarcadero Seawall Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) San Francisco Waterfront Coastal Flood Study, and Citywide sea level rise work.

  • Focus: All hazards, broad resilience (Equity, Environment, Economy)
  • Implementation: Short, Medium, and Long-Term
  • Lead Agency: Port of San Francisco