Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies

The Port of San Francisco, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and San Francisco city agencies, has developed seven Waterfront Adaptation Strategies based on over five years of public engagement. Adaptation Strategies are different ways for the City to create a resilient, sustainable, and equitable waterfront for the next 100 years. This is an impactful moment for the City as we plan for the future and address sea level rise risk now.

From these seven strategies, we will identify a preferred approach to reduce flood risks from sea level rise and extreme storms and provide an opportunity to invest in and bring public benefits to San Francisco's waterfront. The intent is not to choose one of the Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies but to use the best ideas from all of them to create a Draft Waterfront Adaptation Plan (Tentatively Selected Plan).

Explore Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies Online

View the Draft Adaptation Strategies StoryMaps to take a virtual tour of the waterfront and see how the Draft Adaptation Strategies would be applied in each waterfront area. 

Get Involved!

During October through December 2022, the Port hosted eight online community meetings, two in-person events in the Southern Waterfront, and a series of walking tours in each of the waterfront geographies to share information and gather feedback about the Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies. Read the Summary of Public Feedback.

Engagement will continue in the new year! Sign up for an upcoming event below.

Waterfront Walking Tours

The Port leads periodic walking tours along the waterfront. Sign up for the WRP Newsletter to stay up to date on the Port’s resilience work, upcoming events, and ways to get involved.

Learn More - Strategy Fact Sheets, FAQ, and Media

View and download the Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategy fact sheets below for more information about how the Adaptation Strategies apply to different areas of the waterfront and address sea level rise projections at different times. Get to know more about Adaptation Strategies with the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. Read coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle.  

Strategy A - No Action

Takes no actions to reduce flood risks beyond projects that are already approved. It represents a baseline for comparison to evaluate the costs and benefits of all other strategies. This strategy is needed to set the benchmark for comparison of costs, benefits, and environmental and social impacts, as well as policy evaluation for the Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies. 

Strategy B - Nonstructural Option

Moves people and assets away from the risk, uses nonstructural measures (such as floodproofing) to reduce risks, and allows water to go where it wants rather than constructing traditional structural solutions. 

Strategy C - Lower Sea Level Rise

Adapts the shoreline to withstand 1.5’ of sea level rise using a combination of structural and nonstructural measures. 

Strategy D - Lower Sea Level Rise - Adaptable

Adapts the shoreline to withstand 1.5’ of sea level rise, with the possibility of building higher closer to 2090. 

Strategy E - Higher Sea Level Rise - Hold the Line

Preserves a waterfront that looks and functions much as it does today by adapting the shoreline. 

Strategy F - Higher Sea Level Rise - Manage the Water

Creates an active system for managing flooding by heavily relying on machinery. 

Strategy G - Align with Watersheds

Advances shoreline adaptation while working with natural inland flooding patterns to floodproof some buildings and infrastructure and move others away from the highest risk areas. 

Working Toward a Waterfront Adaptation Plan

There is no single approach to adaptation that will meet the needs of San Francisco along the entire waterfront. The different risks, topography, and historic development of the waterfront means that we will need to use a combination of approaches. The intent is not to choose one of the Draft Waterfront Adaptation Strategies but to use the best ideas from all of them to create a Draft Waterfront Adaptation Plan (Tentatively Selected Plan) in summer 2023.  

The development of Draft Strategies reflects five-plus years of citywide community engagement that has connected with tens of thousands of San Franciscans on what a resilient, sustainable, equitable waterfront means to them. Your continued input will help create a vision for how San Francisco adapts to sea level rise.