January 24, 2014
  • REDWOOD CITY – The California Coastal Conservancy announced yesterday that it will fund a $200,000 grant application jointly submitted by San Mateo County and the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to study the impacts of sea level rise due to global warming on the shoreline area northwest of the airport where the San Bruno and Colma creeks enter the San Francisco Bay.

    “San Mateo County has more property at risk from sea level rise than any other county in the Bay Area,” said Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine who led the effort along with SFO to prepare the grant proposal. “It is critical that we understand the risks of sea level rise, assess our options, and protect our economic and civic infrastructure.  This grant will help begin that effort.”

    SFO and Supervisor Pine will convene a multi-agency working group to assess the study area’s vulnerability to sea level rise and prepare adaptation strategies. The study area contains residential neighborhoods that have been subject to severe flooding, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and substantial public infrastructure including two major highways, Caltrain and BART lines, the San Francisco Bay Trail, two sanitary sewage treatment plants, and multiple flood control channels and pump stations.

    The study will complement the airport’s SFO Shoreline Protection Feasibility Study, whose purpose is to develop a shoreline protection system that will protect the airport from flooding and rising seas.

    “SFO is critical to the economy of the Bay Area, and protecting the Airport’s eight-mile shoreline from projected sea level rise is a priority,” said Airport Director John L. Martin. “We are currently undertaking a comprehensive shoreline protection study, and evaluating enhancements to our existing seawall. Our partnership with San Mateo County allows us to collaborate with communities adjacent to SFO to develop effective solutions for our shorelines.”

    On January 23, 2014, the Coastal Conservancy awarded more than $3 million in grants under its Climate Ready program. Out of approximately 76 applicants, twenty grants were funded including the $200,000 proposal submitted by San Mateo County and SFO.

    Work on the study will begin immediately and is tentatively scheduled to conclude by June of 2015.