• Bay Smart:Climate Smart

Save The Bay envisions a clean, healthy San Francisco Bay for generations to come. A Bay Smart Community will protect waterways, invest in bicycle, pedestrian and public transit infrastructure, prevent displacement, enable universal access to the Bay shoreline, promote environmental justice, and equitable and inclusive infrastructure planning.

Every day, we see the obvious and growing impacts of climate change – we must take local action by preparing for rising temperatures, persistent drought, unpredictable weather, more intense wildfires, and flooding from sea level rise, worsening storms, and rising groundwater levels.

With your help, we can promote a Bay Smart:Climate Smart vision that will prioritize denser development close to the urban core, affordable housing options, improved public transit, and natural solutions to keep our Bay clean and accessible while meeting the challenges of climate change.

Sea Levels Are Rising

San Francisco Bay Area – Present Day*

San Francisco Bay Area – 2050

On the left, San Francisco Bay is shown as we know it today. On the right, you can see a a conservative 30-year projection of flooding with up to 36″ of water inundation. This flooding is the result of the anticipated sea-level rise and expected storm surges (12″ and 24″ respectively). Wetland restoration provides protection from rising seas, and healthy, restored wetlands are needed to adapt to sea level rise and mitigate flooding in our communities.

Natural Solutions

Habitat restoration and green infrastructure are natural solutions for clean water, flood control, and public access to nature.

Habitat restoration along the Bay shoreline provides multiple benefits including: improved sea level rise and flood protection for shoreline neighbors; natural water filtration to improve water quality; and expanded wildlife habitat and open space to ensure that the public is able to access and enjoy the amazing Bay that we call home. Urban greening projects change the design of our cities to include more trees, rain gardens, green roofs and other design elements that utilize nature itself to filter trash and chemical pollution from urban stormwater. By incorporating these approaches, we can not only improve water quality in our creeks and the Bay, but also reduce urban heat islands and improve the quality of life by bringing more greenspace into our cities.

Bay Smart Communities

Bay Smart communities put affordable housing close to urban centers, prioritize transit-oriented development, and don’t build on restorable wetlands or in areas that are projected to flood as sea levels rise and storms are wetter and more intense.

Save The Bay Action Fund actively supports more affordable housing close to transit in the Bay Area. The lack of affordable housing close to jobs, coupled with a public transit system that has been underfunded for years, increases the volume and length of daily car commutes, which in turn increases greenhouse gases and stormwater and microplastic pollution from roadways. Improved access to bicycle, pedestrian, and high‐quality public transit options reduce vehicle miles traveled in single-occupancy vehicles, harmful emissions, and water pollution from roadways across our region.

*Map Credit: AECOM (2016). Adapting To Rising Tides Bay Area Sea Level Rise & Mapping Project: County/SF Bay. SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission. https://explorer.adaptingtorisingtides.org