High Tides Next Week Give Preview of Sea Level Rise

Dec 19, 2014

Baykeeper will be on San Francisco waterfront Monday, December 22 to illustrate Bay Area’s vulnerability to flooding caused by global climate change.

Deb Self, San Francisco Baykeeper Executive Director, deb@baykeeper.org mobile 510 882-1882

Media Advisory

SAN FRANCISCO – Some of the year’s highest tides will occur December 21-23. These high tides, called King Tides, give a preview of flooding the Bay Area can expect as global climate change causes sea levels to rise. Baykeeper will be on the San Francisco shoreline to discuss the threat sea level rise presents, and how the Bay Area can prepare to avert damage.

Who: Deb Self, San Francisco Baykeeper Executive Director

When: Monday, December 22, 2014 10:30-11:30am

Where: San Francisco waterfront south of the Ferry Building and Amtrak Station, near Pier 14, across from Boulevard Restaurant. For a map of this location, click here.  

Visuals: Water is expected to breach the shoreline and wash across the sidewalk.

The year’s highest tides, called King Tides, will occur this year December 21-23, and also January 19-21, 2015 and February 17-19, 2015. During these high tides (compounded by storm surges in the Pacific), roadways, storm drain outfalls, and other critical infrastructure can become inundated and damaged.  King Tides provide an opportunity to visualize the impact sea level rise will have on the Bay Area without adequate planning. Researchers predict sea level rise will affect the Bay Area more than any other California coastal region. San Francisco Bay’s level is projected to rise one foot by 2050.

Over the coming decades, storm surges and floods will affect more and more shoreline areas. Low-lying pollution sources—such as wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and industrial facilities at or below sea level—will be at greater risk of contaminating San Francisco Bay. Wetlands, which now help filter pollution and buffer storm surges, may become ”drowned,” eliminating important habitat for many imperiled Bay species.

“Smart planning for sea level rise now can avert damage to the Bay, Bay wetlands, and shoreline communities.  We must protect the Bay’s shorelines from development to ensure they can buffer our communities from storm surges, filter pollution out of our runoff, and provide habitat for the sensitive species.  Tax payers should not foot the bill for emergency relief due to poor planning.” says Deb Self.

Residents are encouraged to take photos of high tides along the San Francisco Bay shoreline and local coast, and post them anywhere on social media with the hashtags #kingtides and #sfbaykeeper. Please be cautious of high surf.

For more information about Baykeeper and our efforts to protect San Francisco Bay visit www.baykeeper.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SFBaykeeper. ###

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