Size (of sea level rise) matters

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Text by Sarah Phelan.

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has released detailed color maps that show the low-lying areas around the Bay in danger of flooding from global-warming related sea level rise. And while the maps look awfully pretty, the impacts likely won’t be.

Using U.S. Geological Survey data, the maps show the extent of inundation on each section of shoreline and
and can be enlarged to show a pretty high-rez image.

You can see the impacts of a predicted 16-inch rise, (predicted in 40 yeas) on say, the Central Bay here, a 55-inch rise (predicted in 90 years,) and, perhaps most revealing of all, a composite of the two.

First used in a BCDC draft report, Living with a Rising Bay: Vulnerability and Adaptation in San Francisco Bay and on the Shoreline, released earlier this month, the maps show that 180,000 acres of shoreline are in danger of flooding by 2050, increasing to 213,000 acres by 2100.

“This means that 84 percent of the area that will be flooded in 90 years will already be under water in 40 years,” said BCDC’s executive director Will Travis in a press release. “Most of this area is low-lying flat land that was created when shallow parts of the Bay were reclaimed by land fill projects in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

Or as Leslie Lacko, the principal author of the BCDC sea level rise report on sea level rise, put it, “The areas that will be flooded by high tides at mid-century are already within the 100-year floodplain, where currently there’s a one percent chance of flooding every year. By 2050, the chance of flooding in the same area will be 100 percent every year.”

Comments

Sarah, you rock.
This is just one of the multitude of reasons to oppose Newsom/Maxwell/Lennars Urban Renewal. One of the many questions I, and others, have asked at BOS/Planning/Land Use hearings is exactly how much of the project in the pretty pictures presented by Coffee Bonehead would be under water if sea levels rise as predicted. I never heard a satisfactory intelligible response, though it was brought to my attention that one of their team of geniuses might have proposed building a sea wall !!!

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN. on Apr. 29, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

I just finished reviewing Section III.M Hydrology and Water Quality of the Shipyard/Candlestick Phase II development. There are very serious impacts documented that are considered not significant or possibly significant with no mitigation measures offered. Let me list a few:
Impact HY12 - Implementation of the project would not place housing in a 100 year flood hazard area-possibly significant with mitigation measures.
Impact HY-13b-Implementation of the project at HPS Phase II would not place structures within a 100 year flood hazard are or impede or redirect flood flows.
Impact HY-14 - Implementation of the Project would not expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury or death involving flooding, including flooding as the result of failure of a levee or dam. Possibly significant!
Impact HY-15 Implementation of the Project would not expose people or structures to inundation by seiche, tsunami or mudflow.

Posted by Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, M.D. on Nov. 29, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

Can someone please have the guts to stand up with me and challenge the findings of the Candlestick Point-Hunters Point Shipyard Draft EIR which determines under Geology and Soils that impacts related to earth shaking and liquefaction are mitigated! Are they crazy! This region, as well as Treasure Island, will surely be underground by the projected build out date of the project. They are determine that toxic air contaminants like asbestos and diesel are unmitigated but admit that BAAQMD violations for criteria pollutants will be significant, adverse unmitigated impacts. Look at the list of adverse unmitigated transportation impacts including that crazy bridge over Yosemite Slough that will kill all the cute remaining animals in the area and contaminate the air for children attending 17 schools and daycare centers within a one mile radius of the shipyard.

Posted by Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, M.D. on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 12:41 pm