Following its recent report criticizing the Port of San Francisco for being unduly influenced by wealthy developers and their allies in the Mayor’s Office, the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury today released its second report of the current session, calling on the city to do more to prepare for the impacts of global warming.
“Rising Sea Levels...At our Doorstep” assessed recognition and preparedness in a city where projections by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission show San Francisco International Airport, Treasure Island, and parts of Mission Bay and Hunters Point inundated by water by the end of the century. The report found that while most city departments and private developers were aware of and planning adaptive responses to the problem, far more needs to be done -- including adoption of less intensive development strategies for flood-prone areas, such as Mission Bay.
“We are currently at the cusp of the future in terms of sustainability. It took the Loma Prieta earthquake to awaken San Francisco to the necessity of intensified seismic retrofitting. Let’s not wait for a major flooding disaster, like Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, to start addressing the serious threat of rising sea levels. The threat is real; the time to act is now,” the grand jury wrote. “For a start, San Francisco should, among other things, adopt a citywide comprehensive plan for adaptation to rising sea levels and amend the City’s Planning and Building Codes to include provisions addressing the impacts of sea level rise.”
The report urged city leaders to accelerate plans to implement recommendations of the Ocean Beach Master Plan, which among other things called for rerouting Highway 1 in sections where the coastline is now receding and creations of tidelands on the southern part of Ocean Beach.