Hayward Shoreline Sea Level Rise Study
Over the next 50 years, accelerated sea level rise may expose the currently buffered reaches of the city of Hayward, California shoreline located on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay to wave action and potential flooding. The goal of this project is to provide the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency (HASPA) with a preliminary assessment of the possible impacts, mitigations, costs, funding sources, and strategies to manage the effects of sea level rise on both natural and developed resources.
ESA worked with HASPA to develop the Hayward Shoreline Study, assessing the feasibility of protecting shoreline infrastructure while maintaining the ecological values of the San Francisco Bay's wetlands. Planning efforts for sea level rise address vulnerable infrastructure like storm drainage systems, landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and public access trails, while also analyzing the feasibility of protecting and mitigating harmful impacts. The HASPA study considered creative alternatives such as reestablishing natural systems to allow marshland to adapt on its own. ESA suggested an innovative strategy called "Gradual Steepening" that would reuse both dredged sediment and treated wastewater to create brackish marshes behind the existing salt marshes, whose elevation would be adaptable to varying rates of sea level rise. This would create a more resilient shoreline, while recreating elements of the Bay landscape that have been lost in recent times.
ESA continues to work closely with HASPA and local, state, and federal agencies to facilitate the mitigation of sea level rise vulnerabilities, blending rigorous science with creativity and innovation.