High Tides Next Week Give Preview Of Sea Level Rise

Feb 3, 2012

From boat, Baykeeper documents impact of future sea level rise on San Francisco Bay

Deb Self, Executive Director (415) 856-0444 x102, (c) 510-882-1882; deb@baykeeper.org

San Francisco— Next week some of the year’s highest tides will breach California’s coastal and bay shorelines, providing a glimpse of what the state can expect as sea level rises due to climate change. Baykeeper is helping document the impact of these high tides, called king tides, on San Francisco Bay. High tides will occur Monday through Wednesday, with the highest, at more than 6.7 feet, on Tuesday, February 7, at about 10:50 am.

Media representatives are then invited on board Baykeeper’s boat for a high-tide tour to observe and photograph the impacts of extreme high tides and rising Bay levels on the San Francisco waterfront. Baykeeper staff members and agency officials will be available on the boat for interviews and discussion about the impacts of rising Bay levels.

Tuesday, February 7 - 10:00 am
High-tide SF Waterfront boat tour
Departs from Pier 1½ in San Francisco (just north of the SF Ferry Building)

Researchers predict sea level rise will affect the Bay Area more than any other California coastal region. 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 submerged.

“Smart planning for sea level rise now can avert damage later. It makes sense not to put thousands of new homes or massive commercial developments on land that will be flooded soon. We also need to protect the Bay from pollution and to preserve wetlands wherever possible,” says Ian Wren, Staff Scientist for San Francisco Baykeeper.

Tuesday’s boat photo trip is part of a statewide effort to document the impacts of future sea level rise. The public is encouraged to submit photos of shoreline areas flooded during king tides. The photos will be posted online and used to inspire communities and policy makers to take action to protect the Bay and the California coast. Information about the Bay Area King Tide Photo Initiative is at http://www.flickr.com/groups/bayareakingtides.

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