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2019 Natural Capital Symposium

San Francisco Bay Resilience

March 20, 2019 - 8:00 am to 9:30 am

Abstract: Coastal cities around the world are at increasing risk from coastal hazards.  San Francisco, California is no different. As sea-levels rise, development pressures increase, and population grows, decision-makers and stakeholders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are working to ensure the resilience and adaptation of their communities.  One area of increasing interest is the role that natural infrastructure plays in reducing risks from coastal hazards while providing a suite of benefits to people and ecosystems that hardened shorelines do not provide. To help inform the implementation of nature-based strategies for adaptation, and as an early pilot of the new Urban InVEST suite, the Natural Capital Project engaged with two entities in the Bay Area: the Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) and the San Mateo County (SMC) Sustainability Office.  Together with these regional and county government bodies, and other local collaborators, we quantified a suite of ecosystem services provided by wetlands, watersheds, seagrass, beaches, and dunes, both currently and under various sea-level rise and adaptation scenarios. Our results for recreation, wave attenuation, carbon storage and sequestration, storm water retention, and habitat quality highlight the value of coastal restoration, strengthen the knowledge base of alternative shoreline management strategies, and link climate and ecosystem service assessments to inform future shoreline management in the Bay Area.  In this session we will hear from partners at BCDC, SMC, The San Francisco Estuary Institute, and the Coastal Conservancy about how ecosystem services approaches and values have the potential to advance conservation and development decisions for a more resilient Bay Area.

Moderator: Jeff Koseff, Stanford University

Discussant: Steve Goldbeck, Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission

Featured speakers include:

  • Katherine Wyatt, Natural Capital Project 
  • Heather Dennis, Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission
  • Jeremy Lowe, San Francisco Estuary Institute
  • Dave Pine, Supervisor, San Mateo County
  • Anne Guerry, Natural Capital Project
Session Track: 
Pathways to Impact