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San Francisco Vulnerability and Consequence Assessment

San Francisco Planning Department, Port of San Francisco, and the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning

Silvestrum helped lead the city-wide Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Consequence Assessment working directly with the San Francisco Planning Department, the Port of San Francisco, and the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning, and collaborating closely with all departments and agencies across the city. The assessment will support department-based strategies to increase the sea level rise resilience of critical assets, as well as neighborhood-scale and city-scale strategies that will improve public safety and reduce the threat of sea level rise and coastal flooding into the next century. Silvestrum provided strategic advice and capacity building across the City, incorporated lessons learned from similar assessments in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world, and served as a lead author for the final report. This assessment provides a path forward towards toward adaptation efforts, man of which are already underway along the City’s must vulnerable shorelines.

Setting the foundations for zero net loss of the mangroves that underpin human wellbeing in the North Brazil Shelf

Conservation International , Global Environment Facility, IUCN-Sur

A component of the Conservation International, Governments of Guyana and Suriname and Silvestrum project to establish a shared process for North Brazil Shelf Integrated Coastal Management, recognizing the prevalence, socio-ecological importance and connectivity of mangroves, in retention of key ecosystem services to communities between the North Brazil Shelf countries. Silvestrum did a scoping review of Nature-based Options and Solutions for Coastal Defenses - this effort helps set the bio-geomorphic context for management planning and provides the basis for natural infrastructure or green-gray hybrid solutions to assist in adapting to the changing climate. Key tasks included 1) development of climate change scenarios; 2) quantification of the influence of geomorphology and mangrove species composition in storm attenuation and sediment accretion; 3) review of environmental and anthropogenic factors that influence mangrove condition and associated flood risk; and 4) the development of a coastal vulnerability and adaptation framework to identify local- and regional-scale vulnerabilities to coastal hazards and identify potential nature-based adaptation solutions.

Islais Creek Southeast Mobility Strategy

San Francisco Planning Department

Silvestrum, as part of a consultant team led by AECOM, is supporting the City of San Francisco with the development of a Mobility Adaptation Strategy for the San Francisco Neighborhood around Islais Creek in preparation for expected coastal flood hazards and sea level rise. The study will develop district-level and site-specific adaptation alternatives for near-, mid- and long-term flood risks through the year 2100, a timeframe aligned with the San Francisco Sea Level Rise Adaptation Program and other citywide resilience projects. This project recognizes the connections and interdependence of transportation systems, public infrastructure, jobs, housing, and the waterfront. To successfully prioritize and phase investments, the project team and city staff will look holistically at the City’s waterfront communities and the public assets that serve them. Silvestrum’s work includes public outreach and engagement, input to the district-level adaptation strategies, and developing site-specific adaptation strategies for maritime assets.

Hamilton Wetland Technical Advisory Committee

US Army Corps of Engineers, California State Coastal Conservancy

2014 marked the return of a tidal connection to the Hamilton Army Airbase in Marin County, California. Approximately 650 acres of tidal and seasonal wetlands were restored with the placement of 7 million cubic yards of dredged material from maintenance dredging at the Port of Oakland. Dr. Steve Crooks managed the restoration with his prior employer, working closely with the USACE Project Design Team, and managing the team that developed the wetland preliminary designs, the basis of design report, and the monitoring & adaptive management report. To maintain project continuity, Dr. Crooks continues to serve on the project Technical Advisory Committee to support the ongoing monitoring and adaptive management.

Pajaro Dunes Coastal Analysis

Pajaro Dunes Home Owners Associations

The Pajaro Dunes communities are built on sand dunes adjacent to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz County, California. The sand dunes, classified as Primary Frontal Dunes by the National Flood Insurance Program, are dynamic systems that can accrete sediment on seaward dune face throughout much of the year, and then quickly erode under the force of a strong winter storm, particularly during El Niño years. Silvestrum helped the communities better understand their existing flood hazards, and provided recommendation to the communities using guidelines developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Shoreline Protection Program

San Francisco International Airport

Silvestrum is part of the COWI-TERRA Joint Venture working with the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to protect the SFO’s assets and operations from flooding during a 1-percent-annual-chance coastal storm and future sea level rise. Silvestrum is providing subject matter expertise related to climate change and flood hazards, including sea level rise, rising groundwater levels, and future extreme precipitation. Dr. Kris May is also coordinating with other subject matter experts, SFO, and FEMA to ensure compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This three-year project will help protect SFO and allow for uninterrupted operations. As the seventh busiest airport in the United States, with nearly 58 million guests travelling through the airport each year, SFO is an important regional transportation hub for the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sea Level Rise Guidance for San Francisco

Office of Resilience and Capital Planning

Dr. Kris May has served as the City and County of San Francisco’s key Sea Level Rise Strategic Partner and a member of the City’s Sea Level Rise Working group since 2013. She supporting the creation of the award-winning “Guidance for Incorporating Sea Level Rise into Capital Planning, Assessing Vulnerability and Risk to Support Adaptation. The Guidance was recently updated on January 3, 2020 to account for the latest climate science, including the creation of a comprehensive checklist to help project managers assess the sea level rise vulnerabilities and risks of their projects.

Waterfront Resilience Program

Port of San Francisco

Silvestrum is supporting the Jacobs team with the adaptation and resilience aspects of the multi-million dollar Embarcadero Seawall Program that supports a 3-mile stretch of the aging seawall along the Embarcadero, and the Waterfront Resilience Program that spans 7.5 miles of bayside shoreline that is home to some of the region’s most popular open spaces and attractions, a national historic district, hundreds of small businesses, nearby housing, and maritime and industrial uses. The Port of San Francisco plans to address immediate hazards including seismic and flooding, as well as longer term hazards like sea level rise. An adaptive planning framework will allow the Port to act now to address risks to life safety and emergency response, while planning for mid- and long-term risks. It will also allow the Port to be responsive to community priorities, changes in science, and funding and partnership opportunities.

Adapting to Rising Tides

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC)

Silvestrum is supporting the Bay Area Adapting to Rising Tides (ART) program, with a goal of increasing the preparedness and resilience of Bay Area communities to sea level rise and other climate change-related impacts. Dr. Kris May has supported ART since its inception in 2010 with her previous employer, AECOM, including developing innovative mapping approaches and tools for completing climate change vulnerability and risk assessments. Since completing the original assessments in Alameda County in 2011, the ART program has grown to become the leading Bay Area climate change preparedness program, supporting multi-sector, cross-jurisdictional projects that build local and regional capacity for identifying and implementing adaptation responses. Silvestrum's current role on the AECOM-led team in the development of a regional ART vulnerability assessment includes coordination with Stanford's University's Natural Capital Project including providing technical advice and background data for an assessment of the value of wetlands and restored habitats in dissipating wave energy. Additional recent efforts include supporting the development of a Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Framework to identify the most vulnerable regions of the Bay to sea level rise, considering the vulnerability and consequence of transportation assets, Priority Development Areas, and Priority Conservation Areas across a range of sea level rise scenarios. The framework supports the prioritization of assets for deeper analysis and development of adaptation strategies. Developing an adaptation roadmap for Suisun City that identifies adaptation pathways considering potential near- and long-term strategies.​

Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)

Dr. Kris May and Mike Mak led SFPUC’s the climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the San Francisco’s combined sewer system with her former employer. Silvestrum, as a subconsultant to the AECOM-Parsons Joint Venture, is completing the assessment and ensuring consistency with both the city-wide Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Consequence Assessment and the SFPUC's Collection System Capital Improvement Strategy. The team has provided design consultations for specific early actions for implementation so that investments made today will support resilience into the next century. The final report is expected to be released in 2020.

The All Bay Collective: The Estuary Commons

Resilience by Design Challenge

Rather than wait for a natural disaster, the San Francisco Bay Area proactively reimagined a better future by creating blueprints for resilience that harness Bay Area innovation and serve as a model for communities around the world. Silvestrum was proud to be a member of the The All Bay Collective (ABC): a diverse group of locally based/globally experienced professionals, academics, students, and policy makers. Led by AECOM, we fused science, design excellence, academic leadership, community outreach, and business innovation to develop near-term actions and a long-range vision for the communities around the San Leandro Bay (e.g., east Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro). Silvestrum worked with UC Berkeley to develop new groundwater mapping that incorporated sea level rise to uncover new vulnerabilities that would affect the communities as well as potential adaptation options.

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