Adapting to Rising Tides | Plans + Projects | Our Work

Adapting to Rising Tides

MTC is part of a pilot research project to learn more about the impacts of climate change.

Pedestrians on Alameda shoreline

We must evaluate how prepared our region is for rising sea levels and extreme weather events. This involves:

  • Assessing the vulnerability of our transportation systems
  • Understanding how rising seas will affect our shorelines
  • Identifying solutions that work

The Focus of Our Research

Our research is focused on three sections of Alameda County shoreline: the Bay Bridge's eastern touchdown, areas near the Oakland Coliseum, and Hayward.

These areas are home to more than 250,000 residents plus thousands of others who could be affected by reduced access to job centers, shopping, transit stations, healthcare facilities and schools.

MTC and our partners will build on the results from this research to develop strategies that can be used by all bayfront communities.

Get the specifics when you download Climate Change and Extreme Weather Adaption Options.

And search our library by keyword for additional climate guides, reports, programs and more.

MTC collaborated with Caltrans District 4, BART and Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to test the conceptual Risk Assessment model developed by the Federal Highway Administration.

This model assesses risks created by climate change and sea level rise to transportation infrastructure.

The infrastructure is located near the east end of the Bay Bridge, around the Oakland Coliseum, and the Hayward shoreline.

The purpose: to help local governments as well as transportation planners, Caltrans and congestion management agencies improve their risk-assessment practices to craft effective adaptation strategies.

Today’s floods could be the future’s high tides, and areas that now flood every ten or 20 years could flood much more frequently. 

The National Research Council projects that the San Francisco Bay could rise 12 to 24 inches by 2050…

…and as much as 36 to 66 inches by the end of the century.

Rising sea levels are linked to climate change, or global warming.

Most climate scientists agree that global warming is accelerated by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline or coal.

These emissions act like a heat-trapping blanket.