NOAA Sentinel Site Cooperatives: Partnering to meet challenges of sea level rise
The San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative, one of five Cooperatives in the nation, brings to life NOAA’s science-service-stewardship continuum to ensure resilient Bay Area communities and ecosystems in the face of changing sea level and coastal flooding. The program’s place-based, collaborative approach works to connect NOAA coastal and ecosystem monitoring, measurement, and tools in partnership with federal, state, and local efforts, with a shared vision of improving regional resilience to sea level rise.
Why the Bay Area?
San Francisco Bay and its Outer Coast comprise the largest estuarine area on the west coast of the United States. It is an ideal area to help achieve the vision of the NOAA Sentinel Site Program. The estuary serves as both a major urban and economic center and supports significant ecological value. It is home to over 7 million people, and retains some of the largest and most important natural areas along the west coast, including three National Marine Sanctuaries (Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay), the Point Reyes National Sea Shore, the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The estuary serves as a major hub of commerce and supports the most intact Mediterranean-climate wetlands in North America. The Bay Area is also on the leading edge of efforts to support the resilience of this wealth of socio-ecological resources in light of changing sea level and coastal flood conditions.
With an emphasis on sea level rise, Cooperative activities fall under three main focus areas:
Bridging natural and built adaptation planning
Supporting development of a regional network for early detection and forecasting of marsh ecosystem changes
Fostering resilience efforts that incorporate connections between the ocean/outer coast and bay
Geographic extent of the San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative.