How We Work
The Cooperative's overarching goal is to enhance the capacity of Bay Area communities to plan for and adapt to changing coastal flood conditions. Addressing impacts of sea level rise requires creative and cross-jurisdictional efforts. We foster partnerships and facilitate collaboration to leverage the wealth of knowledge, programs, and resources that already exist here in the Bay, and to link these with national NOAA resources. In addition to the Cooperative activities described below, be sure to check out our News and Resources pages for information on additional sea level rise-related resources from Cooperative members and partners. Contact our Cooperative Coordinator to find out ways to engage with the Cooperative's existing activities, or to suggest new opportunities for collaboration!
Cooperative Focus Areas
With an emphasis on sea level rise, Cooperative activities fall under three main focus areas:
natural and built adaptation planning
development of a regional network for early detection and forecasting of marsh
- Fostering resilience efforts that connect the ocean/outer coast and bay
Lifting the Fog: Bringing Clarity to Sea Level Rise and Shoreline Change Models and Tools
Evaluating and integrating information from continually evolving coastal flood models can create significant barriers to planning for changing coastal flood conditions. In California, several decision-support tools exist that incorporate different models of sea-level rise and coastal processes (e.g., storms, flooding, and erosion) for forecasting coastal change, many of which offer user-friendly, web-based platforms. The intended end-users of these decision-support tools are local coastal decision-makers (e.g., planners, regulators, and natural resource managers) who are on the front lines in preparing communities for future coastal conditions. With the plethora of tools and models available, decision-makers need clear, synthesized information and training to understand and evaluate the applicability of different tools for use in their community. In addition, there is a need for improved communication pathways between model/tool developers and decision-makers to prioritize improvements that better address end-user needs. To help address this gap, members of the NOAA San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative (NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve), along with partners at The Nature Conservancy, Coravai LLC, and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, developed a joint project called "Lifting the Fog". The primary goals of the project were to (1) develop a better understanding of the gaps and barriers between tool development and usage, and (2) develop communication pathways to help close this gap. The project resulted in: (1) a series of workshops that brought together the model/ tool developer community with end-users to discuss future adaptation needs, and (2) synthesized communications products to better equip California coastal decision-makers in navigating the range of available tools. The process, lessons-learned, and resources from this project can be used to initiate or strengthen coastal adaptation planning efforts on a local level, throughout the state, and beyond.
Forecasting Marsh Ecosystem Changes
Leveraging the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Sentinel Site monitoring program as a foundation, the Cooperative is seeking to lay the groundwork for development of a regional monitoring network for early detection and forecasting of marsh ecosystem changes resulting from sea level rise. Stay tuned as we develop this effort!
Challenges to Marsh and Shoreline Resilience: