New report details sea rise threatening development at San Francisco’s edges

The seas are rising, and soon may wash over the new offices of tech giants, as well as thousands of new units of housing, according to a local nonprofit news agency.

In a new report released this week, the San Francisco Public Press details a tidal wave of construction along San Francisco’s waterfront and how nearly none of it is adequately protected from rising oceans.

“We’re building in areas in some places planners and climate scientists say should not be built at all,” said Michael Stoll, editor in chief of the Public Press. “Most local governments have not really considered the option of not developing there.”

The Public Press presents the watery peril facing San Francisco in an 11,000 word package — eight pages with original maps, photos and illustrations. The print edition is rolling out across San Francisco this week, and will launch online midday Wednesday with video and multimedia, according to Stoll.

The Public Press is a member-supported nonprofit organization founded in 2009, with the goal of furthering long-term investigative reporting projects.

Reporters Kevin Stark, Winifred Bird and editor Michael Stoll assembled the report over six months, Stoll said. The report is “future-focused,” he said.

“We compiled a list of megaprojects that might be underwater by the year 2100, according to the best science,” he told the Examiner.

The report details how local builders plan to invest more than $21 billion in offices and homes in flood-prone areas, where waters could climb 8 feet above today’s high tide by the end of this century.

Importantly, the report notes, even a 3 foot permanent rise of the ocean (the most likely scenario) would put thousands of acres of the current shoreline underwater, including thousands of new units of housing on Treasure Island and along The City’s waterfront.

Visit to find the nearest retailer selling a copy of the San Francisco Public Press, and to donate to the nonprofit online.

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