Repurposing tidal marshes


The San Jose Mercury News has a riveting web media series on how coastal communities are being affected by sea-level rise as brought on by climate change.  In the latest accompanying article from Feb. 23, the Mercury News writes that “as global warming escalates, San Francisco Bay’s existing flood protection system will be no match for rising sea levels. ”

But the The Bay Institute has a proposal: fortify the shoreline with levees by restoring tidal marshes with sediment from local flood control channels. It also proposes “horizontal levees” — which are, as the article notes, ” a hybrid of traditional earthen levees and restored marshes.”

By using tidal marshes with earthen levees, the Institute estimates that construction and maintenance costs can be reduced by almost 50%. Therefore, the Institute notes, ” the forgotten marshlands of San Francisco Bay have become a critical adaptation tool.” You can read the Institute’s full report here.

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