US Army Corps of Engineers
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Corps seeks public comments for SF Waterfront Flood Resiliency Study

USACE San Francisco District
Published Oct. 19, 2020
Aerial photo taken of the San Francisco Waterfront.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) San Francisco District is currently preparing a feasibility study to evaluate coastal storm and flood risk management alternatives along 7.5 miles of the San Francisco Waterfront.

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) San Francisco District is preparing a feasibility study to evaluate coastal storm and flood risk management alternatives along 7.5 miles of the San Francisco Waterfront. Specifically, the study area runs from Aquatic Park to Herons Head Park. This area is highly urbanized, supporting commercial, residential, recreation, tourism and open space land uses, with a complex mix of piers, structures and seawall – many of which are considered historic. The Port of San Francisco is the non-federal partner for the study.

USACE will conduct early National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping to solicit public participation and input that will assist with determining the appropriate level of NEPA documentation for the study. Comments, including any suggested alternatives, information and analyses for consideration are requested by Oct. 21, 2020.

HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENTS

Written comments may be emailed to SFWFRS@usace.army.mil or mailed to: Ms. Anne Baker, 450 Golden Gate Ave, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Last month, there were two opportunities to submit comments during a pair of USACE/Port-led virtual public meetings on Sept. 16, 6-7:30 p.m., and Sept. 17, 1-2:30 p.m. The PowerPoint presentation for both meetings is available HERE. A transcript of those meetings is available HERE.

** Please note that the San Francisco Planning Department is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lead agency for the study. The Planning Department is conducting CEQA review under a separate process, which is not part of this early scoping effort under NEPA. **

ABOUT THE STUDY

The primary issue this study will investigate is flooding from large coastal storms and extreme high tide events. The importance of the study is to protect the San Francisco waterfront, including major transportation infrastructures and the City’s financial district, with an estimated $22 billion in public sector assets at risk. Recent inspections along the waterfront have revealed portions of the seawall in need of repair (joints of steel plates and distress of concrete face). Expected impacts from continued deterioration of the waterfront would include: severed access to passenger ferries; damaged piers, wharves and the buildings on top of them; distorted streetcar tracks; cracks in the Embarcadero roadway and promenade; and disrupted utilities, in addition to risk to health and life safety.