Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis Joins Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and Elected Officials for the Announcement of the Port of San Francisco and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Draft Plan to Build the City’s Flood Defenses Against Sea Level Rise 


For Immediate Release
Friday, January 26, 2023
Contact:, (916) 445-8994


SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis joined Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, San Francisco Port Director Elaine Forbes, and other state and local leaders to announce an important milestone in the San Francisco Waterfront Flood Study: the release of the Draft Plan, a major step in San Francisco’s effort to make the city more resilient to coastal flooding and sea level rise.  

The Draft Plan is part of the San Francisco Waterfront Flood Study, a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of San Francisco, which aims to study coastal flood risks and effects of rising sea levels within the Port’s area. Models indicate that without intervention, rising sea levels could result in more than $23 billion in damages to Port infrastructure and adjacent communities over the next hundred years.  

After more than six years of research and public engagement, the Draft Plan identifies protections against rising sea levels along the Port’s 7.5-mile stretch from Aquatic Park to Heron’s Head Park. The plan includes a diverse range of interventions to reduce flood risks, such as raising the shoreline, floodproofing buildings, making seismic improvements, and utilizing nature-based features. The plan also includes a monitoring and adaptation plan to track rising sea levels. The initial estimated cost of the plan is approximately $13 billion. If Congress approves, the federal government is slated to cover 65% of the implementation costs associated with the Draft Plan. 


Link for more information about the announcement.  




California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis  

“San Francisco’s waterfront is one of the most iconic locations in this great city, serving as an economic engine and vibrant tourist destination. However, the impacts of climate change have resulted in an unpredictable future for the city, with significant risks from flooding, earthquakes, and rising sea levels. Today’s announcement marks a historic milestone here in San Francisco that will have ripple effects on waterfronts across California and the rest of the country for generations to come.” 

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi 

“The century-old Embarcadero Seawall provides a crucial foundation for our City: protecting our families, businesses and streets from flooding. As we face an intensifying climate crisis, and an ever-present earthquake risk, the release of this Draft Plan brings us a step closer to shoring up our Seawall. In doing so, we will ensure that the billions of dollars in economic activity, our critical transportation infrastructure and many of our most iconic destinations continue to stand strong for decades to come.” 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed 

“The release of today’s Plan is not just timely, but crucial. San Francisco is breathtakingly beautiful for its rolling hills and stunning coastline, but San Francisco is also vulnerable for these same reasons, with sea levels expected to rise 3 to 7 feet over the next century. The Draft Plan is the next step towards a landmark investment in the nation’s large -scale resilience efforts, prioritizing nature-based solutions, public access to the waterfront, and defending housing, historic landmarks, and other assets that we all value.” 

Port of San Francisco Director Elaine Forbes 

“This Plan will be a catalyst for a more resilient San Francisco, spurring investments into projects that ensure a great public waterfront for decades to come. The Draft Plan features the tailored approaches we need to plan for the dynamic future conditions sea level rise presents. We are excited to reach today’s milestone in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and are ready for public engagement to help us further refine our approach.” 

Senator Scott Weiner  

“Vital public transit services like BART and Muni are vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise. This moment represents a significant opportunity to secure federal funding and fortify resilience for critical infrastructure that commuters rely on.” 

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin 

“This multi-agency resiliency project has been years in the making, and we have the voters of San Francisco to thank for the initial down payment of this Draft Plan with their passage of Prop A’s 2018 Seawall bond. The work outlined in the Draft Plan will help model a critical, long -term plan for sea-level rise, climate change and core asset protection not just for San Francisco’s waterfront, but our entire region.”  

City Administrator Carmen Chu 

“From flooding to water intrusion into critical infrastructure, climate change and sea-level rise has a profound impact on our shoreline and waterfront. This Draft Plan and the federal interest it represents could mean billions of dollars of investment to mitigate damage and ensure our City’s resilience. I thank the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Port staff for recognizing the importance of this work and for their strong collaboration in developing and further refining this plan.” 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District Commander Col. Tim Hudson 

“We have enjoyed a strong partnership with the City and the Port of San Francisco. We look forward to our ongoing partnership and to hearing from the public as we develop an enduring engineering solution to lower risk and best serve the community.”