Sea Level Rise Adaptation Funding & Investment Framework

This data-driven research project identified near-term sea level rise adaptation needs and studied possible funding solutions.

Noah Berger

MTC partnered with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) on the Sea Level Rise Adaptation Funding and Investment Framework. Together, the agencies developed a funding analysis that can inform local and regional efforts to adapt to sea level rise.

MTC/ABAG and BCDC updated the Regional Sea Level Rise Project Inventory from February to April 2024 to ensure that the region is using the best available information about local adaptation planning.

Key Resources

View the key resources produced by this study:

Final Report

The Sea Level Rise Adaptation Funding & Investment Framework Final Report highlights the findings of this study.

Read the report.
Collage of shoreline community waterfronts.
Shoreline Project Inventory 2022

Visualize what is being planned for sea level rise adaptation and where additional planning may be needed. MTC/ABAG and BCDC staff worked with local jurisdictions in early 2024 to update the inventory for Plan Bay Area 2050+ and other efforts.

View the web map.
Screen capture of the Sea Level Rise Framework Shoreline Project Inventory tool.

The Way It Is Now: Funding Opportunities & Challenges

In recent years, action at the state and federal levels has created an unprecedented amount of near-term funding for sea level rise adaptation efforts. However, there is still a large funding gap that needs to be addressed so that hundreds of miles of Bay Area shoreline can be adapted and protected against sea level rise impacts. This situation has shown a need to research additional funding sources for sea level rise adaptation in the years ahead.

Building on the Work

The Sea Level Rise Adaptation Funding and Investment Framework was identified as a priority action by three already-completed efforts:

Building off of previous regional planning work, MTC/ABAG collected and analyzed the best available data to get a better estimate of the total costs for regional sea level rise adaptation, and studied potential approaches to pay for those costs.

This analysis will also help the region prepare for additional funding opportunities by improving resources for advocacy for state and federal funds.

Framework Goals

The framework is organized within three main project goals:

  • Catalog planned and conceptual sea level rise projects and develop a regional cost estimate
  • Explore how new local and regional revenue for sea level rise adaptation can be raised most equitably
  • Explore possible paths to distribute new funds for sea level rise adaptation

Regional Partnership

The project was co-led by MTC/ABAG and BCDC and was supported by a Technical Advisory Group. Local and regional engagement took place throughout the project. The framework also coordinated with other developing sea level rise efforts, including BCDC’s Shoreline Adaptation Project Mapping Program (SAPMAP), which will produce informational resources that can support other local and regional sea level rise efforts in the future.

Staff Contact

Rachael Hartofelis, Sea Level Rise Adaptation Funding and Investment Framework Project Manager
Email: rhartofelis@bayareametro.gov

Sea Level Rise Project Inventory: 2024 Updates

In early 2024, MTC/ABAG and BCDC staff engaged local agency staff to update the Shoreline Project Inventory. Updated adaptation project data will be used in Plan Bay Area 2050+ to create a Sea Level Rise Resilience Project List, and will also be integrated into BCDC's Shoreline Adaptation Project Map program, and BCDC’s Bay Adapt Joint Platform.

Local engagement to update the project inventory concluded on April 12, 2024. 

Updated data will be shared publicly through Plan Bay Area 2050+ in late 2024.

Webinar on Updating the Project Inventory: Stakeholder Engagement Kickoff  

MTC/ABAG and BCDC hosted a kickoff webinar on February 12, 2024 to introduce the effort. 


Committee Materials

Contextual Resources

Past Local Engagement

The framework team engaged with local adaptation staff throughout the project. The goal of the outreach was to share an overview of the framework goals and anticipated outcomes, confirm local shoreline project definitions, and discuss complementary regional sea level rise efforts.

In addition to regional meetings held to kick off and conclude the engagement, staff conducted interviews with local adaptation staff across all nine Bay Area counties. The outreach began in September 2022 and concluded in January 2023.

Regional Meetings