Association of
Bay Area Governments
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Bay Conservation and Development Commission Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Preserving the Bay Area's quality
of life through collaborative planning

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News Feature:

Pilot Study Finds Shoreline and Transportation Infrastructure in Alameda County Vulnerable to Sea-Level Rise

San Francisco Bay is the irreplaceable natural resource that geographically defines our region. And yet this vital water body has suffered great damage. Pollution, dredging and landfill have harmed water quality and the salt marshes that are nurseries for fish and other wildlife in this complex ecosystem.

The San Francisco Bay Plan is the Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s (BCDC) master blueprint for reversing the Bay’s decline, so that it can sustain future generations. It was first completed and adopted by BCDC in accordance with state law in 1968. In developing the plan, BCDC reached the following key conclusions:

  1. The Bay is a single body of water, and a Bay Plan can be effectively carried out only on a regional basis.
  2. The most important uses of the Bay are those providing substantial public benefits and treating the Bay as a body of water, not as real estate.
  3. All desirable, high-priority uses of the Bay and shoreline can be fully accommodated without substantial Bay filling, and without loss of large natural resource areas. But shoreline areas suitable for priority uses – ports, water-related industry, airports, wildlife refuges, and water-related recreation – exist only in limited amount, and should be reserved for these purposes.
  4. Some Bay filling may be justified for purposes providing substantial public benefits if these same benefits could not be achieved equally well without filling.
  5. All Bay filling has one or more of the following harmful effects: habitat destruction, increased danger of water pollution, increased danger of air pollution and diminished scenic beauty.
  6. As the Bay Area's population increases, pressures to fill the Bay will increase.
  7. The Bay receives wastes from many municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources.
  8. Constructing buildings on top of Bay fill creates a greater number of potential hazards to life and property, during normal settling and during earthquakes, than does building on rock or on dense, hard soil deposits.

Click here for more information about the San Francisco Bay Plan.