Major Council-Backed Sea Level Rise Project Breaks Ground

The US Army Corps of Engineers broke ground Thursday (April 14) on a project to build four miles of 15 foot high levees and restore 2,900 acres of tidal marshes to protect the north San Jose community of Alviso and a major wastewater treatment plant from rising sea levels. The project is just the first phase of the long-awaited South San Francisco Bay Shoreline project, which will ultimately extend new levees and restored wetlands west to protect Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. The project is moving forward with $360 million from Valley Water, $124 million from the federal government, and $61 million that came from Measure AA, a $12 a-year parcel tax passed by Bay Area voters in 2016 for flood control whose campaign was co-chaired by the Bay Area Council to strengthen the region’s sea level rise defenses.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute estimates that the Bay Area would sustain at least $10 billion in economic losses from a 150-year storm event with current sea levels, and that the damage will increase with every inch of rising sea levels. The Bay Area Council and its partners are currently working to secure state matching funds for regional Measure AA dollars to expedite sea level rise defense projects along the entire Bay shoreline. To learn more about the Bay Area Council’s climate resilience initiatives, please contact Senior Vice President Adrian Covert.

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