Ocean Beach focus of sea level rise, erosion

construction equipment moving sand on ocean beach
Mark Prado

Shoreline changes along Ocean Beach in San Francisco are a result of natural and human-caused factors, including sea level rise related to climate change, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area notes.

In general, north Ocean Beach has been widening and accumulating sand while south Ocean Beach (south of Sloat Boulevard) has been experiencing loss of beach through erosion. The accumulation of sand impedes beach visitor access by filling in the stairwells and promenade and increases sand maintenance costs and efforts for San Francisco and the National Park Service.

As part of a comprehensive effort, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission developed short-term coastal protection measures which were authorized by the California Coastal Commission through this year.

The long-term coastal protection measures will include strategies developed in the Ocean Beach Master Plan which include managed retreat, beach nourishment, and structural protection through adaptive management.

Separately, work is being done by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership to address sea level rise. The Partnership’s overall work is guided by the development and implementation of the Estuary Blueprint, a vision for the estuary’s future. The partnership’s host entity is the Association of Bay Area Governments, which is staffed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.