Flooding from the combination of creek water and bay water poses a significant challenge for the County. Higher bay waters due to sea level rise will lead to an increase in creek and shoreline flooding. Of particular concern is flooding from the San Bruno and Colma Creeks, which both drain to the San Francisco Bay immediately north of the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). In addition to SFO, the 7th busiest airport in the nation, this area contains residential neighborhoods that have been subject to severe flooding, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and substantial public infrastructure.
In response to this complex problem, the County of San Mateo partnered with SFO and the California Coastal Conservancy to obtain a Climate Ready Grant to develop a sea level rise vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan for the shoreline area northwest of the airport, where San Bruno and Colma Creeks meet the Bay. The study complements the Shoreline Protection Study that SFO recently completed to assess the vulnerability of the airport perimeter system and evaluate adaptation options for both 1%-annual-chance floods and sea level rise.