Harris-Lovett, S., Bradt, J., Juvera, L., Nutters, H., and Wren, I. Nature Based Solutions for Coastal Resilience, Habitat Enhancement, and Water Quality Improvement at the San Francisco Bay Shoreline: Challenges, Solutions, and Next Steps. San Francisco Estuary Partnership and Bay Area One Water Network, 2022.
The successful implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) along the San Francisco Bay
shoreline offers a pathway to sustainable coastal resilience that is equitable, economical, and
long-lasting. However, this pathway is not easily paved without careful planning and collaboration.
Over the course of a three-day workshop hosted by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP)
and Bay Area One Water Network, participants shared insights on the cross-sectoral challenges
facing stakeholders impacted by NbS, goals and drivers behind NbS for shoreline resilience in
the Bay Area, and opportunities for working together to create shared solutions that lead to the
implementation, funding, and regulation of NbS. Participants represented diverse stakeholder
groups including regulatory agencies, community-based organizations, wastewater agencies,
academic institutions, and shoreline planning groups. The workshop was facilitated by staff
from SFEP, the Bay Area One Water Network, and the Meridian Institute.
Emerging from this workshop were a set of both expected and innovative ideas for how to
proceed, as well as lessons learned that can help guide work in this field for years to come.
The throughline of these ideas rang clear: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing,
planning, or implementing NbS. These varied infrastructural assets (such as horizontal levees,
floating wetlands, oyster reefs, etc.) are place-based, nuanced, and have tangible impacts on all
stakeholders. Their planning and implementation should be guided by several key goals: be cost-effective,
adaptable, achievable, provide long-term value, steward the natural environment, and
serve the surrounding communities.
This report provides a summary of workshop themes and outcomes, along with key near-term
milestones to strategically advance towards multi-benefit shoreline resilience in the Bay Area.
Important audiences for the report include regional, state, and local partnerships working to
advance NbS in communities, elected officials, project funders, technical experts, community
groups, and academics.
This report also calls on decision makers to examine the lens with which they execute place-based
infrastructural work to ensure that community members and Tribes with local knowledge
are empowered to lead and have ample representation throughout the entire process.