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NOAA Sentinel Site Program

San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative

The formal NOAA Sentinel Site Cooperative Program has ended, however, Sea Grant offices at the corresponding cooperative locations continue work in these areas. For more information please visit Maryland Sea GrantNorth Carolina Sea GrantMississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, and Hawaii Sea Grant.


San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative Website

San Francisco Bay and its Outer Coast comprise the largest estuarine area on the west coast of the United States. It is an ideal area to help achieve the vision of the NOAA Sentinel Site Program. The estuary serves as both a major urban and economic center and supports significant ecological value. It is home to over 7 million people, and retains some of the largest and most important natural areas along the west coast, including three National Marine Sanctuaries (Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay), the Point Reyes National Sea Shore, the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The estuary serves as a major hub of commerce and supports the most intact Mediterranean-climate wetlands in North America. The Bay Area is also on the leading edge of efforts to support the resilience of this wealth of socio-ecological resources in light of changing sea level and coastal flood conditions.

The SF Sentinel Site Cooperative Management Team is currently made up of representatives from NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, NOAA's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and California Sea Grant.

The San Francisco Bay Area Sentinel Site Cooperative's goals are to build partnerships, capacity, and awareness. More specifically, we seek to:

  • • Leverage Cooperative partnerships to help coastal professionals work collaboratively across jurisdictions on actions to improve resilience to sea level rise
  • • Advance innovative new relationships between the Cooperative, coastal professionals, and nontraditional partners to support sea level rise awareness and adaptation planning
  • • Help connect coastal professionals to NOAA and NOAA partner data, tools, and information that inform actions to improve resilience to sea level rise
  • • Build coastal decision-maker capacity to develop and implement strategies that protect critical ecosystem and community services from the impacts of sea level rise
  • • Support efforts to ensure that San Francisco Bay Area community members are aware of sea level rise impacts

Focus Areas

With an emphasis on sea level rise, Cooperative activities fall under three main focus areas:

  • • Bridging natural and built adaptation planning
  • • Supporting development of a regional network for early detection and forecasting of marsh ecosystem changes
  • • Fostering resilience efforts that connect the ocean/outer coast and bay

Available Assets

Datasets and Tools

Sea Level Rise Visualizations and Models

Current Trends and Community Adaptation Planning



Other Agencies and Organizations

Sentinel Site logo
NPS photo, San Francisco Bay fog

See how the Sentinel Site Program is helping this region adapt to threats such as sea level rise:

Working Together to Build Resilience
View of restored dunes at the Surfers’ Point Managed Shoreline Retreat Project. Photo credit: Paul Jenkin
Case Studies: Natural Shoreline Infrastructure in Coastal California

One alternative to coastal armoring is natural infrastructure, which is a cost-effective approach to mitigating the impact of floods, storms, and sea level rise in many places. A new report presents five case studies that document natural infrastructure at work along the California coast. | Download

Lifting the Fog

Over the past several years in California, new tools, models, and guidance have been developed to address the impacts of coastal climate change. Sentinel Site Cooperative members developed a website, "Lifting the Fog," to present these resources for coastal decision-makers.

PDF Download: San Francisco Bay and Outer Coast Sentinel Site Cooperative
Other Cooperatives:
NOAA Sentinel Site Program Overview: