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
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