San Francisco is Sinking — So Now What?

Levees and floating seawalls among winning ideas

San Francisco Bay is eight inches higher than it was in 1900, and rising -- up to another 55 inches by 2100 according to estimates.

So the question is not whether parts of the Bay Area will be under water, but what's to be done about it.

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission held a contest for designers and engineers to submit ideas and announced six winners.

Those ideas include a floating sea wall across the Golden Gate Bridge to help lessen the impact of storms; levees and tidal power pumps; and the restoration and expansion of wetlands, among others.

Coastal land, especially that created by fill like San Francisco's Embarcadero, are particularly vulnerable -- but along with ingenious ideas to protect them come some tough questions.

For instance, what is and what isn't worth the cost of saving?

"SFO, yes. Google server farms, yes. But a strip mall somewhere, probably not," David Lewis of Save the Bay suggested to Inside Bay Area.

So for those of you who love your strip malls, time to start bagging sand and building dykes.

Jackson West won't be buying waterfront property any time soon.

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