Ocean Beach Master Plan Envisions Big Changes


Ocean Beach is shrinking as the sea rises. Photo by Nicholas Christen/KQED

By Laird Harrison, KQED News Fix

San Francisco is giving up its struggle against the ocean — at least at Ocean Beach. The Ocean Beach Master Plan would close one end of the Great Highway, reroute traffic about a half-mile inland and let the ocean come back, KQED’s Molly Samuel reports.

Engineers who built the Great Highway claimed 200 feet of new land from the ocean. Now the ocean wants its territory back. It has already undermined parts of the road, requiring closure of one lane. And as climate change causes sea levels to rise, it will gradually wash higher and higher, threatening more of the road.

A waste water treatment plant and the beach itself are at risk. That’s where the Master Plan comes in. The brainchild of the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), the plan envisions a strategic retreat, moving infrastructure out of harm’s way and leaving the coast an undeveloped area.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.

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