Establishing a Resilient Shoreline to Protect Against the Destruction of Sea Level Rise

About CESP’s Resilient Shoreline Program

An urgent area CESP is addressing is the effect of sea rise along the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The predicted two meter (6.5 feet) sea rise over the coming decades, along with the increase in storms and king tides, will cause massive erosion, habitat destruction and flooding along our shoreline. Whole sections of freeways (80, 580) will be inundated, beaches lost, lowland communities flooded and habitat destroyed if we do not take steps now.

Photo by Patricia Jones

CESP is in the organizing and study stage of addressing sea rise on our shoreline. We are working with other organizations and elected officials from Fremont to Hercules, examining practical approaches to green infrastructure solutions that can mitigate sea level rise and prevent coastal destruction. This added focus on a resilient shoreline is a natural extension of our 30-year effort to protect open space and develop a unified shoreline park along the Bay’s eastern shoreline.  

Climate change adds urgency to expanding the amount of shoreline protected from development. Open space along the shoreline provides expanded opportunities to implement mitigation and larger-scale restoration efforts compared to areas with development abutting the shoreline.  

Our Resilient Shore Program (RSP) combines advocacyscience, and education to mobilize communities to protect our Bay Area shoreline communities and parks from destruction by sea rise.

CESP’s RSP approach:

  • raise public awareness about sea rise due to climate change;
  • mobilize East Bay leaders in support of resilient shoreline solutions that consider green infrastructure rather than hardscape solutions (e.g. sea walls);
  • engage the public in Visualizing Sea Rise events, marking off  where the new shoreline will reach with 6 ½ feet of sea rise; and
  • work with shoreline cities to integrate sea rise into land use planning.


Bay Institute

San Francisco Estuary Institute

What is a Resilient Shoreline?

A Resilient Shoreline relies on preserving and strengthening the natural shoreline, including expanded marshes, systems to address rising sea levels due to climate change, storm surges and King Tides.

Why a Resilient Shoreline?

Climate change adds urgency to expanding the amount of shoreline protected from development. Open space along the shoreline provides expanded opportunities to implement mitigation and larger-scale restoration efforts compared to areas with development abutting the shoreline. Adding marshes and other recommended natural shoreline is a major step in mitigating sea rise.


Visualizing Sea Rise Events

CESP held its largest Visualizing Sea Rise event as part of Earth Day on April 21, 2018. 300 plus people were at the Albany shoreline.

We’re honored that world-renowned artist John Wehrle has allowed us to use his magnificent painting – “Rising Tide” – in our work on sea rise. His creative vision captures the moment.

Art Credit: John Wehrle

Sneak peek of a  few photos — many more in our gallery! Click here to view the photo gallery.





This image simulation shows the “new” Albany shoreline with 2 meter sea rise at King Tide

Image by GROUNDWORKS Office

A special thanks to California State Parks Foundation’s 20th Earth Day Restoration & Cleanup presented by PG&E, sponsors of the event, and to our partners, The Watershed Project, City of Albany, East Bay Regional Park District, Clif Bar, and GROUNDWORKS Office.


CESP P.O. Box 6087, Albany, CA 94706 | Office: 510- 524-5000 | |  l  l

CESP Visualized Sea-level Rise in Richmond during the North Richmond Shoreline Festival on October 7, 2017.

CESP held the second Visualizing Sea-level Rise event in McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, Berkeley on July 29, 2017.

The Berkeley shoreline with 2-meters of sea-level rise. Image produced by GROUNDWORKS Office

CESP held the first Visualizing Sea-level Rise Event in the Jack London neighborhood, Oakland on April 22, 2017.

Jack London Square, Oakland with 2-meters of sea-level rise. Image by GROUNDWORKS Office.

The first Visualizing Sea-level Rise event was a success. We raised awareness about sea-level rise along Oakland’s waterfront and engaged approximately 30 volunteers. The event was featured on 4 media outlets, KGO-TV, NBC Bay Area, The Pioneer (CSU East Bay’s newspaper) and KPFA-FM. Click here for the KPFA-FM newscast; Robert Cheasty’s interview begins at 9 minutes and 51 seconds.
Special thanks to speakers:

Robert Cheasty, Executive Director, CESP
Jeremy Lowe, Sr. Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute
Mary Nicely, District Director, Office of Assemblymember Tony Thurmond
Shirley Dean, Board President, CESP

Special thanks to sponsors:

Oro Loma Sanitary District
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
Groundworks Office
Helen Burke
Alan Carlton
Patricia Jones
Doris Sloan
Roberta Wyn
and A Special Gift in Memory of Sylvia McLaughlin
Special thanks to volunteers who helped make this event happen:

Event prep, organizing, and coordination:
Marge Atkinson
Helen Burke
Shirley Dean
Sally Douglas Arce
David Hurlbut
David Isler
Patricia Jones
Tony Sustak
Overall event guidance:
The CESP Resilient Shoreline Committee

Visualizing Sea-level Rise event photos

This awareness project showcases what will happen if nothing is done to address sea level rise due to climate change. We believe that our cities, counties and the state need to take action now by seeking funding to implement Resilient Shoreline solutions to combat sea level rise.

Sylvia McLaughlin Memorial Walk

Sylvia McLaughlin Memorial Walk during a King Tide with Berkeley Path Wanderers Association, 12/15/2016 – Co-leaders: Robert Cheasty, CESP; Susan Schwartz, Friends of Five Creeks; and Doris Sloan, PhD, CESP


None of what CESP has done would have been possible without you. To continue our work to protect the priceless beauty and importance of our East Bay shoreline we need you more than ever.

What you can do to help:




  • Ask to receive e-mail ACTION. You can personalize your request by designating specific areas of concern.
  • Respond to those ALERTS by attending meetings and speaking up, writing letters or sending e-mails. If you write, please be sure and send a CC to CESP.
  • Attend a regular CESP meeting, or a special presentation held from time to time. If you let us know you want to attend and what subject interests you, we will inform you of all the details.

Together, we can, and will protect the Bay and save our shoreline for the generations to come.