In January 2023, a group of high school students took a field trip to San Francisco’s waterfront.
They discussed the risks posed to the area from sea level rise and extreme storms. And using stencils, they marked sidewalks to show how far inland the bay water is expected to reach as seas rise.
“So that is not only an educational activity for the kids, but also it is a public awareness campaign about what the future could look like,” says Luiz Barata, a senior planner with the Waterfront Resilience Program for the Port of San Francisco.
The program is a long-term effort to make the waterfront resilient to climate risks — for example by raising piers and creating living shorelines.
It was part of an effort to make sure young people weigh in on flood prevention projects.
“We go into the classrooms and actually we talk to the youth about the work that is being done and we get feedback from them,” Barata says. “Because this is such a long-term plan, many of us will not be here when this finally gets built, so we want to emphasize for the youth that this is the waterfront for them and for their kids.”
So they should take part in the planning process.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media