VIPS Learn about Climate Change Impacts along San Francisco’s Outer Coast

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Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took part in a coastal climate change field trip led by USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard on December 18, 2014.

A man speaks to a group of people on a walkway above the ocean, he is gesturing while he talks.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (2nd and 3rd from left), and Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball (far right, foreground), listen to USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard, far left, as he leads a field trip on the cliffs above Ocean Beach, San Francisco to discuss coastal climate impacts on highly erosive coastlines. This narrow stretch of coast is exposed to the brunt of the North Pacific Ocean wave climate. Photo credit: Leslie Gordon, USGS

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Acting USGS Director Suzette Kimball, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took part in a coastal climate change field trip led by USGS research geologist Patrick Barnard on December 18, 2014.

The field trip visited two beaches along the outer coast of the San Francisco Peninsula that are within the most rapidly eroding stretch of California’s coast.

Erosion is currently driven primarily by human influences on sand supply, but projected climate-change impacts, including sea-level rise and extreme storms, will increase the vulnerability of this urbanized coast to beach erosion, cliff failures, and coastal flooding, posing threats to private and public infrastructure, including a state highway and a $1.2-billion wastewater-treatment plant.

The USGS has been active in understanding the various coastal processes that control this important section of coastline.

A group of people walk together, chatting, along a wide sidewalk elevated above a beach area in the background.

Patrick Barnard walks with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and other VIPs, above Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Photo credit: Tami Heilemann, DOI

Woman stands on beach below eroded parking area, where some men are standing and looking down at beach.

Secretary Jewell on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, where a major part of the parking lot has eroded. Patrick Barnard and other VIPs stand at paking lot level. Photo credit: Tami Heilemann, DOI

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