The New Life for Eroding Shorelines project explores living shoreline approaches for sea level rise adaptation that can reduce erosion at the marsh edge and improve habitat quality for marsh species. Solutions explored include reestablishing marsh-fringing barrier beaches to attenuate waves at the marsh edge and reintroducing California Sea Blite (Suaeda californica), a rare and endangered plant with the ability to climb driftwood and other shoreline features, providing much-needed high-tide refuge for marsh wildlife.

This technical report of the New Life for Eroding shorelines project, "Beach and Marsh Edge Change in the San Francisco Estuary," contributes new methods and relevant data about patterns of change observed along marsh shorelines and beaches in the region in order to inform these new living shoreline approaches. The report identifies areas where marsh edges are eroding in San Pablo Bay and the bay-side Marin shoreline over time. It then provides a technical introduction to estuarine beaches, which are geomorphically and ecologically distinct from open-coast beaches. Following this description is an investigation of beach change over time at four sites, using remote sensing and field observation to classify and discuss hypothesized San Francisco Estuary beach types. The report concludes with an assessment of relevant beach habitat pilot projects, providing lessons learned from restoration projects at Aramburu Island and Pier 94.  

This project was funded by the Marin Community Foundation and the Coastal Conservancy. The project team is a collaboration between SF State University, Marin County Department of Public Works, Peter Baye, and SFEI.

Click here to download the report.

Animation showing change over time at Foster City beach. SFEI 2020















GIS data is available upon request - please contact Julie Beagle at [email protected].

Programs and Focus Areas: 
Resilient Landscapes Program
Shoreline Resilience
Location Information