NASA researchers raise awareness of rising water levels

MOFFETT FIELD (KGO) -- NASA researchers spent Friday afternoon raising awareness about climate change and the effect of a rising sea level, the San Francisco Bay included. So how great is the risk here?

Along the shoreline of Mountain View, some take time to soak in the beauty of the bay. Palo Alto resident Ricka Berns said, "You can just enjoy the environment, the birds, and the sounds, and the water, and everything about it, it just feels like home to me."

But just a few miles away at NASA Ames Research Center community leaders are warning others about what could be a harsh reality.

Assm. Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, said, "We have our wastewater treatment facilities at sea level, we have highways and roads at sea level, and if we don't do something now, as the seas rise, we'll be in great trouble."

Within the century, sea level could rise between three and five feet. Airports in San Francisco and Oakland are in the potential flood zone, and other critical infrastructure throughout the Bay Area could be compromised. In fact, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission estimates $62 billion in economic value of Bay Area shoreline, and 270,000 people would be at risk from a 55-inch rise as agencies in the South Bay work to strengthen the shoreline, public officials say now is the time to act.

Larry Goldzband from the Bay Conservation And Development Commission said, "Even if you don't live in an area that's going to be inundated, if you use a service that is in that area, you're going to be effected by rising sea level."

Here is a map released in June 15 that shows all of the businesses and services in an area that could be affected by rising bay waters in the San Francisco Bay.

Many are hopeful this information serves as a wake-up call.

Los Altos resident Daryl Shafran said, "It's bad enough that people aren't listening to the climate change, and what we're doing to the environment."

It's an opportunity now, to not only reflect on what we currently have, but how we can protect it for generations to come.

UN Report: Sea level rising faster than projected

Small sea-level changes could pose big problems for Calif. coast

Groundbreaking takes place on new wetlands restoration project
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.