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Caption: Rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions threaten the nation's coastal towns, Credit: Jan Sturmann
Image by: Jan Sturmann 
Rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions threaten the nation's coastal towns 

RISE: Part I Sounding the Waters

From: Claire Schoen
Series: RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Length: 59:00

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The San Francisco Bay is a place of beauty and biological diversity. But sea level rise and extreme weather will change human life along its coastline — from San Francisco's financial district to Silicon Valley. How are people responding to this crisis?

Part_1_photo_small Seven million people live in the Bay Area, and millions more come here to work and visit every year. The ability of this region to adapt to climate change affects the world. And the ways its people respond may guide coastal communities elsewhere.

San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the Pacific coast of the Americas. Yet it was once much larger – 40% of its waters and wetlands were filled to create real estate. The 29-inch rise of coastal waters predicted by 2050, along with rapid river run-off and flooding due to storm surges, will reclaim some of that land. Among the areas threatened are the airports, Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Financial District.

We visit people who are responding to this oncoming disaster. Mendel Stewart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is managing the conversion of enclosed salt ponds into open wetlands. These wetlands will serve as flood control while capturing greenhouse gases and providing wildlife habitat. Will Travis directs the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. He is trying to coordinate a regional response to this crisis. And he created a design competition looking for solutions. One idea, contributed by architect Craig Hartman, is to place an inflatable barrier beneath the Golden Gate Bridge to keep storm surges combined with high tides from flooding the land. Brilliantly simple; but realistic?

Piece Description

Seven million people live in the Bay Area, and millions more come here to work and visit every year. The ability of this region to adapt to climate change affects the world. And the ways its people respond may guide coastal communities elsewhere.

San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the Pacific coast of the Americas. Yet it was once much larger – 40% of its waters and wetlands were filled to create real estate. The 29-inch rise of coastal waters predicted by 2050, along with rapid river run-off and flooding due to storm surges, will reclaim some of that land. Among the areas threatened are the airports, Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Financial District.

We visit people who are responding to this oncoming disaster. Mendel Stewart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is managing the conversion of enclosed salt ponds into open wetlands. These wetlands will serve as flood control while capturing greenhouse gases and providing wildlife habitat. Will Travis directs the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. He is trying to coordinate a regional response to this crisis. And he created a design competition looking for solutions. One idea, contributed by architect Craig Hartman, is to place an inflatable barrier beneath the Golden Gate Bridge to keep storm surges combined with high tides from flooding the land. Brilliantly simple; but realistic?

Transcript

RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Part 1 - Sounding the Waters

0. Billboard
Narration:
Sea level rise and extreme weather, brought on by climate change, threaten cities and towns along the world’s coasts.
Craig: London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Miami. All these cities are cities on the water.
Narration:
San Francisco is one of them. And waves are already overtopping the financial district’s levees.
Paul: What happens to our infrastructure? What happens to roadways, what happens to water treatment plants?
Narration:
We need to start planning for the impacts that we can no longer halt.
Paul: So this is a big adventure, a big adventure of survival that we're all on together.
Narration:
Proposed solutions range from traditional to creative to way out.
Travis: My job involves thinking outside the box. More and more I don’t even know where the box is.
Narration:
How wil...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

Timings and Cues
Series Title RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities
Program Title Part I: Sounding the Waters
Total Program Length 59:00

00:00:00 Incue: (Billboard) “Sea level rise and extreme weather, brought on by climate change, threaten cities and towns along the world’s coasts.”

00:01:00 Outcue: (Billboard) “RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities. After this...”

00:01:00 Incue: (News hole) Music.

00:06:00 Outcue: (News hole) Music.

00:06:00 Incue: (First half) Water Sounds and Music. Then, “RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities. Sounding the Waters.”

00:30:46 Outcue: (First half) “I guess you could do stuff, I mean, I wouldn't actually know. ”

00:30:46 Incue: (Station ID break) Music. Then, “You’re listening to RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities.”

00:31:46 Outcue: (Station ID break) Music.

00:31:46 Incue: (Second half) “A rising sea is lapping at San Francisco’s shores as well as coastal cities around the country and the planet.”

00:59:00 Outcue: (Second half) “To hear all the stories in the RISE series and to learn about climate change in your area, please visit us online at searise.org. I’m Claire Schoen.” Then, music.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Original Music Jonathan Mitchell :00

Additional Files

Additional Credits

Associate Producer, Erica Mu. Original music by Jonathan Mitchell. Special thanks to Jan Sturmann, Stephen Most, Vanessa Lowe and Scoutt Koue.

Related Website

http://www.searise.org