SHIFTING SHORES: Mapping shoreline change in San Pablo Bay
read about the project

Understanding horizontal shoreline change is a critical indicator of shoreline resilience, also providing data inputs for sea level rise models, and a method to prioritize restoration adaptation strategies.

This interactive map shows the location of the shoreline in San Pablo Bay in 1855, 1993 and 2010, as well as the rates of shoreline movement between these time periods. The rates of change help us to identify zones of erosion, progradation (lateral expansion), and areas that have remained stable over the long and short term. The primary data sources for each time period are shown in the legend.

The results of this pilot study provide new insights into the dynamics of the shorelines. Our initial findings indicate that trajectories of shoreline erosion are highly heterogeneous, controlled by the local hydrogeomorphic and hydrodynamic settings. Contrary to expectations, we are finding that much of the San Pablo Bay marsh margin has been prograding rather than eroding over the past two decades.

Given the large continuing investment in San Francisco Bay wetlands restoration, this information is critical to informing regional planning, preservation and prioritization of habitat restoration in light of sea level rise and changes in sediment availability.

More information about the project, including detailed methods and findings, can be found here: