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  • Writer's picturePort of Redwood City

Port of Redwood City joins government leaders to address sea level rise, emergency preparedness

Proactive measures include $17M in capital investments and annual drills for more than 75 first responders.

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.—The Port of Redwood City joined dozens of other government leaders on December 3 in Oakland, CA for a conference aimed at curbing higher sea levels, storm surges and flooding.

During the “Strategies for Storms, Flooding and Sea Level Defense” conference, Port of Redwood City executive director Kristine A. Zortman outlined all the proactive measures the agency is taking in this arena. This includes $17M in capital investments to ensure the port is ready to handle major emergencies, such as earthquakes or terrorist attacks.

“Our Port has been designated as the only federal staging area for emergencies in the South San Francisco Bay area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency” she explained. “In a time of crisis, our port will be used to deliver supplies, evacuate people and transport rescue teams to aid in disaster recovery and provide critical relief to our region. This is a tremendously important designation in our service to the community.”

Zortman presented strategies the Port of Redwood City has implemented for resiliency planning including major capital investment: a wharf that can withstand from 3 to 5-feet of sea level rise, and an 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

The Port hosts an annual drill with more than 75 first responder participants from various federal, state and Bay area government agencies. First responders collaborate in life-saving practice drills on a large scale, and ensure they have a clear protocol for informing residents, elected officials and media.

The Port has received a competitive $1.85M federal grant, which will be used to invest in detection equipment for explosives, a dual jet dock for first responders and an inter-agency emergency operations center in the future.

The conference included speakers from a variety of public agencies including the ports of San Francisco, Oakland, Redwood City, Hueneme, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego. Other conference participants included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); the California Department of Transportation; the California Coastal Conservancy; and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).

“The Port of Redwood City is honored to be among the government leaders who are addressing these public threats,” Zortman said. “Through collaborative solutions and discussions like these we will be ready to serve and protect the public well into the future and share the knowledge we have learned so communities across the Pacific can put these best practices into use.”

For more information about the Port’s ongoing efforts surrounding sea level defense and emergency preparedness, or to request an interview with Zortman on this issue, please contact communications agency representative, Revekka Balancier at or 720-641-3026.


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