The Bay is so many things to so many different people – it is a place of beauty, serenity, ecology, recreation, economy and identity, to name just a few. The Field Operations Team worked closely with the communities in the South Bay and Silicon Valley to shape a vibrant and living framework for adaptation in the face of climate change and sea level rise, envisioning a future where nature and technology work together to improve the resiliency of our cities and towns, our social fabric and our collective health and well-being.
The “Sponge” is a concept for using nature and natural systems as a primary tool for climate adaptation and resiliency in the South Bay, inspired by both the historic function of the region’s inter-tidal marshlands as flood protection, as well as by the remarkable efforts to restore the South Bay Salt Ponds. The potential of a large-scale assemblage of remnant marshlands, newly restored salt ponds and newly constructed wetlands as the core component of a regional flood protection strategy is at once radically innovative, but also resonant with the South Bay landscape today. In addition to addressing climate adaptation, the South Bay Sponge can give the landscapes of the South Bay a powerful and legible identity.