Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


The predicament faced in San Francisco Bay is confronted in bays and estuaries throughout the nation. Using BCDC as a case study, this Article examines the threats posed by climate change to San Francisco Bay, the relationship between the public trust doctrine and the Takings Clause, and how the public trust doctrine can help public agencies address the impacts of climate change and sea level rise by: enhancing limited permit authority; requiring fees to mitigate the impacts of climate change; addressing the impacts of shoreline armoring; utilizing rolling easements and other legal mechanisms; protecting wetlands, marshes, and salt ponds; implementing the California Environmental Quality Act and Coastal Zone Management Act; and pursuing common law remedies to preserve open space and public access.