In these collaborative works with the Studio for Urban Projects, we are working on climate change adaptation in San Rafael, CA. Projects are focused around the high-risk Canal District, a predominantly low income, Latino and Vietnamese community.
In “Living with Water”, 2018, we brought the public into a conversation with the scientists, designers, planners, government officials, businesses, and advocacy groups working i San Rafael to make the region resilient to climate change. They took the forms of biking, walking and kayaking (with free kayak rentals provided).
Moving forward, we (myself and The Studio for Urban Projects) has partnered with scientists from San Francisco State University’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center to develop a series of modular and easily deployable oyster reef architectures to serve this Bay Area-wide program. These structures are intended to improve upon heavy reef ball systems that are expensive to deploy and difficult to alter through iterative design. Currently under development, these systems are being prototyped to be used in the largest estuary on the west coast.
All over the world oysters are being used to protect shorelines and create habitat. New York City has launched the Billion Oyster Project, the Chesapeake Bay engages an active oyster gardening program, and the San Francisco Bay is experimenting with “Living Shorelines,” which provide reef structures for the native Olympia Oyster alongside eel grass beds, to buffer storm surges and rising tides caused by climate change.