Ocean Beach, California Master Plan

The San Francisco Planning and Research Association (SPUR) facilitated a coordinated effort among multiple agencies to create this long-range plan for San Francisco's Ocean Beach, 3.5 miles of beach and rugged coastline from the Cliff House to Fort Funston. The Ocean Beach Master Plan (OBMP) presents recommendations for the management and protection of Ocean Beach, and addresses the impact of sea level rise, the physical and ecological processes shaping the beach, and improved integration with its natural, recreational, and urban contexts.

Ocean Beach is considered one of the "gems" of the San Francisco landscape, drawing more than 2 million visitors each year, and is an important piece of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Ocean Beach also houses some of San Francisco’s significant wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The State of California, in its 2010 “Sea-Level Rise Interim Guidance Document,” has directed its agencies to plan for sea level rise of 14 inches by 2050 and 55 inches by 2100. The OBMP process also uses these figures, recognizing the significant ramifications for Ocean Beach. Sea level rise, along with storm events becoming more frequent and severe, as well as the proximity of critical public infrastructure to the coast, intensifies the necessity of this climate change adaptation plan. 

The interrelated issues facing Ocean Beach are examined through seven Focus Areas, each of which is described in some detail in the plan, including: Ecology, Utility Infrastructure, Coastal Dynamics, Image and Character, Program and Uses, Access and Connectivity, and Management and Stewardship.  The six 'Key Moves' are the major recommendations outlined in the OBMP, each one including many individual recommendations, for more than 40 in all. They are organized by three geographical areas and are designed to be implemented as a series of improvements, investments and adaptive management practices that can achieve best-case outcomes for a wide range of objectives through the year 2050, based on consideration and analysis to the year 2100. Some of these adaptation strategies include rerouting the Great Highway, which currently closes periodically due to sand and sea level rise, and creating multipurpose coastal protection/restoration/access system.

The Ocean Beach Master Plan is being made possible by grants from the California State Coastal Conservancy, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the National Park Service. The 200+ page document can be downloaded or viewed directly on SPUR's website. For more information on SPUR, please see the additional entry in this clearinghouse.


Publication Date: May 2012

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:


Go To Resource