Although the levee has so far withstood storm/tide surge challenges, it is in need of critical upgrades and safety improvements. In 2014, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determined that Foster City’s levee system does not meet minimum requirements for flood protection. Further, in order to obtain the necessary permits to implement needed improvements, regional regulations say that construction must meet year 2050 sea level rise protection requirements.

If no action is taken, the community would be at heightened flood risk and be designated as a flood zone. FEMA designation as a flood zone would require property owners with federally-insured mortgages to pay an estimated $2,000-$3,000 in mandatory, annual flood insurance. Rents could increase if those flood insurance costs are passed along to those renting properties.