A joint study approved Tuesday will examine current issues facing the South Bay shoreline and possible future uses, including creating an emergency port or tourist destination.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved launching the study in partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
The initiative by board president Dave Cortese will study the shoreline that stretches from Milpitas to Palo Alto.
"We have the opportunity to shape the future of the South Bay shoreline," Cortese said in a statement. "As we engage our natural partners and the public, we can develop a shared vision and plan for this special area and its precious resources."
The study can look into many factors surrounding the shoreline, including land use, flood control, conservation, climate change and rising sea levels, according to Cortese's office.
The supervisors instructed county administration to compile a work plan with the water district and present their report to the board's Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee in August.
During Cortese's State of the County address in February, he proposed using Alviso Marina as a regional emergency access port if a natural disaster shuts down roads and airports.
Boat tours that launched last year at Alviso Marina Park have brought school-age children and adults to the Bay, Cortese said in his address