Climate Ready Projects

  • Vulnerability Assessments, Technical Assistance, and Planning
  • Carbon Forestry
  • Adaptation Pilot Projects
  • Wetland Restoration Projects

Vulnerability Assessments, Technical Assistance, and Planning

Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Mapping and Vulnerability Assessment

The Coastal Conservancy funded detailed sea level rise mapping and development of a sea level rise adaptation plan for the Humboldt Bay region. The plan is currently under development and will include generalized adaptation strategies for the region and provide site specific examples of these strategies. The plan will include a sea level rise vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategies and will be developed by a working group convened by the Humboldt Bay Harbor District and the Coastal Ecosytems Institute of Northern California. More information, including the Humboldt Bay Shoreline Inventory, Mapping, and Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment, is available here.

For more information please contact: Joel Gerwein, State Coastal Conservancy,


Monterey Bay Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment

This project is assessing potential future impacts from sea level rise for the Monterey Bay region. The project will estimate the extent of future coastal erosion in Monterey Bay due to accelerated sea level rise as well as the areas that will be subjected to coastal flooding by inundation from wave action and/or storm surges. The project will result in an update and refinement of the Monterey Bay coastal hazard zones map (for erosion and flooding). Current estimates have relied on statewide data, which lack the resolution needed for local planning. The project will demonstrate a downscaled sea level rise vulnerability assessment methodology that could be used for local land use planning purposes in coastal other regions.

For more information please contact: Rachel Couch, State Coastal Conservancy,


Goleta Slough Vulnerability Assessment

The Goleta Slough Ecosystem Management Plan was prepared by the Goleta Slough Management Committee and adopted by the City in 1997. The purpose of the plan is to provide a comprehensive framework for ecosystem management and impact mitigation within the Goleta Slough Ecosystem. The Conservancy is supporting an update to the plan to re-evaluate the study area based on projected sea level rise, to assess vulnerability and risk to both environmental and human resources, and to recommend adaptation strategies. The recommended adaptation strategies will integrate the interests of multiple stakeholders and provide long-term planning guidance to the City, County, and others. The resulting plan update and assessment will inform decisions and recommendations to come out of the Santa Barbara Airport Master Plan and may be incorporated into the City’s Local Coastal Program.

For more information please contact: Rachel Couch, State Coastal Conservancy,


Ocean Beach Managed Retreat Master Plan

The Conservancy supported the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) to develop a Master Plan for Ocean Beach. The Master Plan is a comprehensive vision created in cooperation with a host of federal, state and local agencies, community stakeholders, and the public to address sea level rise, protect infrastructure, restore coastal ecosystems and improve public access. The plan includes specific recommendations for rerouting and reducing the width of the Great Highway (Highway 1), implementing a multipurpose coastal protection, restoration, and access system; restoring native dunes; improving the connection between Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach; and improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities. With additional Conservancy support, SPUR is currently working to implement these recommendations in coordination with the City of San Francisco and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

For more information please contact: Amy Hutzel, State Coastal Conservancy,


San Francisco Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Technical Update

The San Francisco Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Project is a comprehensive regional plan that is being updated to address anticipated climate change impacts. The update will assess sea level rise, potential migration of wetlands to adjacent upland habitats, extreme weather events, altered sedimentation and erosion regimes, changes in watershed and stream flow influences, as well as projections for shifts in species and habitat types. More information about this project update can be found here.

For more information please contact: Matt Gerhart, State Coastal Conservancy,


Carbon Forestry

Garcia River Forest, Mendocino County

The 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest project is a model project that demonstrates the important role of sustainable forestry in fighting climate change, restoring critical wildlife habitat and providing jobs to the local economy. In 2004, the Coastal Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Board, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund acquired this redwood and Douglas fir forest with the goal of restoring the streams and habitat, implementing selective logging, and through patient management, restoring the property’s ecological and economic viability. The Conservation Fund has registered the forest under the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol, and has subsequently sold carbon credits produced by the forest. Through careful management of the forest, The Conservation Fund is helping sequester carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.

For more information please contact: Karyn Gear, State Coastal Conservancy,


Big River/Salmon Creek Forests, Mendocino County

In 2006, The Conservation Fund, Coastal Conservancy, and Wildlife Conservation Board acquired the 16,363 acre Big River/Salmon Creek Forest, with additional funding from the State Water Board’s Revolving Loan Fund, for the purposes of preventing forest fragmentation, restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, improving water quality, and implementing sustainable forest harvest practices. As with the Garcia River Forest, The Conservation Fund has received Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certifications for its forestry management practices, and the project is registered under the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol. Revenue generated from the sale of Big River/Salmon Creek carbon credits has enabled The Conservation Fund to make its State Revolving Fund loan payments and manage the property with light-touch forestry, enhancing the forest’s ability to sequester carbon.

For more information please contact: Karyn Gear, State Coastal Conservancy,


Preservation Ranch, Sonoma County

The Coastal Conservancy is currently working with The Conservation Fund, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and the Sonoma Land Trust to acquire the 19,650-acre property known as “Preservation Ranch” in northern Sonoma County. The property connects to over 50,000 acres of protected working forest and open space lands. The proposed acquisition would permanently protect more than 20 miles of streams and end a controversial vineyard conversion and subdivision proposal. If acquired, The Conservation Fund would manage the forest as a sustainable, working forest with the goals of restoring ecological values and sequestering carbon. The Conservation Fund intends to register the project as an “improved forest management project” under the U.S. Forest Project Protocol adopted by the California Air Resources Control Board in 2011.

For more information please contact: Karyn Gear, State Coastal Conservancy,


Adaptation Pilot Projects

San Pedro Creek Restoration (Pacifica State Beach Managed Retreat)

A managed retreat strategy was developed and implemented through a partnership of agencies, including the Coastal Conservancy, the City of Pacifica, community groups, scientists and engineers. The project resulted in a reduction of flood hazards, enhanced steelhead habitat, expanded recreational opportunities and a restored functioning wetland. More information about this project is available online here.

For more information please contact: Prentiss Williams, State Coastal Conservancy,


Surfers Point Managed Retreat Project

This project is in the City of Ventura and was constructed in 2010 as a comprehensive response to severe shoreline erosion in the face of sea level rise. The project involved relocating a bike trail, parking lot and other access amenities away from the shoreline and restoring the beach. More information about this project is available here.

For more information please contact: Kara Kemmler, State Coastal Conservancy,


San Francisco Bay Living Shorelines

An innovative new pilot project was constructed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 to test the implementation of living shorelines as an adaptive method to provide habitat functions and values, as well as cope with sea level rise and other environmental changes related to climate change. This pilot project includes a comparison of multiple techniques to restore critical eelgrass and native oyster habitat in San Francisco Bay at two sites. The project is studying both the ecological and physical benefits of these habitats, including use by fish, birds, and invertebrates, and the potential to reduce wave energy and protect shoreline areas from sea-level rise and storm surge. More information on this project can be found here.

For more information please contact: Marilyn Latta, State Coastal Conservancy,


Wetland Restoration Projects

South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project

This is a 15,000 acre wetland restoration project in San Francisco Bay that seeks to restore habitat and improve flood protection for low-lying areas of Silicon Valley and neighboring communities while providing public access. In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Alameda County Flood Control District, and others, the Conservancy has conducted detailed analysis of flood risks (today and with sea level rise) and is implementing on the ground projects to restore habitat and improve flood management. The Restoration Project is employing innovative techniques such as constructing levees coupled with gently sloping tidal marshes. Once established, these outboard tidal marshes will provide habitat for a variety of species and also protect the levees from storm wave action and tidal surge. More information about this project can be found at the project website.

For more information please contact: Amy Hutzel, State Coastal Conservancy,


Sears Point Wetland Restoration Project

The 2,327-acre Sears Point wetland restoration project includes restoration of 960 acres of tidal marsh in northwestern San Pablo Bay, and enhancement of more than 1,350 acres of seasonal wetlands and uplands grasslands. The proposed project was designed to account for sea level rise, including: levee heights to accommodate expected sea level rise over the next 50 years, gently sloping levees to offer refuge to vulnerable species during extreme high tides and storm surge events, and construction of topographic features and pre-vegetation of the site to maximize sediment deposition and retention. In addition, the Sears Point property includes over 1,300 acres landward of the new levee to be constructed as part of the project which allows for the possibility of a future levee breach to allow the marsh to migrate inland as sea levels rise. More information about the project is available on Sonoma Land Trust’s website.


Ormond Beach Wetland Restoration Project

The former Ormond Beach Wetlands extended from Port Hueneme to Mugu Lagoon. Although the wetlands have been drained, filled and degraded over the past century, this is one of the few areas in southern California with an intact dune-transition zone–marsh system. The Coastal Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy have acquired 450 acres of former wetlands and are working to acquire additional land and develop a restoration plan. The restoration feasibility study looks at impacts of sea level rise on the project and can be found here.

For more information please contact: Peter Brand, State Coastal Conservancy,


Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project

Currently covering an area of about 600 acres, the Ballona Wetlands are the largest and most promising opportunity for coastal wetland restoration in Los Angeles County. The Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project is a long-term, science-based plan to return the Ballona Wetlands to a thriving ecological reserve. The proposed restoration project was designed to account for sea level rise and would create a diverse, resilient and dynamic ecosystem while providing a unique opportunity for the community to reconnect with southern California’s natural heritage. The project is undergoing environmental review, more information is available at this website.

For more information please contact: Mary Small, State Coastal Conservancy,