The Coastal Conservancy and Climate Change
Photo: Dave R (Flickr/Creative Commons)
The effects of climate change can be seen everywhere in California. Sea level rise is threatening communities in all parts of the coast and has proved particularly damaging when combined with extreme storm events. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have led to severe droughts that are decreasing water supplies, increasing fire risk, and transforming agriculture. The natural environment is also affected, with significant disruptions to native plant communities and previously unseen migrations of wildlife. The well-being of every resident, species, geographic area, and business sector of the State depends on an effective response to a changing climate.
The Coastal Conservancy has been working for almost 40 years to protect natural resources and human development along California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay. Much of this work has made waterfront communities, recreational and working lands, and natural areas more resistant to the effects of climate change.
In 2007 the Conservancy incorporated specific measures to address climate change in its strategic planning. In 2009 the Conservancy adopted a comprehensive Climate Change Policy that informs all aspects of its work and amended its Project Selection Criteria to ensure that all Conservancy projects are designed with climate change in mind. The Conservancy took these actions in response to directives from the State administration and legislature and in conjunction with many State and federal agencies and nongovernmental science and conservation organizations.
In 2012, the legislature and governor empowered the Conservancy with a new authority (SB 1066, Lieu) to prepare for and adapt to the effects of climate change and take action against its causes. The Conservancy quickly responded with the launch of its Climate Ready Program and the first Climate Ready grant round, and by initiating multi-agency coordination and planning focused on climate change. The Conservancy’s efforts to address climate change support a broad range of State and federal policies and goals and are based on solid scientific research—for more information, and lists of resources for further study, click here.
A summary of Coastal Conservancy projects that have focused on the effects of climate change can be found here.