Climate Ready Program

The Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready Program is helping natural resources and human communities along California’s coast and San Francisco Bay adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Conservancy is also working to capture greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through the conservation of natural and working lands.

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. In 2012, the legislature and governor empowered the Conservancy with specific authority (SB 1066, Lieu) to prepare for and adapt to the effects of climate change and take action against its causes.

The Climate Ready Programmatic Priorities are:

  1. Safeguard wildlife by using nature-based solutions that provide co-benefits for people, wildlife, and the economy.
  2. Prioritize projects that maximize public benefits.
  3. Avoid poor or inadequate adaptation.
  4. Promote collaboration among various stakeholders and multiple sectors. Establish and expand non-traditional alliances to accelerate effective problem-solving between and among public and private resource managers, scientists, and decision-makers.
  5. Incorporate the best available science by utilizing peer-reviewed and well-documented climate science, climate adaptation strategies, and management practices.
  6. Focus on future climatic and ecological conditions rather than the past.
  7. Design actions from a landscape, ecosystem, watershed or regional perspective to factor in significant natural processes.
  8. Account for a high degree of uncertainty by developing and implementing strategies that provide the greatest benefits across a range of possible future climate scenarios.
  9. Minimize energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Enhance the ability of natural systems to sequester greenhouse gases.
  10. Address the needs of low-income and other underserved populations that will be highly impacted by climate change.
  11. Promote on-the-ground demonstration projects that implement innovative approaches or enhance understanding of effective management strategies and will potentially lead to broader change to policies, regulations, or to duplicating the effort elsewhere;
  12. Incorporate a project-appropriate educational component.

Through three Climate Ready Grant rounds, the Conservancy has awarded $7.3 million for 42 projects; click here for a list of projects funded. In addition, the Conservancy is working on dozens of other Climate Ready Projects; examples of these projects are provided below.

Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning
The Conservancy is helping many communities assess the vulnerability of their communities and natural resources to sea level rise and create adaptation plans to counter threats of sea level rise.  We fund technical tools and studies that help understanding and planning for sea level rise impacts.
Natural Infrastructure

The Conservancy is helping to plan, design, and implement living shorelines throughout the state that use oyster beds, wetlands, dunes, and other natural habitats to buffer the impacts of rising seas and increased storm events while providing multiple benefits.

Rangeland and Agricultural Adaptation

The Conservancy is helping rangeland and agricultural lands adapt to changing climates including grazing operations, grassland restoration, and water and soil conservation projects such as water catchments and storage design.

Carbon Sequestration

Climate change has been driven by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere and the Conservancy is working to protect natural and working lands that remove and capture these gases in photosynthesis. Projects include acquisitions of coastal forests, wetland restoration, carbon banking, and carbon farming.

Urban Greening

Global warming, drought, and runoff from extreme storms threaten the well-being of millions of urban residents. Conservancy funding is supporting inner-city projects that are creating shady retreats for residents, conserving rainwater, capturing stormwater pollution, and reducing air temperatures.


Flood Risk PSA – Senator Feinstein from Our Bay on the Brink.


PBS NewsHour with Cat Wise – Restored wetlands welcome wildlife around San Francisco Bay


To download a PDF of Conservancy’s Climate Ready projects click here.

To download a brochure of the Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready program, click here.

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