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Local and Regional Actions and Projects

Around the California, bold projects are being undertaken to address ongoing and inevitable impacts from climate change. Efforts from local and regional governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and the public show the grassroots nature of climate adaptation. California state government supports and commends these efforts. Read about some of the many of the initiatives by the Natural Resources Agency and its partners in state government to help spur resilience to climate change at the local and regional levels below:

California Climate Adaptation Storybook

The Natural Resources Agency is proud to show the incredible work already underway around the state to address climate impacts. The 20-page Climate Adaptation Storybook serves as a primer for people who are working in a variety of fields who may not be familiar with climate adaptation in California. The Storybook is a cursory collection of projects, policies and programs to show decision makers, foundations, and community members what preparing for the future can look like.

California Adaptation Planning Guide

The Adaptation Planning Guide (APG) provides guidance to support regional and local communities in proactively addressing the unavoidable consequences of climate change. It was developed cooperatively by the California Natural Resources Agency, California Emergency Management Agency, with support from California Polytechnic State University–San Luis Obispo, and with funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Energy Commission. The APG was developed under the guidance of an interagency steering committee and a technical advisory panel, and underwent an extensive review process following its release to the public as part of a conference held in April 2012 by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Confronting Climate Change: A Focus on Local Government Impacts, Actions and Resources.

The APG provides a step-by-step process for local and regional climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development. Usage of the APG is meant to allow for flexibility in the commitment of time, money, and effort to suit the needs of the community.

The APG serves as a foundational resource for climate adaptation planning in California. Ongoing implementation of Senate Bill 379 both relies heavily on the APG to assist local governments with general plan updates. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is required to review and update the APG to reflect updates of the Safeguarding California Plan with the Natural Resources Agency per Senate Bill 379.

The APG consists of the Planning Guide overview document and three companion documents for use in various combinations on an as-needed basis:

APG: Planning for Adaptive Communities (7.1MB) – This document presents the basis for climate change adaptation planning and introduces a step-by-step process for local and regional climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development. All communities seeking climate adaptation planning guidance should start with this document.

  • APG: Defining Local and Regional Impacts (5.8MB) – This document provides a more in-depth understanding of how climate change can affect a community. Seven “impact sectors” are included to support communities conducting a climate vulnerability assessment.
  • APG: Understanding Regional Characteristics (21.0MB) – The impact of climate change varies across the state. This document identifies climate impact regions, including their environmental and socioeconomic characteristics.
  • APG: Identifying Adaptation Strategies (4.7MB) – This document explores potential adaptation strategies that communities can use to meet adaptation varying needs. Adaptation strategies are categorized into the same impact sectors used in the APG.

    Other Initiatives for Local and Regional Climate Adaptation

Senate Bill 246

  • The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is leading the creation of the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program, Climate Adaptation Clearinghouse, and Technical Advisory Council.

Senate Bill 379

  • This legislation requires that the next revision of a jurisdiction’s local hazard mitigation plan on or after January 1, 2017, or, if the local jurisdiction has not adopted a local hazard mitigation plan, beginning on or before January 1, 2022, include a review and update of the safety element to address climate adaptation and resiliency strategies applicable to that city or county. The bill would require the update to include a set of goals, policies, and objectives based on a vulnerability assessment, identifying the risks that climate change poses to the local jurisdiction and the geographic areas at risk from climate change impacts.
  • The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services are coordinating the implementation of this bill to ensure the alignment of general plans and local hazard mitigation plans. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is updating the General Plan Guidelines to reflect this integration.

National Disaster Resilience Competition

  • California will receive more than $70 million in federal funding for an innovative disaster recovery and resilience program in Tuolumne County following the devastating 2013 Rim Fire. The funding, part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition, will be used to help restore forest and watershed health, support local economic development and increase disaster resilience in the rural mountain areas affected by the fire.