Evaluating Adaptation Planning in Coastal California

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
Cal Ocean Protection Council
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
MSI People
Area/s of Research
Marine Conservation, Policy and Education

This two-year project, led by UCSB’s Dr. Charles Lester, will evaluate the status and trends of sea level rise adaptation planning process and outcomes along California’s outer coast. The project will create an online inventory of local adaptation planning, and develop recommendations for improving California’s coastal adaptation planning and LCP policy update process, including to meet OPC coastal resilience goals, such as “ensur[ing] California’s coast is resilient to at least 3.5 feet of sea-level rise by 2050.” Research will include review of administrative, legal, policy, planning and technical materials, as well as interviews with key participants, surveys and conducting small focus/working groups.

Project recommendations will address the OPC objectives to complete adaptation planning in all coastal counties consistent with the California Coastal Act; and identify “specific mitigation and adaptation strategies for coastal communities threatened by severe sea-level rise,” such as the development of “templates and minimum standards for adaptation plans” for incorporating “adaptation pathways” into local plans. Other recommendations will address ways to enhance the engagement of community interests, including disadvantaged and unrepresented populations; improving the integration of coastal science and adaptation planning; aligning local, regional and statewide interests in effective sea level rise adaptation; and consideration of regional and sub-regional governing mechanisms. The project will be ready to begin in April, 2021, with an initial inventory of coastal adaptation work complete by year’s end or month 8.