Adapting to Sea Level Rise: A Guide to California's Coastal Communities

'Adapting to Sea Level Rise: A Guide for California’s Coastal Communities'  was created to serve as a guide for California’s coastal managers and community planners to develop adaptation plans for sea level rise that are suited to their local conditions and communities. The Guide begins with background information about climate change and sea level rise and an explanation of why planners in coastal communities should begin to plan for sea level rise and the associated coastal hazards. The remaining sections describe the processes of performing sea level rise vulnerability assessments and risk analysis for the development of adaptation plans that can be tailored specifically to individual communities. The guide includes an outline and explanation of the individual steps that are involved in developing a Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan for a coastal community, a discussion of the issues that are of concern, and as well as references to resources or tools that can assist a community in developing their individual plan.

The procedures that are outlined in the Guide are based on planning for the impacts of sea level rise on two of California’s coastal communities, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara. For Santa Cruz, a general Climate Change Vulnerability Study was completed and a Climate Change Adaptation Plan has been written. A Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment was prepared for the city of Santa Barbara during the process of Guide development, so that it could be informed by an actual case study.

This project was funded by the Public Interest Environmental Research Program (PIER) of the California Energy Commission.

Publication Date: January 2012

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Nicole Russell
  • Gary Griggs

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  • Planning guides

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