California Coastal Conservancy Climate Change Policy and Project Selection Criteria

The California Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready program focuses on protecting important coastal resources and habitats from the current and future impacts of climate change. The Conservancy is collaborating with local partners and other agencies to prepare communities along the California coast and within the San Francisco Bay for climate change. The Conservancy updated its "Climate Change Policy and Project Selection Criteria" on November 10, 2011.

The Climate Change Policy describes the concerns about the effects of global warming on coastal, marine, and near-coast resources within the Conservancy’s jurisdiction. It further identifies the legislative and policy directives that call for the Conservancy to address these impacts, and it describes strategies and actions that the Conservancy will use to address climate change.

Specifically, the Conservancy adopted the following directives in its Climate Change Policy:

1. The Executive Officer is directed to consider climate change in evaluating which projects to fund and the manner in which projects are selected, in order to reduce vulnerabilities from climate change while continuing to support the resources (public access, open space, etc.) the Conservancy is charged with protecting.

2. Sea Level Rise and Extreme Ocean Events. The Conservancy will consider flooding and erosion due to sea level rise, and extreme events such as tsunamis in assessing project vulnerability and, to the extent feasible, reduce expected risks and increase adaptive capacity using current scientific information and state guidance documents.

3. Collaboration to Support Adaptation Strategies. The Conservancy will collaborate with other agencies and entities to develop, support, and implement climate change adaptation plans, strategies and projects that minimize or offset impacts to natural resources, public access, and other matters specified in the Conservancy’s enabling legislation.

4. Adaptation Strategies. The Conservancy encourages applications for climate-sensitive projects that include robust adaptation measures and strategies, including pilot or demonstration projects that are consistent with its enabling legislation, strategic plan, and available funding.

The Project Selection Criteria includes three new (as of 2011) proposed criteria to address greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to sea level rise and other climate change impacts.

The Required Criteria is: 

  • Promotion of the Conservancy’s statutory programs and purposes
  • Consistency with purposes of the funding source
  • Support from the public
  • Location (must benefit coastal, ocean resources, or the San Francisco Bay region)
  • Need (desired project or result will not occur without Conservancy participation)
  • Greater-than-local interest
  • Sea level rise vulnerability (Consistent with Executive Order S-13-08, for new projects located in areas vulnerable to future sea-level rise, planning shall consider a range of sea-level rise scenarios in order to assess project vulnerability and, to the extent feasible, reduce expected risks and increase resiliency to sea-level rise.)


For more detailed information, the “Guidance for Addressing Climate Change in California Coastal Conservancy Projects” provides grantees and Conservancy staff clarification, information and resources to assist in understanding and applying this Climate Change Policy and Project Selection Criteria.


Publication Date: November 10, 2011

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  • Regulation

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