California State Coastal Conservancy Strategic Plan 2013 - 2018

The California State Coastal Conservancy was established in 1976 to purchase, protect, restore, and enhance coastal resources, and to provide access to the shore - working in partnership with local governments, other public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners. 

The Strategic Plan addresses how the Conservancy operates, describes their past accomplishments, provides a policy reference, coastal issues by region, and an overview of the Conservancy's priorities and financial status.  Based on an analysis of the issues facing the California coast and Bay Area, this plan identifies specific goals and objectives for the Conservancy to achieve over the next five years - including the steps needed to respond to climate change. 

The Conservancy’s legal authority to undertake projects and award grants for projects to address potential and existing climate change impacts was clarified in law through CA SB 1066, which took effect January 2013. This legislation provides express authority for the agency to undertake projects and award grants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address extreme weather events, sea level rise, storm surge, beach and bluff erosion, salt water intrusion, flooding, and other coastal hazards that threaten coastal communities, infrastructure, and natural resources. The Conservancy is directed to maximize public benefits, including, but not limited to, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, reducing hazards to harbors and ports, preserving and enhancing coastal wetlands and natural lands, conserving biodiversity, and providing recreational opportunities.

The Conservancy’s program is organized into four geographic regions: the North Coast, the Central Coast, the South Coast and the nine county San Francisco Bay Area. The plan provides brief summaries of these regions, the major coastal conservation issues they face, and the Conservancy’s anticipated priorities for each region are described.  General goals and specific related objectives are outlined for the Conservancy's Public Access, and Coastal Resources Conservation program areas, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program. 

As stated within the Coastal Resources Conservation goals of the plan, some climate adaptation focused objectives are delineated, including to:

  • Conduct site-specific, regional and landscape-level vulnerability assessments of uplands and waterways, and develop adaptation plans to address predicted climate change impacts to natural resources, biodiversity, and critical habitat.
  • Implement adaptation pilot projects that reduce hazards from sea level rise and extreme storm events, and which protect natural resources and maximize public benefits.
  • Implement adaptation pilot projects that address climate change impacts to uplands natural resources, biodiversity and critical habitat.

Publication Date: December 6, 2012

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