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Climate Adaptation Plans, Examples and Case Stories


View real examples of climate adaptation plans in California to better understand the variety of formats adaptation planning can take.  You can also use these examples to help identify strategies which might work in your community.


Bay Area Needs Assessment and Action Plan
Bay Area Joint Policy Committee

The Bay Area Joint Policy Committee’s Bay Area Climate and Energy Resilience Project completed a needs assessment and proposed action plan for adapting to climate change in the region.  The needs assessment produced five reports looking at plans for engaging the public, governance strategies, a group of win-win strategies, scientific information and stakeholder interviews. 

Download all five reports on the right, along with the proposed action plan.


BCDC: Living With a Rising Bay

Adaptation planning in the Bay Area is defining what it means to live with a rising Bay.  Access reports and projects by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) that reflects the current state of knowledge regarding the potential impacts of climate change on the region.


California Climate Adaptation Strategy

Released in 2009, this multi-sector strategy is designed to help guide California’s efforts in adapting to climate change impacts. The California Natural Resources Agency, in coordination with other state agencies, are updating the Climate Adaptation Strategy in 2012 and will seek public comment in 2013.


City of Chula Vista Climate Adaptation Planning

In 2010, the Chula Vista’s Climate Change Working Group evaluated the potential impacts from climate change on municipal infrastructure and services and recommended strategies to “adapt” to these potential impacts.  The City of Chula Vista was one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to pursue climate adaptation planning.

Case Story

The City of Hayward – Adapting to Sea Level Rise

In response to sea level rise predictions, the City of Hayward has begun looking at options for enhancing the resilience of their shoreline.

Post City of Santa Cruz

City of Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan

The City of Santa Cruz recognized the potential threat of climate change, specifically identifying impacts of global warming as a threat to the community in the 2007 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.  The City developed its Climate Adaptation Plan to address risks as an update to the 2007 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, using Hazard Mitigation Planning Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Integrated Strategies for a Vibrant and Sustainable Fresno County
March 2011

The ClimateWise report, Integrated Strategies for a Vibrant and Sustainable Fresno County, details a suite of strategies that was developed by local leaders and experts during a series of workshops in 2009-2010. Workshop participants developed strategies for climate change adaptation – the process of preparing for climate change to reduce overall impacts to natural and human communities.


San Diego Bay Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy
ICLEI, February 2012

The Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy for San Diego Bay is one of the nation’s first regional approaches to sea level rise adaptation, and resulted from the efforts of a broad collaboration of stakeholders, including the local governments around San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego, San Diego Airport Authority, and many others. It was supported by The San Diego Foundation through its Climate Initiative.

Post County of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County Climate Adaptation

In 2009-2010, the GEOS Institute and the Local Government Commission worked with San Luis Obispo County to study the impacts of climate change on natural and man-made systems in the county.  The resulting report, Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Planning in San Luis Obispo County, outlines the projected effects and a suite of adaptation strategies.


Climate Adaptation- Sea Level Rise White Paper
City of San Rafael, 2014

Released in January 2014, this paper is a first step in responding to the city’s Climate Change Action Plan (adopted in 2009).  This paper:


Climate Change Hits Home: Adaptation Strategies for the San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Planning & Research Organization (SPUR)

In this 2011 report, SPUR addressed how the San Francisco Bay Area should adapt to climate change, including which tools and strategies will increase resiliency to its most severe impacts, including drought, higher temperatures and sea level rise.  SPUR recommends more than 30 strategies for local and regional agencies to begin minimizing the region’s vulnerabilities to these long-term but potentially catastrophic effects.

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