Mayor R. Rex Parris, City of Lancaster, CA
California Adaptation Forum, Sacramento 2014
The 2014 California Adaptation Forum is a comprehensive network of adaptation leaders who have a strong commitment to addressing the impacts of climate risks. The program reflects the diverse needs and challenges facing California, and brings together leading voices from around the state to share insights on how we can most effectively respond.
Visit our friend's website at: http://www.californiaadaptationforum.org/
Full Set of Audio Recordings
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Morning Plenary - Making History: Beginning a New Era in Climate Change
Speakers: Ken Alex, Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown; Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board; Chief Ken Pimlott, Director, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; Frances Spivy-Weber, Vice Chair, State Water Resources Control Board
Across the state, we are dealing with the impacts of climate change from sea level rise to extreme heat- climate change is happening. The current drought and unprecedented wildfire season highlight the types of challenges we can expect to face with increasing frequency. Californians are responding – support for government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is at an all-time high. We’ve reached a decisive tipping point where growing public awareness and unavoidable urgency for response have converged. As a state, we are collectively looking these dangers and taking proactive steps to increase our resilience. Up and down the state, in communities large and small, from coastal waters to inland valleys to soaring mountains, Californians are taking steps at every level to implement our state’s shared vision and leading the way for other states and nations around the globe. We will need to continue our record of developing increasingly innovative solutions to protect our environment, support a sustainable economy, and improve our community’s quality of life.
Finding Common Ground: Integrating Nature, Infrastructure and People into Sea-Level Rise Planning
Speakers: Kelsey Ducklow, NOAA Coastal Fellow, California Coastal Commission; Juliette Hayes, Acting Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch Chief, FEMA Region IX; Sascha Petersen, Managing Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals; Jack Liebster, Planning Manager, Marin County CDA; Danielle Boudreau, Coastal Training Program Associate, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research - MODERATOR: Mary Matella, California Sea Grant State Fellow, California Coastal Commission
Planning for sea-level rise opens up new opportunities for coordination between FEMA, the California Coastal Commission and local communities. This hands-on session gives participants the chance to use real-world examples from county, natural resource agency and tribal perspectives to explore those opportunities. As sea-level rises and more frequent or severe storms threaten coastal regions, communities will face the need for emergency services, response and recovery capacity, as well as adaptation measures to protect coastal resources, including habitats, public access and recreational opportunities. This session introduces planning for sea-level rise from a multi-hazards (FEMA) and coastal resource vulnerability (Coastal Commission) perspective. Then, using a roundtable workshop format, attendees apply those frameworks in interactive case studies focused on the Tijuana River Valley, Marin County and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Breakout groups report key findings and lessons learned. So roll up your sleeves and dive into building coastal resilience!
Taking the Next Step: Moving Beyond Vulnerability to Adaptation Strategies
Speakers: Norman Wong, Environmental Engineer, Bay Area Rapid Transit; Stefanie Hom, Associate Transportation Planner/Analyst, Metropolitan Transportation Commission; Garth Hopkins, Chief, Office of Regional Planning, California Department of Transportation; Rosalyn Yu, Civil Engineer, San Francisco International Airport; MODERATOR: Brenda Dix, Senior Associate, ICF International
After conducting a risk and vulnerability assessments many are left wondering “now what?” This session seeks to answer that question by providing concrete examples of next steps taken by transportation agencies and highlighting the lessons they have learned along the way. Several California transportation agencies discuss their ongoing work to advance resiliency through concrete adaptation solutions and policy guidelines. Topics range from laying the groundwork for adaptation planning, the development of adaptation strategies, criteria for evaluating those strategies, approaches to integrating climate change into CEQA, and many more. Each agency outlines its process and lessons learned before engaging in a facilitated discussion surrounding the next steps that agencies should take now, common barriers to implementing adaptation, and ideas for overcoming those barriers. All speakers cover the values of collaboration and information sharing among agencies when tackling these complex issues.
Emerging Monitoring and Evaluation Approaches for Climate Adaptation
Speakers: Timothy Burroughs, Climate Action Coordinator, City of Berkeley; Matt Hennigan, Energy Efficiency Engineer, City of Santa Monica; Cyndy Comerford, Manager of Planning and Fiscal Policy, San Francisco Department of Public Health; MODERATOR: Kristin Brubaker, Project Manager, Local Government Commission
Do you know if your adaptation planning and implementation efforts are working? Are they achieving desired outcomes? While some local governments and regions in California are leading the way on climate-adaptation planning and implementation efforts, many communities still struggle with how best to monitor and evaluate these efforts. This session addresses this emerging area of climate adaptation, highlighting communities on the frontline of monitoring and evaluation activities. Panelists from Berkeley, Santa Monica, and San Francisco share their experiences, including their successes, challenges and lessons learned. The session features a discussion about the most effective ways to structure adaptation monitoring and evaluation efforts; opportunities to leverage existing mechanisms; how to communicate results and information with stakeholders; and resources and templates that can be used to support monitoring and evaluation.
Interactive Mapping Tools for Engaging the Community in Local Adaptation Efforts
Speakers: Charlie Knox, AICP, Principal, PlaceWorks; Breece Robertson, National GIS Director, Trust for Public Land; Amy Anderson, Director of Planning Services, Placeways LLC; MODERATOR: Robert Matthews, Goedesign Practice Manager, Esri, Inc.
Meeting climate adaptation challenge must occur at the local level. Many of the planning approaches for adaption require using geospatial analyses and tools. Through this session attendees will learn about multiple GIS tools for modeling and visualizing the impacts of a changing climate on ecosystems and human infrastructure, improving decision making and engaging the public in adaptation planning and monitoring. Among the uses of GIS discussed are spatial assessment of sustainability programs such low impact development landscaping, active use of rooftops for energy and food production, the interactive engagement of the community in assessing adaption implications, conservation planning tools that provide a vision for urban resilience, and geoplanning tools to create, analyze and report on alternative planning scenarios At the conclusion of the session, attendees have a better understanding of the variety of tools and information available to them and how those resources might be used to address their local climate-change adaptation needs.
Building Community Resilience into Climate Change through Art: Stories from the Artists
Speakers: Kira Carrillo Corser, Team Leader, Artist and Education, Seachanges.org; Alison Joe, AICP, Commissioner, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission; Mallorie Marsh, Manager, School and Teacher Programs, Crocker Art Museum; Sabrina McCormick, Associate Professor, George Washington University: MODERATOR: Amber Pairis, Ph.D, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Artists play a key role in communicating ideas to their local communities and beyond. Art in its varied forms can be used to educate and train, promote a sense of community, celebrate and support individuals, promote ideas and initiatives, and can play a pivotal role in supporting social change. Climate change offers a unique and important opportunity to bring art and science together to reach a wide array of people on a subject where time is of the essence. Art can touch people emotionally not just academically and create an experience that translates climate change research into something meaningful on a personal level. This session is a storytelling hour where California-based artists and those involved with the arts discuss their experiences on how art can translate climate science into something that is accessible and creates an interest and curiosity among people to become more engaged on the topic.
Shaking the Couch Cushions: Understanding and Creating Funding Streams for Climate Research and Adaptation
Speakers: Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Deputy Director for Climate Policy, CalEPA; Kevin Werner, Regional Climate Services Director, National Climatic Data Center, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration; Guido Franco, Climate Change Research Lead, California Energy Commission; Randy Johnson, Ph.D., National Leader, USDA Climate Hubs; MODERATOR: Kristin Cooper-Carter, Owner, Grant Management Associates
An increasing number of local leaders are ready to take on adaptation, but funding these initiatives can be challenging. Funding for climate research and adaptation is competing against schools, police and libraries for scarce local resources. Obtaining climate research and adaptation funding can be difficult, but this session will provide you with an overview of the agencies with existing adaptation funding streams and insight into how funding is allocated. Learn about the agencies that support multi-disciplinary research assessments designed to foster the effective use of climate information for informed decision-making. If you would like to learn more about these programs, how you can participate, the goals and objectives that they are mandated to target and local funding opportunities, this session provides you with the tools and a better understanding of past funding trends and the current funding trajectory.
Resilient Communities: Bringing Change to Life
Speakers: Demetra McBride, Director, Santa Clara County’s Office of Sustainability; Brent Bucknum, Director, Urban Biofilter; Lily Verdone, LA/Ventura Project Director, The Nature Conservancy; MODERATOR: Sarah Newkirk, Coastal Project Director, The Nature Conservancy
The degree to which communities are vulnerable to climate change is strongly influenced by local circumstances such as culture and community priorities, infrastructure, economics, ecological setting, and local resources. Until recently, most local planning decisions have been made using a relatively short planning horizon, and without specific reference to future climate conditions. However, communities are increasingly coming together to envision possible future scenarios, articulate their values, and identify strategies to secure these values – now and in the future. This session highlights three communities that are working to collaboratively identify “win-win” opportunities to address climate adaptation, mitigation, and long-term community resilience. The session provides participants with the opportunity to interact with mapping, visualization, and risk assessment tools supporting these processes, learn about the value of green infrastructure in combating the effects of climate change, and discuss the role that community engagement and economics have in creating effective climate adaptation plans.
Keeping the Lights On: Moving Toward a Resilient Energy System
Speakers: Melissa Higbee, Program Manager, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability; Crystal Raymond, Climate Research and Adaptation Strategic Advisor, Seattle City Light; Kathleen Ave, Climate Readiness Program Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District; Shawn Marshall, Executive Director, Local Energy Aggregation Network US; Tanya Peacock, Environmental Policy Manager, Southern California Gas Company/Sempra; MODERATOR: David Stoms, Ph.D., Energy Research and Development Division, California Energy Commission
California’s economy and quality of life depend on a sufficient supply of safe, reliable, and affordable energy. Today, the energy sector is a primary contributor to climate change and its infrastructure is likely to experience more frequent and severe wildfire, flooding, heat waves, and drought. In addition, the utility landscape is changing with the growth of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), often driven by consumer desire for cleaner sources of power. These changes raise questions about the vulnerability of the energy sector: how much risk exists and what adaptation strategies, tools, or technologies are needed to achieve an acceptable level of risk. This session summarizes current and planned research on climate vulnerability, provide insight into leading electric and natural gas utility readiness programs and offer examples from California’s CCA communities.
Plenary: Changing the Business Climate for Climate Change
Speakers: Christopher Benjamin, Director, Corporate Sustainability, Pacific Gas & Electric Company; Kathy Gerwig, Vice President, Employee Safety, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Stewardship Officer, Kaiser-Permanente; Stephanie Rico, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo, Government and Community Relations; MODERATOR: Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group, Inc.
The American economy is going to face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to the recent report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States.” Hear a distinguished panel of California business leaders for an engaging and illuminating discussion on how companies are addressing increasing their resiliency in the face of climate change. The panelists discuss actions they are taking to adapt their business practices to the unfolding economic and social realities of climate change. They share their unique perspectives about the critical need for businesses to engage in adaptation efforts, and the costs, benefits and economic risks we face in meeting these global challenges.
Planning for Climate Change Impacts: A Transportation Perspective
Speakers: Lindy Lowe, Senior Planner, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; Katie Benouar, Chief, Division of Transportation Planning, California Department of Transportation; Cris Liban, Deputy Executive Officer, Environment, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Shirley Qian, GIS Specialist, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority; MODERATOR: Kome Ajise, Deputy Director, Planning and Modal Programs, California Department of Transportation
California’s vast transportation network of highways, local streets, transit systems, bicycle/walking paths, seaports and airports play a vital role in the movement of people and freight. This panel discussion helps frame the issues that transportation providers in California should address in order to adapt to our changing climate. Panelists provide an overview of potential impacts to our transportation system and the innovative steps underway to plan for those impacts.
Who’s On First? Creating Multi-Agency, Multi-Jurisdictional Capacity to Respond to Climate Change
Speakers: Sandi Potter, Division Manager, Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department; Karen Gaffney, Program Manager, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District; Geof Syphers, CEO, Sonoma Clean Power; Caitlin Cornwall, Biologist and Development Officer, Sonoma Ecology Center; Coordination Committee Member, North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative; MODERATOR: Suzanne Smith, Executive Director, Regional Climate Protection Authority
This session shares lessons learned in building adaptation capacity across agencies, jurisdictions and non-governmental organizations in Sonoma County, including the creation of novel structures for regional governance. We connect participants with presenters and one another to problem-solve across common challenges of coordination, communication, lack of resources, access to data, and others in trying to build resiliency at a local level. A short presentation from Sonoma County panelists introduce four different perspectives on climate action and capacity building, including insights into what has and has not been successful.
Win-Wins: How to Leverage Mitigation Funding to Adapt to Climate Change
Speakers: Cindy Blain, Research and Innovation Director, Sacramento Tree Foundation; Thomas Christofk, Air Pollution Control Officer, Placer County Air Pollution Control District; David Fink, Director of Campaigns, Climate Resolve; Campbell Ingram, Executive Officer, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy; MODERATOR: Obadiah Bartholomy, Senior Project Manager, SMUD
This session examines opportunities to adapt to climate change that deliver greenhouse gas reductions and other co-benefits. Rather than being an either-or investment decision, diverse opportunities exist to reduce emissions at the same time that we prepare for climate change impacts. These opportunities address sea level rise, air quality, wildfires and the impacts of higher ambient temperatures on public health and energy demand. The speakers cover opportunities that can be accelerated today to build resilience against these impacts while cutting emissions from significant sectors of the economy. Panelists delve into opportunities to address subsidence in the delta through carbon sequestration, reduce air quality impacts and carbon emissions through urban forestry, reduce urban heat islands and peak energy demands through white roofs, and reduce forest fire risk by converting forest slash to useful energy. The combination of opportunities provides a transition investment strategy to deliver both mitigation and adaptation.
A Compass for Changing Times: Key Dimensions of Adaptation Success
Speakers: Jason Vogel, Managing Analyst, Stratus Consulting; Susanne Moser, Ph.D., Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting; Social Science Research Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University; Linda Gianelli Pratt, Chief Program Manager, Sustainable Community Program, City of San Diego; Ellie Cohen, President and CEO, Point Blue Conservation Science; MODERATOR: Amber Pairis, Ph.D., Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
What would successful adaptation to climate change look like? This question has no simple answer. Despite high-level commitments to prepare for and manage the impacts of climate change, it remains difficult to move beyond adaptation planning and in fact decide on a particular course of action, to garner the necessary political and social support in budget-constrained times, and to implement concrete adaptation measures. At the same time, many sectors and communities already face difficult choices and trade-offs as climate change impacts unfold with growing speed and fury and as adopting either more stringent or novel strategies to strengthen and retain resilience produces winners and losers. This session provides a framework for thinking about adaptation success and then invites panelists from various climate-sensitive sectors, different parts of the state, levels of government and perspectives to discuss how they do or don’t address the question of success and how to measure it.
Monterey Bay: Pioneering Innovative Vulnerability and Adaptation Approaches to Coastal Decision Making
Speakers: David Revell, Ph.D., Senior Coastal Geomorphologist, ESA PWA Environmental Hydrology; Philip King, Ph.D., Associate Professor, San Francisco State University; Meg Caldwell, Executive Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University; Christine Hopper, Senior Associate Planner, City of Monterey; MODERATOR: Rachel Couch, Project Manager, State Coastal Conservancy
This session explores planning efforts in Monterey Bay that comprise critical pieces in the region’s unique climate adaptation puzzle. The session includes presentations on advancements in modeling addressing local coastal hazards and applications of the results, specifically improved methods to project accelerating cliff erosion, integrate coastal erosion and flooding, and map future coastal flood hazards based on site-specific conditions; perspectives of a city planning manager on the challenges presented by coastal hazards when applying local land use policy analysis and decision-making; regulatory risk associated with land use planning adaptation strategies; and improvements to a 2012 study that evaluated economic benefits and costs of shoreline protection and land-use policies to incorporate improved data, physical modeling of hazards and socio-economic impacts under sea level rise and alternative management scenarios. These improvements will position the region’s actively engaged stakeholders to more effectively manage the dynamic land-sea interface for current and future generations.
Engaging Communities on Health, Equity and Climate Adaptation
Speakers: MODERATOR: Martha Dina Arguello, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles
Chione Flegal, Deputy Director, PolicyLink; Monica Shankar, Health and Environment Associate, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles; Catalina Garzon, Program Director, Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program, Pacific Institute
We know that low-income communities of color are affected first and worst by climate change. Developing climate action coalitions can play a key role in engaging impacted residents in local climate action and adaptation planning. Successfully achieving climate resiliency hinges on broad-scale community participation involving a diversity of residents. In this interactive workshop, we compare the experiences of Los Angeles and Oakland in developing leadership around climate adaptation strategies, especially those strategies with a strong social equity and environmental justice focus. Panelists share tools, activities and lessons learned from engaging communities in planning and taking action to build their resilience to climate change.
Resilience in a Risky World: An Introduction to Emerging Private-Sector Risk Management Frameworks
Speakers: Bill Mueller, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Valley Vision; Jamesine Rogers, Project Manager, The Risky Business Project; Alex Porteshawver, Consulting Climate Action Plan Coordinator, Sonoma State University/City of Benicia; MODERATOR: Noel Perry, Founder, Next 10
Addressing adaptation head-on requires active engagement in a risk-management dialogue. Although the private sector as a whole has been less engaged with climate change, they have an incredible toolbox for fiscal risk management that can and should be brought to bear on climate change. A number of organizations have been working towards economic risk management frameworks for climate change, with a variety of interesting and valuable results. This session brings this dialogue to the fore, as a panel of leading thinkers and practitioners from Deloitte, LLP, Valley Vision, Next10 and The Risky Business Project, share organizational, regional and national scale risk management frameworks for understanding (and valuing) the economic risks of climate change. Gain a new set of analytic lenses through which to consider economic uncertainty caused by climate change and tools to manage climate risk.
California’s Vision for Integrated Climate Action
Speakers: Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Deputy Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency; Raul “JR” DeLaRosa, Assistant Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency; Christina Curry, Deputy Secretary, California’s Office of Emergency Services; Neil Maizlish, Ph.D., Epidemiologist, Climate and Health Team, Office of Equity, California Department of Public Health; MODERATOR: Michael McCormick, Senior Planner and Advisor, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
California’s innovative policies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to a clean-energy economy. At the same time, California is planning and preparing for the unavoidable risks of climate change.The Governor’s Environmental Goals and Policy Report serves as a broad overview for how state efforts work together on a variety of fronts to achieve long-term sustainability. Regarding climate, these efforts fit within an integrated, three-R’s strategy of reducing emissions, climate readiness and research.This strategy is supported by hundreds of agency and department initiatives that ensure long-term implementation of the broader climate change goal and policy framework. Confronting climate change will require unprecedented collaboration across state government and partner organizations and involve nearly every aspect of the state’s planning and investments
Growing Resilience: Policy & Practice for Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change
Speakers: David Runsten, Policy Director, Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Kellyx Nelson, Executive Director, San Mateo County Resource Conservation District; Paul Muller, Co-Owner, Full Belly Farm; MODERATOR: Adam Kotin, Policy Associate, California Climate and Agriculture Network
Farmers and ranchers are on the front lines of climate change. This session takes a farm-level view, exploring how to ensure food security and economic viability for this important California industry in the face of exacerbated water shortages and extreme weather events. If this year is a preview of what’s to come, how can farmers adapt? What potential impacts worry them the most? And what resources do they need to continue producing a bountiful, healthy harvest? Guided by conversations between the audience and our experts, we discuss innovative programs and policy approaches to the most crucial issues facing California agriculture in the years to come.
Building Regional Collaboratives to Accelerate Adaptation Success
Speakers: Larry Greene, Air Pollution Control Officer, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District; Cody Hooven, Senior Environmental Specialist, Environmental and Land Use Management, Port of San Diego; Krista Kline, Managing Director, Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action & Sustainability; Bruce Riordan, Climate Strategist, Bay Area Joint Policy Council; Michael McCormick, Senior Planner, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; MODERATOR: Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director, Climate Resolve
Addressing climate change at the regional level is one way to minimize risk and maximize resilience opportunities. For an effective regional response, all interested stakeholders must work more closely together than ever before. However, there are significant barriers to coordinating across regions. One emerging approach is found in the formation of “regional adaptation collaboratives.” This session discusses the development, implementation, and lessons learned from the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA), an organization consisting of four regional adaptation collaboratives in San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Sacramento. This session discusses (1) a framework for forming a regional adaptation network, (2) guidance for structuring a regional collaborative, and (3) insights into effective mechanisms for engaging stakeholders in adoption of these new collaborative relationships.
Reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect: A Perfect Adaptation + Mitigation Nexus
Speakers: Haley Gilbert, Principal Research Associate, Heat Island Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; David Fink, Director of Campaigns, Climate Resolve; Judy Robinson, Sustainability Manager, Sacramento County, Environmental Management Department; Misha Sarkovich, PhD, Program Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
This session promotes the reduction of the urban heat island effect as an important adaptation strategy that communities can implement producing several co-benefits in areas of pressing concern throughout California: water conservation, energy savings, public health, air quality and greenhouse gas reduction. The panelists highlight local solutions that have resulted in successful on-the-ground measures in California that simultaneously mitigate the heat island effect and contribute to climate change adaptation.
How Local Food System Planning Can Create More Resilient Communities
Speakers: Gail Feenstra, Deputy Director, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, UC Davis; Timothy Griffin, Alliance Program Manager, Ag Innovations Network; Eric Holt-Giménez, Ph.D., Executive Director, Food First, Institute for Food and Development Policy; Ricardo Salvador, Ph.D., Director and Senior Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists; MODERATOR: Sigrid Wright, Assistant Director, Community Environmental Council
In parts of California, food banks are reporting a 75% drop in donated fruits and vegetables due to the drought – confirming that our most vulnerable populations are on the front lines of climate change. We’ll look at how some communities are engaging emergency food providers – as well as churches, farmers, NGOs, schools, political officials and local governments – in large-scale efforts to design healthier, more vibrant food systems that build community resilience. Many early-adopter cities and counties have completed and are implementing “food action plans” or “food system assessments,” providing an emerging body of case studies and tools. We explore examples from major urban areas (Oakland and Los Angeles) and urban/rural areas (Sonoma, Fresno and San Luis Obispo). We also explore how some Food Policy Councils are being coordinated out of mayor’s offices, planning departments or public health departments, and how their work can support climate action plans or other planning efforts.
Financing Climate Adaptation: Public-Private Cross-Pollination
Speakers: Shalini, Vajjhala, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Re:Focus Partners; Cisco DeVries, CEO, Renewable Funding; Stephanie Rico, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo, Government and Community Relations; Rebecca Foster, Advisor, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation; MODERATOR: Aleka Seville, Director, Advisory Services, Four Twenty Seven, Inc.
Financing adaptation efforts – from local community outreach to major infrastructure improvements – calls for creative sources of funding to stretch local governments’ limited budgets. This roundtable discussion focuses on innovative ways to involve the private sector in solving public problems, building on existing initiatives in energy, climate and city planning. We hear from thought leaders whose efforts straddle the public and private sectors, and discuss whether and how these different forms of public-private partnerships (PPPs) could be repurposed to help fund climate adaptation efforts at the local level.
Forest & Flood Management as an Adaptation Strategy: Lessons from Local Officials
Speakers: Demetra McBride, Director, Santa Clara County’s Office of Sustainability; Jim Read, Executive Director, Public Services, El Paso County, CO; Lucinda Andreani, Deputy Director, Public Works, Coconino County, AZ; MODERATOR: Rob Pressly, Program Manager, Green Government Initiative, National Association of Counties
Recent years have seen increased frequency and severity of wildfires, exacerbated by drought conditions and often coupled with flooding and mudslides. Loss of forest land and construction on steep slopes due to increased development pressures further aggravates the risks of short-term disasters and impacts local economies that are dependent upon working landscape, while reducing the availability of carbon sinks to mitigate climate change. This session explores how some communities are developing strategies to address forest and flood management within climate change adaptation strategies, and helps participants take the next steps to further the ability of local leaders to address forest and flood management.
Plenary – Promising Responses: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Speakers: Salud Carbajal, Supervisor, County of Santa Barbara; Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation, City of Los Angeles; Nicola Hedge, Director of Climate Initiative, San Diego Foundation and Vice Chair of the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation; Alice Hill, Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience to the President’s Assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, White House National Security Council; John Laird, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency
California’s position as a global leader on climate change is built on the actions of proactive policymakers and agents of change at all levels of government. Future solutions to increase resiliency and achieve the deeper emission reductions needed to meet our 2050 climate goals will come from integrated actions that cross sector and jurisdictional boundaries. This panel features leaders taking action now and forging new partnerships to achieve comprehensive solutions to this era’s most challenging problem. Each of these leaders shares their own stories of the benefits of collective action to achieve maximum results from resiliency efforts.
Brainstorming Ways to Incorporate Health Equity Concerns into an Ever-Changing World
Speakers: Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, Co-Director, Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute; Alyssa Newton Mann, Regional Research and Planning Program, University of Southern California, Sea Grant Program; Christopher Read, Sustainability Planner, Pacific Municipal Consultants; Catalina Garzon, Program Director, Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program, Pacific Institute; MODERATOR: Sandi Gálvez, Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
Climate change impacts health in many ways, and these impacts disproportionately affect vulnerable individuals and disadvantaged communities. This session explores the relationship between climate change and vulnerable populations, and outline three changes that can disproportionately impact vulnerable population. These changes are (1) the impacts on coastal issues and watershed management caused by stresses on water quality and water availability, and sea level rise; (2) the aging of the American population – between 2000 and 2050, persons 65 or older are expected to grow from 12% to 20% of the US population and the percentage of extremely old (85+) Americans is expected to triple; and (3) the increase in exposure to air pollution associated with transportation corridors as a result of the push towards urban infill as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Continuing the Momentum of the Task Force: Federal Support of Adaptation
Speakers: Juliette Hayes, Acting Branch Chief, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch, FEMA Region IX; Katherine Buckingham, Resilience Program Analyst, US HUD, Office of Economic Resilience; Gina Campoli, Environmental Policy Manager, Vermont Agency of Transportation; Stephanie Bertaina, Senior Policy Analyst, US Environmental Protection Agency; Hon. Alice Hill, Senior Advisor for Preparedness and Resilience, White House’s National Security Staff; MODERATOR: Jessica Grannis, Adaptation Program Manager, Georgetown Climate Center
This session addresses the President’s Climate Preparedness Task Force and opportunities for removing federal barriers and using federal programs to better support state and local adaptation. We discuss the key federal programs that have been used to support adaptation in the past, and identify opportunities for improving federal support for state and local efforts. Participants engage in a dialogue with a task force member and White House and federal agency staff to discuss outcomes and next steps for the Climate Preparedness Task Force to answer the question: How do we build upon the task force’s momentum and move recommendations into action?
Working With Urban-Rural Perspectives to Create Regional Climate Resiliency
Speakers: Leslie Bryan, Watershed/Climate Stewardship Coordinator, Western Shasta Resource Conservation District; Bob Rynearson, Land Department Manager, WM Beaty and Associates; Christina Mai, Watershed Program Manager, Hydrologist, Shasta Trinity National Forest; Gwen Griffith, DVM, Program Director, Program Director, Policy and Planning, Cumberland River Compact; Curriculum Director, Climate Solutions University; MODERATOR: Minnie Sagar, Multi-media Storyteller, Meenakshi Media
Rural underserved communities of far northern California are at the forefront of addressing climate related impacts to our natural resources. Leaders in five counties are participating in adaption efforts in various stages of planning and implementation within their communities and as a region. Climate risks to the far northern region include impacts to water supply and quality, unreliability of hydroelectric power generation, shifting socioeconomic and public health concerns. The importance of rural natural infrastructure is not fully realized by the downstream urban interest receiving the ecosystem services provided. Correcting this urban-rural disconnect is crucial to identification of solutions. This session highlights implementation efforts in the far northern region and initiate a statewide dialogue about how to bridge urban-rural adaptation efforts to sustain our states most valuable water forests and related economic resources.
California Coastal Fog: An Untapped and Little-Known Water Resource?
Speakers: Ian Faloona, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis; Alicia Torregrosa, Physical Scientist, US Geological Survey; Travis O’Brien, Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Earth Sciences Division; Daniel Fernandez, Professor, Division of Science and Environmental Policy, California State University, Monterey Bay; MODERATOR: Sara Moore, Consultant, North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative, Sonoma County
Coastal California is renown for the cooling effect of its summertime fog. Less appreciated is the amount of water “stored” in the fog. As California summers grow hotter, understanding and mapping changing coastal fog will become ever more important for the wine industry, energy conservation, public land management, and many other sectors. Improved forecasting, reduced foggy day irrigation, and even fogwater harvesting may offer additional adaptation planning responses to the inexorable challenges engendered by our changing climate. However, key information is missing: existing fog patterns, data on plant stress-fog relationships, and amount of harvestable water are all still highly uncertain. In this session we expand your knowledge about fog as a system at the interface of earth, sea, and sky; moderate an audience discussion on fog-related vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies; and invite you to construct fogwater collectors to participate in the launch of a new citizen-science fog research effort.
Climate Change Risks in the Supply Chain: The Weak Link?
Speakers: Susanne Moser, Director and Principal Researcher, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, Stanford University; Chris Erickson, President and CEO, Climate Earth Inc.; Robert Dickinson, President, Argos Analytics, LLC; MODERATOR: Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO, Four Twenty Seven
Climate change is set to impact agricultural and human systems around the world, significantly disrupting global and local supply chains. This session identifies what tools and data are needed to prevent or lessen climate-related disruptions in the supply chain. We discuss examples of weather-related crises that exemplify the risks brought about by climate change in the supply chain, and think through what monitoring, communication and analysis tools might have helped them prevent or reduce the impacts, or shorten the duration of the crisis. The session features demos of innovative tools and applications to assess and monitor risks in the supply chain.
Climate Communications: From Research to Practice
Speakers: Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners; Francesca Koe, Director of Campaigns, NRDC; Caroline Hodge, Research Manager, ecoAmerica; MODERATOR: Meighen Speiser, Chief Engagement Officer, MomentUs, ecoAmerica
Climate change is not a narrow issue, yet it concerns a narrow population. We must reach beyond the “base” – to conservatives, rural, communities of color – all Americans. Opinion surveys show concern for health, economy, public safety, infrastructure, and energy security – yet low concern for climate change. The implications of climate in individual and community well-being requires that communicators mainstream the issue as a driving factor in health, safety, security, prosperity, and community for all. There is opportunity to advance Americans’ engagement on climate by drawing these issues together and aligning with the center of American values. This session features experts in social science research, marketing research, and public opinion polling, and advocates who have used these tools to develop and deploy programs and communications to move Americans into action on climate.
Next Steps for Integrating Land-use, Water & Ecosystem Adaptation Planning
Speakers: Michelle Selmon, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources, South Central Region Office; Michael Boswell, Ph.D., AICP, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, City and Regional Planning Department; Armand Gonzales, Special Advisor, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Climate Science and Renewable Energy Branch; Jessi Kershner, Lead Scientist, EcoAdapt; MODERATOR: Erin Chappell, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources
Climate change adaptation planning is a rapidly growing field in part due to the many agencies and organizations that have been proactive in developing new tools and planning processes to support adaptation in their respective sectors. However, there is a growing awareness that greater benefits, efficiencies, and opportunities could be realized by moving beyond the traditional, sector-specific planning to a broader cross-sector approach. This session will: (1) highlight tools and processes for assessing climate change vulnerabilities to support adaptation planning in the water, land use, and ecosystem sectors; (2) help to identify commonalities in methods and overlapping goals in those efforts; and (3) facilitate a robust discussion on how we can integrate strategies to promote effective cross-sector planning in California and help build a framework for how to better connect the climate adaptation planning being conducted by local land use planners, water managers and natural resources managers.
Leveraging Resources for Financing, Implementing and Sustainability Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Initiatives
Speakers: Karen Kubick, Sewer System Improvement Program Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; David Behar, Climate Programs Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Ben Grant, Public Realm and Urban Design Program Manager, San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association (SPUR); MODERATOR: Erin Hagan, Policy and Government Affairs Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Local utilities can be strategic partners in thinking about creative financing mechanisms for planning and implementation of climate-adaptation and resiliency efforts. America’s water systems are old, inefficient and desperately in need of modernization, especially as our cities become more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme weather events. As cities are investing in upgrades to their water infrastructure, these capital-improvement programs can serve as vehicles for financing, implementing and sustaining climate-change adaptation and resiliency initiatives. For example, the San Francisco PUC is incorporating climate-change adaptation strategies into its multi-billion dollar Sewer System Improvement Program. This session looks at the SFPUC as a case-study and delve into the details of how the agency was able to prioritize climate-change adaptation through its capital programs.
Integrating Adaptation: How Natural Resource Managers are Addressing the Challenge
Speakers: Natalie Dubois, Climate Change and Wildlife Scientist, Defenders of Wildlife; Whitney Albright, Climate Change Associate, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Giselle Block, Inventory and Monitoring Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System; James Strittholt, President, Executive Director, Conservation Biology Institute; Chris Keithley, Ph.D., Director, Fire and Resource Assessment Program, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; MODERATOR: Haley Stewart, California Program Associate, Defenders of Wildlife
As the science and practice of adaptation planning continue to develop, natural resource managers have begun to shift from developing “adaptation plans” to a focus on integrating climate adaptation into management plans and activities. In this session we present examples of what integrated planning looks like and discuss the benefits and challenges to this approach. Speakers present innovative ideas and real-world experiences of integrating climate adaptation into their natural resource planning and management activities. They also share some of the lessons learned and difficulties that they have encountered.
Jurisdiction, Governance and Land Use Planning as the Sea Rises
Speakers: Jennifer DeLeon, Statewide Planning and Renewable Energy Program Coordinator, California State Lands Commission; Lindy Lowe, Senior Planner, Project Lead, Adapting to Rising Tide Project, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; Hilary Papendick, Statewide LCP Grant Manager/Coastal Program Analyst, California Coastal Commission; Cody Hooven, Senior Environmental Specialist, Port of San Diego; MODERATOR: Curtis Alling, AICP, Principal, Ascent Environmental, Inc.
Sea level is not only a geophysical and ecological interface, it also demarcates boundaries of governance that affect land use planning, resources management, and regulatory jurisdictions. It is important to advance the dialogue about implications of changing regulatory boundaries of the coastal zone, submerged land subject to the public trust, and land use planning jurisdictions of state and local government. State jurisdiction may become applicable to new areas. Planning, public safety, and resource management issues on affected lands may morph. Economic, social equity, and property concerns may weigh heavily on decision-makers. Current regulatory practices will necessarily change as boundaries of coastal zone, bay/estuary, and submerged lands evolve over time. What are the economic, social, and governance effects on communities? This session explores the planning, regulatory, and socioeconomic issues and trade-offs associated with the potential effects of sea-level rise on governance of coastal and estuarine waters and land.
The Role of California Rangelands I Adapting to Climate Change
Speakers: Pelayo Alvarez, Conservation Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife/California Rangeland Conservation Coalition; Wendell Gilgert, Rangeland Watershed Program Director, Point Blue Conservation Science; Wendy Millet, Education Foundation Director, TomKat Ranch; Leslie Roche, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis; MODERATOR: Geoff Geupel, Emerging Programs and Partnerships Group Director, Point Blue Conservation Science
California rangelands cover approximately 40% of the state and provide multiple ecosystem services including food, forage, clean water, climate regulation and healthy wildlife populations. Rangeland science, policy and management have historically focused on optimizing livestock and forage production; however, society is placing growing importance on conservation goals. Balancing both agricultural production and conservation goals on these lands will be a central challenge in the face of climate change and uncertain economic and social conditions. Climate-change models project warming temperatures, more drought, more extreme rainfall with less snow accumulation, extreme changes in hydrographs and drier soils, all of which will impact the provision of ecosystem services from rangelands. In this session, we present recent efforts to increase the ecosystem services provided by California’s rangelands with an emphasis on climate change adaptation and some of the most urgent obstacles and win-win solutions for collaborative adaptive management.
Reclaiming Energy: Farms, Forests & Waste Streams
Speakers: Kim Carr, Sustainability Specialist, Sierra Nevada Conservancy; Thomas Christofk, Air Pollution Control Officer, Placer County Air Pollution Control District; Tracy Saville, Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs, CleanWorld/Synergex Ventures; Andrea Stephenson, General Manager, Atlas ReFuel; MODERATOR: Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy, CalEPA
Addressing climate change will require adaptation in all sectors of the economy. Compelling opportunities to adapt exist within the agriculture, forestry and municipal waste sectors, among many others. By completing the life cycle produced from these three sectors, representing both natural and managed resources, we find opportunities for climate adaptation and mitigation. In collecting waste efficiently and converting it to energy, we can safeguard the sectors from climate impacts, deliver clean energy, improve air and water quality, create jobs, and reduce climate forcing emissions.
Inspiring Community Engagement in Adaptation
Speakers: Mehmet McMillan, Founder, Consultant, WildPlaces: Heidi Nutters, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: Marina Psaros, Principal, Coravai LLC; MODERATOR: Meredith Herr, Director of Research and Content, Climate Access
Building support and momentum for climate adaptation will require engaging deeply with individuals about the places where they live, work, and play. Discover new ways to communicate and engage target audiences in climate adaptation based on research and best practices from the field. Hear case studies of innovative projects from across California that are connecting with individuals through a range of unique and effective strategies. These inspiring projects include using social media to tell stories of community response to local climate impacts, amplifying ocean issues through distributed online communities, using citizen science and decision-support tools, and encouraging youth empowerment and positive change through on-the-ground stewardship activities.
Philanthropy as an Essential Partner in Tackling Climate Adaptation
Speakers: Francesca Vietor, Program Director, Environment, Public Policy and Civic Engagement, The San Francisco Foundation; Nicola Hedge, Director, Climate Initiative, The San Diego Foundation; John Nordgren, Senior Program Officer, Kresge Foundation; Nadine Peterson, Deputy Executive Officer, California State Coastal Conservancy; MODERATOR: Allison Brooks, Director, Bay Area Joint Policy Committee
Learn how foundations are working with partners to foster innovation, identify best practices and help bring promising interventions to the appropriate scale of impact, and convening diverse stakeholders to address gaps in knowledge and action, particularly as they relate to disadvantaged communities. The panel’s five foundation representatives will describe their respective foundation’s programmatic approach to climate adaptation, how they define the problem, who they invest in and work with, how they measure success, the timeline they are working under, and where they see the biggest leverage points to bring efforts to the needed scale.
Looking to Mainstream? Perspectives in Incorporating Climate Change in Hazard Mitigation Plans
Speakers: Tom Amabile, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Emergency Services; Sherrie Collins, Emergency Services Manager, Monterey County Office of Emergency Services; Victoria LaMar-Haas, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Mitigation Planning Division; Juliette Hayes, Mitigation Planning Program Lead, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mitigation Planning Program; MODERATOR: Melissa Higbee, Program Officer, ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability
Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPS) offer an unparalleled opportunity to mainstream climate adaptation into existing planning efforts. This session introduces the frameworks for hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning, with a focus on key similarities and differences. This session shares some of the methods and emerging models that local governments from across the country are using to incorporate climate change risks and adaptation in their hazard mitigation plans. Local emergency managers share their experiences developing unique approaches and partnerships to carry out this work. State and Federal officials share policy and resource development that supports this practice.
Closing Keynote – A Breath of Fresh Air: Inspiration & Innovation for Change
Speakers: Wade Crowfoot, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown; Mayor R. Rex Parris, City of Lancaster, CA
We end the inaugural California Adaptation Forum with a call to action from local and state leaders who are walking the talk! Mayor Rex Parris explains how his vision to become on of the first net-zero communities by 2020 has transformed the town of Lancaster by increasing economic and environmental resiliency. Wade Crowfoot, Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, shares the state’s vision and the role of political leadership, strategic partnerships and perseverance in achieving a more resilient California.