Numerous state agencies are dedicated to helping California prepare for sea-level rise (SLR). Our vision is to make all of California, including its coastlines, inland areas, and bays and estuaries, resilient to the impacts of SLR, such as flooding, erosion, and habitat degradation and loss. This occurs through thoughtful and coordinated plans and projects aimed to protect and conserve our unique biodiversity, public health and safety, infrastructure, outdoor access, and coastal economy. This must be done through an equitable process, inclusive of all Californians, that prioritizes environmental and climate justice with an emphasis on partnerships with California Native American tribes and supporting vulnerable communities.
In 2020, the California Natural Resources Agency, CalEPA and over 15 departments and agencies developed SLR Principles, to guide unified, effective action toward SLR resilience for California’s coastal communities, ecosystems, and economies. This action is centered on seven principles:
- Best Available Science
- Local Support
- Coastal Resilience Projects
Though these Principles create a direction for how to align state actions and decision points around SLR, an actionable path was needed. The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) was charged with working with agency partners to create a statewide, collaborative Action Plan that would carry out these principles. The result is this document, the SLR Action Plan, a five-year plan to make advances toward coastal resilience through comprehensive, coordinated, and collaborative work. The actions in this plan address urgent needs by identifying proposed new and ongoing work that will be leveraged upon in the next five years. This Action Plan includes over 80 trackable actions, covering both a regional and statewide scope. This work plan is the first of its kind, and sets California up for a safe, equitable, and resilient future. The pace of implementation will depend upon the feasibility and availability of resources and competing priorities.