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Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Planning in San Luis Obispo County (CA)


This report provides a suite of adaptation strategies that was developed by local leaders and experts during a series of workshops in 2009?2010. These strategies are a critical first step in what will need to be an ongoing process as the climate, other stressors, and the scientific understanding of the earth’s processes continue to change over time. By integrating adaptation strategies across the different sectors of society, county leaders will reduce conflict among diverse interests for limited resources, such as water, while increasing communication and lowering overall costs

Based on climate change model projections from three global climate models as well as peer?reviewed scientific publications, local experts and leaders identified the following as changes that could occur in San Luis Obispo County by the end of this century:
• Hotter, drier, and longer summers
• More severe storms
• Accelerating sea level rise
• Increase in wildfire
• Loss of many oak and pine forests
• Eroding coastal bluffs; declining wetlands, marshes, and estuaries
• Declines in water quality and flow in streams and rivers
• Increase in erosion and sediment
• Lower groundwater recharge rates
• Loss of some native species and functioning ecosystems
• Less productive range for cattle
• Increase in invasive species
• Increase in severe heat days that cause illness and death
• Increase in mental illness
• Increase in natural disasters (floods, droughts, fires)
• Stress to water and flood infrastructure
• Changes to agriculture
Workshop participants considered both climate change impacts and on-the?ground vulnerabilities as they developed a suite of recommendations for reducing the impacts of these effects of climate change.

Primary Toolkit:

Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Adaptation, All-Hazards, Climate, Environmental Health, Mental Health, Natural Disaster, Needs Assessment, Water Quality


Institutional Author:






Five most recent user comments

4 Stars of 5 - Very Useful
Tool Review
By Raymond Roe

All of the components necessary for discussing climate change is present in this document. Excellent resource for how communities should be viewing their own areas.

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