Announcement: Natural Resources Agency Releases Plan to Guide the State’s Climate Change Adaptation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Following the Governor’s executive order last year establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target in North America, the Natural Resources Agency today released a final plan for how California will prepare for the extreme effects of climate change, including increasingly extreme weather and sea level rise.

“From eroding sea cliffs to shrunken mountain snowpack, many effects of climate change in California are obvious,” said California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. “Other effects are not so obvious but potentially powerful. Warmer average temperatures will affect everything from whether butterflies survive to where wine grapes can grow. This comprehensive report describes the threats facing California and the mitigation and adaptation measures we can take across state government, from shading the concrete hardscapes of our cities to retrofitting fish hatcheries to cope with warmer streams.”

Divided by ten sectors that include water, agriculture, and biodiversity, the report, Safeguarding California: Implementation Action Plans, takes the recommendations from the 2014 Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk report and shows the path forward by concisely presenting

  • risks posed by climate change,
  • adaptation efforts underway, and
  • actions that will be taken to safeguard residents, property, communities and natural systems.

The report has been informed by public comments gathered last fall, including at workshops held around the state.

The implementation actions contained in the Safeguarding California report seek to fulfill Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s directive    to state agencies to make informed decisions and avoid high costs in the face of inevitable impacts from climate change.

In October 2015, the Natural Resources Agency released draft Implementation Action Plans. After receiving 41 comment letters and holding public workshops throughout the state, the Natural Resources Agency and the authors from lead agencies in each sector worked to incorporate the perspectives and suggestions from stakeholders and members of the public. The plans for each sector have been updated, and more detail was added concerning future actions and collaboration among sectors. 

The sector-by-sector Implementation Action Plans enhance the state’s readiness for drought, wildfire, rising sea levels, and increasingly extreme weather. The State is committed to regional adaptation approaches that foster local solutions, integrate sectors, build on actionable science, and involve vulnerable groups and the environmental justice community.

In June 2016, the Natural Resources Agency will receive reports from leading agencies in each sector on the priority actions identified in the Implementation Action Plans in accordance with Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-30-15   . Together, these plans illustrate the comprehensive actions being taken to reduce climate risk and keep Californians safe.

Legislation signed by Governor Brown last fall (AB 1482 by Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon) requires the Natural Resources Agency to release a draft climate adaptation strategy by January 1, 2017. To meet that mandate, the Agency plans to build upon the work of the more than 25 state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions as well as the public feedback that helped prepare the Safeguarding California report released today.

Agencies that served as sector leads were assisted by the Climate Action Team Working Groups, the Strategic Growth Council, and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The final Safeguarding California: Implementation Action Plans report is available at    or by clicking here   .