Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Bucket o' Miscellaneous News: Safeguarding California, Pending Law, the Next CAF, and Adaptation Futures 2016

Safeguarding California!

Last Tuesday the California Natural Resources Agency released its new adaptation guidance for the state, Safeguarding California: Implementation Action Plans -- the "how to" supplement to the 2014 report Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk-- the update of the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy. A draft third version of the adaptation strategy is mandated by law (AB 1482) to be completed by January 1, 2017.

Read some local coverage of the new guidance: California Government Prepares For Extreme Effects Of Climate Change (March 8, 2016, CBS SF Bay Area).

Update: see a longer article informed by interviews with some of the organizers/contributors: Central coast ag sector aims to thrive in dry spell (March 16, 2016, the Santa Maria Sun).

Pending Law

Some new climate change adaptation-related legislation is pending in California, introduced in mid-February:
  • SB 1363 - Promoting eelgrass restoration in coastal habitats (by State Senator Bill Monning). It would encourage evidence-based approaches to restoring eelgrass habitat, which lessens harm from sea-level rise while benefiting salmon, other important commercial fish species, and migratory birds.
  • AB 2413 - Sea-level rise preparation (by State Assembly member Tony Thurmond). It would require the California National Resource Agency to do "a study outlining the potential impact of sea level rise on low-income and at-risk communities and public projects and infrastructure" by January 1st, 2019.
  • AB 1925 - Introducing a statewide goal for the volume of sea water desalinated (by State Assembly member Ling Ling Chang). This would give a boost to the state's pending coastal desalination projects.
The Next California Adaptation Forum (CAF)

The second CAF will be in Long Beach, California, September 7-8, 2016, and the deadline for proposals is April 3rd. The submission guidelines can be found here.

When the second CAF was announced I heard from a heavy-hitting lobbyist for nature-based adaptation that this forum is not as big a priority for their organization as the first one in August 2014, which was based in Sacramento and brought together a lot of supporters of the glut of climate adaptation legislation that passed last fall (read more about that: Red-Letter Day for California Adaptation Planning, October 9th, 2015). He may have even said he didn't see the point of it(?). So, we can look forward to having fewer lobbyists at this CAF! Hopefully we'll hear lots from local groups like Communities for a Better Environment, who just celebrated in February an announcement of new funds for a clean-up of toxic soil in East LA (read more: Governor Brown commits $176 million to clean up Exide mess in South East Los Angeles, February 18, 2016).

The Next International Adaptation Futures Conference

I am in the throes of logistics for a trip to the Fourth International Adaptation Futures Conference, this time in Rotterdam, Netherlands, May 10-13, 2016, who's program currently has 700 contributors from 69 countries. I loved the second one, held in Tucson, Arizona, in 2012. I missed the first and third conferences (in Queensland, Australia, in 2010, and Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014). Tucson featured the highest level discussion of practical climate change adaptation I've yet seen, with the most international and multi-level attendance. Being in the Netherlands, I expect a big focus on sea-level rise. For the optional day of field trips I selected a trip to the fantastic Delta Works, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Further reading:

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