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Energy and Climate Change

Climate Adaptation

The San Diego region will be increasingly affected by climate change as temperatures continue to rise and heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires have the potential to become more frequent and more intense. Integrating adaptation into planning efforts will ensure that the region is more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Regional adaptation planning will support the implementation of San Diego Forward: The 2015 Regional Plan and the development and implementation of the 2021 Regional Plan.

Resilient Coastlines

SANDAG has a robust Shoreline Management Program and has been working with local jurisdictions since the early 1990s to address erosion issues in the San Diego region. SANDAG has crafted policies related to shoreline management, led two regional beach sand nourishment projects, and established a robust shoreline monitoring program. As sea level rise becomes a more pressing threat to the San Diego coastline, these efforts, along with specific sea level rise adaptation planning measures, will become increasingly important to the region.

To inform the North Coast Corridor Program, SANDAG and Caltrans commissioned the San Diego Region Coastal Sea Level Rise Analysis Report. This report describes future scenarios for sea level rise along the region’s coastline based on the latest and most relevant scientific reports and guidance. It offers design water level guidance for local projects, an adaptive management strategy, and general conclusions and recommendations for construction along the North Coast Corridor.

In December 2017, SANDAG was awarded funding from the Caltrans Senate Bill 1 (SB1) Adaptation Planning Grant Program to prepare the Regional Transportation Infrastructure Sea Level Rise Assessment and Adaptation Guidance (Adaptation Guidance). This project analyzes potential sea level rise impacts to transportation facilities such as highways, bikeways, trails, and light and heavy rail that cross jurisdictional lines. The Adaptation Guidance includes a compilation of adaptation policies, projects, and funding opportunities that are relevant to the San Diego region. Results from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST) pilot study, completed as part of the Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment described under Regional Adaptation Efforts, are included in the Adaptation Guidance. The Adaptation Guidance was recommended by the SANDAG Regional Planning Committee and accepted by the SANDAG Board of Directors as a regional resource.

Regional Adaptation Efforts

In July 2018, SANDAG was awarded funding from the Caltrans SB 1 Adaptation Planning Grant Program. The funds were allocated to prepare a Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment to increase understanding of adaptation planning needs and opportunities and advance coordination across adaptation projects throughout the San Diego region. The award also included a transportation infrastructure risk assessment, utilizing the FHWA’s VAST pilot study to support analysis of the sea level rise project described in the Coastal Hazards section.

Download Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment (full report)

Download Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment Fact Sheet

In May 2019, SANDAG was awarded additional funding through the Caltrans SB 1 Adaptation Planning Grant Program. The previous two SB 1 grants identified information gaps regarding existing risks and adaptation needs. This project will provide tangible guidance on how to address these identified risks and needs by holistically implementing projects that link mitigation, adaptation, and broader community benefits. An implementation toolkit, economic guidance document, and equity prioritization document will be developed to help local planners with this complex decision-making.

Local Adaptation Resources

San Diego, 2050 Is Calling. How Will We Answer?

California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment: San Diego Region Report

Caltrans District 11 Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Resilient Coastlines Project of Greater San Diego

State Adaptation Resources

Safeguarding California Plan

California Climate Adaptation Planning Guide

California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment

Rising Seas in California: An Update on Sea-Level Rise Science

California Coastal Commission Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance

ICARP Adaptation Clearinghouse

Planning and Investing for a Resilient California

Federal Adaptation Resources

U.S. Climate Resilience Tool Kit

Fourth National Climate Assessment

Project Manager

Katie Hentrich, Associate Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 595-5609, Email: