California Ocean Protection Council Approves $8 Million in Grants to Improve Resilience to Sea-Level Rise Along the Coast

Posted on February 23, 2021

SACRAMENTO February 19, 2021 – The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) this week approved 15 grants totaling more than $8 million in Proposition 68 funds for projects that will build coastal resilience in the face of sea-level rise. These projects, which include planning, research and construction, will help safeguard public health and safety, preserve biodiversity and cultural resources, and protect public access to and along the coast.  They will also provide benefits to communities entitled to environmental justice, with 50 percent of the grant funding invested in projects within or near disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities.

“These investments will advance California’s ambitious goals to prepare for sea-level rise impacts and build coastal resilience,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “The projects take a variety of approaches with built-in milestones to assess effectiveness and lessons learned while also targeting our most underserved communities.”

These projects span the length of the California coast and will increase local and regional resilience throughout the state. They will advance priorities in the Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean to address sea-level rise, coastal flooding and erosion through habitat restoration, nature-based infrastructure, and the beneficial reuse of sediment.

The full list of funded projects, along with brief project descriptions, can be found here.  Key highlights include:

  • Heron’s Head Park Shoreline Resiliency Project, Port of San Francisco: Thisproject will construct a nature-based shoreline to protect and restore wetland habitat in Heron’s Head Park, located in the severely disadvantaged Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco. It will also employ youth from the surrounding communities to restore tidal salt marsh plant habitat and provide improved open space along San Francisco Bay.
  • Bayshore Bikeway Resiliency Project – Creation of a Coastal Resiliency Corridor, City of Imperial Beach: Thisproject will retrofit a 1.2-mile segment of the San Diego Bayshore Bikeway into a multi-benefit coastal resilience corridor that protects multiple vulnerable communities, a state highway, and the Bikeway from current and future coastal flooding while also improving coastal access and creating transitional habitat areas that improve biodiversity.
  • Wiyot Climate Change Adaptation Plan: Phase I, Wiyot Tribe: This project provides funding to the Wiyot Tribe to begin identifying and prioritizing cultural and natural resources within their ancestral lands and waters that are vulnerable to sea-level rise, enabling the Tribe to collaborate with land management and resource agencies in the development of sea-level rise and climate change adaptation strategies for Humboldt Bay.
  • Quantifying the social and economic benefits of nature-based adaptation solutions to protect San Mateo County from storms and sea-level rise: University of California, Santa Cruz: This project will quantify the social and economic benefits of salt marshes as a tool for flood risk reduction in San Mateo County and inform innovative implementation and financing for nature-based adaptation strategies.
  • Planning Regional Coastal Resiliency for California State Parks and Piloting in the San Diego Coast District, Coastal Quest: This project will implement and pilot the sea-level rise vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning process for unique State Parks assets such as coastal access, recreation, cultural and natural resources, and infrastructure in the San Diego Coast District. Funding will be provided to Coastal Quest to collaborate closely with State Parks to pilot this process, which is outlined in State Parks’ Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Strategy. This project will begin to address sea-level rise for San Diego’s individual park units and the region, while also catalyzing State Park’s sea-level rise adaptation work statewide.
  • “The OPC’s investment in coastal climate adaptation projects and planning will help catalyze continuing efforts to make all of California’s coast resilient to sea-level rise in the decades ahead,” said Mark Gold, OPC’s Executive Director and Deputy Secretary for Coastal and Ocean Policy for CNRA.

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