San Diego

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Resiliency in the City of San Diego is about managing risks to protect our quality of life and ensure we remain a thriving, vibrant city.

San Diego Sail Boat

Southern California is already beginning to see the impacts of a changing climate. These include extreme heat, wildfires, flooding, rising sea levels and changes in rainfall amounts and frequency.

The City of San Diego has started to address these hazards through a variety of programs: 

Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the City. The CAP however also recognizes that adaptation is a core component of its overall response to climate change and that development of an adaptation and resiliency plan is needed to reduce vulnerability to projected climate changes and increase the local capacity to adapt. The CAP provides includes a climate resiliency goal to increase the Citywide urban tree canopy cover, and also provides a guide to adaptation strategy development Together, the CAP and the Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan identify strategies to  reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to  prepare the City for a changing climate.   

The City is currently in the process of developing the Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan, and will be working collaboratively with stakeholders and community members to prepare the City and help it thrive. The City has been awarded over $500,000 in grant funding from Caltrans, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the California Coastal Commission to support this effort.


Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessments

The City of San Diego has long recognized the need to address the risks from sea level rise, storm surge, and coastal erosion. To better understand these risks, the City has conducted this sea level rise vulnerability assessment with funding from a California Coastal Commission Local Coastal Program Local Assistance Grant. This vulnerability assessment is a technical report that presents key findings from the assessment of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of critical built, natural, and cultural assets to coastal hazards. Additionally, this assessment will inform a broader City-wide multi-hazard vulnerability assessment, which includes analysis for vulnerability to additional climate hazards: precipitation driven flooding, extreme heat, and wildfires.

Pursuant to Assembly Bill No. 691 (AB 691), and as a local trustee of the granted public trust lands, the City of San Diego (City) completed a state lands sea-level rise vulnerability assessment, evaluating the impacts of sea-level rise on its public trust lands and detailing a plan to address vulnerabilities and mitigate impacts. The assessment considers the recommendations under the California Ocean Protection Council’s State Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance and the California Coastal Commission’s Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance to assess impacts of storms and extreme weather events, changing shorelines, trends in relative local sea level, and impacts to public trust resources and values. Through this assessment, the City has identified the vulnerabilities of City assets and public trust resources and facilities, considered replacement or repair costs, and assessed the impact to non-market values, such as ecosystem services, for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100. To address these vulnerabilities, the City, with input from local stakeholders, has compiled a list of potential adaptation and mitigation measures, organized by climate change hazard, with estimated costs, associated benefits, and timeframe for implementation.

This assessment was completed as part of the City’s commitment and efforts to ensure a sustainable and resilient City for years to come. Through the City’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2015, the City highlighted the need for a plan to specifically address adaptation to climate change. The City is currently in the process of developing a citywide climate resiliency plan that will build upon the analysis and work completed for AB 691 to address climate change hazard-related vulnerabilities across the city and adaptation measures to enhance the City’s climate resilience to these hazards.

For more information on climate resiliency in the San Diego area, take a look at:

Pier at Sunset

For more information on climate change and resiliency in California, check out:

Below: Members of Urban Corps plant trees at Balboa Park

Members of Urban Corps planting trees at Balboa Park

King Tides:

King Tides, or perigean spring tides, are the higher than normal high tides. They are natural and predictable, occurring 3-4 times a year. King Tides are the result of the alignment of the sun and the moon during a new or full moon, increasing the gravitational pull on the tides. These tides can cause coastal flooding and useful to demonstrate how sea level rise might affect the coastline in the future.

In December 2018 and January 2019, San Diego experienced a King Tide. Check out the California King Tides to see photos of the tides along our coastline. To learn more and for information on how to get involved as a citizen scientist, check out the California King Tides Project.


King Tides Diagram

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