Helping Nature Help You

Ventura County

Source: Wayne Parry, AP

Dunes, reefs protect U.S. coasts from climate change

A recently published study from Stanford University researchers found that natural habitats protect 67% of U.S. coastline from sea level rise and extreme weather and removing those habitats would increase the risk to humans and economic assets.


Source: The Economist
This recent article from The Economist addresses numerous issues related to coastal climate change, juxtaposing the growth in coastal development over the last century with sea levels rising at increasing rates, which has exposed billions of dollars in homes and infrastructure to storms in places like South Florida, Houston, the Atlantic coast, and New York City.  


The Planning Center/DC&E recently completed a Catalogue of Local Sea Level Rise Planning Tools in support of the Coastal Resilience Ventura project. 
A brief overview and the full report is now available.


Ventura County in Southern California is utilizing the Coastal Resilience approach to engage local communities by illustrating the impacts of inundation, intrusion and river flooding while identifying vulnerable human and natural communities. Building the tools and engaging stakeholders will enable appropriate adaptation solutions.  

Within an hour’s drive of an estimated 12 million people, an oasis of plants and animals still attests to the expansive wilderness that once covered Ventura County. Bobcats, mountain lions, deer, songbirds, and raptors traverse this land, and native fish, amphibians and waterfowl occupy its wetlands.  And a river runs through it - the Santa Clara - providing an important source of fresh water for communities, ranchers and farmers, and some of southern California’s most critical coastal wetlands.  Amazingly, this exists amidst cities, a major military installation, and some of the most high-value agriculture in the nation.  All these resources – natural, social, and economic – are threatened by climate-driven changes to the coast and rivers, including sea level rise, accelerated erosion, more intense flooding, and saltwater intrusion into groundwater.  Ventura County’s coast needs to be resilient.

The Nature Conservancy is leading Coastal Resilience Ventura - a partnership to provide science and decision-support tools to aid conservation and planning projects and policymaking to address conditions brought about by climate change.  The primary goals of Coastal Resilience Ventura are assessing the vulnerabilities of human and natural resources, and identifying solutions that help nature help people.

Grant Park view