Cross-Cutting Forum Tracks

Forging Powerful Partnerships for Resilience

The impacts of climate change are not limited by traditional boundaries. Collaboration is critical in addressing impacts in a holistic manner. This session will explore successful partnerships that are addressing climate adaptation across the state. Participants will end the conference with tangible next steps on how to expand partnerships in their region.

Forging Powerful Partnerships for Resilience - Breakout Sessions

Partnerships to Build Resilience along California’s Coast and Ocean

Block 1: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

Climate change impacts on California’s coast and ocean are manifesting in many ways, with consequences for human health, infrastructure, livelihoods, natural systems, communities and cultural heritage. These impacts, alone and in combination, present real threats that necessitate bold, innovative adaptation solutions to build resilience in the face of a changing climate. Development and implementation of effective adaptation strategies requires strong partnerships among local, state and federal agencies, fishermen, scientists, tribes, community members, NGOs and others. This session will highlight how ocean acidification, sea-level rise, harmful algal blooms, and loss of coastal habitat are impacting communities and the natural and built environment, and provide case studies of partnerships working to identify adaptive solutions. Participants will learn about critical components of successful collaboration and coalition building. This session is structured around the main themes of the Coast and Ocean report of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment.

• Deborah Halberstadt | Executive Director, Ocean Protection Council (moderator)
• Liz Whiteman | Executive Director, Ocean Science Trust (moderator)
• Mark Northcross | Principal, NHA Advisors
• Sheridan Enomoto | Climate and Environmental Justice Community Organizer/Policy Advocate, Greenaction
• Tim Nelson | Natural Resources Director, Wiyot Tribe
• Ryan Bartling | Environmental Scientist – Marine Fisheries, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
• Carrie Pomeroy | California Sea Grant Extension Specialist, UC San Diego Scripps Institute of Oceanography
• Sarah Newkirk | Coastal Strategy Lead, The Nature Conservancy


Creating Coalitions and Accelerating Adaptation through Regional Collaboration

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

The impacts of climate change stretch well beyond the influence of a single agency, jurisdiction, or community. Regional collaboration at the large-landscape level is needed to develop and implement climate adaptation strategies, projects, and programs. This session will highlight two regional collaboratives in the state: Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative and Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action & Sustainability. Each collaborative will focus on the process of building coalitions, collaborating effectively, and how collaboration can accelerate implementation. Both collaboratives will highlight the role of local communities, equity, and rural-urban connections in this process. The Capital Region will highlight their Regional Urban Heat Island Initiative and how to bridge the divide between science, policy, and communities to better integrate planning and implementation efforts. The Los Angeles Regional Collaborative will provide an overview and lessons learned from the development of a climate action and adaptation framework for the Los Angeles Region.

• Erik de Kok | Senior Planner/Sustainability Planner, Ascent Environmental (moderator)
• Kathleen Ave | Climate Program Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District; Chair, Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative
• Laurel Hunt | Executive Director, Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action & Sustainability
• Heather Jue Northover | Director, Center for Health Equity, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health


How Focusing on Health Can Expand Collaborations and Enhance Resilience

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

Focusing on the health impacts of a changing climate has the potential to bring together a diverse set of partners and enhance the resilience of Frontline communities. Collaborations built around health can address both the systemic underlying resource and equity issues that create differential risk in these communities and the acute climate-related stressors that turn those vulnerabilities into health disparities. Health focused collaborations can span horizontally across sectors and provide a framework for vertical integration between local, county, and state departments and agencies. This interactive session starts and ends with a participant conversation. It also brings together a diverse group of panelists to discuss how health has been used to inspire successful collaborations to: invest in green infrastructure and reduce extreme heat exposures; reduce inequities and strengthen asthma prevention efforts; combine western and traditional knowledge to develop health focused adaptation strategies; and foster a state wide community of practice.

• Ellu Nasser | Climate and Health Specialist, Adaptation International (moderator)
• Melissa Jones | Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
• Dorette Quintana English | Health Program and Policy Specialist, California Department of Public Health
• Anne Kelsey Lamb | Director, Regional Asthma Management and Prevention


Partnerships to Advance Equitable Housing Opportunities for All Californians

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

Throughout California, we are seeing two critical priorities converge: climate resilience and affordable housing. Existing buildings must be retrofitted to be more resilient while, to the extent possible, new developments should be sited in low-risk areas. Additionally, in accordance with SB-375 and a multitude of research findings, transit-oriented housing can serve as an important strategy for making communities more climate-resilient while enhancing low-cost transportation options. This session aims to highlight strategies and resources to achieve these goals, including existing grant programs and financing mechanisms that can be leveraged to address the affordable housing crisis while integrating climate-smart solutions. Our panel of housing, finance, and equity experts will demonstrate how low-income residents must be part of California’s transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future, and how participants can leverage partnerships and access the resources needed to respond to the concurrent issues of affordable housing and climate resilience.

• Stephanie Wang | Policy Director, California Housing Partnership (moderator)
• Nicole Capretz | Executive Director, Climate Action Campaign
• Sam Tepperman-Gelfant | Deputy Managing Attorney
• Laura Raymond | Campaign Director, ACT LA
• Tyrone Buckley | Policy Director, Land Use & Finance, Housing California


From Idea to Action: Mobilizing Climate Adaptation Implementation through Partnerships

Block E: Towards Implementation

California has seen notable growth in the number and strength of policies driving adaptation, vulnerability assessments and plans for climate action and adaptation. As many jurisdictions approach the implementation of their plans, partnerships and collaboration will play an important role in effective program design and delivery. This session will focus on how to move along the spectrum from thinking about climate adaptation to planning and implementation through collaboration, coalition-building and partnerships. Themes include engaging across agencies and departments to meet shared needs, building networks, activating economies of scale, and making space for the active, ongoing participation and consideration of disadvantaged communities. Drawing on the experience of panel members and session attendees, participants will leave with an actionable roadmap to inform their next steps following the conference.

• Kendall Starkman | Manager, Advisory Services, Four Twenty Seven (moderator)
• Jonathan Parfrey | Executive Director, Climate Resolve
• Jackie Cole | Principal, VG Consulting
• Jody London | Sustainability Coordinator, Contra Costa County, Department of Conservation and Development
• Scott Shigeoka | Community Design Lead, OpenIDEO

Grounding Adaptation in Community Engagement

People are increasingly aware of – and alarmed about – climate-related impacts in their communities. This growing awareness provides opportunities to educate, include, and motivate stakeholders and residents to join in local solutions. Learn how to employ the arts and sciences of effective communications and engagement to elevate participation and improve effectiveness.

Catalyzing the People's Climate Movement - Breakout Sessions

Applying Creative Practice in Resilience Planning

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

As climate change becomes better understood, a whole new generation of creative thinkers and innovators are finding new ways to communicate about climate change and apply solutions to prepare us for it. This session will present case studies of creative approaches to making communities more resilient. Case studies of new tools that are changing how we navigate climate change at a global and local level will be presented, including things like resilience plans as comic books, futurist video games, augmented reality apps, maker spaces, and more. When applied in the process of resilience planning, these tools can not only reduce environmental impacts but also facilitate engagement with the political system and be a platform for elevating community voices/building social equity. This session will include case study presentations from NY to the Bay Area, CA, and beyond.

• Aurash Khawarzad | Director of Policy, Race Forward (moderator)
• Amee Raval | Policy & Research Associate, Asia Pacific Environmental Network
• Iris M. Crawford | Climate Justice Fellow, NAACP
• Lil Milagro Henriquez | Executive Director & Founder, Mycelium Youth Network


Restorative Resilience Planning: How to Communicate with Communities

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

In this session, youth organizers lead presentations and discussions to support professionals in communicating solutions to frontline communities in ways that engage and empower community expertise and lived experiences. The session centers around youth leaders in climate justice, as members of frontline communities, and in community engagement, as experts in leading-edge communication platforms. The panel addresses equitable partnership and communication with communities when tackling environmental justice issues that directly affect them. Panelists include people working with tribal communities, navigating intersectional identify in the environmental justice movement, and intergenerational experience organizing marginalized communities on environmental issues.

• Shreya Shankar | Executive Director, Rooted in Resilience (moderator)
• Rosanie Phan | Fellow, New Voices Are Rising
• Jada Delaney | Fellow, New Voices Are Rising
• Malcolm Margolin | Executive Director, California Institute for Community, Art and Nature
• Phoenix Armenta | Coordinator, Resilient Communities Initiative
• Alex Ghenis | Policy and Reseach Specialist, World Institute on Disability


Buildings are for People: Engaging Low-Income Multifamily Building Occupants

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

This session will explore opportunities to support resilience in affordable housing – both related to building systems efficiency and also for building occupant engagement. What tools and resources are available to multifamily buildings and local governments looking to encourage resilient homes? What has worked and what hasn’t? Case studies from diverse perspectives and projects will be explored, including messaging and building occupant engagement strategies, how to combine funding sources and what tools are available to support resilience in our most vulnerable populations.

• Betty Seto | Head of Department, DNV GL (moderator)
• Ryan Silber | Program Manager, Strategic Growth Council
• Kristen Torres Pawling | Sustainability Program Director, County of Los Angeles
• Lauren Taymor | Consultant, DNV GL
• Erin Kelly | Associate Program Manager, Association for Energy Affordability, Inc.


Digital and Visual Tools to Enhance Community Engagement

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

This session will explore ideas for how digital and visual tools can improve community understanding of climate change impacts and engage various audiences directly in adaptation planning. Tools such as virtual reality displays, visual mapping, and apps can be leveraged to provide new opportunities for tailoring climate information so that it is relevant to a community’s priorities and speaks to their cultural, public health, and educational needs. Participants will also explore how digital tools can open new doors to citizen science and citizen engagement that help us to track where and how climate change is impacting our communities.

• Juliette Finzi Hart | Director of Outreach, U.S. Geological Survey (moderator)
• Hilary Papendick | Climate Change Program Manager, County of San Mateo
• Fernando Cazares | Senior Program Manager, Climate Smart Cities, Trust for Public Land
• Juliana Gonzalez | Executive Director, The Watershed Project
• Kalimah Priforce | Director, Queyno Labs


Building Climate Resilience Together: Game for Inclusive Adaptation Planning

Block E: Towards Implementation

Engaging stakeholders is difficult if they are not well versed in adaptation planning. Gaming is an interactive, social way for bringing hesitant people to the table and helping them consider local climate risks and measures for equitable protections and restoration. Participants will join groups at tables representing “places” (neighborhood, business district, school, rural community) and enter a scenario-based decision-making process. Tools such as checklists and prompt cards will guide gamers through this social and interactive process. In each scenario, through a facilitated game, groups review climate impacts (flooding, heat, drought, wildfire, air pollution) and vulnerability, and discuss and prioritize the most urgent impact. Next, groups will consider and prioritize resilience measures that promote equity and reduce risks for the most urgent impact. Participants will discuss risks, opportunities, and benefits of planning and implementation of responsive measures for climate resilience in their scenario and give feedback about this interactive engagement activity.

• Natalie Kobayashi | Research Manager, ecoAmerica (moderator)

Creating Pathways for Social Resilience

This track highlights the importance of personal, psychological, and social resilience, and building resilience from climate traumas. Sessions range from community-driven climate resilience planning case studies, lessons learned from last year’s wildfires and extreme heat, and personal stories, resources, and tools for psychological resilience and preserving cultural networks.

Creating Pathways for Social Resilience - Breakout Sessions

What about the people? Stories and Resources for Social Resilience

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

Climate change is already impacting people, communities, and infrastructure, but most of the discussion around resilience has been focused on built and natural infrastructure. What about social infrastructure and the impact that climate change has on individuals, and social cohesion when entire communities are destroyed? This session explores the current state of research and action on the psychological and social impacts of climate change (both acute shocks and chronic stresses) on people and frontline communities while highlighting the importance of personal resilience and preservation of cultural and social resources. Experts who are working in or have personally experienced the psychological and social impacts of climate traumas will share their personal stories, coping strategies, ongoing research, and networks that are helping to enhance personal and community resilience to climate traumas. Speakers range from researchers, tribal community leaders, clinical psychologists, and representatives from organizations that support climate refugees and homeless populations.

• Emily Wasley | Director of Corporate Sustainability & Climate Resilience, Cadmus (moderator)
• Theopia Jackson | Program Director, Department of Humanistic & Clinical Psychology, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
• Mike Antos | Senior Watershed Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Protection Authority
• Lil Milagro Henriquez | Executive Director & Founder, Mycelium Youth Network
• Kristen Goodrich | Coastal Training Program Coordinator, PhD Candidate in Social Ecology, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve


Frontline Communities Under Fire: Lessons from the Thomas Wildfire

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

The Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in California history, providing an important case study in climate injustice, emergency management, and building resilience for disadvantaged communities. Farmworkers and other outdoor workers, Spanish and indigenous Mixteco speakers, mobility-impaired individuals, and low-income and immigrant families were highly impacted by the Thomas Fire but often left behind by the official response. Local grassroots organizations stepped up to ensure language access to emergency information, protect farmworkers laboring under heavy smoke, provide disaster relief for impacted immigrant families cut off from federal aid, and advocate for long-term changes in disaster response. As wildfires become increasingly frequent and severe in California, the experience of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties offers key lessons for preparation and response to address unique, complex, and sometimes unexpected impacts to disadvantaged communities and an understanding of the systemic change needed to build more equitable and resilient communities.

• Lucas Zucker | Policy and Communications Director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) (moderator)
• Genevieve Flores-Haro | Deputy Director, Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project
• Nayra Pacheco | Coordinator, 805 Undocufund
• Dani Anderson | Executive Director, Independent Living Resource Center
• Stephanie Ramirez | Field Representative, Assembly Monique Limon


Heat Resilient Transit and Cool Streets

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

As the frequency and severity of extreme heat events in California continue to increase, communities across the state are developing cool strategies to plan for this hotter future. Extreme heat will pose considerable health risks to the state’s most vulnerable populations, including those impacted by mobility constraints, socio-economic conditions, and other factors. In this session, we explore how stakeholders engaged in research and planning efforts are assessing the impact of a changing climate and implementing cooling strategies that strengthen social resilience.

• Yoon Kim | Director of Advisory Services, Four Twenty Seven (moderator)
• Cris B. Liban | Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, LA Metro
• George Ban-Weiss | Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
• Jason Vargo | Lead Research Scientist, Climate Change and Health Equity Program, California Department of Public Health
• Sabrina Bornstein | Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, City of Los Angeles


Tools for Psychosocial Resilience

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

Cultural and social resilience is about the abilities of social entities to tolerate, absorb, cope with and adjust to shocks and stresses. New local, state and global tools, financing, and funding are emerging to better address the personal and organizational psychosocial resilience piece of environmental and climate work. This session will tackle funding and financing tools that municipalities and non-profits are employing to better equip themselves for preparing for and reacting to climatic threats as they relate to psychosocial impacts. Hear from leaders in this space explain what tools are best for preparing for and coping with climatic events in our communities, and what are some of the gaps that need to be addressed.

• Julie Maldonado | Director of Research, Liken Knowledge (moderator)
• Jake Pollack | Program Manager, Strategic Energy Innovations
• Mark Stemen | Professor, California State University Chico
• Beth Gibbons | Executive Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals
• Laura Gracia | Organizer, Communities for a Better Environment


Walking the Walk: Implementing Adaptation and Resilience Equity Strategies

Block E: Towards Implementation

Climate change will not affect everyone equally in California. People of color, lower-income populations, recent immigrants, and other marginalized groups experience increased vulnerability to climate hazards and limited resources to adapt. If we prepare for climate hazards with these communities at the center of the process, we will have the expertise to prepare for it among all populations. Many climate preparedness resources exist, and most acknowledge the importance of equity and public participation. However, few address equity issues through specific adaptation solutions, tactics for inclusive community engagement, or the root causes of inequities in climate risk. This session will discuss how adaptation and resilience planning can be used to catalyze transformative, whole community solutions to address the causes of inequities in climate risk and build community resilience. We will center the conversation around two recently published climate equity preparedness resources and highlight two local case studies: Long Beach and Fresno.

• Tina Yuen | Senior Planner, Change Lab Solutions (moderator)
• Eric Yurkovich | Senior Associate, Raimi + Associates
• Victoria Benson | Program Manager, Movement Strategy Center
• Fern Nueno | Project Manager, Economic Development Department, City of Long Beach
• Grecia Elenes | Policy Advocate, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Taking Action Under Uncertainty

Participants in this track will learn about approaches and solutions that embrace uncertainty and enable action it by engaging in hard conversations about how to deal with the uncertain outcomes of adaptation action. Participants will leave with new tools and inspiration for framing uncertain future conditions to accelerate resilience-building efforts.

Taking Action Under Uncertainty - Breakout Sessions

Driving Adaptation Action Using Regional Science and Expertise

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

Climate change science uncertainty is often seen as a barrier to action; however, with the right tools, science can help drive decision-making for adaptation actions and investments. This session will highlight approaches to advancing adaptation action using science-based models, scenario planning and thresholds. Panelists will highlight how local scientific experts can be adaptation leaders showcasing a project that teamed ecologists and climatologists to directly inform habitat management and investments and serves as a foundation for engaging with Southwestern tribes on climate resilience actions.  The session will also highlight how science-based observations can be used as thresholds or “triggers” for sea level rise adaption actions, and the significance of community/citizen observations in building community capacity for adaptation.

• Laura Engeman | Program Manager, Center for Climate Impacts & Adaptation (moderator)
• Dr. Amber Pairis | Director, Climate Science Alliance/Center for Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation/CDFW
• Mark Merrifield | Director, Center for Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation
• Heidi Brow | Water Resource Specialist, Pala Band of Mission Indians


Flexible Adaptation Pathways: Emerging Applications in California

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

Once a niche approach to adaptation planning design, the Flexible Adaptation Pathway technique is gaining ground in California. As we start to understand the levels of risk our communities face from climate impacts, and when these risks may eventuate, adaptive pathways enable community dialogue by providing a common language to discuss challenging issues. Adaptation pathways embraces the inevitability of changing circumstances over time, thereby reducing the risk of ‘locked in’ adaptation actions. The approach sets out thresholds that establish limits on when pre-determined levels of climate change risks are met. Adaptive pathways also help define signposts, ensuring decision-appropriate information is collected to determine if an adaptation plan is successful or if alternative adaptation pathways should be taken if specific thresholds are met.

• Robert Kay | Principal, Climate Change, ICF (moderator)
• Alexis Dufour |Water Operations Analyst, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
• Deanna Haines | Director of Energy & Environmental Policy, SoCalGas/San Diego Gas & Electric
• Tiffany Wise-West | Sustainability & Climate Action Manager, City of Santa Cruz
• Caitlin Cornwall | Biologist & Research Program Manager, Sonoma Ecology Center


Creating Equitable Outcomes: Lessons from The Residential Building Sector

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

This session will feature three diverse perspectives on building envelope technology, residential building policy, and housing inequality. Presenters will share lessons learned from SB-350 Barriers study, an analysis of new building envelope technologies and policies, and insights on what local investments and policies would enable climate-smart housing while ensuring that housing is available to those most in need of it. Presenters will come together for a conversation about how we can take advantage of promising innovations in the residential building sector in ways that increase climate resilience and maintain the character and integrity of California communities. The panel will bring to light the importance of climate-smart solutions and investments in residential building stock, as well as address hard questions such as inequitable application of solutions and investment-induced gentrification.

• Rachel Jacobson | Senior Program Manager, American Society of Adaptation Professionals (moderator)
• Alana Matthews | Public Advisor, California Energy Commission
• Heather Rosenberg | Founder, Building Resilience Network
• Bryan Dove | Director of Asset Management, Mutual Housing California


Building a Case for Ecosystem Services in Climate Adaptation

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

Human well-being depends on ecosystem services such as clean air, drinking water, food, and fuel provisions provided by our natural resources and landscapes, and quantifying these services through a variety of valuation approaches is an active area of research and development. These valuation approaches help us to strategically plan for and implement climate adaptation efforts that maximize ecosystem services. As such, this session will highlight practical applications of ecosystem service valuation tools and mechanisms across California that have provided compelling arguments to take action in the face of uncertainty.

• Libby Porzig | Senior Ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science (moderator)
• Matt Chadsey | Executive Director and Program Director for Benefit-Cost Analysis, Earth Economics
• Heather Dennis | Research Analyst, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
• Jean-Pierre Wack | Research Scientist, Spatial Informatics Group
• Nick Tipon | Elder and Member, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria


Decision Making Under Uncertainty: A Serious Game

Block E: Towards Implementation

We will conclude our exploration in the Taking Action Under Uncertainty track by playing a “serious game” developed by the Dutch research institute Deltares. This “Sustainable Delta Game” game illustrates the Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) approach, which is gaining adherents planning climate adaptation under deep uncertainty and is referenced as “adaptation pathways” in the new California sea level rise guidance. Games like these have been used in many contexts to display approaches, risks, and decision typologies under uncertainty and they are always popular and illuminating for participants. In New Zealand, for example, a national, customized game playing program based on this game preceded development of a national plan for resilience to sea level rise. Deltares has used versions of this game in numerous real world planning contexts. We will both play the game as a group and discuss the implications for real world planning under uncertainty.

• David Behar | Climate Program Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (moderator)
• Alexis Dufour | Water Operations Analyst, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Transforming the Governance Paradigm

This track will explore different approaches for adapting to a range climate impacts (e.g., wildfires and flooding) and legal strategies for implementation. Participants will engage in discussions on how to navigate policy, legal, and financial barriers to adaptation and will identify effective strategies for advancing critical adaptation efforts.

Transforming the Governance Paradigm - Breakout Sessions

Bridging the Boundaries of Water Management Adaptation

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

Climate change is changing the way that we address flood resilience, drought resilience, fishery health, water storage, and every other aspect of water management. Water has a long and complex history in California, and established policies and laws can hinder adaptive water management. On this panel, representatives from different governance structures will discuss policy and legal obstacles to water management adaptation, and solutions they’ve employed.  The session will begin with a short scientific presentation highlighting the results of the 4th Climate Change Assessment to provide context for water management adaptation.

• Nahal Ghoghaie | Bay Area Program Manager, The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (moderator)
• Julie Kalansky | Climate Scientist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
• Tim Hayden | Yurok Tribe
• Aaron Fukida | Tulare Irrigation District
• Erika Powell | Flood Resilience Program Manager, San Mateo County
• Jeanine Jones | Interstate Resources Manager, Department of Water Resources


(Re)Building Wildfire Resilient Communities

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

In the face of a warming climate, much of California will be exposed to longer fire seasons and potentially increased frequency, geographic extent, and severity of wildfire attributable to fuels accumulation due to historical fire suppression, increased aridity, and more intense extreme weather events. This session will explore case studies of communities impacted by the 2017 fire season to highlight how local governments are responding to challenges raised around wildfire preparedness and response in a climate adaptation context. What are emerging best practices utilized by local governments and their partners and  to deal with these extreme events? Panelists will share response strategies and lessons learned in the context of aiming for both cost efficiency and equity in wildfire response and recovery. Considerations will include policy approaches to managing wildfire hazards, opportunities and constraints based on insurance considerations, and innovative approaches to coordinating planning and decision-making across multiple sectors.

• Lisa Micheli | President and CEO, Pepperwood Foundation (moderator)
• Dave Jones | Insurance Commissioner, California Department of Insurance
• Michael Gossman | Sonoma County Office of Recovery and Resilience
• Chris Godley | Interim Manager, Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services


Space for the Sea: Overcoming Barriers So We Can Move Back

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

This session will explore managed retreat case studies in the context of near, mid, and long-term sea level rise to work through challenges and opportunities identified to move the field a little further ahead. The session will start with lightning presentations by sea level rise practitioners, highlighting their experience, a case study, and a related barrier and/or challenge, followed by a longer discussion and brainstorm session to explore and work through fundamental challenges and opportunities presented. The goal is to hear from a diverse panel of experts, from a state coastal regulatory agency, to community-based groups, a local jurisdiction, a foundation currently implementing managed retreat strategies in another state, and a climate scientist, in order to identify and work through present-day challenges and opportunities to further the field of managed retreat in coastal California.

• Kelly Malinowski | Project Manager, California State Coastal Conservancy (moderator)
• Kristina Dahl | Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
• Madeline Cavalieri | Statewide Planning Manager, California State Coastal Commission
• Liz Williams | Coastal Communities Resiliency Program Officer, Foundation for Louisiana
• Leslie Lacko | Advanced Planner, Marin County
• Lucas Zucker | Policy and Communications Director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)

This session will explore managed retreat in the context of near, mid, and long-term sea level rise through a discussion and brainstorm session focused on fundamental barriers and challenges, as well as bright spots and opportunities, highlighting case studies of communities making progress on sea level rise adaptation, particularly in preparation of managed retreat, to move the field a tiny bit further in this 75-minute session (rather than the traditional panel report-out format). The goal is to include as many topics as feasible, given speaker availability and expertise, as proposed by the equity and program committees: how displaced disadvantaged communities are supported (and specifically those that are undocumented and disabled), chronic inundation and coastal extremes, the Coastal Commission’s Policy and how governments have worked together/are working together on this issue, and Toxic sites and how to manage them.


Who pays? The Implications of Liability, Insurance, and Credit Ratings on Adaptation Finance

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

As communities rise to the challenge of preparing for and responding to climate change impacts, a critical need is accessing the required adaptation funding and financing. Effective governance will be critical for local jurisdictions to secure the resources they need to advance communities’ adaptation priorities and build climate resilience equitably, taking account of the costs and benefits to different groups. This panel will explore emerging legal issues related to adaptation finance to help local jurisdictions anticipate the types of issues they may face and insights for navigating them effectively. Specifically, the panel will focus on liability issues raised by wildfires, the insurance industry’s efforts to manage risk following a disaster, and rating agencies’ consideration of physical climate risks, and the implications of each of these for local jurisdictions’ ability to pay for adaptation.

• Yoon Kim | Director of Advisory Services, Four Twenty Seven (moderator)
• Cameron Prell | Climate Change Law and Sustainable Finance Lawyer, The Coefficient Group
• Sean Hecht | Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; Co-Director, UCLA Law Environmental Law Clinic; UCLA School of Law
• Jordan McCarthy Zaman | Vice President, Woodruff-Sawyer and Co.


Coding for Climate: Strategies for Developing Climate Adaptive Ordinances

Block E: Towards Implementation

Preparing for the impacts of climate change will require governments to dramatically transform how they make decisions about land use and building, among other considerations. For the closing session of the Governance, Policy, and Law track, this session will allow for interactive discussion about how local governments can navigate and overcome legal barriers to adaptation. Participants will engage in discussion about how land-use ordinances can be used to address a range of potential climate impacts (e.g., wildfire and flooding) and how to navigate legal and policy trade-offs among different adaptation options (e.g., maintaining affordability of housing, preserving historic structures). In break-out sessions on specific impacts and issues (flooding, fire, and enhancing resilience of affordable housing and historic structures), participants will be invited to explore (i) different legal strategies for reducing climate risks to their communities, and (ii) steps for developing implementation pathways that are legal, equitable, and politically feasible.

• Jessica Grannis | Adaptation Program Director, Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown University Law Center (moderator)
• Sean Hecht | Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; Co-Director, UCLA Law Environmental Law Clinic; UCLA School of Law
• Edith Hannigan | Land Use Planning Policy Manager, CAL FIRE Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
• Dana Brechwald | Regional Resilience Planner, Association of Bay Area Governments
• Julianne Polanco | State Historic Preservation Officer, California Office of Historic Preservation

Investing in Climate-Smart Infrastructure

Climate change is threatening the infrastructure upon which all Californians depend for water, power, mobility, and other core services. Sessions in this track will survey the most pressing climate risks, as well as a range of innovative solutions for safeguarding and improving the resilience of critical infrastructure.

Investing in Climate-Smart Infrastructure - Breakout Sessions

Infrastructure, Climate, and Equity: Challenges and Opportunities for Resilience

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

Climate change in California is already here. The question is whether California’s critical infrastructure is ready to handle a future with greater extremes of heat, droughts, floods, wildfires and sea level rise. Infrastructure failure and disruption are on the rise, with enormous costs in human lives and billions of economic losses and property damage. State and local governments and taxpayers are investing billions of dollars in new and upgraded infrastructure in transportation, water, energy, schools, and housing. Will these funds be spent wisely on well-planned projects that integrate the best climate science and resilience strategies? Will investments be prioritized in under-served and vulnerable communities? California is advancing a range of solutions, including the recent Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group report, as well as efforts to integrate natural infrastructure into traditional engineering designs. Explore the challenges and opportunities and whether the state’s response is adequate for ensuring California is “climate ready.”

• Keali’i Bright | Deputy Secretary for Energy and Climate, California Natural Resources Agency (moderator)
• Jamesine Rogers Gibson | Western States Senior Climate Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
• Chione Flegal | Senior Director, PolicyLink
• Alex Leumer | Climate Policy Analyst, The Nature Conservancy
• Susanne Moser | Co-Facilitator, CNRA Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group


Natural Infrastructure and the Climate Resilience of the State’s Water System

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

Healthy forests, streams and meadows upstream of California’s major reservoirs provide many benefits to the state’s water delivery system, improving system performance and reducing risks in a changing climate. With the passage of AB 2480, California has recognized source watersheds as an integral part of California’s water system, making their repair and maintenance eligible for the same forms of financing as built parts of the water system. This session will explore what needs to be done to ensure that this natural infrastructure can continue to provide material benefits to the water system in the face of the increased droughts, floods, and fires projected in a changing climate. It will seek to focus on these issues from the water agency perspective, featuring discussion of the challenges and opportunities that water providers face as they look towards implementing solutions.

• Andrea Tuttle | Former Director, CAL FIRE (moderator)
• Laurie Wayburn | President, Pacific Forest Trust
• Maureen Martin | Senior Water Resources Specialist, Contra Costa Water District
• Walter Wadlow | Director of Utility Relations, WaterNow Alliance


Sea Level Rise Adaptation for the Flyway Highway and Other Coastal Roads

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

This session will feature a case study of Resilient 37, a collaborative effort bringing together wetland land managers, ecological restoration practitioners, environmental regulatory agencies, environmental advocacy groups, recreation and public access representatives, and transportation agencies to chart a future for Highway 37, 21-mile highway that runs through the wetlands and farm fields of the North Bay, to address road congestion, flooding, and eventual inundation due to sea level rise. The session will highlight how the collaborative design process is overcoming hurdles, both technical and institutional, to ensure that the vital transportation artery continues to serve surrounding communities while wetland restoration progress continues apace. Contrasting case studies of adaptation of Highway 1 and the Great Highway along Ocean Beach in San Francisco will be combined in a panel discussion of lessons to be drawn for the adaptation of coastal roads statewide.

• Jessica Davenport | Project Manager, State Coastal Conservancy (moderator)
• Reza Navai | Assistant Division Chief for Policy, Planning Division, Caltrans
• Stefanie Hom | Associate Planner, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
• Anne Morkill | Manager, San Francisco Bay National Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• Ben Grant | Urban Design Policy Director, SPUR


Financing Climate-Safe, Resilient Infrastructure for All

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

This track focuses on long-lived infrastructure and lifelines, such as roads, levees, reservoirs, power plants and the green infrastructure to buffer, protect and enhance them. In many parts of California this infrastructure remains in a state of ill-repair, vulnerable to the impacts from climate change, essential for community function, economic activity, public safety and well-being, yet expensive to build and maintain over time. This session focuses on the financing challenges and options for resilient/climate-safe infrastructure investment, and how to ensure that all communities have access to these financial instruments. Speakers will provide an overview of financial instruments for infrastructure investment, discuss the importance of infrastructure upkeep for favorable credit ratings, illuminate opportunities for broadening community involvement in infrastructure planning and decision-making, show ways to ensure infrastructure has benefits for stakeholders across sectors, and address how investment in climate-safe/resilient infrastructure can and must address historical legacies of institutionalized racism and neglect.

• Susi Moser, Ph.D. | Director, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting (moderator)
• Mark Northcross | Associate, NHA Advisors, Inc.
• Brian Benn | Principal & Co-Founder, Clean Financials (Environmental Risk and Financial Solutions)
• Beverly Scott, Ph.D. | CEO, Beverly Scott Associates, Parker Infrastructure Partners
• Emily “Millie” Levin | Policy Analyst, California Office of Emergency Services
• Siddharth Narayan, Ph.D. | Assistant Research Scientist, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz


Build for the Future: Implementing Infrastructure That Serves People and Nature

Block E: Towards Implementation

Participants will discuss and co-create an agenda for action on infrastructure planning, design, financing, and policy that can be pursued to increase investment in resilient infrastructure that serves people while respecting natural systems, for both urban and rural areas. We will use “design thinking” approaches to develop specific ideas for implementing needed changes for critical infrastructure to better serve public needs in a future with greater climate extremes at local, state, and regional levels.  In Break-Out Groups participants will build on the trends, model projects, case studies, equity perspectives, and examples of financing tools and funding approaches shared throughout the California Adaptation Forum, and will synthesize lessons from the Forum and test-out specific ideas for implementation to apply in their own professional realms.

• Deborah Moore | Western States Senior Campaign Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists (moderator)
• Cole Roberts | Associate Principal, Arup

Integrating Solutions for the Built Environment

This track explores integrated approaches to assess systemic climate vulnerabilities and impacts across critical infrastructure (e.g. water, energy, transportation), human communities and the natural environment, and highlights actions that local jurisdictions are taking to advance climate resilience across key sectors that leverage synergies and manage tradeoffs.

Integrating Solutions for the Built Environment - Breakout Sessions

Integrated Solutions for the Built Environment

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

As California faces unprecedented disasters and changing climate patterns, communities will need to make major investments to rebuild and strengthen resilience in the built environment. Whether addressing chronic public health and equity issues, or large scale infrastructure, local projects and programs are being challenged to address and respond to a host of threats while providing multiple benefits. This session will feature practitioners working from different perspectives on the built environment, sharing common challenges, solutions and trends in resilience projects and planning.

• Arietta Chakos | Principal, Urban Resilience Strategies (moderator)
• Jordanna Rubin | Director, Resiliency Solutions, APTIM
• Melissa Jones | Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative


Adaptive Regional Transportation Solutions from the Coast to the Valley

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

The State of California has provided adaptation planning grants to regional agencies and local communities to address vulnerability of transportation infrastructure to climate-related hazards. Regional transportation agencies and collaboratives use these resources to highlight exposures of regional transportation assets to a range of hazards from the coast to the valley, including sea-level rise, wildfire impacts, and urban heat island effects. These groups are also preparing adaptation strategies that illustrate options to retrofit or relocate these assets. Dedicated grant funding ensures that much of this work will benefit disadvantaged communities. This session will highlight ongoing adaptation planning and implementation efforts by Caltrans, the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Collaborative, and two of California’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Participants will learn about grant funding options for adaptation planning, as well as how regional agencies are engaging underrepresented stakeholders, completing vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies, and establishing adaptation-based regional transportation funding criteria.

• Jeff Henderson | Deputy Executive Officer, Delta Stewardship Council (moderator)
• Julia Biggar | Senior Transportation Planner, California Department of Transportation
• Allison Brooks | Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Collaborative
• Sarah Pierce | Regional Environmental Planner, San Diego Association of Governments
• Amy Lee | Associate Research Analyst, Sacramento Area Council of Governments


Adaptation Where Natural Systems and the Built Environment Intersect

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

Communities throughout California are assessing their vulnerabilities to climate change and starting to develop and even implement adaptation. Presentations address climate change vulnerability analyses and adaptation efforts for natural resources and built communities, including the synergies and conflicts, specifically: adaptation planning for Fresno County, focused on socio-economic systems, agriculture, water resources, infrastructure, and wildlife and ecosystems; adaptation and restoration efforts in Santa Cruz County’s watersheds, on public and private lands; efforts in the urbanized, cross-border Tijuana watershed, including coastal ecosystem restoration efforts in the estuary and efforts to improve water quality; and use of disaster funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to create climate resilience to future droughts through investing in managed aquifer recharge projects in the Central Valley. These large-scale case studies of adaptation planning and implementation include a wide array of built infrastructure and communities that exist within California’s diverse ecosystems and natural systems.

• Amy Hutzel | Deputy Executive Officer, State Coastal Conservancy (moderator)
• Thomas Esqueda | Associate Vice-President in Water and Sustainability, Fresno State University
• Chris Coburn | Deputy Director, City of Santa Cruz Water Department
• Christopher Peregrin | Reserve Manager, Tijuana National Estuarine Research Reserve
• Nicole Meyer-Morse, Ph.D. | Science and Technology Advisor, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services


Financing for Resilient and Equitable Communities

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

This session will cover the latest information about financing for resilience, in the context of a quickly shifting landscape for how public and private investments are considering impacts from climate change. Investors and voters alike are recognizing the need to evaluate expenditures with climate impacts in mind. From bond-rating agencies, to private insurers limiting policies in high-risk areas, local government staff and elected officials need to understand the complex world of public and private finance in an ever-evolving adaptation context. This session will cover some of the financing mechanisms that local governments can use to invest in resilient communities. The speakers will also address the importance of making equitable investments that do not create or exacerbate inequities and disparities, including potential displacement resulting from adaptation investments. Finally, we will talk about innovative and emerging funding concepts that respond to the needs of urban, rural, and tribal communities across the state.

• Nuin-Tara Key | Resilience Program Manager, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (moderator)
• Glenn Pomeroy | CEO, California Earthquake Authority
• Pilar Thomas, Esq | Of Counsel (former Deputy DOE Office of Indian Energy), Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
• Natalie Zappella | Program Director, Southern California Sustainable Connected Communities, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
• Margaret Van Vilet | Executive Director, Sonoma County Community Development Commission


Integrating Equity Assessments into Resilience Planning

Block E: Towards Implementation

Communities cannot be completely resilient unless all people, regardless of race, gender, or income, are treated fairly within our political and economic systems. This session will present examples of how social equity assessments can be integrated into resilience planning efforts ranging from building efficiency upgrades, stormwater management, renewable energy systems, and more. Panelists will present their work on defining what equity is, measuring equity using indicators, and presenting results in user friendly ways. Case studies will be from California, New York, and more.

• Aurash Khawarzad | Director of Policy, Race Forward (moderator)
• Corrine Van-Hook Turner | Program Manager, Movement Strategy Center
• Iris M. Crawford | Climate Justice Fellow, NAACP
• Julia Sebastian | Research Manager, Race Forward

Enhancing Natural and Working Lands Resilience

This track will demonstrate the critical role that natural and working lands play in adaptation, carbon sequestration, and land conservation. Sessions will highlight effective policy and on-the-ground examples of how natural and working lands reduce risk to California’s communities while protecting its natural resources.

Integrating Solutions for the Built Environment - Breakout Sessions

California’s Natural and Working Lands: Strategies for Collaboration and Opportunity

Block A: Context Setting & Emerging Trends

California’s diverse natural and working lands play a critical role in our state’s overall climate adaptation and mitigation strategy, while also serving as the backbone to community resilience. From healthy, fresh food to the wide range of benefits that Californians receive from ecosystem services – clean air and water, natural resources, flood control, and more – we must prioritize adaptation solutions for our natural and working lands. This session brings together California’s key thought leaders and practitioners to discuss how the natural and working lands sector can be more fully integrated into California’s broader climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, programs, and incentive structures. Participants will also hear about opportunities for urban-rural collaboration to create a shared understanding of the value of our natural and working lands, as well as a shared vision for conservation, restoration, and adaptation.

• Kellyx Nelson | Executive Director, San Mateo Resource Conservation District (moderator)
• Kara Heckert | California State Director, American Farmland Trust
• Claire Jahns | Assistant Secretary, Natural Resources and Climate Issues, California Natural Resources Agency
• Louis Blumberg | Director, California Climate Change Program, The Nature Conservancy
• Jason Ko | Ecosystem Services Program Manager, Climate Change Co-Coordinator, U.S. Forest Service


Building Agricultural Resilience in the San Joaquin Valley

Block B: Model Projects & Case Studies

This session explores the future of agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley: the challenges and opportunities in fostering ecological balance, public health, and economic equality. The focus of the session will be innovative strategies to address some of the most pressing issues in the region, such as improving groundwater supplies, climate-smart farming, and protecting climate-beneficial farmland. The session features speakers with a broad spectrum of expertise in subjects as diverse as environmental justice, groundwater sustainability, land use analysis, clean drinking water, and climate adaptation in agriculture. What they have in common is a drive to ensure that both agriculture and the communities that support it are sustainable and that everyone shares the responsibilities and benefits of living in the “food basket of the world.”

• Kara Heckert | California State Director, American Farmland Trust (moderator)
• Kassandra Hishida | Coordinator, Community Alliance for Agroecology
• Tapan Pathak | Specialist in Climate Adaptation in Agriculture, University of California Merced
• Dustin Pearce | GIS Analyst, Conservation Biology Institute
• Jenny Rempel | Director of Resource Stewardship, Community Water Center


Water, Fire, Carbon, Habitat: Innovative Partnerships for Resilient Forested Watersheds

Block C: Model Projects & Case Studies

The state’s forests and watersheds are crucial for the water supply and water quality of the state, carbon sequestration, recreation, timber, and other benefits. And yet, these resources are at risk to tree mortality and a changing climate, including increased wildfire frequency and severity, decreasing snowpack, variable weather extremes, and drought. What does it take to restore these lands to a climate-resilient state? This solution-oriented session will highlight case studies of innovative cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder collaboration, planning, and implementation techniques to carry out forest management actions with multiple benefits including watershed restoration, fire fuel treatment, fire risk reduction, habitat restoration, and recreation opportunity enhancement.

• Curtis E. Alling, AICP | Principal, Ascent Environmental (moderator)
• Jim Branham | Executive Director, Sierra Nevada Conservancy
• Connie Best | Co-founder and Co-CEO, Pacific Forest Trust
• Vikki Preston | Cultural Resources Technician, Karuk Tribe/North Coast Resource Partnership
• Janet Klein | Director, Tamalpais Lands Collaborative (One Tam)


Financing Natural Infrastructure on California’s Coast

Block D: Financing, Funding & Tools

Traditionally, funding for wetlands restoration has come from public agencies or philanthropic organizations. Novel financing opportunities arise when coastal wetlands are considered natural infrastructure to protect communities from inundation or to store carbon. This session will highlight approaches to financing natural, coastal infrastructure: Measure AA was passed by voters in June 2016. This Bay Area effort generates parcel tax revenue to restoring wetlands habitats for their multiple benefits, including flood protection (speakers will share early lessons learned including efforts to engage under-resourced communities); public funding has supported multiple living shoreline projects in California – the implementation of these projects allow us to gain insights and share valuable lessons learned with regards to their benefits to coastal flood management.

• Luisa Valiela | Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (moderator)
• Matt Gerhart | Program Manager, California State Coastal Conservancy
• Nahal Ghoghaie | Bay Area Program Coordinator, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
• Julie Gonzalez | Sea Grant Fellow, California State Coastal Conservancy


Beyond Ecology: Traditional Knowledge for Holistic Adaptation

Block E: Towards Implementation

There is a lot to learn from tribal nations throughout California, including both federally recognized and unrecognized tribes. While many adaptation practitioners may be aware of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) at a high-level, participants will learn about the core definitions and principles of TEK, site-specific projects and case studies, and how to incorporate TEK into the planning stream for large scale projects. Presenters will share stories and demonstrate how California tribes are collaborating with the modern science community to implement holistic adaptation strategies. This session will go further to highlight broader traditional knowledges around cultural preservation and social resilience to facilitate discussions around what it will take to integrate different knowledge streams. With plenty of time for Q&A and discussion, participants will walk away with a clearer understanding of how they can more effectively engage with tribes to achieve shared goals.

• Anecita Augustinez | Tribal Policy Advisor, California Department of Water Resources (moderator)
• Dore Bietz | Planner/Emergency Planner, Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians
• Ken Holbrook | Executive Director, Maidu Summit Consortium
• Morning Star Gali | Community Organizer, Tribal Engagement, Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples

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