Climate Ready Roadmap Summary

Download the report – Sonoma County Adaptation Workshop Summary 7-24-15

Graphics by Christine Walker, 9 suggested ideas and actions below.

The Sonoma County Adaptation Workshop gathered 88 leading voices together on May 21, 2015, to discuss how to respond effectively to the climate hazards facing Sonoma County. Our mission: to increase the health and resilience of social, natural, and built resources in Sonoma County to withstand the impacts of climate change. Below are groupings of the main ideas and suggestions we heard from participants.

Sonoma County Adaptation Workshop Summary 7-24-15

Suggested Ideas & Actions

Innovate and Model Change. Coordinate the many existing incentives and funding streams to foster resilient behavior on the part of individuals, organizations, and local governments. Target the activities that make up people’s everyday lives. Find new or easier ways to value land for its resilience benefits (floodplains, fire buffers, recharge areas) and focus development into infill areas. Apply new tools. Eliminate the idea of waste.

Foster Social Resilience. Turn vulnerable communities into resilient communities. Invest in smart urban forestry. Foster a connected community: connected to each other as individuals, to a vibrant public realm, to services, to green spaces, to opportunity through education. Address the affordability crisis. Create walkable, livable communities.

Manage the Water Cycle as One. Integrate the management of water for sustainability in each major watershed to assure plentiful water for all uses, reduce water waste, support the natural water system’s many benefits, and protect sensitive species and habitats.

Team with Climate Ready Advisors. Create a one-stop shop where individuals, neighborhoods, companies, and governments can get advice for how to make their actions and decisions contribute to climate resilience.

Get Communities Engaged. Make communication easier; use billboards or newspaper dashboards to make conditions and changes obvious to people in their everyday lives. Social marketing. Integrate climate impacts and solutions into city and county plans and curriculum at Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, and K-12.

Develop a Well-Being Index. Reviewing the climate adaptation goals implicitly asks the question: how do we dream and hope Sonoma County could or should be? As climate touches everything, climate resilience planning seems to call for better-integrated measures of well-being, measure economic benefits of resilience investments.

Climate-proof the agricultural and tourism sectors. Support more resilient diverse agricultural sector, food security, food access, multiple-crop operations including carbon and water as crops and a soil heath action effort.

Refresh the Climate Adaptation Goals. Show the cause-and-effect relationships that reveal why we think these goals will be effective. Raise the priority level of a healthy natural world: forests, rivers, soils, wildlife. Make sure actions have multiple benefits and avoid negative consequences (e.g., putting air conditioners into houses that increase energy usage and greenhouse gases. Ensure that greenhouse gas reduction actions increase resilience. Distinguish actions from outcomes. (See our latest version on page 4.)

Consider other topics suggested at the workshop. Develop resilience strategies to respond to increased fire risk. Address risks to the built environment, such as transportation, buildings, and energy, communications, and water systems. To be continued!

Our Next Steps

  • Revise climate adaptation goals, objectives, and opportunities
  • Seek input to produce Roadmap by end of 2015
  • Host quarterly roundtables to collaborate and act
  • Build the Climate Ready Advisor team
  • Integrate resilience priorities into near-term plans

Your input welcome!

Contact Caitlin Cornwall
(707) 996-0712 x105

Lauren Casey
(707) 565-5379