Review County Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Public Comment Period Open Until 5 p.m. October 22

The County of Santa Barbara Planning and Development Department (P&D) has released a Draft Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) available HERE.

The County is accepting public comments on the draft assessment through 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 22. Comments can be submitted via mail.

The CCVA is the result of a multi-year effort to improve community resiliency by analyzing how climate change could harm our community. The CCVA provides an opportunity for a closer look at specific climate-related hazards, like extreme heat, wildfires, sea-level rise, drought, coastal and inland flooding, agricultural pests and diseases, landslides, and extreme weather events, and how these hazards are likely to affect our communities now, and in the future.

It is well documented that climate-related hazards may impact people and communities disproportionately. Housing, income, education, race and ethnicity, culture, health, ability, and access to services matter greatly when assessing the extent and likelihood of harm caused by climate hazards. For this important reason, the CCVA integrates equity into the technical analyses, identifying populations that are most at risk of harm.

Highlights from the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment:

  • 13 applicable climate change hazards identified in the county
  • A wide array of community assets evaluated, including economic drivers, ecosystems and natural resources, infrastructure, buildings and facilities, and key community services
  • 16 “frontline populations” identified, e.g. those groups that experience the impacts of climate change earlier and/or to a more severe degree than others.
  • 106 of 138 populations and assets were evaluated as having a “high” or “severe” vulnerability to climate change.
  • Key findings to help guide work on the next phase of the project developing adaptation strategies

For more information, the public can visit the One Climate project website and sign up to receive e-mail updates specific to the CCVA, Climate Change Adaptation Plan, and Safety Element Update. For more information about the Safety Element Update, click here.