Panel participants will discuss what actions have taken to better understand coastal climate risk and vulnerability, what tools and strategies are being used to address that vulnerability, and what challenges they face in these efforts. Specifically, Anne Wells from the City of Goleta will discuss their draft Sea Level Rise Vulnerability assessment and Fiscal Impact Study; Andrew Bermond will discuss the Goleta Slough Area Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment as part of its Management Plan Update; and Monique Myers from CA Sea Grant will discuss the Santa Barbara Area Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment. Lisa Stratton from UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration will discuss how the Devereux Slough Restoration Project is an example of a “living shoreline” project that will address SLR while restoring coastal wetland habitat. Each panelist will address their jurisdiction’s approach to appropriate and inclusive community engagement as local jurisdictions seek solutions to the anticipated impacts (flooding, coastal erosion, habitat loss, more intense storms, and other impacts to both natural and built coastal assets) through climate adaptation planning.
The panel will be moderated by Rachel Couch, a locally-based Project Manager for the State Coastal Conservancy’s Central Coast Program. Rachel will give a brief overview of the state of the CA’s SLR science and guidance, and introduce the regional “downscaled” modeling and mapping efforts on which Santa Barbara County jurisdictions have collaborated in recent years. These include SB County’s Coastal Resilience projection partnership with The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS), and a vulnerability study done for the City of SB.

MODERATOR

Rachel Couch
Project Manager, State Coastal Conservancy, Central Coast Program

Rachel Couch is a Project Manager in the State Coastal Conservancy’s Central Coast Program, where she focuses on collaborative planning for coastal climate change impacts, habitat restoration and coastal access, and other beneficial conservation projects. She has worked for the Conservancy for 10 years. Prior to working for the State, she worked as staff aide to Second District County Supervisor Susan Rose for eight years. She graduated from UCSB with a BA in Political Science in 1990, and has worked on local, regional and statewide conservation issues for the past 25 years.

SPEAKERS

Anne Wells
Planning Manager, Planning and Environmental Review, City of Goleta

Ms. Anne Wells is the Advance Planning Manager for the City of Goleta. Her combined professional history and education provide a broad base of experience in natural resource management and policy development. She is an active member of the American Planning Association. Ms. Wells is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the General Plan, Local Coastal Program, Housing Element, and Zoning Regulations as well as the City’s Climate Action Plan. As part of preparing the City’s first Local Coastal Program, Ms. Wells is currently overseeing the preparation of the City’s first Local Coastal Program for the California Coastal Commission, including a Sea Level Rise Technical Study. Regional planning is a fundamental part of Ms. Wells’ responsibilities. Relationship building, and solid communication balanced with strong technical skills enable Ms. Wells to facilitate creative regional planning solutions in a complex political environment. Sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation studies are a component of her regional planning programs and for the past three years has been working on a related multi-jurisdiction study in Goleta Slough and another focusing on the south coast of Santa Barbara County.

Andrew Bermond
City Planner, Airport Department, City of Santa Barbara

Andrew Bermond, AICP, is the Project Planner for the Santa Barbara Airport. He is the project manager for the Airport Master Plan update and has overseen the restoration of approximately 40 acres of wetland habitat in the Goleta Slough. He was the project manager for the award-winning Goleta Slough Area Sea Level Rise and Management Plan in partnership with the Goleta Slough Management Committee. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and a Master of Public Administration degree from CSU Northridge.

Monique Myers
Extension Specialist, CA Sea Grant, UC San Diego

Monique Myers is a California Sea Grant Coastal Specialist working at the University of California Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute. She is interested in conservation of coastal ecosystems. Her work includes exploration of anthropogenic contaminants in coastal wetlands, impacts of coral reef marine protected areas, and indicators of human impacts to sandy beaches. To address the challenges climate change poses to coastal communities and ecosystems, Myers’ work is aimed at providing tools and information to reduce impacts to our coasts and help plan for adaptation to inevitable changes. Her work targets diverse audiences including land use planners, K-12 students and teachers and the general public. To accomplish a diverse array of projects, she collaborates with a variety of government organizations, nonprofit groups, university researchers, and other stakeholders. Currently she leads the Santa Barbara Area Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment (SBA CEVA).

Lisa Stratton
Ecosystem Restoration Manager, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, UC Santa Barbara 

Lisa Stratton has over 14 years of experience designing and managing restoration projects and experiments of various scales. She currently runs the restoration, research and education program at UCSB that integrates students, faculty and CCBER Staff in restoration of regional and campus natural areas. These habitats include dune, estuary, vernal pool, vernal marsh and upland plant communities (coastal sage scrub, grassland and oak woodland). She has a staff of 12 restoration managers and coordinators and a fleet of student employees, interns and volunteers. Trained in wetland delineation, storm water management BMPs and regularly a part of planning efforts involving multiple agencies (Coastal Commission, Fish and Game, USFWS, ACOE).

Selena Evilsizor 

Planner, Long Range Planning Division, County of Santa Barbara

Selena Evilsizor, AICP is a Planner in the Long Range Planning Division at the County of Santa Barbara. She has over 10 years of experience in land use and environmental planning in both the public and private sectors. Her private sector experience includes over five years as an Environmental Planner and Project Manager with Cardno, where she managed and authored environmental analyses and technical documents for a wide range of federal government and private clients in compliance with CEQA and NEPA. She also worked closely with U.S. Navy and Marine Corps planners on community planning and compatibility initiatives. With Santa Barbara County, she has experience in development review, climate change adaptation planning, and CEQA. For the past year she has been the day-to-day lead for implementing the County’s Coastal Resiliency Project and the award-winning Energy and Climate Action Plan. Selena has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Otterbein College in Ohio, and a master’s degree in planning from the University of Southern California.