The Central Coast Climate Collaborative: Building Climate Resiliency Across the Region

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Often when we talk about climate change and global warming, we speak of future hazards or impacts in other parts of the world, such as melting glaciers, sea level rise, and increasingly powerful hurricane seasons. Since 1980, the number of extreme weather catastrophes worldwide has increased by 350%. If trends continue as climate experts project, on the Central Coast we can expect to see cycles of extreme weather with increased frequency – including extended drought, year-round fire seasons, changes in precipitation patterns including atmospheric rivers, microbursts and “rain bombs,” and ensuing flash floods and debris flows. In addition, our region will likely experience an increased number of extremely hot days and fewer cool nights, as well as more destructive coastal storms that will cause flooding and erosion of low-lying areas, and threaten fresh water systems with salt water intrusion.   The current extended drought on the Central Coast – recently punctuated by California’s largest ever wildfire and the post-Thomas Fire January 9 debris flow in Montecito – make it clear that the impacts of climate change have arrived to our region, and we are not well-prepared. The Central Coast Climate Collaborative (4C) was formed in 2016 to address climate action issues and the opportunities and barriers to climate resiliency our stakeholders have identified.  The keynote presentation will unpack the multiple climate hazards facing the region, identify actions stakeholders in the region have prioritized and are currently collaborating to carry out, address the challenges facing a large multi-county collaborative, and share tools aimed at building a common awareness and boosting capacity around climate vulnerability and resilience.

Speakers:

Sigrid Wright, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director, Community Environmental Council

Sigrid Wright is CEO/Executive Director for Community Environmental Council, which provides on-the-ground solutions for climate, energy and food systems for the California Central Coast. She is co-author of The Santa Barbara County Regional Energy Blueprint and is on the executive teams for several regional partnerships, including the Central Coast Climate Collaborative and the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. She helps build leadership among women and emerging leaders by serving as a commissioner for the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and as a founding Board member of Leading from Within.

Dr. Tiffany Wise-West, Sustainability and Climate Action Manager, City Manager’s Office, City of Santa Cruz

Dr. Tiffany Wise-West is the Sustainability and Climate Action Manager for the City of Santa Cruz. She is a licensed professional civil engineer and LEED associate professional with over 20 years of experience in municipal planning, infrastructure and programming. Dr. Wise-West complements her technical skill set with policy, regulatory, and economic expertise in the areas of climate resilience, energy, and sustainability. Drawing on her interest in innovation and education, she specializes in collaborating across public, private and academic sectors to deliver award winning and impactful emissions mitigation and climate adaptation policies, projects and programs.

Dr. Juliano Calil, Senior Fellow, Center for the Blue Economy, and Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Dr. Juliano Calil is a senior fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy, and Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, in Monterey. In recent years, Dr. Calil has worked on various studies focused on coastal vulnerability assessment and adaptation in California, Florida, The Mid-Atlantic Region, Gulf of Mexico, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Juliano’s research is multidisciplinary and his areas of expertise include Climate Change, Environmental Science, Coastal Adaptation, Decision Support Systems, Social Vulnerability, and Photogrammetry. He is also designing better ways to visualize coastal impacts and solutions using drones, 3D models, and Virtual Reality.