Aerial photo of Morro Rock and the parking lot for Morro Bay surrounded by fog

Toward More Equitable Nature-based Coastal Adaptation in California

Recommendations for improving social equity in funding, policy, and reserch

Final Report Now Available!

Equity & Living Shorelines report cover

“Towards More Equitable Nature-based Coastal Adaptation in California: Recommendations for Improving Social Equity in Funding, Policy, and Research” (July 2022)

This report provides nine evidence-based policy recommendations and seven research needs for improving social equity in coastal management, funding decisions, and research related to nature-based coastal adaptation, and can help inform alignment between the State of California’s equity, biodiversity, and coastal resilience goals.

Full report (2022) [PDF]
2-page Policy Brief [PDF]
Recommendations Summary Tables [PDF]

Project Overview

Nature-based management approaches are increasingly being recognized as climate adaptation options that offer co-benefits beyond the original goal of shoreline protection in response to rising seas and other shoreline hazards. In coastal regions, these include living shorelines, which are composed of natural or mostly natural elements and are designed to address shoreline change and vulnerabilities through the preservation, restoration, or enhancement of biodiversity, habitat, and other environmental and shoreline processes.

The growing interest in these climate adaptation options in California presents an opportunity to invest in approaches that emphasize not only ecological and physical outcomes, but also advance social equity for frontline communities and California Native American tribes who face numerous social, economic, and environmental inequalities resulting from a legacy of discrimination and are and will continue to be disproportionately impacted by climate change.

The content was developed with guidance from a cohort of experts representing academia, environmental justice advocacy working at both local and statewide levels, tribes, and coastal policymaking. The panel of academics (below) represents qualitative and quantitative social science, social equity, Native American Studies, marine policy, and coastal habitat restoration.

Expert Panel

Dr. Katharyn Boyer, Estuary & Ocean Science Center, San Francisco State University
Dr. Juliano Calil, Middlebury Institute for International Studies
Dr. Summer Gray, University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. Brittani Orona, San Diego State University
Dr. Charles Lester, Ocean and Coastal Policy Center, University of California, Santa Barbara

OST is grateful to the many people who lent their time and feedback to this project.

< Back