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Central Coast Climate Symposium Discusses Local Climate Change Impacts

By Media Office Staff

The University of California at Santa Cruz, the California Energy Commission, and the Local Government Commission are partnering with other organizations to host a Dec. 10 workshop in San Luis Obispo to discuss how climate change will impact the Central Coast.

The Central Coast Climate Symposium will discuss California’s Fourth Climate Assessment, which includes a report that highlights key climate risks impacting the Central Coast such as oceans and coasts, energy systems, water, agriculture, and ecosystems.

The Central Coast is known for its extensive natural ecosystems, covered with hardwood forests, scrublands and herbaceous grasslands. One native, federally-listed sensitive species in the area is the coastal dunes milk-vetch, found only along the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula, which could be highly vulnerable to climate change, according to the report.

Agriculture production is key to the Central Coast economy with a total value of nearly $8 billion in Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties in 2016. The region is also known for its premium wine grape production located mainly in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

Agriculture production is also highly sensitive to climate change impacts such as the distribution of precipitation, temperatures, and increased frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The Salinas Valley is one of the most vulnerable agricultural regions under climate change.

For the first time, the assessment included reports for nine regions of the state because the vast majority of adaptation planning and implementation will happen at local and regional scales.

The Central Coast Climate symposium, and others like it, are being held throughout California to help communities, policymakers, governments, and environmental organizations better understand and prepare for the local impacts of climate change.

Community organizers, public agency staff, private and non-profit organizations, students and others are encouraged to attend. Attendees will learn about funding opportunities and key tools and resources.

Register for the workshop here.

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