Guiding Principles

The following working Guiding Principles will guide the development of regional adaptation actions

These principles were developed in collaboration with the Leadership Advisory Group and members of the public. You can download a list of these draft Guiding Principles shared at our first Public Forum here.

Practice Inclusive, Community-Led Governance and Decision Making

Remove barriers and enhance capacity for transparent, coordinated decision-making amongst community members and groups, and local, regional, state, and federal government that acknowledges and leverages the unique roles, responsibilities, and authorities at each scale. Adaptation outcomes will better protect the entire region when all scales, including those who know their neighborhoods and communities best, contribute and collaborate in reducing risk.

Support Socially Vulnerable Communities

Actively ensure that socially vulnerable communities don’t just bounce back in the face of sea level rise, but “bounce forward” by providing additional resources and support to areas where socially vulnerable communities live, work, and play and reducing negative impacts to these communities. Climate change will disproportionately impact marginalized communities with fewer resources.

Solve Collaborative Problems Together

Prioritize adaptation actions that maximize regional risk reduction to flooding and sea level rise and minimize tradeoffs within the context of other regional priorities such as housing, economy, social equity, ecosystem services, and other climate risks. Sea level rise and flooding is just one of several regionally interconnected crises facing the Bay Area.

Don’t Hold Back Early Movers but Play the Long Game

Support, encourage, and learn from early innovators charting a new course for the region, especially for wetland restoration, while maintaining a long-term vision for more complex planning and investments. Early action is important for regional learning, setting precedents, and shorter-term flood control, but widespread or significant investments require careful, coordinated planning.

Go Green Where Appropriate

Whenever feasible, support the prioritization of natural infrastructure solutions that benefit ecosystems as well as people over hybrid or grey solutions, especially in the near-term. Adapting to rising sea level will require a mix of green and gray infrastructure, including potentially transitioning from green to hybrid to grey solutions over time.

Pick the Right Strategy for the Right Place at the Right Time

Ensure that local and regional investment strategies to address flooding and sea level rise are grounded in local needs, conditions and plans, and phased to allow for uncertainty, flexibility, and iteration. The Bay is a collection of distinct places with unique physical and social conditions and there is no “one size fits all” solution – or timeline — to address climate related impacts.

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