As we adjust the way we live, work, and play to adapt to a changing climate, we must act together with a true regional vision and ensure that this transition does not reinforce pre-existing inequities.
Who will lead who will decide, and how do we all get on the same page? Frontline communities that feel the most acute impacts from sea level rise have local knowledge critical for equitable solutions. Likewise, legislators in Sacramento and Washington need to hear our collective voice loud and clear—two-thirds of the State’s total sea level rise impacts will occur in the Bay Area, so our collective voice must be strong.
Regularly check and report on adaptation progress based on the established and shared regional metrics identified in Task 1.1. Metrics should measure the difference between today’s “baseline”—the region’s current risk profile and adaptation status—and changes related to adaptation activities, or other measures of long-term sustainability. Also consider collecting qualitative reports, such as narratives and community feedback. Resulting “report cards” should be transparent and understandable (through visually compelling online dashboards) to partners, stakeholders and the public. When appropriate, they should suggest ways to increase alignment with the regional vision, such as changes to incentives (Tasks 5.1 and 8.1), funding models (Task 6.2), technical assistance programs (Task 4.2), or the legislative agenda (Task 1.2).
The State of the Estuary report tracks indicators and trends that measure the San Francisco Estuary’s ecological health. Likewise, the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan Performance Measures uses several metrics to measure, progress, and track performance across the coequal goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy Delta ecosystem. It uses an easy-to-access, graphics-rich online interface to illustrate performance measure information and data to ensure transparency around the Delta Plan’s goals and performance measures. This website and the metrics it tracks could be a model for how the Bay Area could transparently track its adaptation goals and progress.
Monitor pilot projects to identify lessons learned and update or establish guidance based on these lessons. Expand and support existing monitoring programs, such as the Wetland Regional Monitoring Program and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, to increase the context for learning and adaptation. Use monitoring to update and refine best practices for innovative, multi-benefit projects covered in regional vision (Task 1.1), funding criteria (Task 6.2), technical assistance guidance (Task 4.2), and permitting processes (Task 7.1).
Pilot projects don’t have to be limited to nature-based solutions. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) can serve as a model for other agencies pursuing adaptation. With limited funding and resources, BART has conducted a number of pilot projects to evaluate resiliency risks and develop adaptation solutions. Pilot findings have been used to inform BART capital projects of risks. As a pilot outcome, BART requires in the BART Facilities Standards (BFS) that capital projects account for SLR risk in their designs. BART’s approach to leverage existing data and partnerships to maximize pilot outcomes are examples of practices that can be shared and benefit other agencies.
Ensures accountability for equity and community-focused adaptation outcomes.
Ensures accountability for nature-based, ecosystem, and habitat-based adaptation outcomes; monitoring and reporting will improve the design, permitting, funding, and construction of nature-based adaptation strategies.
Ensures accountability for job and housing growth adaptation co-benefits; monitoring of pilot projects will lead to more efficient and effective projects and expedited protection for critical assets.