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Energy and Climate Change

Climate Adaptation

The San Diego region will be increasingly affected by climate change as temperatures continue to rise and heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires have the potential to become more frequent and more intense. Integrating adaptation into planning efforts will ensure that the region is more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Regional adaptation planning will support the implementation of San Diego Forward: The 2015 Regional Plan and the development and implementation of the 2021 Regional Plan.

Regional Adaptation Efforts

San Diego County Carbon Storage and Sequestration Study

In March 2022, SANDAG completed the San Diego County Carbon Storage and Sequestration Study that evaluates the historic and projected carbon storage and sequestration of the natural and working lands throughout the County. It was funded through a grant from the California Department of Conservation (DOC) to understand the impacts of land use and land cover change on carbon storage to aid in planning and policy development for the region.

Download Carbon Storage and Sequestration Study

Holistic Implementation of Adaptation and Transportation Resilience Strategies

In December 2021, SANDAG completed the Holistic Implementation of Adaptation and Transportation Resilience Strategies (HIATRS) project to support local jurisdictions that are transitioning from planning to implementation of their climate change mitigation and adaptation work. The project resulted in the following resources to assist local jurisdictions as they implement climate adaptation strategies:

Prioritization Tool and Guidebook A methodology and toolkit to help local jurisdictions prioritize implementation of adaptation and transportation resilience strategies

Equity-First Approach to Climate Adaptation Guidance Provides resources for local jurisdictions to ensure that adaptation measures are equitable for all in their communities

Economic Guidance for Climate Adaptation Provides guidance to help local jurisdictions consider the economic implications of adaptation strategies

These resources are intended to make adaptation planning more accessible to local planning staff, practitioners, and decision makers.

Download Prioritization Tool

Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment

In July 2018, SANDAG was awarded funding from the Caltrans SB 1 Adaptation Planning Grant Program. The funds were allocated to prepare a Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment to establish planning needs and opportunities and advance coordination across adaptation projects throughout the region. Findings from the Needs Assessment provided a deeper understanding of the gaps and challenges that exist for regional adaptation planning, specific to the San Diego Region. The award also included a Transportation Infrastructure Risk Assessment, utilizing the FHWA’s VAST pilot study to support analysis of the sea level rise project described in the Coastal Hazards section.

Download Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment (full report)

Download Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment Fact Sheet

Resilient Coastlines

SANDAG has a robust Shoreline Management Program and has been working with local jurisdictions since the early 1990s to address erosion issues in the San Diego region. SANDAG has crafted policies related to shoreline management, led two regional beach sand nourishment projects, and established a robust shoreline monitoring program. As sea level rise becomes a more pressing threat to the San Diego coastline, these efforts, along with specific sea level rise adaptation planning measures, will become increasingly important to the region.

To inform the North Coast Corridor Program, SANDAG and Caltrans commissioned the San Diego Region Coastal Sea Level Rise Analysis Report. This report describes future scenarios for sea level rise along the region’s coastline based on the latest and most relevant scientific reports and guidance. It offers design water level guidance for local projects, an adaptive management strategy, and general conclusions and recommendations for construction along the North Coast Corridor.

In December 2017, SANDAG was awarded funding from the Caltrans Senate Bill 1 (SB1) Adaptation Planning Grant Program to prepare the Regional Transportation Infrastructure Sea Level Rise Assessment and Adaptation Guidance (Adaptation Guidance). This project analyzes potential sea level rise impacts to transportation facilities such as highways, bikeways, trails, and light and heavy rail that cross jurisdictional lines. The Adaptation Guidance includes a compilation of adaptation policies, projects, and funding opportunities that are relevant to the San Diego region. Results from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST) pilot study, completed as part of the Regional Adaptation Needs Assessment described under Regional Adaptation Efforts, are included in the Adaptation Guidance. The Adaptation Guidance was recommended by the SANDAG Regional Planning Committee and accepted by the SANDAG Board of Directors as a regional resource.

Local Adaptation Resources

San Diego, 2050 Is Calling. How Will We Answer?

California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment: San Diego Region Report

Caltrans District 11 Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Resilient Coastlines Project of Greater San Diego

State Adaptation Resources

Safeguarding California Plan

California Climate Adaptation Planning Guide

California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment

Rising Seas in California: An Update on Sea-Level Rise Science

California Coastal Commission Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance

ICARP Adaptation Clearinghouse

Planning and Investing for a Resilient California

Federal Adaptation Resources

U.S. Climate Resilience Tool Kit

Fourth National Climate Assessment

Project Manager

Jeff Hoyos, Senior Regional Planner
Phone: (619) 699-1932, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or