Planning to adaptation: Informing Regional Nature-Based Adaptation to Improve Coastal Resiliency in Santa Monica Bay

This paper evaluates the process and provides recommendations for translating science to on-the-ground planning and adaptation efforts in coastal communities. Regionally, USC Sea Grant’s AdaptLA initiative works with coastal communities to communicate sea level rise science and provide managers with information and tools to assess vulnerabilities and begin to plan for adaptation. Informed by detailed, scaled-down climate change models and science-based demonstration projects, some AdaptLA participants initiated demonstration adaptation projects such as the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project discussed in this paper.

The Santa Monica Bay case study highlights a sea level rise adaptation process, from community capacity building to planning nature-based adaptation, using beach restoration. Lessons learned from demonstration projects in the region can inform similar projects and potential scaling up of nature-based adaptation on sandy beaches. Through the collective effort of boundary organizations, coordination with multiple jurisdictions and agencies, and community support, this case study demonstrates a model for implementing nature-based adaptation in urban coastal communities.