North Coast Region Report

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Remotely hosted on free website
Grantham, Theodore
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The North Coast region is notable for its extensive natural ecosystems, abundance of water,and rural character. In some ways, these characteristics make the region less vulnerable to climate change impacts than other parts of California. Higher annual precipitation and lower human water demands mean less social disruption during drought. Cooler overall temperatures limit public health risks associated with heat waves. The rugged and largely undeveloped coast line offers greater opportunity to accommodate sea-level rise than coastal regions to the south. In other ways, however, climate change represents a significant threat. Many of region’s native plants and animals, including endangered plant, wildlife, and fish species, are dependent on the cool, wet conditions that characterize coastal forests and river corridors. As the climate warms and precipitation patterns change, these important habitats may shift or disappear from the landscape. The distributed, rural population faces growing threats from natural disasters – including wildfire, flooding, and landslides – that put property, critical infrastructure, and life at risk. The region’s low population and limited economic base make it difficult to secure funding for needed disaster preparedness and response systems and for infrastructure investments needed to reduce climate change vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, novel community-based efforts, involving partnerships between state and federal agencies, local and regional governments, tribes, and NGOs, are implementing a variety of adaptive measures to improve the resilience of the region’s ecosystems and communities to climate change.


Grantham, Theodore. 2018. “North Coast Region Report.” SUM-CCCA4-2018-001. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Sacramento, CA: California Governer’s Office of Planning and Research, California Natural Resources Agency, and the California Energy Commission.