North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative

Why a Climate Adaptation Initiative?

Even if humans stopped emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere today, scientists agree that current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are presently high enough to cause significant climate change. A changed climate may have deleterious effects on water supplies, crop viability, pollination, stream and wetland systems, and fish and wildlife habitats. These are the ecosystem services that support our local economy.

Climate change intensifies environmental stressors that already affect San Francisco North Bay ecosystems. These stressors include the development and fragmentation of open spaces, water quantity and quality impairments, invasive species, pest vectors and related diseases. The impacts of climate change on biodiversity--the region’s natural heritage--are far-reaching; requiring coordinated and targeted local efforts to protect native species, their ecosystems, and ecosystem services.

While Sonoma County leads the nation's local governments in the development of a coordinated greenhouse gas mitigation strategy (reducing greenhouse gases known to cause climate change), a parallel coordination effort focused on climate adaptation (preventative measures aimed at reducing the eventual cumulative impact of climate change on resources of concern) is needed.

We are at a pivotal moment when science must inform local planning by predicting future local-scale climate, defining vulnerabilities, quantifying uncertainties, and outlining response strategies. Implementing locally appropriate strategies for adapting to climate change, in addition to strategies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, will help maintain and restore processes that enhance ecosystem function and so protect the North Bay’s natural ecosystems and rich biodiversity.


The goal of NBCAI is to foster an open conversation between technical experts, land managers and policymakers in support of effective local scale climate adaptation strategies that preserve natural resources, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.


Our purpose is to implement effective climate adaptation strategies that sustain ecological and human communities of North San Francisco Bay watersheds.


Our vision is that the San Francisco North Bay has resilient, biologically diverse natural systems that provide lasting ecosystem functions and services.

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