This report synthesizes current scientific understanding about the impacts of climate change on California’s coast and ocean and presents a forward-looking summary of challenges and opportunities for the future. It is one component of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment (Fourth Assessment). To prepare this report, the state called upon the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and California Ocean Science Trust (OST) to convene an Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT) working group composed of science and policy leaders. Similar to other components of the Fourth Assessment, the 12-member working group was guided by an Advisory Group of end users and high-level decision-makers.
This report is intended to provide accessible scientific information that is relevant for policy and decision-makers, build a foundation for policy to address climate change impacts through adaptation and mitigation, highlight best
practices and models for coastal adaptation to climate change along the coast, and inform interested members of the public on the impacts of climate change on California’s coast and ocean waters and potential approaches for adaptation and mitigation. It will also inform the next update of the Safeguarding California plan, a policy document serving as California’s climate adaptation strategy, by presenting a scientific grounding to help focus and prioritize future state adaptation efforts.