Healthy Communities, Functional Watersheds and Viable Economies

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The NCRP planning and project implementation framework is focused on a set of integrated, multi-benefit objectives that protect and enhance watersheds, develop and maintain built infrastructure (water, wastewater, energy, communications and transportation), and sustain human communities through the lens of public health, economic development, jobs and local revenue.

North Coast Integrated Regional Planning

North Coast Integrated Regional Planning

Supported by a Strategic Growth Council Sustainable Communities grant, the NCRP is significantly enhancing the climate change elements of its planning and implementation framework – weaving together existing plans, data, and projects into an integrated approach to addressing climate change adaptation and GHG emissions reductions while achieving other benefits such as ecosystem health, clean water, and economic vitality. The NCRP has released several key guidance and planning documents.

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NCRP Strategic Planning Documents for Public Review

North Coast Regional Climate Adaptation Strategies identifies vulnerabilities of North Coast communities with respect to expected sea level rise, changes in weather patterns, increased temperatures and wildfire and the anticipated impacts on natural lands, wildlife, and human communities. It also recommends strategies for coping with extreme heat, climate volatility and natural disasters, sea level rise, and effects on agricultural crops. Economic, resource management, and local support strategies are presented; these provide general adaptation options and recommended guidance documents and resources.

Climate Mitigation Report for the North Coast Region of California presents integrated strategies to improve infrastructure, increase community resilience, and reduce GHG emissions. Infrastructure strategies address the electricity transmission and distribution system, transportation and broadband infrastructure, water and wastewater systems, and building construction. Strategies to increase community resilience include multi-modal transportation choices, access to the Cap and Trade auction proceeds, carbon sequestration in natural and working lands, and improved biomass utilization. GHG reduction strategies advance the Regional goal of energy independence by recommending renewable energy generation options, energy retrofits for existing buildings, and Community Choice Aggregation.

Healthy Watersheds, Vital Communities, Thriving Economies: Actionable Strategies for California’s North Coast Region outlines a set of actionable, multi-benefit strategies that together support conservation of functional ecosystems and working landscapes, enhancement of built infrastructure, and enrichment of community health and economic vitality. Priorities to be reflected in NCRP plans and implementation project selection are presented with respect to natural infrastructure, built infrastructure, human capital, financing and investment. The report then drills down into regional focus area strategies, presenting current conditions, limiting factors and focused policy and strategy recommendations for the built environment (communications, transportation, energy, flood protection, water, and wastewater infrastructure), natural environment (aquatic ecosystems, native habitat, nearshore marine, forests, and agriculture/working lands), and local socioeconomic capacity.

North Coast Healthy Watersheds & Vital Communities Economic Analysis provides an overview of the extensive natural and human capital in the North Coast. It provides a basic economic profile with respect to demographics and industry and goes on to highlight critical sectors that support the North Coast economy, including ecosystems, water, food, knowledge, and recreation.

Technical Assessments and Studies

With funding from the Strategic Growth Council, the NCRP completed a multi-year technical assessment and planning process to evaluate resources, needs and opportunities in the region. Technical studies include regional mapping of carbon sources, a seven county evaluation of greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy opportunities, climate change adaptation analyses and downscaled climate projections for water, snowpack and forest health, as well as studies focused on natural capital/ecosystem services, communications, water and transportation infrastructure. These studies inform the NCRP plans and project implementation criteria, resulting in a focus on multi-benefit projects that achieve multiple goals and objectives for the North Coast region.

Climate Modeling: Projections and Vulnerabilities: Climate and Natural Resources Analysis and Planning for the North Coast Resource Partnership, USGS and Pepperwood Foundation

Regional economic valuation of natural capital and regional economic analysis: Technical Report for the North Coast of California Ecosystem Service Valuation, Earth Economics

Regional renewable energy analysis and GHG accounting framework: North Coast Resource Partnership Integrated Strategic Plan: Climate Change Mitigation, GHG Emissions Reduction and Energy Independence, Redwood Coast Energy Authority and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment Roadmap for the North Coast Regional Partnership, Schatz Energy Lab

Regional mapping of forest based carbon sequestration (>4 Billion Metric Tonnes CO2e/year): Carbon Inventory Estimates for the North Coast Resource Partnership, Dogwood Springs Forestry

Opportunities and constraints for biomass energy in the region: Biomass Energy in the North Coast Region: An Assessment and Strategy for Ecologically and Socially Compatible Development, The Watershed Research and Training Center

Trinity County Forest Ecology, Watershed Hydrology and Economic Valuation of Natural Capital and Economic Analysis for Trinity River Water, March 2017. Trinity County RC&D Five Counties Program

ECONorthwest produced a detailed assessment of potential funding mechanisms that the NCRP can use to produce an actionable financing strategy. A Review and Assessment of Potential Funding Sources for the North Coast Resource Partnership, July 2017.