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Climate Adaptation

SANTA CRUZ, CA - MARCH 10: A road washed away on North Main Street of Santa Cruz during atmospheric river in California, United States on March 10, 2023. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Climate Adaptation Vulnerability Assessment and Transportation Priorities Report (CAVA)

The RTC, the County of Santa Cruz Department of Community Development & Infrastructure and the Santa Cruz County Office of Response, Recovery & Resiliency are partnering to develop a Climate Adaptation Vulnerability Assessment and Transportation Priorities Report (CAVA) for unincorporated Santa Cruz County maintained roads and the entirety of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line (SCBRL). The hazards brought on by climate change pose a serious threat to the county’s transportation infrastructure and thus the safety and quality of life of its residents. 

The emphasis of the vulnerability assessment will be on identifying transportation infrastructure assets in the county that may be particularly vulnerable to climate hazards, and developing a prioritization list to identify the order in which those assets should undergo detailed assessments for climate resilience actions and implementation. 

Climate change impacts are increasing at an alarming rate. How we respond to and proactively address the impacts of climate change on the transportation network so that challenges can be mitigated will have a profound impact on county residents.

Project Highlights

  • Project will determine the transportation infrastructure in Santa Cruz County that may be vulnerable to climate hazards
  • Project will provide a priority list of transportation projects in the unincorporated county and on the SCBRL for taking next steps in identifying actions for climate resilience and implementation
  • Prioritization metrics will consider severity of climate hazards as well as how critical the asset is to the functioning of the transportation network
  • Identify both state and federal funding sources for prioritized climate adaptation projects
  • Engage local stakeholders and members of the public for input on project prioritization
  • Emphasis of prioritization is on environmental justice and vulnerable populations

Project Milestones

There are three milestones where there will be outreach to stakeholders and the public to ensure awareness, education, and input is sought at key points during the process. Milestone 2 public outreach is scheduled to begin  in May/June 2024.  

  1. Draft Project Framework - Identify the list of hazards, assets and methodology for prioritization
  2. Draft Project Prioritization - Perform vulnerability assessment & determine project priority list
  3. Release of Draft CAVA Project Report - Solicit input on the draft report to be considered for the final report

Public Workshops

Community Workshops for Milestone 2: Vulnerability Analysis and Draft Prioritization will be held on May 21, 2024 and May 22, 2024. Time and location to be finalized. Meeting materials for October 2023 public workshops are provided below. 

San Lorenzo Valley
Oct. 26, 2023 6-7:30 p.m.
Felton Community Hall
6191, Hwy 9, Felton

South County
Oct. 25, 2023 6-7:30 p.m.
Lakeview Middle School
2350 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville

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