February 5, 2016 – San Diego, CA – As storms and flooding from El Nino threaten the San Diego region’s coastline, infrastructure and economy, the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (Climate Collaborative), a partnership managed by seven San Diego public agencies, the University of San Diego, The San Diego Foundation, and San Diego Gas & Electric® have received a $689,500 federal grant for coastal hazard protection and resilience.

The two-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will integrate activities and provide resources across all of the coastal cities but focus on the north-central coast of the county and Imperial Beach, where significant private residential, business, and infrastructure investments are threatened.  The project will provide new data on flood mapping and shoreline bluff surveys, develop additional legal, economic and scientific expertise, and help cities with outreach and communication.

“This comprehensive strategy will result in implementable actions to reduce the San Diego region’s risks and vulnerabilities to coastal flooding, beach erosion and extreme weather events,” said Laura Engeman, the USD administrator who manages the Climate Collaborative.

Along with 70 miles of beaches that attract millions of visitors each year, San Diego’s coastal region contains key infrastructure such as major transportation arteries including Amtrak rail lines and highways, seven major military installations, and water and energy infrastructure including power plants and a new desalination plant.

“The challenges confronting our nation’s coastal communities are incredibly complicated – effective solutions are going to require strong science, ingenuity and collaboration if they are going to safeguard and ensure the future vitality of our economy and valuable natural resources. The projects that have been approved for funding represent opportunities to do just that. We are excited about what these partnership projects will accomplish at the local level and the positive impact this program will have on our nation” stated Dr. Jeffrey Payne, Acting Director of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management.

Specific goals for the NOAA grant also include the coordination of sea-level rise vulnerability assessments for the five contiguous coastal cities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar and San Diego, and legal and cost benefit analyses of potential coastal protection strategies that could be incorporated into land use, regulatory policies, and capital improvement programs.

“These funds from NOAA will enable the Climate Collaborative to provide Del Mar with a valuable opportunity to share technical support and partner with our neighboring cities to effectively implement coastal resilience,” added Don Mosier, Councilmember from the City of Del Mar.

The Climate Collaborative was the only West Coast recipient and one of only six nationally to receive the $5 million available in 2015 competitive grant awards through NOAA’s landmark Regional Coastal Resilience Grant Program designed to directly support community-based coastal hazard planning.

In addition, the cities of Carlsbad and Del Mar are matching the grant with a combined $328,000 they received from the State of California to assist them with updating their local coastal plans to account for coastal storm and sea level rise hazards.  The San Diego Foundation is also contributing a match of $80,000 supporting similar assessments in the cities of Encinitas, Oceanside, and San Diego.

The Climate Collaborative, founded in 2012, is a member-based network supporting public agencies in the San Diego region to advance comprehensive solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate impacts. Founding members include the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego, the Port of San Diego, the County of San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments, The San Diego Foundation, San Diego Gas & Electric, and The University of San Diego who also serves as the administrative sponsor.

Other Climate Collaborative members include the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside, Poway, Solana Beach, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego State University Center for Regional Sustainability, the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve and Cleantech San Diego.

For more information about the Climate Collaborative, visit their website at www.sdclimatecollaborative.org. For more information about the NOAA grant visit the notification website at https://coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant/projects/.

About The San Diego Foundation

Celebrating 40 years of philanthropic leadership in the community (1975-2015), The San Diego Foundation promotes and increases effective and responsible charitable giving to grow a more vibrant region. The Foundation manages more than $654 million in assets, more than half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $957 million to the region’s nonprofit community. For more information, visit our website and consider a donation to the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego now and forever.


Laura Engeman, San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, 949-361-8929, lengeman@sandiego.edu