Policy and Technical Reports

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Harmful Algal Blooms Research Report

2020. This report synthesizes and summarizes results from published USC Sea Grant research on harmful algal blooms funded between 2012-2018. It is part of a series of reports reviewing published research funded by USC Sea Grant, grouped by major ocean and watershed-focused research themes. 

Read the report here...

Improving Oil Spill Preparedness and Response in Santa Barbara, CA

On April 5, 2019, USC Sea Grant in collaboration with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine Gulf Research Program, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and Sea Grant partners held a day-long workshop at the Santa Barbara Zoo as part of a series of 
five regional workshops around the nation to address information needs pertaining to social, economic, and health disruptions from oil spills. Sixty-seven practitioners and stakeholders came together in Santa Barbara for a day of presentations and vibrant discussions to review lessons learned from the 2015 Refugio Spill and identify research needs for future improvements in topics related to response, monitoring, and public communication of oil spills in Santa Barbara. 

Our report summarizes and synthesizes ideas and research needs discussed at the workshop. The report begins with a general summary of the workshop followed by research needs and gaps identified during presentations and breakout sessions.

Growing Effort, Growing Challenge: Findings from the 2016 California Coastal Adaptation Needs Assessment

2018. The study, Growing Effort, Growing Challenge: Findings from the 2016 California Coastal Adaptation Needs Assessment, was conducted by USC Sea Grant, U.S. Geological Survey, and Susanne Moser Consulting. The study was released as part of California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, and it provides a snapshot of the current state of coastal adaptation across California. Sea-level rise has emerged as the dominant present-day coastal management concern across California. View the study HERE.  Read more about this project...

The Stakes are Rising: Lessons from our Climate Adaptation Engagement Program

. USC Sea Grant has developed a robust stakeholder engagement process to help communities plan for the impacts of climate change along urbanized coastlines. In 2016, we analyzed our climate change adaptation outreach program to gain insights about its effectiveness. We share lessons learned in a new paper published in the Cities and the Environment Journal. Read paper

AdaptLA Executive Summary & Technical Report

Executive Summary and Technical Report - 

Coastal Impacts Planning in the Los Angeles Region is a multi-year project to provide information on the potential impacts of sea level rise to local coastal jurisdictions. Two science-based projects modeled shoreline change, coastal erosion and coastal retreat under projected future climate scenarios for the Los Angeles County coast. USC Sea Grant  developed this synthesis of the two Regional AdaptLA modeling projects for the benefit of the Regional AdaptLA coalition and stakeholder community. This Executive Summary provides background on the overall project, overviews of the methodologies used to conduct the scientific studies, a summary of major findings, and recommendations for how information provided in these studies can help inform local coastal adaptation planning efforts. This document provides a “bridge” between the technical work by ESA and TCG and the AdaptLA coalition. 

For more information, including shapefiles and a webtool to view model results, visit USC Sea Grant’s Regional AdaptLA webpage: https://dornsife.usc.edu/uscseagrant/adaptla/.

2016 City of Imperial Beach Sea Level Rise Assessment

The City of Imperial Beach received funding from the State Coastal Conservancy and The San Diego Foundation to assess local vulnerabilities to coastal flooding and sea level rise along its Pacific Shoreline, and to identify potential adaptation strategies to ensure IB remains a resilient coastal community in the future. 

This project focused on the “Analyze” step by providing a science-based vulnerability assessment, and began to analyze a select few management options.

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study for the City of Los Angeles

2014: The City of L.A., along with a team of science and outreach experts, developed a science-based and stakeholder-supported adaptation planning process to begin planning for the impacts of climate change. The Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study for the City of Los Angeles was developed to begin to prepare for accelerated sea level rise and associated storm impacts. The expert team conducted an assessment of the potential physical, social and economic impacts of sea level rise on the City's resources and population, as well as the possible impacts to coastal and shoreline assets.

California Climate Change Adaptation Needs Assessment Survey

Decision-makers in California's (CA) coastal counties generally recognize that climate change will impact their communities and coastline. Yet, coastal CA communities are at different stages in developing and/or implementing climate change adaptation plans. In order to more precisely identify community needs, USC Sea Grant led an effort, in partnership with 15 CA organizations, to survey coastal professionals. The goal of the survey was to understand the needs and barriers coastal communities have in planning for climate change, develop appropriate trainings and technical assistance for communities, and determine the best way to link communities to resources and tools already available. 

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