GCC and the Central Coast Climate Collaborative

by Nancy Black

Photo Courtesy of Garrett Wong

Since 2021, Gaviota Coast Conservancy has had a board member representing our organization on the Equity Advisory and Outreach Committee with the Central Coast Climate Collaborative, advancing equitable climate solutions throughout the Central Coast.

The Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative is a growing multi-sector network of organizations, including government agencies and nonprofits, working together to advance climate mitigation and resiliency efforts in Santa Barbara County. The Collaborative, with the SB County One Climate Initiative, advances regional scale climate solutions through coordination and partnership.

The Collaborative is part of the California Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA), a network of leading regional collaboratives and allies from across California that work together to advance adaptation statewide and increase local capacity to build community resilience and collaboration.

The Equity Advisory Outreach Committee (a subcommittee of the Steering Committee), where Gaviota Coast Conservancy participates, helps the County integrate equity into its climate action and adaptation plans and projects by:

  • Advising staff on appropriate public outreach and communication methods
  • Providing guidance, input and feedback on various planning efforts from the County, and perhaps by other public agencies, to inform goals and strategies
  • Sharing information on County planning efforts with Collaborative members and their communities
  • Encouraging participation in community outreach events
  • Potentially co-hosting events with the Collaborative and the County

The County released the draft 2030 Climate Action Plan (CAP) for review and public comment. Currently there is no end date for public comment on the CAP. The Active Transportation Plan (ATP) was approved this month.

This year, the Collaborative wrote and received $225,000 in grant funding to support local agencies and organizations to develop resilience hubs in SB County at Blue Sky in New Cuyama, Franklin Neighborhood Center, the Eastside Library and Girls Inc in Carpinteria. Resilience hubs are community-serving facilities that are bolstered to provide emergency functions and sustain themselves in times of power outages.

The Central Coast Climate Collaborative has led and supported three efforts to bring climate funding to the region so far this year:

  • The California Arts Council’s Central Coast Creative Corps grant (that Gaviota Coast Conservancy also applied for) offers organizations or groups of organizations funding to work with local artists to engage communities on topics ranging from Covid awareness, social justice, civic engagement and climate change. The Collaborative applied for the opportunity to lift up climate programs and issues that the Collaborative and its member organizations are working on for communities like Guadalupe, Lompoc and Santa Maria.
  • The Climate Smart Land Management grant seeks to build local capacity and develop projects that will sequester carbon. The Collaborative worked with the Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) across the tri-county region to expand the Sustainable Land Initiative, developed by Upper Salinas Las Tablas RCD of San Luis Obispo County. The Sustainable Land Initiative accelerates the time it takes to conduct site assessments, estimate project potential, secure funding and implement projects aimed at sequestering carbon, reducing water consumption, decreasing fertilizer use/runoff, increasing economic yield, and making farms more resilient to climate change.
  • The Central Coast Heat Action Plan seeks to collaborate with local governments, nonprofits and community members across the tri-county region to identify vulnerabilities and community solutions to extreme heat.

All of these grant applications, and others, are now available for viewing on the Collaborative Resources webpage.

The Central Coast Climate Justice Network is a network of social justice and environmental organizations and leaders committed to a climate movement that advances social, economic, and environmental justice for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Their mission is to forge a regional partnership between social justice and environmental movements to expand collective power, to advance restorative actions and systems change centering on communities who bear the greatest burden of climate change.

Gaviota Coast Conservancy is proud to be an ally organization in the Central Coast Climate Justice Network, as well as a partner organization on the Equity Advisory and Outreach Committee with the Central Coast Climate Collaborative.

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