The Malibu Foundation Gives Southern California Communities a Roadmap to Adapt and Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Crisis in the Years Ahead

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A new report released this week from the Malibu Foundation gives local communities a roadmap for how to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

A new report released this week from the Malibu Foundation titled Our Climate Crisis: A Guide for Communities in the Wildland Urban Interface gives local communities a roadmap for how to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

The Malibu Foundation Gives Southern California Communities a Roadmap to Adapt and Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Crisis in the Years Ahead

A new report released this week from the https://www.themalibufoundation.org/Malibu Foundation titled Our Climate Crisis: A Guide for Communities in the Wildland Urban Interface gives local communities a roadmap for how to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

The report is the result of a collaborative effort amongst key stakeholders within this region that includes the SMM wildland-urban interface (WUI) cities of Malibu, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Westlake Village (which form the Las Virgenes Council of Governments), as well as Topanga, the Pacific Palisades, Sunset Mesa and adjacent unincorporated SMM communities.

With the region still having difficulty recovering from the 2018 Woolsey Fire, the Malibu Foundation saw an urgent need to bring key stakeholders together to focus on how to proactively move toward a more climate resilient region, from policy, such as addressing local energy and water resources, to personal, such as distribution of hand-crank AM/FM radios and FRS two-way radios to ensure reliable communications in an emergency.

The report, which can be used as a template across the Country, serves as an actionable plan for regional coordination by local governments and regional agencies on climate resilience strategies, and as a community resilience guide for individuals, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders in the region.

The report assesses, but then offers practical High Priority Action Recommendations – for cities, communities, neighborhoods, and individuals, including these Top Suggestions across Local Government Leadership, Roads, Water, Energy, Communications and Working Together. A few examples:

  • Local Government Leadership: All jurisdictions should develop and implement comprehensive and aggressive regional Climate Action and Adaptation Plans (CAAP) to adequately prepare their infrastructure and communities to withstand the region’s multiple hazards that climate change is already bringing, as well as rapidly and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Roads: Local government agencies should analyze and update their existing local emergency response and evacuation plans, and other mitigation measures to address impacts from fires, floods and landslides, and post-wildfire debris flows.
  • Water: Action plans should include policies that will ensure aggressive action is taken to reduce water demand, such as increasing incentives for residents and businesses to replace inefficient water fixtures and adopt drought tolerant, climate adapted landscaping practices that feature native plants.
  • Energy: Local government agencies and local utilities should provide incentives to the region’s residents and business to install nano- and micro-grid solar energy systems with back up and islanding capabilities. This is especially important for the most vulnerable populations such as older adults, low-income residents, and others with health issues and mobility challenges.
  • Communications: Local governments and other agencies should provide all low income and older adult households in the region with hand-crank AM/FM radios and FRS two-way radios to ensure that they are able to receive critical information and evacuation alerts during emergency events.
  • Working together: Identify funding to help those who need assistance in home hardening and defensible space upgrades, emergency kit and communication needs, and heat-reduction strategies. Create a practical system to check on older neighbors and others with mobility issues; and address availability of cooling centers, multi-language disaster materials, charging stations, and emergency kits. Actively encourage residents to establish or join neighborhood fire preparedness organizations (such as Fire Safe Councils) and climate action community groups (such as the Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance) to increase neighborhood climate resilience and better support vulnerable individuals.

To access the complete “SMM WUI Region Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Report”, click here. To access the Executive Summary, please click here.

On February 8th from 5:30-7pm, Pepperdine University’s Sustainability Program will host a virtual presentation of key findings and recommendations by report authors Shea Cunningham and Dean Kubani, followed by a discussion with project advisors. Zoom link

This project is funded by the Malibu Foundation. Collaborating partners include: Climate Resolve, Pepperdine University’s Sustainability Program, Resilient Palisades, Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, and UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.

About the Malibu Foundation

Malibu Foundation was created by local residents immediately following the Woolsey Fire. Malibu Foundation is committed to the long-term rebuilding of areas affected by the Woolsey Fire. Our goal is to ensure, educate and provide resources to create a more climate resilient Santa Monica Mountains community. (http://www.themalibufoundation.org)

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Julie Du Brow
310-922-1301 / Julie@dubroworks.com

Michael Saltzman
310-271-5789 / Julie@dubroworks.com

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Julie Du Brow