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Climate Smart Initiative and Policy

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Smart Climate Initiative Logo

The Park District’s top priority is keeping our parks, shorelines, lakes and trails safe and well-maintained. A big part of that responsibility is preparing for the future: Taking steps now to adapt to a changing climate, and a rising San Francisco Bay. We are seeing the effects of sea-level rise in increased coastal and levee erosion and trail flooding. Many of our lakes have suffered from toxic algae blooms, and the prolonged drought has had a severe impact on our forests and woodlands.

In 2018, the Park District adopted a climate policy that guides Park District in incorporating five climate principles into our policies, projects, and management.

Policy Framework for Managing Park Resources in a Changing Climate

 

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Climate in all Policies

Climate in all Policies
Park District policies, planning documents decisions and management practices will strive to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate wherever possible, including to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop nature-based protections from climate change impacts.

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Climate Friendly

Climate Friendly
The Park District will consider climate impacts in all activities and strive for environmentally sustainable operations and design, including land use planning and overall project implementation. This includes actions, whenever feasible, for greenhouse gas emission reduction; toxic reduction; waste recycling and reduction; water conservation; clean-fuel vehicles and energy efficient facilities; habitat restoration to increase carbon storage and enhancement of nature-based services and green infrastructure.

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Climate Readiness

Climate Readiness 
The Park District’s climate readiness actions endeavor to improve preparedness for East Bay Communities from the impacts of a changing climate. Ecological functions and nature-based services will be used, whenever feasible, to adapt and respond to changes in temperature, sea level rise, drought, wildfire flooding and other extreme weather-related events. 

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Climate Smart Leadership

Climate Smart Leadership
The Park District will continue to act as a leader to advance policies at the state, federal, and local level; advance practices in support of nature-based solutions found on public parklands; and influence funding opportunities to restore and sustain green infrastructure. Planning, protecting, and managing of parklands will be done in cohesion with the entirety of the East Bay ecosystem and connecting people to nature.

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Advancing Science

Advancing Science
Monitoring the effects of climate change and utilizing adaptive management techniques through programs to adjust stewardship methods and priorities to preserve natural, cultural and scenic values of the parks. Serving as a natural laboratory to understand our parklands and to apply what has been learned regionally and nationally.

Green Bonds

The Park District is issuing Certified Green Bonds. This new bond funding is for acquisition, habitat restoration, trail construction, and for protecting the shoreline from sea level rise.

Download: EBRPD Green Bond Framework [PDF] 
Download: Green Bond Annual Report - 2018 [PDF]

Climate Change Strategy

The Park District developed a comprehensive strategy to mitigate sea level rise impacting the 55 miles of shorelines that we own and manage in the East San Francisco Bay. The effects of levee failure and over-topping of the San Francisco Bay Trail threaten critical infrastructure, homes, and people. Adaptive plans include renewable energy projects, partnering with regional agencies and research institutes, developing best practices for grazing and fire wildfire hazard management for regional parklands.

Carbon Sequestration Study Update

2016 study reported that Park District’s lands store nearly 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which is comparable to the amount of carbon released by 59,300 vehicles during a year.

Strategic Energy Plan

In keeping with the environmental ethic of the East Bay Regional Park District’s mission, the Park District created a Strategic Energy Plan as a road-map for future energy decisions. The Park District currently uses electricity, natural gas, and propane that emit 1,156 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. The plan shows how the Park District can generate much of its energy on-site and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Park Planning

Climate-related Legislation - Supported by Board of Directors

The Park District’s Government and Legislative Affairs Unit actively tracks proposed legislation at the local, state, and federal level; evaluates its relevancy for the Park District; and advocates for policy and funding to support the Park District’s Mission. Examples of some legislative initiatives related to the Climate Initiative include: wildfire protection, plastic waste reduction, climate resources bond, flood protection, and green/active transportation. For more specific information on legislation supported by the Park District, visit our Legislative Initiatives page.

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