In his January 2015 State of the City address, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that he wanted to make Long Beach a model of a climate resilient city. He asked the Aquarium of the Pacific to take a lead in assessing the primary threats that climate change poses to Long Beach, to identify the most vulnerable neighborhoods and segments of the population, and to identify and provide a preliminary assessment of options to reduce those vulnerabilities. Over the course of 2015 the Aquarium hosted and participated in a number of meetings and workshops with academic and government scientists, business and government leaders, local stakeholders, and Long Beach residents to discuss key issues facing our community as the result of climate change. This report represents the culmination of these efforts. It begins with an introduction to what it means to be a “Climate Resilient City,” followed by detailed assessments of the five main threats of climate change to our community (drought, extreme heat, sea level rise and coastal flooding, deteriorating air quality, and public health and social vulnerability), an overview of what is currently being done to mitigate and adapt to these threats, and other options to consider. It ends with a summary and review of our findings. Finally, this report presents a series of steps and actions that city leaders and community stakeholders can use as a template for making Long Beach a model of a climate resilient city, responsive to varying levels of temporary, gradual, and permanent changes to the environment. Given the City’s size, population demographics, infrastructure, geographical location, regional economic impact, and leadership, it has the opportunity to become a model of resiliency.
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