AnnouncementOPR Releases Updated Coastal Resilience Planning Guide and Case Study on the Adaptation Clearinghouse

Published: 8/8/2023

As jurisdictions across California plan for the effects of climate change, it is increasingly important for different organizations to collaborate with each other to align planning at all scales. To support local government, planners, and other community and regional representatives in coordinating their planning for coastal resilience, the Office of Planning and Research offers the Coastal Resilience Compass. The Compass is the third in a series of plan alignment guides and resources in OPR’s Climate Resilience Plan Alignment Toolkit.

OPR is also publishing a case study featuring the City of Santa Cruz. The case study shows how coastal communities can apply the Compass guidance and covers the City’s work to incorporate sea level rise in local plans and projects and facilitate regional coastal resilience. The City of Santa Cruz was one of the first to demonstrate the value of plan alignment, equitable community engagement, and incorporating adaptation pathways in sea level rise planning.

Explore the Climate Resilience Plan Alignment Toolkit to download the Coastal Resilience Compass and the City of Santa Cruz case study. The Toolkit also includes other plan alignment guides and an interactive decision-support tool. The Toolkit helps communities meet local planning requirements, balance planning priorities, analyze and identify existing vulnerabilities, seek funding to implement climate resilience projects, and advance equitable community engagement.

OPR is providing a limited number of free printed booklet versions of the Compass and other plan alignment guides that focus on wildfire and flood-after-fire resilience. To request a booklet, email your mailing address to

About the Coastal Resilience Compass

As the newest part of the Plan Alignment Toolkit, the Coastal Resilience Compass is designed to help communities collaborate to adapt to coastal hazards that climate change amplifies. The original Compass, which OPR staff and partners released in 2018, helped planners along the California coast coordinate their planning efforts to address and manage the future risks of climate change. This 2023 edition builds on the original guide by providing new suggestions for alignment and updating information on state planning requirements. It also provides in-depth strategies for integrating an adaptation pathways approach into local planning, explaining how adaptation pathways can address the unique challenges of planning for coastal hazards. In addition, the Compass compares different plans local governments commonly use in coastal regions of California.

OPR created the Coastal Resilience Compass in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), California Coastal Commission (CCC), California Ocean Protection Council, California State Coastal Conservancy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and many other partners. The Compass is based on the original Coastal Hazard Resilience Plan Alignment Compass Guide published on the Adaptation Clearinghouse in 2018. For more information, contact ICARP staff at

About the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

OPR serves as California’s comprehensive land use planning agency. OPR studies future research and planning needs, fosters cross-agency collaboration, and supports local and regional governments, communities, and California Native American Tribes with sustainable, resilient, and equitable land use planning and community development.