The County of Ventura is actively planning for sea level rise to protect coastal resources and to minimize impacts to residents, businesses, and visitors. The coastal zone in unincorporated Ventura County includes approximately 29 miles of coastline and is home to world class surf spots, including Rincon Point. Land uses along the County's coastline include public beaches, State park facilities, critical infrastructure such as bridges, State highways and coastal access routes, residential communities, agricultural fields, and one naval base. As such, coastal hazards associated with sea-level rise could result in significant impacts throughout the coastal zone.
The VC Resilient Coastal Adaptation Project (VC Resilient) strives to use the best available science to understand critical vulnerabilities and then to develop a balanced and forward-thinking response to sea-level rise. Through an understanding of coastal hazards, we can begin to prepare for a future when sea level rise impacts are more severe.
Generous grants from the California Coastal Commission and the California Coastal Conservancy, together with supplemental funding from the County of Ventura, have made this project possible.
A GIS Story Map was also developed to interactively view the County’s sea level rise maps online and learn more about the VC Resilient Project. Click on the link below to view the GIS Story Map.
Click here to subscribe to the VC Resilient stakeholder list. You will receive email notifications regarding this project and future public hearings.
Vulnerability Assessment Report
The first step in the VC Resilient Project is development of a Vulnerability Assessment. Click on the links below to read the Vulnerability Assessment. This assessment is an informational document that highlights potential impacts using three different sea level rise scenarios across the entire unincorporated County coastline. The Vulnerability Assessment includes analysis of sea level rise projections out to the year 2100. The best available science was used to complete the report with a range of projections, including those that we already face with high tides and storms.
The Vulnerability Assessment can be accessed through the following links. Due to the large file size, the assessment has been broken into segments.
- VC Resilient Vulnerability Assessment - Report Body
- VC Resilient Vulnerability Assessment - Appendix A - Sector Profile Maps - Part 1
- VC Resilient Vulnerability Assessment - Appendix A - Sector Profile Maps - Part 2
- VC Resilient Vulnerability Assessment - Appendix B - Vulnerability Results Table
- VC Resilient Vulnerability Assessment - Appendix C - Social Vulnerability
- VC Resilient Vulnerability Assessment - Appendix D - Natural Resources Maps
The Vulnerability Assessment is a starting point for a common understanding of the risks, but it does not provide solutions. There are few easy solutions and most require additional coordination with the public, from private landowners, and resource agencies. This first step is a comprehensive look at what is exposed and how sensitive these assets are to sea level rise.
Adaptation Strategies Report
A revised Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies Report is available by clicking on the link below. The Adaptation Strategies Report provides a summary of the Vulnerability Assessment results, describes various adaptation strategies that could be used to improve the resilience of unincorporated Ventura County, and provides some examples of adaptation pathways to help illustrate coastal adaptation planning approaches.
The revised Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies Report was reviewed and discussed during a work session before the Ventura County Planning Commission on March 7, 2019. The report was revised based on comments received from the Planning Commission, Coastal Commission staff, and the public. The Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies Report and PowerPoint slideshow for the Planning Commission work session are available by clicking on the links below:
Board of Supervisors Work Session
On September 10, 2019 a sea level rise work session will be held by the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors. This hearing is intended to provide an opportunity for public input, to share information on the County’s sea level rise vulnerabilities, and to receive Board guidance on proposed preliminary draft sea level rise policies and programs in key topical areas. The presentation and discussion of the Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment in combination with the Adaptation Strategies Report and preliminary draft Local Coastal Program policies, will conclude Phase 1 of the VC Resilient Project. This work session will not include the formal adoption of any ordinance amendments or Coastal Area Plan policies. Rather, it will focus on presenting information and tools to begin a conversation on how best to adapt to sea level rise.
Over the coming decades, sea level rise related impacts will increase in frequency and extent, with new and expanding areas of the County beginning to experience periodic coastal flooding. Although a comprehensive Local Coastal Program update to address sea level rise is beyond the scope of this phase of the VC Resilient Project, the goal was to develop preliminary draft policies for sea level rise to protect coastal resources and to minimize future impacts to residents, businesses, and visitors. The proposed preliminary draft sea level rise policies, Board letter, and accompanying documents will be available on the Clerk of the Board’s website on or about September 5th for the September 10th hearing. The Board of Supervisors agendas and hearing materials can be accessed by clicking here.
It is also anticipated that the work session will in include a request to apply for a grant to conduct Phase 2 of VC Resilient. If awarded, the next phase of the VC Resilient Project would include more detailed technical analyses, coordination with County staff in various departments, and additional public outreach. This would be followed by public hearings before the Ventura County Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, and the Coastal Commission to certify Local Coastal Program policies and programs and related Coastal Zoning Ordinance amendments.
Other Useful Links for the VC Resilient Project
Please click on the links below to access the PowerPoint slideshows from public workshops for the Vulnerability Assessment that occurred on April 11, 2018.
Public Workshop "Frequently Asked Questions" handout
Workshop #1 (North-and Central Coast Focused);
Workshop #2 (South-Coast Focused);
Links to two established sea level rise models that were used to develop the Vulnerability Assessment are provided below:
Existing Local Coastal Plan
See the existing Ventura County Planning documents for the LCP here:Coastal Area Plan
Coastal Zoning Ordinance
Categorical Exclusion Order (E-83-1 & E-83-1A)
Coastal MapsNorth Coast Land Use Map
North Coast Zoning Map
North Coast Aerial Map
Central Coast Land Use Map
Central Coast Zoning Map
Central Coast Aerial Map
South Coast Land Use Map
South Coast Zoning Map
South Coast Aerial Map