Community Resilience Projects
The Office of Sustainability collaborates with jurisdictions, stakeholders, and community-based organizations (CBOs) to explore solutions that reduce harm from climate impacts in vulnerable communities. Pilot projects help create an understanding of opportunities for community resiliency across different risks and strategies.
Center for Independence for Individuals with Disabilities (CID)
CID purchased and deployed ten YETI 1500X portable power stations and conducted events with partners Puente de la Costa Sur and Menlo Park Senior Center to assist participants in developing personal emergency plans. The emergency plans were designed to help individuals with disabilities, individuals with medical needs, and/or older adults think through how to meet needs such as related to medical devices, medication and evacuation, ahead of an emergency. The portable power station effort filled a critical gap in CID’s ability to serve all of San Mateo County, bringing 13 cities and several unincorporated areas on the bay side, and in northern and central communities of the county to be able to access this program. Learn more about CID Disability Disaster Access & Resources.
Hope United Methodist Church and California Interfaith Power & Light
Hope United Methodist Church and California Interfaith Power & Light worked together to develop a new resilience center at the church site in South San Francisco and conduct climate resilience and emergency preparedness events. They installed a back-up battery to work with their solar panels and automatically power the fellowship hall during outages. Upgraded HVAC filters complement HUMC’s air purifiers to protect congregants and residents during wildfire smoke events. The center was dedicated on Sunday, December 11, 2022, at HUMC’s Advent service which included a themed sermon and presentations, a bell choir, spiritual dance, and a Samoan chorus. Echoing Pastor Current’s message of being a “light to the world,” the congregation and visitors sang “This Little Light of Mine” and processed to the courtyard where the solar panels and battery stack were visible, and a green ribbon stretched across the entrance to the fellowship hall. The Pastor offered a dedication prayer and the most senior congregation member cut the ribbon and christened the hall the “Hope Resilience Center.” Learn more about Hope United Methodist Church and California Interfaith Power & Light.
Photo: Pastor Current addresses attendees at the hub opening
Senior Coastsiders is now open as a Community Resilience Hub in Half Moon Bay during their regular business hours. Outfitted with air coolers and purifiers, misting fans, charging ports, indoor and outdoor air quality monitors, and thermal window coverings for temperature control, their facility serves as a cooling center, charging station, and clean air haven during extreme heat, power outages and poor air quality. The kick-off event celebrating Senior Coastsiders’ new equipment and showcasing their disaster preparedness and climate resilience partnerships took place on August 17, 2022. Since then, Senior Coastsiders has coordinated with County of San Mateo and City of Half Moon Bay related to disaster response. Their hub will serve older adults and the general population during emergencies. Senior Coastsiders’ staff serve community members in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. Learn more about Senior Coastsiders.
El Concilio of San Mateo County
El Concilio of San Mateo County has launched a study to compare the efficacy of heat resilience approaches designed to be under the decision-making control of low-income, socially vulnerable renters. El Concilio will leverage their Promatora program and partnerships to complete the outreach and implementation of the project. Two interventions, cellular window shades and portable heat pumps will be studied in 40 renter households in socially vulnerable communities at greater risk for climate-linked heat impacts: unincorporated North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto. Homes with older adults or young children, people with health conditions affected by heat, and homes with high occupancy will be prioritized. Learn more about El Concilio.
County of San Mateo Equity Training and Collaboration with North Fair Oaks Community Alliance
With the support of Silicon Valley Community Foundation Donor Circle for the Environment, the Open Architecture Collaborative (OAC) and Office of Sustainability collaborated in 2020 and 2021 to adapt and tailor OAC’s Pathways 2 Equity (P2E) training model for a cohort of County and C/CAG staff working in planning and implementation roles related to climate resilience. The formal training was followed by an opportunity to practice new skills and support a real-time project with a community-based organization, North Fair Oaks Community Alliance (NFOCA). Learn more about the SMC Climate Equity Training and Collaboration (PDF).
Youth Climate Programs
The Office of Sustainability offers several programs to empower youth residents of San Mateo County to learn about climate change action, impacts and resilience.
The Youth Exploring Climate Science (YECS) program provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about the local impacts of climate change through a mixture of classroom presentations, interactive activities, and field trips. This program is available at no cost for San Mateo County 7th-12th grade students.
The Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) leadership program aims to ensure younger generations have the skills and knowledge to play a leadership role in taking action on climate change. Learn more about case studies and projects developed by YCA participants.
Climate Ready SMC Collaborative and Pilot Projects
The Climate Ready SMC Collaborative began in 2019 with the goal of bringing together leaders from across sectors, jurisdictions, and communities to foster collaboration and identify potential solutions to make San Mateo County more resilient to climate impacts. Learn more and watch videos here.
Climate Ready SMC Pilot Projects
The Climate Ready SMC Pilot Projects were inclusive adaptation planning projects funded in part by Caltrans and awarded through a competitive process led by Office of Sustainability.
- The Acterra (Climate Resilient Communities) East Palo Alto Community Vulnerability Adaptation Sea Level Rise Planning Project collaborated with community-based organizations to build the capacity of East Palo Alto community leaders and residents in sea-level rise vulnerability planning, adaptation strategy development, and resilience implementation. Learn more.
- The City of Half Moon Bay Climate Action and Adaptation Outreach Pilot collaborated with community-based organizations to increase involvement from typically underrepresented populations in their Climate Action and Adaptation Planning process. Learn more.
Sea Change SMC Community Resilience Grants Program
The City of Millbrae Sea Level Rise and Climate Assessment identified climate change risks to key assets within the City of Millbrae and identified actions the City could incorporate into regional and local planning efforts.
The City of South San Francisco developed a Shoreline Assessment of Vulnerable Properties and Livelihoods (PDF) to assess the monetary value of properties at risk to sea level rise, in terms of lost use, potential damages/repairs, lost livelihoods and employment. The report was utilized in their 2022 General plan update, Shape SSF 2040 General Plan.
The City of Burlingame’s Sea Change Burlingame project assessed the vulnerability of the Bayfront between Highway 101 and the San Francisco Bay.
Acterra (Climate Resilient Communities – CRC)’s project Building Capacity to Develop Adaptive Measures in East Palo Alto (PDF) supported them to develop their first Climate Change Community Team (CCCT), the East Palo Alto CCCT to build the capacity of community leaders in sea level rise and climate resilience. This project was followed by a Climate Ready SMC Pilot Project and ongoing CRC CCCT projects. Read the report about the Resilience Grant and Climate Ready projects.
The Climate Ready North Fair Oaks project was a collaboration between El Concilio, Siena Youth Center, Stanford Future Bay Initiative and community leaders to build new leadership on climate and disaster preparedness and launch a new youth climate curriculum. They produced a report and executive summaries (PDF) in English and Spanish, on indirect impacts of sea level rise on North Fair Oaks. The project partnership has expanded and is ongoing.
Climate Ready Pilot Projects
Climate Ready SMC Pilot Project: East Palo Alto Community Vulnerability Adaptation Sea Level Rise Planning Project
Acterra (Climate Resilient Communities) built the capacity of East Palo Alto community leaders in sea-level rise vulnerability planning and identified preliminary community-defined adaptation strategies. The project included a hands-on water reclamation and rain garden project co-installed by youth. Project partners included the East Palo Alto Climate Change Community Team and organizations including Anamatangi Polynesian Voices and Youth United for Community Action.
Climate Ready SMC Pilot Project: Half Moon Bay Climate Action and Adaptation Outreach Pilot
The City of Half Moon Bay partnered with Ayundando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS), Senior Coastsiders, and Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) of San Mateo to increase involvement from and develop tailored engagement approaches for typically underrepresented populations in their Climate Action and Adaptation Planning process. Image: Mural project led by Ayundando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS).