Our work accounts for the potential risks of sea level rise, ocean acidification, warmer average temperatures, deeper droughts, and other climate change effects. We advance policies that address major threats to, and build resiliency for, vulnerable communities and natural resources, focused on urban California and the coast. For example, RLF supported work with California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia to establish the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, an emerging international coalition that also includes France, Chile, and New Zealand. Within California, RLF and grantees have helped enact new policies to address acidification. The world’s oceans, a sink for carbon dioxide and other pollutants, have become 30 percent more acidic since the Industrial Revolution. The changing chemistry threatens to unravel the marine food web. RLF and its donors also helped to shape state policies to address sea level rise and secured millions of dollars in public funding for ocean and coastal climate science, smart planning, and nature-based adaptation projects.
In another example, RLF in 2017 supported 14 environmental justice, public health, and climate equity organizations known as the Climate Justice Working Group as they crafted guiding principles for funding and policy decisions to help ensure that people already suffering socioeconomic, health, and environmental injustices do not bear the brunt of climate change impacts. RLF also supported a survey of 800 California voters of color that found that 85 percent want state and local officials to adopt stronger policies to help their communities prepare for climate change.