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Project Contact

Jessica Metzger, AICP 
Airport Planner
(805) 692-6032


Climate Adaptation Plan


Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is preparing a Climate Adaptation Plan that builds on the City of Santa Barbara Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan prepared in 2021 and the Goleta Slough Area Sea Level Rise and Management Plan completed in 2015. The SBA Climate Adaptation Plan will address the potential impacts of increased flooding due to future projected sea level rise and increased rainfall with climate change. The process of creating this plan will be divided into three distinct phases, as outlined below. Throughout the phases of the study, public meetings and workshops will be held to provide opportunities for community engagement and input.

Phase I - Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

The vulnerability assessment will present quantitative flood and sea level rise hazard analyses for SBA, with accompanying maps. The hazard analyses will be used to review and assess potential vulnerabilities and risks to SBA infrastructure, assets, operations, and Goleta Slough habitats. The assessment will consider a range of climate change projections for future sea level rise projections and increased frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall. Specifically, a flood risk assessment will include potential damage to SBA infrastructure, service disruption, and cost. Public meetings and workshops will be held in the fall of 2024 to review and obtain community input on draft findings of the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Evaluation Report.

Phase II - Climate Adaptation Plan Development

SBA will develop a Climate Adaptation Plan that identifies and describes adaptation strategies to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks to SBA assets and Goleta Slough habitat identified in the vulnerability assessment. Planning will begin with a comprehensive study of adaptation options for threatened portions of the Airport. The plan will consider a range of flood protection, accommodation, and retreat strategies that retain a safe and functional airfield using approaches and infrastructure that are nature-based or “green,” traditional or “hard/grey,” and “green/grey” hybrids of the two. The plan will also evaluate the feasibility and order of magnitude costs for options to adapt SBA infrastructure. Additionally, the plan will provide a decision-making framework that identifies triggers and timelines for future adaptation options. The Climate Adaptation Plan will strive to continue SBA’s aviation transportation and coastal resource protection within the City’s Airport boundary while preparing the Airport for increased hazards. Public meetings and workshops will be held starting in 2025 during the plan's development to obtain community input and review the draft adaptation plan.

Phase III - Airport Coastal Land Use Plan Update

In the final step of the planning process, SBA will update its Airport Coastal LUP to incorporate flood and sea level rise adaptation-related policies identified from the vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan. SBA will consider relevant information from the California Coastal Commission’s current sea level rise guidance documents, sea level rise policies in the City of Santa Barbara’s 2019 Coastal LUP, California Coastal Act resource protection policies, and community outreach. Additional public meetings and workshops will be held in 2025 and 2026 to provide the opportunity for further community input and review. The final Airport Coastal LUP is scheduled to be completed in 2026.