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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 8:57 pm | Fair 54º


Local Leaders Gather Climate Change Experts for Summit at UCSB

Rep. Lois Capps and county Supervisor Salud Carbajal join the roundtable discussion on ways to work together to combat sea level rise

Gathering near Goleta Beach Park on Wednesday was more than a gesture, as local leaders and science experts assembled to talk about coastline-altering climate change.

With sea level rise as an important piece, officials met for a roundtable discussion at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, where experts and researchers have for years pondered the same questions.

How can humans prevent global warming, and how would locals deal with devastating impacts when they occur?

The global issue will hit home, which is why Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal led the summit and subsequent event for members of the press.

Officials gathered to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit taking place in New York.

The event also aligned with a soon-to-be-filed formal report on the subject by the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience — a group Capps pushed to form and of which Carbajal is a member.

Near the bluffs just outside the “Roundtable on Climate Change Resiliency,” Capps emphasized a need to prepare for inevitable environmental and economic impacts, as well as extreme events like the drought and sea level rise locals are already seeing.

“It’s no secret to any of us living here on this coastline that climate change is one of the most serious issues we face,” she said.

Carbajal said he was honored to work on the task force alongside state governors, mayors and county officials focused on national disaster emergency response, health and community development, water infrastructure resiliency and sustainability.

The task force will chip 500 recommendations down to 50 when the report is submitted to President Barack Obama next Friday, he said.

Carbajal stressed removing barriers so better practices could be developed — and data of successful tools collected — and so businesses and stakeholders could get involved.

“We can’t go at this important issue … alone,” he said.

Other advocates and experts, including those serving as principal investigators for the Santa Barbara Area Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment, also spoke in support of the regional effort spurred earlier this year when Obama created the task force to help communities build smarter and more durable infrastructure. 

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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