Enhance disaster risk reduction and adapt to climate change using nature based solutions

Costa Mesa
Chapman University



Climate Change, Resilience

Procurement Method:

University Partner:

Chapman University

Partnership Description

The City of Costa Mesa will be working with the Spring 2021 Environmental Science & Policy Capstone Course led by Mackenzie Crigger, Adjunct Professor Environmental Science & Policy and Energy and Sustainability Manager, and Jason Keller, Professor of Biological Sciences and Program Director of Environmental Science & Policy, from Chapman University to explore nature-based solutions that reduce the negative impacts of climate change in Costa Mesa while enhancing community resilience and well-being. The mixed-methods research that includes community engagement and education, will inform Costa Mesa’s current and future programs in sustainability and climate action. Read more about the capstone’s work here:


The City of Costa Mesa is seeking a nature-based solution to promote resilience in the City for our for disaster risk reduction.


The City of Costa Mesa is committed to advancing sustainability in the built and natural environment. The City’s Mayor, Councilmembers and City Manager are committed to making the city a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship.

To meet the State of California’s ambitious environmental and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction goals, the City of Costa Mesa is updating its general plan to comply with SB 379, SB 1035 and SB 1000. The City is also developing its first ever Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) to build community and infrastructure resilience. 

Recent natural hazards and human-induced disasters, including the California wildfires and extreme heat have made local climate action a priority for the city. Compounded by the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, there is an urgent need to maximize efficient use of the limited funds and to integrate climate action planning with disaster risk reduction. 

Partnerships and collaboration with the business community, non-profits, academia, utilities and other public agencies is needed to develop a comprehensive local climate and resilience plan that is inclusive, addresses justice and equity at the core, and leaves no one behind. 

Costa Mesa’s vision is to go beyond regulatory requirements and develop a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) that has multiple benefits, including enhanced public health and a vibrant economy that promotes the creation of local jobs. The City would like to explore nature-based climate adaptation solutions and how they can be incorporated into the CAAP.

Requirements & Outcomes

The City of Costa Mesa seeks a research collaboration that can result in the following learnings:

  • Identify and understand the best practices and SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and barriers) in using nature based solutions locally to address extreme heat, drought and wildfires 
  • Understand the cost of these solutions
  • Detail economic impact of inaction
  • Identify project funding tools and programs
  • Educational tools to increase community awareness

The City of Costa Mesa seeks the following long term outcomes for the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP):

  • Develop a broad, inclusive and integrated climate action and adaptation plan that would allow the City to meet California's ambitious climate goals;
  • Understand compounding risks and increase resilience to climate stressors while enhancing safety and reliability;
  • Develop realistic and achievable strategies, tactics and metrics on climate action;
  • Identify gaps and opportunities in policy or budgetary needs;
  • Identify synergies, multi-benefitted projects and initiatives that are cost-effective;
  • Plan, build, operate and maintain citywide, climate-resilient infrastructure that promote inclusive and responsible growth;
  • Create a better framework for collaboration that dismantles silos, increase transparency and cultivates new partnerships.; and finally
  • Think globally but act locally – i.e. meet local climate goals while contributing to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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