Community Development

DCA provides a variety of community development programs to help the state's communities realize their growth and development goals.

Economic Development

DCA offers a variety of economic development incentives and tools designed to help promote growth and job creation throughout the state.


Land Conservation in a Changing Climate: Stewardship Science and Financing

The purpose of the 2016 Berkley Workshop was to explore some of the ways that land conservation groups might best respond to our changing climate, with particular emphasis on the science and finance guiding and enabling the stewardship of natural areas.

Among the major themes were the following:

  • While increasing numbers of land trusts are incorporating the changing climate into their work, important issues arise around how useful traditional tools will be, as well as whether many land trusts have the capacity to engage in the more active management of conserved lands that is likely to be required.
  • There are many ways that the stewardship of conserved lands may help address aspects of climate change, from storing carbon to mitigating flooding or heat waves. Capturing those benefits will require more systematic efforts to demonstrate that natural areas can provide those services in ways that fit infrastructure owners' and investors' decision-making contexts and criteria.
  • Sources of funding for conservation projects with climate benefits continue to expand in number and quantity. However, the site specificity of such projects raises real questions about how the volume of replicable investment opportunities that large investors are seeking can best be generated from such projects.
  • In addition to science and finance, the participants felt it was also critically important to engage on the social aspects of these topics--in particular, the need to expand the range of human communities that benefit from the climate and other services provided by conserved lands. Meeting this need will require new collaborations among conservation organizations and others working on topics from renewable energy to climate justice.

STAR Communities is a nonprofit organization that works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities. We help cities and counties achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well being for their residents.

The State of Climate-­Informed Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) is a science-based, collaborative process used to sustainably manage resources, interests, and activities among diverse coastal and ocean users and sectors. Climate change is affecting marine and coastal ecosystems throughout the world, manifesting in warming air and sea temperatures, increasing coastal storms, and rising sea levels. The existing and projected impacts of climate change and ocean acidification need to be incorporated into planning processes to ensure long-term success. Because CMSP is an emerging field, it is important to look to other coastal and marine planning and management frameworks to identify opportunities for climate-informed action.

With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, EcoAdapt created the Climate-Informed CMSP Initiative to examine the connections between climate change and coastal and marine planning. This included conducting a needs assessment survey to identify what practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into their planning efforts, as well as research into the state of climate-informed CMSP efforts with the intention of identifying case study examples of adaptation in action. Our key research questions included:

  1. How is climate change currently being integrated into CMSP-related efforts?
  2. How can climate-informed CMSP be done?
  3. What do practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into CMSP?

Adaptive management in crop pest control in the face of climate variability: an agent-based modeling approach

Climate changes are occurring rapidly at both regional and global scales. Farmers are faced with the challenge of developing new agricultural practices to help them to cope with unpredictable changes in environmental, social, and economic conditions. Under these conditions, adaptive management requires a farmer to learn by monitoring provisional strategies and changing conditions, and then incrementally adjust management practices in light of new information. Exploring adaptive management will increase our understanding of the underlying processes that link farmer societies with their environment across space and time, while accounting for the impacts of an unpredictable climate. Here, we assessed the impacts of temperature and crop price, as surrogates for climate and economic changes, on farmers’ adaptive management in crop pest control using an agent-based modeling approach. Our model simulated an artificial society of farmers that relied on field data obtained in the Ecuadorian Andes. Farmers were represented as heterogeneous autonomous agents who interact with and influence each other, and who are capable of adapting to changing environmental conditions. The results of our simulation suggest that variable temperatures led to less effective pest control strategies than those used under stable temperatures. Moreover, farmers used information gained through their own past experience or through interactions with other farmers to initiate an adaptive management approach. At a broader scale, this study generates more than an increased understanding of adaptive management; it highlights how people depend on one another to manage common problems.

Climate resilience and financial services: Lessons from Ethiopia, Mali and Myanmar

This paper aims to answer three research questions for each of the three contexts assessed: 

  • What is the availability and use of financial services?
  • How can financial services contribute to building climate resilience in terms of managing climate- related risks and exploiting climate-related opportunities?
  • How can policy-makers support the development of financial services to build climate resilience?

Drawing from the findings of the analysis, the authors recommend strengthening the financial infrastructure, engaging with domestic financial service providers and telecoms companies and improving capacity, financial literacy and trust in the financial system amongst vulnerable groups. 

This paper is also supported by the BRACED policy brief 'Banking on resilience: Building capacities through financial services inclusion'.

Western Regional Action Plan

The Western Regional Action Plan outlines present and prioritizes future efforts to increase the production, delivery, and use of the climate-related information needed to help fulfill NOAA Fisheries’ mission and implement the NOAA Fisheries’ Climate Science Strategy (NCSS) in the CCLME over the next three to five years.

Alaska Regional Action Plan for the Southeastern Bering Sea

The Alaska Regional Action Plan (ARAP) for the southeastern Bering Sea  conforms to a nationally consistent blueprint, the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy. The Strategy guides efforts by NOAA Fisheries and its partners to address information needs organized into seven science objectives that represent the process of managing the Nation’s fisheries in the face of changing climate conditions. The goal of the ARAP is to increase the production, delivery and use of climate related information for marine resource management in the region. The ARAP identifies strengths, weaknesses, priorities, and actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in Alaska over the next 3-5 years, and contributes to implementation of the Strategy by focusing on building regional capacity and partnerships to address the Strategy’s seven science objectives. Successful implementation of the ARAP will require enhanced collaboration with our academic and agency partners.

Gulf of Mexico Regional Action Plan

The Gulf of Mexico Regional Action Plan identifies 62 actions to advance the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy at current funding and staffing levels, and others that could be accomplished with additional resources. These actions are broadly consistent with activities currently underway at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center and the Southeast Regional Office, but will require greater integration with these offices along with greater collaboration with other NOAA regional experts, such as the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and other partners throughout the region.