A little known fact about Sonoma County is that it lies at the core of a global biodiversity “hotspot” — only one of 34 recognized hotspots on the globe. The diversity of life forms that exist here makes this a truly remarkable place. Sonoma County’s biodiversity, its variety and relative abundance of life forms, exceeds that of some tropical jungles.*
Since 2004, the Community Foundation has convened and supported local scientists, teachers and environmental organizations to develop a broad plan to address how Sonoma County’s biodiversity can be maintained. In 2010, with the help of the Laguna Foundation and the Sonoma County Water Agency, the joint effort came to fruition with a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for Sonoma County.
Once completed, the BAP was immediately adopted by a larger group of organizations and individuals as a blueprint for taking local action in response to climate change in Sonoma County. That Group, the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative (NBCAI), is a voluntary collaboration of scientists, environmental organizations, policy makers, land managers and local funders.
In 2010, the Community Foundation recognized NBCAI’s extraordinary task ahead by awarding them a multi-year set of grants. Those grants will enable these experts to establish the structure and processes to support their innovative, long-term work on climate change in Sonoma County. In making this commitment, our aim is to ensure that NBCAI can progress enough to reach other, much larger funders, who will see the tremendous benefit of investing in the science that is being done here.
The goal of these efforts is to foster an open conversation between technical experts, land managers and policymakers in support of effective local climate adaptation strategies, to ground land management policy and community education on what science knows and can discover about how climate is changing Sonoma County’s biodiversity.
We are at a pivotal moment in preserving Sonoma County’s natural resources. Ensuring the continued survival of our county’s gift is one of the most important responsibilities we now face, both for ourselves and for future generations.