The UC Irvine Regional Resilience Project (RRP) is a research and community engagement project focused on climate change impacts, social equity, vulnerabilities, and action in Orange County, California, and its borderlands. Increasingly, municipalities are looking regionally for support, knowledge sharing, and partnership to address local climate challenges. During 2016-2017, RRP sought to better understand the matrix of existing activities and budding opportunities to enhance equitable climate preparedness in Orange County. This work is documented, in part, in our December 2017 report on the equity profile of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund investments here.
RRP also collaborates with Orange County Environmental Justice (OCEJ) to identify research and policy allies, link with existing and emerging sustainability and climate networks in Orange County, and document the multiple worlds that exist in this relatively small geographic area. Our bridge-building activities aim to co-generate ways to address and heal the racial and class divides between communities ready for climate justice and those just beginning climate-focused work. Project collaborators include OCEJ Project Director Yenni Diaz, UCI Community Resilience Projects’ Abby Reyes, UCI Assistant Professor of Public Health and Chicano/Latino Studies, Dr. Alana LeBron, and UCI historian Dr. Kristina Shull. Former collaborators include Kimberly Serrano and OCEJ advisory board members Dr. Michael Montoya and Dr. Adonia Lugo.
Community-driven Climate Resilience
Moving forward, RRP is interested in supporting community-driven, equity-oriented regional climate resilience collaboration. A regional climate resilience collaborative is a group of diverse public, private, and/or non-profit entities representing a region and committed to preparing that region for the emerging impacts of climate change (e.g., sea level rise, extreme storm events, food scarcity, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts). An equity-orientation centers the participation and leadership of underrepresented communities. Visit here to learn about recent community events related to regional climate resilience collaboration. Email communityresilience at uci dot edu to get involved.
Opportunities for Other Local Climate Collaboration
If you are a sustainability practitioner seeking to network and collaborate around shared interests in cleantech or energy in Orange County, visit Sustain Orange County to learn more. Sustain OC provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and business opportunities among large corporations, cleantech companies, local government, investors, academia, and non-profits.