Our beautiful coastlines and beaches and our region’s unique plants and animals, along with the benefits they provide San Diegans, will be threatened.

The science and why it matters:

  • Rising sea level will encroach on our existing wetlands, reducing their capacity to buffer storms and filter storm water runoff.
  • Rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns may occur much faster than plants and wildlife are able to adapt, threatening the survival of some species.
  • Our current conserved lands may not be sufficient to enable native wildfire to adapt to climate changes.1
  • The year-round benefits that the outdoors provide to our health and well-being, such as reducing depression, alleviating stress and encouraging exercise, may be diminished.

A word from the scientists

"Climate change will bring growing impacts to our region’s wildlife, as well as the waters and lands that sustain all San Diegans. The San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research is now working with local wildlife officials and conservation organizations to better protect natural lands and resources for future generations."

Joan Embery

Conservation Ambassador, San Diego Zoo Global

Joan Embery with mountain lion

Nature's Benefits Infographic

Many benefits from nature

Humans benefit from the many resources and natural processes that are supplied by healthy, functioning ecosystems.

  • Water Purification
  • Temperature Regulation & Air Filtration
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Culture & Recreation  

Picture of Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Agua Hedionda Lagoon, Carlsbad

Our Greater San Diego Vision found that one of the four core values that people cherish across the region is the opportunity for enjoyment of the outdoors with family and friends.2

1. Principe, Z., J.B. MacKenzie, B. Cohen, J.M. Randall, W. Tippets, T. Smith & S.A. Morrison. 2013. 50-Year Climate Scenarios and Plant Species Distribution Forecasts for Setting Conservation Priorities in Southwestern California v.1. The Nature Conservancy of California, San Francisco, CA.

2. The San Diego Foundation. 2010. Our Greater San Diego Vision. Pg.16. Retrieved from