Summary of State Agency Action

In 2010, the state released the Oregon Climate Change Adaptation Framework (“2010 Framework”). The Framework includes approximately 122 discrete recommendations or goals related to climate change adaptation. These goals cover the following sectors: agriculture, biodiversity, coasts and oceans, emergency preparedness, forestry, infrastructure, public health, and water. This page describes some of the progress Oregon agencies are making to implement goals related to each of these sectors.  

Because Oregon's 2021 Framework was just released, these pages capture ongoing state activities before adoption of the plan. This research will be updated in the future with the progress the state is making in implementing the adaptation actions and goals set forth in 2021 Framework.


Many of the Framework’s recommendations related to agriculture reflect that state’s concerns about sufficient water supply for agricultural uses as climate change reduces the amount of snowpack available for irrigation in the summer. The Framework’s recommendations include studying more efficient cropping systems and doing further research on the state’s groundwater resources.

To advance these recommendations, Oregon State University is working to better understand future impacts of climate change on crops in the region. This research includes studying "dry farming" techniques and creating demonstration plots and videos to help build the resilience of Oregon’s agriculture sector to a drier climate.


The Framework’s goals related to biodiversity focus on protecting and restoring habitats, like wetlands, streams, and riparian habitats and migration corridors through incentive programs and other policies; and increasing research on the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and habitats, including plant and wildlife diseases and invasive species.

To implement these recommendations, the state included climate change impacts in the 2016 update to the Oregon Conservation Strategy, the state’s official Wildlife Action Plan, which provides for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s fish and wildlife. The plan identifies climate change as a “Key Conservation Issue” and offers a number of goals and actions in support of wildlife adaptation to climate impacts in Oregon.

Additionally, the state is undertaking actions to protect and restore habitats vulnerable to climate change and to study the impacts of climate change on the spread of invasive species. Through a public-private partnership with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, parts of the Willamette River floodplain have been restored to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services and support salmon migration. In July 2017, the state released The Oregon Statewide Action Plan for Invasive Species 2017-2019, which calls for the state to assess the need for innovative management techniques for controlling invasive species under extreme natural conditions like climate change and severe weather events. Researchers at Oregon State University are also utilizing technology and training residents to track invasive species and record the timing of seasonal changes to better understand what impacts climate change will have on the state’s species and ecosystems.

Even before adoption of the 2010 Framework, the state was pursuing adaptation planning for the state’s biodiversity. The Global Warming Commission’s subcommittee on Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Adaptation adopted a report in 2008 on impacts to and adaptation strategies for the state’s fish, wildlife and habitats: Preparing Oregon’s Fish, Wildlife, and Habitats for Future Climate Change: A Guide for State Adaptation Efforts.


Coasts & Oceans

The Framework’s recommendations related to coasts and oceans include adopting stricter standards for floodplain development; developing best management practices and guidelines to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise and shoreline erosion; inventorying estuarine wetlands and identifying barriers to their inland migration in response to sea-level rise; protecting natural coastal features, particularly wetlands that can mitigate the effects of coastal hazards and storm events; adopting coast-wide setback requirements based on projected rates of coastal erosion over the next 50 years; and developing policies that limit development and post-disaster reconstruction in hazard-prone areas.

In 2017, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, along with federal agency and nonprofit partners, developed guidance to help the state and local governments model sea-level rise impacts to tidal wetlands in order to identify and prioritize parcels that can facilitate inland migration.

In 2011, the state updated its floodplain design standards for residential structures in its Residential Specialty Code (Section R322, Flood-resistant Construction), the state’s building code for residential construction and reconstruction. New standards have additional requirements for areas designated as coastal high-hazard areas, such as requiring that structures be elevated at least one foot about the design height elevation (i.e., one foot above the 100-year flood risk height) and prohibiting the construction of basements.

More generally, the Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) generates resources about coastal estuaries and sea-level rise exposure and flooding risk for state agencies and local governments, including a report on Sea-level Rise Risk Exposure Inventory for Oregon’s Estuaries and a Sea-Level Rise Viewer to help planners visualize future flooding under different sea-level-rise scenarios. The state is also working to acquire homes at risk of coastal flooding to implement strategies identified in the state’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. In addition, the state created tools for local governments to identify and restrict development in coastal hazard areas, which are discussed in more detail on the Supporting Local Action page.

Even before adoption of the 2010 Framework, OCMP was pursuing adaptation planning for the state’s coasts. In January 2009, OCMP released Climate Ready Communities: A Strategy for Adapting to Impacts of Climate Change on the Oregon Coast. The strategy built off of an earlier 2008 statewide report completed by the state’s Climate Change Integration Group to create a planning process for both state agencies and coastal communities to become more resilient.


Several of the Framework’s forestry recommendations reflect the increased risk of wildfire Oregon faces due to climate change. The Framework includes goals related to forest habitat conservation, improvement of the state’s capacity to respond to wildfires in urban areas, integration of climate change considerations into forest management plans, and development of stricter standards for areas prone to wildfires.

To address climate risks to the forestry sector, in April 2010, the state established a Forest Climate Change Working Group to coordinate state adaptation activities. In 2013, the Board of Forestry also adopted a workplan that identifies research, monitoring, and planning needed to prepare for impacts to state and private forests. In addition, the Oregon 2015 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan discusses how wildfires in the state will be exacerbated by climate change and includes strategies for reducing risks posed by wildfires.


Infrastructure related goals in the 2010 Framework include recommendations that the state assess risks to infrastructure from climate change (including hotter temperatures, sea-level rise, and landslides) and improve the state’s ability to repair damaged infrastructure after hazard events.

In 2012, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) published a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Report to provide a preliminary assessment of likely climate change impacts on ODOT assets and operations and to identify adaptation strategies. In 2014, ODOT conducted a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Options Study to identify risks to transportation infrastructure along the state’s North Coast exacerbated by climate change. The assessment recommends prioritizing adaptation projects along emergency response routes. As a part of the assessment, ODOT conducted benefit-cost analyses and reviewed regulatory policies, including land-use policies, to highlight potential financial and legal considerations that could affect decisions to implement projects to adapt the state’s transportation infrastructure.

In 2016, ODOT was awarded a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant, as part of FHWA’s larger "Green Infrastructure Techniques for Coastal Highway Resilience" project, to analyze the ability of green or natural infrastructure to protect coastal highways along US Highway 101 in Lincoln County from wave scour, storm surge, and sea-level rise. Through 2018, ODOT is also working to incorporate sea-level rise projections from the Oregon Coastal Management Program’s Sea-level Rise Exposure Inventory into its decisionmaking processes.

Public Health & 

Emergency Preparedness

Public Health

The 2010 Framework’s goals related to public health include: building state and local capacity to identify, track, analyze, respond to, and potentially prevent adverse health impacts (i.e., illnesses and injuries) exacerbated by climate change threats (such as heat waves, climate-induced infectious diseases, and smoke emergencies from wildfires). The Framework also included recommendations focused on isolated and vulnerable populations, like improving the delivery of information about heat events and cooling centers and establishing more cooling centers in urban areas.

In 2017, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released the Oregon Climate and Health Resilience Plan, which outlines strategies for the state’s Public Health Division, local and tribal health departments, and other community partners to build resilience to multiple climate hazards and stressors. The plan recommends actively engaging with diverse community partners and elevating the voices of vulnerable populations to inform policy priorities; regularly monitoring climate and health indicators; and equipping health care partners with the information they need to protect patients from climate-related health risks. This report built on OHA’s 2014 Oregon Climate and Health Profile Report, which initially identified health risks to the state that may increase with climate change and described the populations most vulnerable to these risks.

In 2020, OHA released an updated report Climate Change and Health in Oregon that describes the many health risks caused or exacerbated by climate change impacts that can harm the health of Oregon’s population, with special attention given to frontline populations. The report discusses risks to physical and mental health and covers cross-cutting risks, such as economic impacts and displacement, as well as climate hazards, such as heat, floods, fire, and disease. It also summarizes state policy actions on climate and health risks. The report complements another OHA report issued in 2020, Healthier Together Oregon, which identifies population-wide priorities and strategies for improving the health Oregon's people.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, OHA, Public Health Division, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also developed and maintain the Oregon Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, a portal with maps, graphs, and data for environmental justice, environmental quality, and health outcomes for acute and chronic health indicators that can help health officials evaluate public health impacts from climate-related events like heat waves.

Emergency Preparedness

The Framework’s recommendations related to emergency preparedness include: studying and inventorying historic data about natural hazards (like coastal hazards, droughts, floods, landslides, and wildfires) to better plan for future events. For example, the Framework calls for the state to develop new standards to reduce development in floodplains and urban areas susceptible to landslides and wildlifes.

The Oregon 2015 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan identifies Oregon’s natural hazards and the state’s vulnerabilities, mitigation strategies, and prioritized actions for reducing vulnerability to natural hazards. The plan’s Risk Assessment introduces how the state will be affected by climate change, such as from increasing average temperatures and snowpack decline in the Cascade Mountains, and how climate change is predicted to affect each hazard statewide. In addition, climate change is recognized throughout the plan as a compounding factor that may influence the frequency and severity of some natural hazards like flooding, drought, and wildfires.



To address climate impacts to water supply and quality, the 2010 Framework recommends that the state enhance water conservation, especially as the threat of drought increases with climate change. Recommendations also call for improved real-time forecasting of water delivery and basin yields to better account for the volume of stored water supplies; increased state capacity to provide technical assistance and incentives to local governments and landowners to conserve and reuse water; and development of a comprehensive management plan for extreme drought conditions.

In 2015, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 15-09: Directing State Agencies to Plan for Resiliency to Drought, to Meet the Challenge that a Changing Climate Brings (EO 15-09). EO 15-09 set a goal for the state to reduce its water consumption by 15 percent or more on average across all state-owned facilities before or by December 31, 2020. The governor’s office also created a website to provide the public with information about reducing their own consumption. The page also provides information on droughts in Oregon and tracks state agency progress to meet their decreased water consumption goals. In addition to these conservation measures, the executive order also directed agencies to update the state's overall planning for drought, including by developing new tools to help communities deal with the impacts of water shortages and updating the state’s Integrated Water Resources Plan to address drought resiliency.

As required by EO 15-09, in 2017, the Oregon Water Resources Department published Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy (“strategy”), which sets a long-term plan for how the state will meet its in-stream and out-of-stream water needs. The strategy discusses how a changing climate will affect the state’s water resources and calls for the state to actively monitor climate impacts on hydrology. The strategy then puts forth several climate-related recommendations and examples of how the state can implement those recommendations. For example, the plan recommends how the state can enhance resilience to drought and flood events — both of which can be exacerbated by climate change — by documenting indicators of drought and flood along with their economic, social, and environmental consequences so that the state can better prepare for, respond to, and mitigate them in the future. The strategy also calls for the state to continue its support for basin-scale climate-change research; to better integrate updated water information into land-use planning and; to promote Low Impact Development and the use of green infrastructure.

(Research last updated: July 21, 2021).


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