Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Golden Gate National Recreation AreaAn urban park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is located in San Francisco, California, and covers seven different ecological zones from the vast open ocean, to foggy rocky coastlines, estuaries, marshes, and beautiful forests. These natural resources are spread throughout a 60 mile swath of coastal lands with inholdings by other agencies and private owners. The park provides a place for recreation to around 13 million visitors yearly, as well as serving as a habitat for over half of North American avian species, and almost one third of California’s plant species. 33 federally threatened and endangered species exist within Golden Gates’ boundaries. From beautiful birds such as the Swainson’s thrush, red tailed hawk, and tanager, to majestic redwood forests and oak woodlands, many species call these various landscapes home. At Golden Gate National Recreation Area increased temperatures and sea level rise may alter the natural ecosystems present, and change both the habitats available for species and resources available for park visitor recreation.

Emissions Profile

In 2006, Golden Gate National Recreation Area's GHG emissions totaled 10,319 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE).  The majority of these emissions are due to Visitors. The Park receives approximately 13 million visitors per year, generating an estimated 73 million vehicle miles travelled. This accounts for a majority of the Park’s emissions – totaling 88 percent of emissions. The largest source of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's emissions is Transportation – totaling 9,613 MTCE. 

Profile

The graph below shows baseline emissions in 2007 broken down into sectors:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Goal

Golden Gate National Recreation Area has set a goal of operating the park in a carbon neutral manner by 2016 by implementing emission mitigation actions and carbon offset strategies.

Example Golden Gate National Recreation Area Planned Actions

Planned actions fall under 3 main strategies.  These strategies and specific examples of actions include:

 1) Reduce emissions from park facilities and operations by identifying and implementing emission mitigation actions

  • Increase employee options and incentives to use alternative transportation (walking, bicycles, and public transit) both to/from work and during working hours.
  • Coordinate transportation planning with park partners and concessionaires.
  • Generate 100% of energy demand at Alcatraz Island using solar photovoltaics.

2) Plan for and adapt to future impacts of climate change

  • Form a science advisory group that can provide a plan to the Park on what ecological and habitat monitoring should be conducted.
  • Integrate a climate change risk index with the current building condition index and asset prioritization index to help manage project selection and prioritization.
  • Discuss climate change threats and establish principles of response (e.g., use managed retreat as preferred option when resources are threatened by coastal erosion) in the Park’s General Management Plan.

 3) Increase climate change outreach and education efforts

  • Work with staff, partners, and volunteers to provide accurate information about climate change and how to relay a core message to the public via informal contacts, interpretive/educational programs, exhibits, events, lectures, and brochures.
  • Work with staff, partners, and volunteers to provide accurate information about climate change and how to relay a core message to the public via informal contacts, interpretive/educational programs, exhibits, events, lectures, and brochures.
  • Implement the Do Your Part! Program by advertising the program during public interpretive programs, on the park web site, and at special outreach events.

To read more about what we are doing at Golden Gate National Recreation Area about Climate Change with Climate Friendly Parks, check out Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s CFP Action Plan