Adaptation advancing in the Western United States

By Aliyah Kovner

On June 30th, the Western Governors Association (WGA) signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to advance climate services and better educate resource managers, organizations, and businesses affected by climate change in the region.
The agreement has three objectives:
  1. Reduce risk of extreme events (droughts, fires, floods, and cyclones) and improve the resilience of coastal, marine, and estuarine areas through an improved flow of information to support management.
  2. Coordinate with other federal efforts to address climate change and response.
  3. Work collaboratively in the region to identify key vulnerabilities and options to improve planning and response
Vice Chair Gov. Chris Gregoire said in the WGA press release, "A good working relationship with NOAA in providing the science and information services states need will help us all build healthy and resilient communities and economies."

Similar to the WGA and NOAA collaboration, the recently developed regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs) represent a strong partnership of managers and scientists. An order signed last year by the Department of the Interior outlined the goals of the Energy and Climate Change Council to help build upon the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Centers, first created by the U.S. Geological Survey. The CSCs act as regional research branches, providing climate change impact and analysis data to people and organizations planning or implementing adaptation measures. In addition, the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) also serve to spread information to involved parties. Broken up into 21 distinct zones, all areas of the United States have a cooperative designed to preserve the land, water, and wildlife of the region. The LCCs partner government with private agencies to ensure that best practices and new knowledge are available to anyone seeking to apply climate change information into practice.