Assessing the State of Climate Adaptation in the Marine and Coastal United States

Climate change threatens the success and longevity of conservation, planning, and management. Decision makers are faced with the challenge of developing and implementing options that are suitable under changing climate conditions. Support for climate change adaptation action appears to have grown in coastal and marine areas in response to events, such as hurricanes and tropical storms. In marine and coastal environments, climate change-driven shifts are resulting in significant alteration, including increasing ocean temperatures, changes in ocean chemistry, and sea level rise, which affect species, habitats, infrastructure, cultures, and economies. Certain approaches are more suitable in some communities than others, depending on issues ranging from regulations guiding land use to public perception and support. Identifying what approaches are being implemented and their success expands the list of options for marine and coastal managers seeking to address climate change impacts.

In 2011, EcoAdapt published a report detailing the results of surveys, inventories, and assessments of adaptation projects throughout North America’s marine and coastal environments. In December of 2018, EcoAdapt began Phase II of the project, which aims to identify, synthesize, and update climate adaptation activities in the marine and coastal environments of the United States, territories, and commonwealths that have emerged since 2011. Many concepts in adaptation have been developed and enhanced since EcoAdapt’s investigation began. The project will look at if and how practitioners have moved from generalities to concrete actions, including implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the efficacy of adaptation efforts.

Through conducting interviews, collecting survey data, and updating case studies we are looking to answer the following questions:
  • How and where is climate adaptation action happening?
  • What adaptation strategies and actions have worked and why?
  • What adaptation resources and tools are most useful?
  • What are the most pressing needs of professionals to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from climate change in marine and coastal systems?

Working on climate change in marine and coastal environments? Share your thoughts and case studies today!
Contact Us: Rachel M. Gregg,
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