U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries ProgramBy:
March 29, 2010
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Project Summary / Overview
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program works to build capacity in different National Estuary Programs to prepare for and adapt to climate change. Twelve National Estuary Programs received grants and/or technical assistance in 2008 and 2009. The Climate Ready Estuaries Program also created the Coastal Toolkit to provide resources to program managers and other stakeholders in U.S. estuaries.
The Climate Ready Estuaries Program (CRE) was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2008. CRE provides technical assistance and funding to National Estuary Programs (NEPs) throughout the United States. In addition to direct support, the CRE website also provides resources for managers and other stakeholders, including information on climate change impacts, access to tools and resources, and information to help managers develop adaptation plans, including the Coastal Toolkit. The Toolkit provides links to reports, tools, websites, and other resources on six topics: Adaptation Planning, Coastal Vulnerability and Adaptation Tools, Communications and Outreach Materials, Monitoring Climate Change in Coastal Areas, Smart Growth in the Context of Climate Change, and Sustainable Financing Options.
The CRE Program provides support through grants and technical assistance. Grants are used to provide financial and resource assistance to NEPs, either for new start-up projects or for ones building upon pre-existing work. Technical assistance occurs in the form of tailored support provided by EPA staff and contractors; examples of this kind of support includes climate change vulnerability assessments, habitat modeling, monitoring plan development, and stakeholder engagement and communication. Twelve NEPs received grants or technical assistance in 2008 and 2009. Since the CRE Program was created, the following have received assistance:
- Albemarle-Pamlico NEP (North Carolina)
- Barnegat Bay NEP (New Jersey)
- Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (Maine)
- Charlotte Harbor NEP (Florida)
- Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (Texas)
- Indian River Lagoon NEP (Florida)
- Long Island Sound Study (Connecticut, New York)
- Massachusetts Bays Program (Massachusetts)
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)
- Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (New Hampshire)
- San Francisco Estuary Project (California)
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program (Florida)
Project Outcomes and Conclusions
The CRE Program has funded projects to conduct vulnerability assessments (e.g., Barnegat Bay, Casco Bay), develop and implement adaptation plans (e.g., Indian River Lagoon, San Francisco), and increase education and awareness of the public and other stakeholders (e.g., Albemarle-Pamlico, Charlotte Harbor). CRE will continue to solicit and grant funding and technical support to other NEPs.