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Abstract

This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey adaptation action in marine fisheries management by examining the major climate impacts on marine and coastal fisheries in the United States, assessing related challenges to fisheries management, and presenting examples of actions taken to decrease vulnerability and/or increase resilience. First, we provide a summary of climate change impacts and secondary effects on fisheries, focusing on changes in air and water temperatures, precipitation patterns, storms, ocean circulation, sea level rise, and water chemistry.

Abstract

While previous research has documented marine fish and invertebrates shifting poleward in response to warming climates, less is known about the response of fisheries to these changes. By examining fisheries in the northeastern United States over the last four decades of warming temperatures, we show that northward shifts in species distributions were matched by corresponding northward shifts in fisheries. The proportion of warm-water species caught in most states also increased through time.

Location

United States
48° 54' 11.6856" N, 84° 48' 52.0308" W
US

Project Summary

This integrated research project, which ran from 2007-2008, was initiated to better understand the implications of projected climate change impacts and adaptation responses on southern Ontario’s fish, fisheries, and water resources. Climate change will have predominantly negative effects on species and habitats, and resulting economic effects are expected to be devastating to the region. In addition, changes in temperature and precipitation patterns will require alterations to water resources planning and management.

Location

US Fish & Wildlife Service
620 S. Walker St
47403 Bloomington , IN
United States
39° 9' 38.6784" N, 86° 32' 45.9132" W
Indiana US

Project Summary

The Midwest and the Mississippi Alluvial Valley currently contribute the greatest nutrient load to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. Modifying the design or shifting the location of conservation practices can provide benefits for wildlife, water quality, energy and agriculture, making program dollars go farther and appeal to more land managers.

Location

Still Creek Vancouver/Burnaby , BC
Canada
49° 14' 55.7124" N, 122° 58' 49.836" W
British Columbia CA

Project Summary

This year-long research project from ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) at Simon Fraser University’s Pacific Water Research Centre focused on the Still Creek watershed, which is shared between the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby. One of only two daylit creeks (i.e. creeks free of culverts and paved channels) remaining in Vancouver, Still Creek underwent significant environmental degradation as a result of urbanization.

National Aquatic Resources Surveys

Tool Overview: 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, states, and tribes are conducting a series of surveys of the nation's aquatic resources. Often referred to as probability-based surveys, these studies provide nationally consistent and scientifically-defensible assessments of our nation’s waters and can be used to track changes in condition over time. Each survey uses standardized field and lab methods and is designed to yield unbiased estimates of the condition of the whole water resource being studied.

Extreme Water Levels

Tool Overview: 

Extreme Water Levels in an online product that allows users to analyze the likelihood that local tides will exceed a given elevation (mean high or low water) at different monthly and yearly time scales. Extreme Water Levels calculates these likelihoods based on over 30 years of monitoring data, and provides viewers with a rough idea of extreme tide heights expected every year, every other year, every 10 years, and every 100 years.

Drought Management Database

Tool Overview: 

The Drought Management Database collects and provides examples of how different U.S. regions and sectors are responding to and mitigating drought. This online database can be useful for various levels of government looking to engage in drought preparedness and response planning, as well as for sectoral decision makers looking to undertake similar planning efforts, as it provides real-world examples and lessons learned.

Coastal County Snapshots

Tool Overview: 

Coastal County Snapshots is an online tool that produces user-friendly reports identifying and describing three categories of coastal hazards and change — flooding risk, wetland impacts, and ocean jobs impact — for selected coastal counties in the United States. Users select a coastal county, and the tool generates reports for the three categories identifying and describing changes that have occurred (e.g., changes in land cover, job trends) and important sectoral information (e.g., amount of coastal infrastructure at risk from flooding, how wetlands can be used to reduce flood impacts).

Tool Description: 

Land managers, natural resource managers, local authorities, planners, engineers, scientists, community members

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