The State of Climate Adaptation in U.S. Marine Fisheries Management

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. We then examine non-climatic factors that affect fisheries management, such as overfishing, bycatch, pollution, habitat degradation and modification, invasive and non-native species, and conflicting uses of marine and coastal ecosystems. Next, we examine how the aforementioned issues combine to influence abundance and productivity, distribution and recruitment, and essential fish habitat. Then we present the results of a survey sent to federal, tribal, state, and other practitioners to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities for climate-informed fisheries management and conservation. Summaries of and trends in commonly used adaptation approaches and examples from our survey and other resources are presented in four broad categories (Gregg et al. 2011; Gregg et al. 2012):

  1. Capacity Building: Strategies include conducting research and assessments, investing in training and outreach efforts, developing new tools and resources, and monitoring climate change impacts and adaptation effectiveness.
  2. Policy: Strategies include developing adaptation plans, creating new or enhancing existing policies, and developing adaptive management strategies.
  3. Natural Resource Management and Conservation: Strategies include incorporating climate change into restoration efforts, enhancing connectivity, reducing local change, and reducing non-climate stressors that may exacerbate the effects of climate change.
  4. Infrastructure, Planning, and Development: Strategies include protecting critical coastal infrastructure used by the fishing industry, and creating or modifying coastal development measures (e.g., removing shoreline hardening, encouraging low-impact development) to increase habitat resilience.

The majority of adaptation efforts in fisheries management to date have been focused on capacity building, including conducting research and assessments, creating resources and tools, and monitoring how climatic changes are affecting species, habitats, and fishing communities. Finally, we discuss several more options to advance adaptation in the fisheries sector that are either not yet represented or are only partially addressed by the examples from our survey. 

Planning for an Equitable Los Angeles: A Guide to Shaping LA’s New Community Plans

This guide is a resource for community-based organizations (CBOs) and city residents to advance equitable development through active engagement in the City of Los Angeles community plan update process.

  • Part I Provides an overview of the community plan update process and offers key considerations for effective community engagement.
  • Part II Provides a toolkit of planning and policy tools to advance equitable development outcomes within these new community plans. These tools are organized according to five broad principles of equitable development.

This guide is non-exhaustive, and meant to spur thoughtful dialogue among engaged residents and organizations. Ultimately, it is the leadership and experiential knowledge of affected low-income communities that will drive an equitable community plan campaign. Specific strategies will be responsive to the unique circumstances and dynamics of each community plan area. This guide is intended to support that effort.

Policy Options for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

A new federal infrastructure package presents a critical opportunity to strengthen America’s infrastructure against the growing risks posed by extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. Enhancing the climate resilience of the nation’s infrastructure can substantially reduce future losses, benefiting public health, safety, quality of life, and prosperity. This policy brief outlines the benefits of climate-resilient infrastructure and criteria that should inform infrastructure planning and investment to enhance climate resilience. It identifies the types of infrastructure projects that can promote resilience while simultaneously achieving other climate and energy goals and recommends changes to existing federal policies and programs to ensure ongoing improvement to the climate resilience of America’s infrastructure.

Building Resilience Through Family Planning and Adaptation Finance

A growing evidence base links women’s met needs for family planning with reduced human vulnerability to climate change and enhanced resilience in the face of climate change impacts. Yet to date, population and family planning have been largely left out of adaptation proposals and projects. This report highlights a number of multilateral funds that provide climate finance and identifies challenges and opportunities for the FP/RH community in justifying their proposed development interventions as adaptation interventions.

Upscaling Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation

There is a growing recognition of the benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS), a term that refers to projects and actions where natural ecosystems and their services are used in a sustainable and effective way in order to help tackle environmental and social challenges. Under the right circumstances, these solutions can provide alternatives that, compared with traditional infrastructure and engineering projects, are both cost-effective and capable of providing multiple benefits, while at the same time delivering conservation objectives. NBS can help society better adapt to climate change by, for example, addressing the risks of adverse impacts from extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, as well as food security issues. One example of NBS is use of the buffering capacity of riparian ecosystems, which act as a time and intensity buffer in the event of floods, but also as a filter for runoff waters. Nevertheless, it is essential to frame NBS within the right conditions; recent developments in ecological science and modelling have just started to provide a better understanding of what a “good operating space”—in other words, one that efficiently delivers these services—looks like for NBS.

Climate Change and Public Health Preparation Plan | Multnomah County

Climate change has serious and far-reaching health implications for present and future generations. A team of international scientists recently described these challenges in The Lancet as “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century” (Lancet 2009).

Even if there is local and global action to immediately reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we will likely feel the impacts from the current build up of emissions in the atmosphere for decades. These impacts, such as hotter summers and wetter, warmer winters for the Pacific Northwest, will likely affect our health, especially those most vulnerable. Communities must, therefore, begin to plan and prepare for the likely impacts that will be experienced because of the emissions already present in the atmosphere.

The Multnomah County/City of Portland Climate Action Plan identified “Climate Change Preparation” as one of its eight key action areas with the objective to “adapt successfully to a changing climate”. Adaptation means “to adjust to a new situation or environment” such as an increase in consecutive days over 95 degrees. This public health plan is a part of broader ongoing efforts by the City of Portland and Multnomah County to make our infrastructure, our natural environment, and our society more resilient to climate change. This plan communicates why we as a community, as policymakers and as public health professionals should care about climate change; what the local impacts may be; which populations and areas may be impacted; why equity and justice are key parts of this work; and what we can do to further prevent health issues and disparities.

Climate change adaptation guidelines for arid zone aquatic ecosystems and freshwater biodiversity

National climate change adaptation guidelines for arid zone aquatic ecosystems and freshwater biodiversity are proposed which emphasize the protection of habitats and processes that support the persistence of freshwater biota under a changing climate. These guidelines are intended to provide guidance for policy development, planning and on-ground actions. The major goal of these guidelines is to reduce the risk of the loss of aquatic habitats, deteriorating water quality and the extinction of aquatic and water-dependent species. A portfolio of adaptation approaches to maintaining aquatic habitats, the water resources that support them, and the species that depend upon them, is proposed within a framework of strategic adaptive management. This approach best addresses the uncertainty that exists as to how climatic changes will play out across the arid zone with respect to water availability and ecological processes. Recommended climate adaptation actions include: implementing a national mapping program that identifies the major types of arid zone aquatic ecosystems and the surface water and groundwater resources that sustain them; recognizing the importance of evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges as priority sites for arid zone climate adaptation planning and policy; protecting a dynamic (spatial and temporal) mosaic of perennial, temporary and ephemeral waterbodies to provide the range of conditions needed support aquatic and water-dependent species with varying life history traits and dispersal abilities; maintaining the integrity of the dry sediments of temporary and ephemeral waters to ensure the persistence of viable seed and egg banks; recognizing the importance of key hydrological and ecological processes, particularly connectivity and dispersal; undertaking vulnerability assessments that determine the climate sensitivity and likely persistence of key habitats; reducing the existing stressors on aquatic ecosystems and aquatic biota; identifying new and novel waterbodies created by arid zone industries (e.g. mining, pastoralism) that could provide valuable offsets for aquatic systems lost through climatic drying; implementing climate adaptation actions within a strategic adaptive management framework accompanied by a dedicated program for indigenous and local community engagement and education.

Climate Change & Adaptation in the Great Lakes Region - Story After the Storm - Hilarie Sorensen

The Story After the Storm series examines the aftermath of Duluth's 2012 flood. The increased frequency of extreme weather, not only in Duluth but across the U.S., has given urgency to understanding community resiliency and regional climate change. The series is part of The Science Institute for Educators, sponsored by the Great Lakes Aquarium, Minnesota DNR MinnAqua Program, Minnesota Sea Grant, and The Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. It is funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in conjuction with Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program.

Climate Change Adaptation Cost in the United States: What Do We Know?

This article, jointly authored by ICF International and others, assesses the current state of knowledge on the magnitude of adaptation cost in the United States. While incomplete, the studies suggest that adaptation cost could be as high as hundreds of billions of dollars annually by mid-century.

The article also identifies key studies in each sector, surveys the cost estimates and approaches to cost estimation, and highlights methodological issues in interpreting, comparing, and aggregating adaptation cost estimates. Steps are recommended to make future adaptation cost studies more comparable within and across sectors and more accessible and relevant to policy and decision makers.

Climate and Health Adaptation Plan | Crook County Health Department

The Crook County Health Department Climate and Health Action Plan was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative which was assigned to assist 16 states and 2 cities develop ways to anticipate health effects by applying climate science, predicting health impacts, and preparing flexible programs. The grant was administered by the Oregon Health Authority and the project ran from August 2011 through August 2013.

This grant opportunity was meant to enhance the ability of public health to engage in this important work. The Crook County Climate Health Action Plan developed by Public Health will:

  • Develop strategies for public health staff to be a source of leadership, expertise, and guidance concerning sustainable development in Crook County;
  • Raise awareness in Crook County as to the important responsibilities of, and actions regarding sustainable development and climate change; and
  • Help shape local policy promoting sustainable development, with strategies to mitigate climate change for Crook County.