Using the ToolkitToolkit Website

Welcome to the Climate Adaptation Toolkit for Marine and Coastal Protected Areas. This toolkit website was created to make climate adaptation planning a simple, direct, and feasible process for marine protected area managers.


A Walkthrough of the Toolkit:

Climate Adaptation Toolkit Training Module
Climate Adaptation Toolkit Training Module


A brief overview of what the toolkit is and what it includes.


Detail and context regarding the development of the tool and where it fits into the adaptation cycle, which we refer to as the Adaptation Ladder of Engagement. Brief descriptions of each component of the toolkit, and additional considerations for successful use and implementation of the tools are also included.

Using the Toolkit

Return to this page if you have questions regarding how to access the features of this toolkit.


This drop-down menu is how to access the tools.

  • Rapid Vulnerability Assessment tool: We recommend that you start here if you have not yet assessed the climate vulnerabilities of your resources of interest.
  • Adaptations Actions Table: Browse hundreds of adaptation actions organized by habitat/location and climate stressor/impact, supported by case studies, tools and other resources.
  • Adaptation Actions Search: Search for supporting case studies, tools and resources by keywords or search terms.
  • Foundational Resources: A curated list of tools, documents and guides to help you get started and expand the ways in which you address the challenges of climate change.
  • Experts: List of experts who are volunteering a limited amount of time to support good adaptation work and can be contacted to help you with a specific vulnerability assessment or adaptation planning and implementation question.  

Guide to Using the Tools:

Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool 

The North American Marine Protected Area Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool was created to help marine protected area managers evaluate the implications of climate change for the resources they manage. The tool is introduced, and links are provided to download a user guide, blank worksheets and sample completed worksheets.

Find adaptation ideas using the Adaptation Actions Table 

The Adaptation Actions Table suggests adaptation actions that can address specific climate stressors and impacts for a habitat or location. The table is organized by habitat/location and climate stressor/impact and aligns with the habitats and climate stressors in the Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Tool.

Tips for using the Adaptation Actions Table:

  • Expand or collapse the table to view 10 to 100 entries at a time with the “Show entries” feature.
  • Use the Search box to find entries containing specific terms. For example, if you search for “kelp,” entries containing this word, regardless of habitat/location or climate stressor/impact, will appear. Leave blank to browse the full table.
  • Letter codes in parentheses after entries indicate resource focus or stages in the Adaptation Ladder of Engagement. A key to these codes is at the top of the page.
  • Following a link will open up a new tab revealing more detail within the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange database or elsewhere. Please find and click on the Adaptation Actions Table tab to return.

Find information by Adaptation Actions Search 

The Adaptation Actions Search allows users to access adaptation resources through case studies, tools and documents found via keyword filters or by text search. The resources found in the Adaptation Actions Table are included here along with others.

     Tips for using the Adaptation Actions Search:

  • Filter by keywords by choosing one or more selections in the box on the right. Be sure to click on “Show more” and scroll down to see the full range of choices.
  • Find resources by text search using the Search box. Multiple words are treated as if they included “or” in between. Boolean search logic is not accommodated.
  • Keyword and text searches can be combined.

Find information in the Foundational Resources 

This tool introduces and organizes important and foundational resources for adaptation planning by steps of the adaptation cycle, which we refer to as the Adaptation Ladder of Engagement. Navigate to the step in the cycle that you are most interested in, from “Awareness” of climate change all the way through “Evaluating” your adaptation project and “Sharing” those results with others.

Finding Expert Assistance 

Browse a list of volunteer experts and find someone to contact with a specific question or for advice. Perhaps you might even find a researcher to hire. People are listed by category of expertise.