The authors conducted a survey to elicit responses from experts and decision makers serving the Florida Keys regarding vulnerability to global climate change. Study findings reveal deep concern among federal, state and local experts and decision makers about adverse impacts at the local level. A large majority of respondents recognize the increasing likelihood of dynamic, potentially irreversible, socioeconomic and ecological repercussions for the Florida Keys. However, very few experts and decision makers report that their respective agencies have developed formal adaptation plans.
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico, USVI
In 2000, Congress approved and funded a massive 30-year restoration effort for the Florida Everglades - the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). In 2008, the National Academies of Sciences recommended that restoration projects in the Everglades include long-term plans and sea level rise effects. Because CERP involves federal, state, and local partnerships (along with guaranteed funding), it may serve as an ideal platform from which to effectively plan and implement sea level rise adaptation plans.
In early 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) invited North Carolina coastal managers and stakeholders to participate in a workshop to identify and discuss the utility of modeling and mapping tools in planning for and mitigating the regional impacts of rising sea levels and increasing storm intensity.
The Shoreline Change Initiative was created by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC-OCRM) in 2007. The Initiative aims to improve upon the existing regulatory coastal management framework established by the Beachfront Management Act of 1988 in order to keep pace with the long-term challenges of erosion, sea level rise, and coastal storms.
The four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team are coordinating the creation of a Community of Practice of extension, outreach, and education professionals around climate change issues. The project team hosted a workshop in April 2010 to discuss existing attitudes and knowledge on sea level rise, identify needed information and resources to support sea level rise adaptation, and create a regional approach to climate change outreach and education.
The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) is located in Aransas Bay northeast of Corpus Christi. The reserve is located in an area where rapid development and increased population growth has exacerbated pollution, habitat loss, habitat degradation, overfishing, invasive species, and coastal hazard threats. The Ecosystem Based Management Tools Project was designed to examine the links between land use strategies and their effects on coastal and marine ecosystems.
The Mesoamerican Reef is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. The reef sustains over two million people living in the region, which spans the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula through Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. The combined effects of current anthropogenic stressors (e.g., pollution, overfishing) when coupled with climate change impacts such as sea level rise, increased seawater temperatures, and a reduction in calcium carbonate will have devastating consequences for the Mesoamerican Reef system. With funding from the U.S.
The Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise (EESLR) project in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama is intended to improve scientific understanding of the factors and scales necessary to evaluate shore zone modification and help develop a predictive tool of ecosystem modification due to sea level rise.
The North Carolina Sea Level Rise (NC SLR) Project is a pilot study intended to improve scientific understanding of the ecological effects of sea level rise and storm surge on North Carolina coastal habitats and develop better models and tools to forecast these effects. Managers and planners were invited to attend a two-day workshop to discuss ways in which the findings from the NC SLR Project could be used to answer management needs and aid decision-making.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) has prioritized climate change as a primary goal. Its Climate Change Initiative provides a framework from which the NCDENR can develop and implement mitigation and adaptation responses.