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Response of Florida Shelf Ecosystems to Climate Change: The FLaSH Project

The FLaSH Ecosystem Project builds upon earlier efforts to conduct benthic habitat mapping in Florida by including consideration of climate change impacts, especially ocean acidification, on living marine resources along the shelf. Scientists are studying ocean chemistry to better understand the impacts of higher levels of atmospheric CO2 on marine and coastal resources.

Florida's Climate Change Community Toolbox

The South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) created a Climate Change Community Toolbox to help local officials plan for and adapt to climate change. The Toolbox includes fact sheets on likely climate impacts on Miami-Dade’s economy, environment, and community; inundation maps with different sea level rise scenarios; and links to national and international sources on adaptation planning.

Adapting to Shoreline Change: A Foundation for Improved Management and Planning in South Carolina - Final Report of the Shoreline Change Advisory Committee

In 2007, DHEC-OCRM initiated a Shoreline Change Initiative to organize existing data collection and research efforts, identify additional research needs, and formulate policy options to guide the management of South Carolina’s estuarine and beachfront shorelines.

Sentinel Monitoring of Salt Marshes in the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve

The North Carolina NERR, along with four other NERRs, is acting as a sentinel site to monitor climate change impacts on salt marsh habitat. This project involves creating a long-term ecological monitoring program to determine the effects of sea level rise, warmer temperatures, and coastal storms on salt marshes.

Oyster Reef Breakwater Restoration Project on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Oyster reef habitat has disappeared from much of the Gulf Coast. These reefs absorb wave energy, protecting shorelines from erosion and providing habitat for a variety of wildlife. The Nature Conservancy in Alabama conducted a project to restore this habitat to two tracts of shoreline in Mobile County. This 2009-2012 project created jobs and stabilized currently eroding shorelines, which are threatened by rising sea levels and storm surge.

Creating a Gulf Coast Community Handbook for Restoration and Adaptation

Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (CBBEP) are working together to create a handbook to identify strategies that incorporate resilience to climate change as a component of habitat restoration and protection.