NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is the federal agency, a division of the Department of Commerce, responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources within the United States' Exclusive Economic Zone (water three to 200 mile offshore).

In response to a growing awareness of the intrinsic environmental and cultural value of our coastal waters, Congress created the National Marine Sanctuary Program in 1972. The National Marine Sanctuary Act authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to designate specific areas as National Marine Sanctuaries to promote comprehensive management of their special ecological, historical, recreational, and esthetic resources.

The U.S. Geological Survey's St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center has a primary focus of investigating processes related to coastal and marine environments and their societal implications related to natural hazards, resource sustainability, and environmental change.

Scientific programs at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center:

North Pacific Climate Regimes and Ecosystem Productivity Program

Location

United States
55° 10' 43.9248" N, 170° 30' 28.1268" W
US
Summary: 

The North Pacific Climate Regimes and Ecosystem Productivity (NPCREP) program is charged with conducting research on ecosystem responses to climate variability in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Research conducted through this program will improve scientific understanding and guidance for marine resource management in the North Pacific Ocean.

Integrating Climate Change into the Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan Using an Expert Panel-based Vulnerability Assessment

Location

140 Northern Ave
02210 Boston , MA
United States
42° 21' 12.2904" N, 71° 2' 29.4864" W
Massachusetts US
Summary: 

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is using the results of a habitat vulnerability assessment to create and implement climate-smart adaptation strategies in management, acquisition, research, and monitoring activities. This project used an expert panel to identify and rank the vulnerabilities of 20 key habitat types to projected climate change impacts. This process may serve as a model for other state agencies to use in strengthening State Wildlife Action Plans.

Gulf of Mexico Research Plan

Location

United States
26° 22' 5.6784" N, 89° 23' 47.3532" W
US
Summary: 

The Gulf of Mexico is a large, interlinked area with limited financial resources. The Gulf of Mexico Research Plan (GMRP) was developed to identify research needs and priorities for the Gulf of Mexico, encourage collaboration in the region, and increase stakeholder support.

Oyster Reef Breakwater Restoration Project on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Location

United States
30° 23' 19.2156" N, 88° 0' 24.0084" W
US
Summary: 

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

Location

United States
27° 15' 16.668" N, 89° 36' 16.1712" W
US
Summary: 

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.

Delaware Sea Level Rise Adaptation Initiative

Location

United States
38° 54' 47.232" N, 75° 21' 58.3596" W
US
Summary: 

The Delaware Coastal Management Program in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is working on a Sea Level Rise Initiative. Scientists and managers are working to compile information on storm histories, inundation mapping, vulnerabilities to tidal marshes and wetlands, and incorporating resilience into planning and management. This case study provides information on the type of details being collected and the progress on a statewide Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program

Location

1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
20460 Washington , DC
United States
38° 53' 41.154" N, 77° 1' 43.9968" W
District Of Columbia US
Summary: 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program works to build capacity in different National Estuary Programs to prepare for and adapt to climate change. Twelve National Estuary Programs received grants and/or technical assistance in 2008 and 2009. The Climate Ready Estuaries Program also created the Coastal Toolkit to provide resources to program managers and other stakeholders in U.S. estuaries.