The Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge was purchased by the Maui Coastal Land Trust in 2004. Since 2011, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust has managed the site. The refuge has a total area of 277 acres containing vital habitats such as wetlands and marine shoreline and has one of the largest remaining, intact sand dune systems in all of Hawaii. The site is also a place of historical significance in the Hawaiian culture. Climate change will have unavoidable impacts on the site, particularly due to sea level rise.
The StormSmart Coasts Network was piloted in 2008 in Massachusetts and has since been expanded to include Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Florida; sites in progress include Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. There are plans to expand to other coastal states as well. The program works to provide local coastal communities and decision makers with up-to-date and relevant information on storms, flooding, sea level rise, and climate change.
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.
In September 2009, two workshops were held in the Bay Area to educate and train local planners on climate change impacts and adaptation strategies. These workshops were based on the National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Planning for Climate Change workshop, originally developed and piloted in Washington State by the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
In 2009, a three-day conference was held on strategies for adapting watershed ecosystems to climate change in the San Francisco Bay Area. The conference culminated with the development of the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative (NBCAI), a collaborative effort between regional scientists, conservationists, government officials, and interested stakeholders. The goal of the NBCAI is to promote information exchange and research to develop strategies to effectively adapt the North Bay area to climate change.
New York City is a large emitter of greenhouse gases and will be vulnerable to impacts of climate change such as sea level rise, warming temperatures, and storm surge. In 2007, PlaNYC, a comprehensive sustainability plan for New York City, was released and outlined for the development of a greener city over the next 25 years.
Climate Change: Are Employees Ready, Willing and Able?
Jan Engert speaks about collaboration between managers and scientists working for the United States Forest Service. On both the federal and local level, leadership has been heavily emphasized in the context of climate change, particularly when working with forests and grasslands.
The first question Jan asks is a crucial one: “We know what we are supposed to do. But how do we actually do it?”
Climate change is fast pushing communities, particularly the poorest and most marginalized, beyond their capacity to respond. Across the world, subsistence crops are approaching the limits of their viability as temperatures change; erratic rainfall patterns and changing seasons are upsetting agricultural cycles and leaving many struggling to feed their families; and rising sea levels are causing the inundation of crops and the contamination of water supplies with salt water.
Climate change is expected to have many social, economic, and ecological repercussions for Washington state. Through an executive order, six state agencies have formed a working group to develop a adaptation strategy by December 2011. In addition to creating an adaptation plan, this effort will coordinate the management activities of major state agencies in addressing climate change.