Monitoring Climate Effects in Temperate Marine Ecosystems

This report has been prepared by EcoAdapt for the MPA Monitoring Enterprise. The MPA Monitoring Enterprise, a program of the California Ocean Science Trust, is tasked with developing and implementing monitoring of California’s emerging statewide MPA network. While climate change is not explicitly incorporated into the goals and objectives of California’s MPAs, future evaluations of MPA performance will occur in the context of a changing climate and associated changing oceanographic environment. Moreover, MPA monitoring in California provides a framework that can be applied to inform the climate change management dialogue. A statewide network of MPAs, in which other anthropogenic stressors are reduced, provides a large-scale, natural laboratory to understand how climate changes manifest in ocean ecosystems. Thus, this presents a timely opportunity to develop and recommend an approach to most efficiently and effectively augment MPA monitoring to provide additional information. This information should aid in the interpretation of MPA monitoring results but also can be designed to inform the management dialogue around potential climate change effects on marine ecosystems and adaptation or mitigation measures.

The Monitoring Enterprise engaged EcoAdapt to develop and recommend an approach to supplement MPA monitoring with climate change monitoring that can track climate change effects 

 

San Diego River Coastal Sage Scrub Restoration Project: A Southern California Climate Change Adaptation Case Study

Location

San Diego River CA
United States
32° 46' 12.9432" N, 117° 9' 11.61" W
California US
Organization: 
Summary: 

Climate change may affect the ability to achieve on-the-ground project goals and objectives. The following case study demonstrates how climate change vulnerability and adaptation information can be integrated into existing and future habitat restoration projects to increase overall project resilience.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Resources of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

This report summarizes the results of a two-day adaptation planning workshop for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as part of their forest plan revision process. The workshop focused on identifying adaptation options for eight key resource areas, including forested vegetation, non-forested vegetation, wildlife, hydrology, fisheries, recreation, cultural/heritage values, and ecosystem services. The report includes a general overview of the workshop methodology and provides a suite of possible adaptation strategies and actions for each key resource area. Adaptation actions were linked with the climate-related vulnerabilities they help to ameliorate as well as the direct/indirect effects they may have on other resource areas.

Climate resilience evaluation and awareness tool exercise with North Hudson Sewerage Authority and New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) and Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) initiatives are working to coordinate their efforts and support climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. This report details a recent exercise that provided an opportunity for these parties to collaborate on assessment and planning with respect to potential climate change impacts on utility infrastructure and natural resources. The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) was used to support the collaborative process of identifying climate change threats, assessing potential consequences, and evaluating adaptation options for both a utility and for the overall watershed.

North American Marine Protected Area 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 habitats of their sites. This tool has three parts (a user guide, a set of blank worksheets, and a booklet containing sample completed worksheets) that are available as downloadable PDFs. The blank worksheets are in a dynamic PDF format so that users can easily fill, save and share their completed worksheets. The User Guide and sample worksheets provide the narrative explanation of how to use the tool, while the blank worksheets are the hands-on component. Together, they comprise a tool that can help marine protected area managers conduct a rapid vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategy development process.

A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Resources of Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

This report summarizes the results of a vulnerability assessment for 28 focal resources, including 8 ecosystems and 20 species, identified as important by Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as part of their forest plan revision process. The report includes a general summary of past and projected climate trends for the region; downscaled climate data and trends; vulnerability assessment methods; and vulnerability assessment findings for 28 ecosystems and species.

14 Solutions to Problems Climate Change Poses for Conservation: Examples from the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund

While climate change is still a relatively new concern for conservation practitioners, a growing number of organizations and agencies are tackling the challenge. These groups are identifying and implementing on-the- ground projects to address the effects of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems. In this report, we describe several climate-driven problems that are projected to affect, or are already affecting, particular wildlife species and ecosystems, and solutions that conservation groups are implementing to help plants and animals respond and adapt. These projects are tangible examples of climate-informed conservation, and can serve as inspiration for others grappling with similar issues.

Land Conservation in a Changing Climate: Stewardship Science and Financing

The purpose of the 2016 Berkley Workshop was to explore some of the ways that land conservation groups might best respond to our changing climate, with particular emphasis on the science and finance guiding and enabling the stewardship of natural areas.

Among the major themes were the following:

  • While increasing numbers of land trusts are incorporating the changing climate into their work, important issues arise around how useful traditional tools will be, as well as whether many land trusts have the capacity to engage in the more active management of conserved lands that is likely to be required.
  • There are many ways that the stewardship of conserved lands may help address aspects of climate change, from storing carbon to mitigating flooding or heat waves. Capturing those benefits will require more systematic efforts to demonstrate that natural areas can provide those services in ways that fit infrastructure owners' and investors' decision-making contexts and criteria.
  • Sources of funding for conservation projects with climate benefits continue to expand in number and quantity. However, the site specificity of such projects raises real questions about how the volume of replicable investment opportunities that large investors are seeking can best be generated from such projects.
  • In addition to science and finance, the participants felt it was also critically important to engage on the social aspects of these topics--in particular, the need to expand the range of human communities that benefit from the climate and other services provided by conserved lands. Meeting this need will require new collaborations among conservation organizations and others working on topics from renewable energy to climate justice.

Rapid Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategies for the National Marine Sanctuary and Territory of American Samoa

This report summarizes the results of a rapid vulnerability assessment (July 2016) and adaptation strategy planning (September 2016) workshops for 10 focal resources in the Territory and National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa by engaging with stakeholders, including village leaders, community members, resource managers, local government representatives, and business owners that rely on the resources with the goal of increasing climate resilience in the region. 

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Priority Wildlife Species

The Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife and the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment jointly developed a climate-change vulnerability assessment for priority wildlife and plant species and habitats on the Navajo landscape. The priority species and habitats included in this analysis were identified by the entire staff of NNDFW through a structured planning process.

This report provides a summary of projected climate-change impacts for the southwestern United States and Navajo lands as well as an assessment of attributes promoting climate vulnerability and resilience for priority wildlife and plant species. Animal species discussed in this report are the Golden Eagle, Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lion, and American Black Bear. Plant species discussed in this report include Pinyon Pine, Yucca spp., Mesa Verde Cactus, Navajo Sage, and Salt Cedar (Tamarisk).

This vulnerability assessment provides a conceptual framework for further climate adaptation planning on the Navajo landscape within an adaptive management context. Specific climate adaptation actions that are proposed in this report include: conservation of wildlife movement corridors; “climate smart” reintroductions of Desert Bighorn Sheep; consideration of Golden Eagles in the planning and siting of renewable energy developments; and actions to reduce human conflicts with Black Bears. An example is provided to show how landscape connectivity analyses can be used to identify areas where “on-the-ground” conservation actions can be implemented.