Swinomish Climate Change Initiative Climate Adaptation Action Plan
In the fall of 2008 the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community started work on a landmark two-year Climate Change Initiative to study the impacts of climate change on the resources, assets, and community of the Swinomish Indian Reservation and to develop recommendations on actions to adapt to projected impacts. This followed issuance of a Proclamation by the Tribal Senate in 2007 directing action to study and assess climate change impacts on the Reservation. Under the guidance and coordination of the Swinomish Office of Planning & Community Development, the first year of the project was devoted to assessment of projected impacts, as presented in an Impact Assessment Technical Report issued in the fall of 2009. The second year of the project was focused on evaluation of strategies and options for recommended actions to counter identified impacts, which resulted in preparation and release of this report. The ultimate goal of the project was to help ensure an enduring and climate-resilient community that can meet the challenges of anticipated impacts in the years to come. The information in this report, therefore, completes the Tribe’s first critical assessment of climate change issues and actions, as a basis for the next steps in what is expected to be an ongoing effort to address a daunting array of complex issues.
The Tribe was assisted during the two years of this project by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group as science advisors, who provided expert assistance with analysis and interpretation of climate data and models. Given a mix of inter-jurisdictional issues involved, the Tribe also solicited the assistance of a strategy advisory group comprised of representatives of Skagit County, the Town of LaConner, and the Shelter Bay Community. In addition, project staff worked with a tribal community interest group, led by a communications/outreach facilitator, to communicate information on particular significant potential impacts to tribal traditions and practices, and to solicit feedback on concerns and issues. Working with these partners and groups, project staff evaluated a broad range of potential strategy options for targeting to various climate impacts and developed a comprehensive list of recommendations for actions to address specified impacts.