Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats (CCVATCH)
The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats (CCVATCH) is a decision support tool for land managers, decision-makers, and researchers that integrates local data and knowledge and current research with local/regional climate change predictions to provide an assessment of potential habitat vulnerabilities. Through a facilitated and inclusive process, it guides the evaluation of how changes in CO2, precipitation, air and water temperature, sea level change, and storm frequency and severity will directly affect a habitat and also interact with non-climate stressors of invasive/nuisance species, nutrients, sedimentation, erosion, and environmental contaminants. Using this spreadsheet-based tool and guidance document, the direct sensitivity of a given habitat to climate change, the current condition of the habitat, and natural and anthropogenic conditions that affect adaptive capacity can be used to calculate a numerical vulnerability score. This score can then be used to rank the relative vulnerability of assessed habitats within a defined area.
- Evaluates the degree to which a given habitat may be vulnerable to current and future climate stressors superimposed on existing non-climate stressors.
- Calculates numerical vulnerability scores for each habitat or parcel that can be used to examine relative vulnerability across different habitats in a local area or across a single habitat type in a local/regional setting.
- Provides the opportunity to consider adaptive capacity options to reduce habitat vulnerability.
Land managers, decision-makers, and researchers who are tasked with developing conservation, management, and restoration plans and policies for coastal habitats.