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Guide for Considering Climate Change in Coastal Conservation

Created: 8/01/2016 - Updated: 11/06/2018


This guide is part of NOAA’s continuing effort to provide specific, coastal-relevant guidance on preparing for and addressing the impacts of climate change.

This guide lessens this gap and provides a step-by-step approach, with links to relevant tools, information, and other resources. The approach should be familiar to those already practicing strategic conservation planning, but unlike other guides, this document focuses on climate considerations and tools specifically relevant to the coastal environment, including coastal watersheds. The six iterative steps draw on existing guidelines for conservation, as well as newer climate adaptation resources. The information is suitable for anyone working to manage or conserve lands in coastal areas, such as coastal planners, land or watershed conservation organizations, wetland and floodplain managers, emergency managers, and more. The approach provided in this guide can be used to create a new plan if one is needed, to update an existing plan, or to further other types of planning, such as hazard mitigation or comprehensive plans. Overall, the approach encourages groups from different sectors to work toward similar or complementary goals.


This Guide for Considering Climate Change in Coastal Conservation gives coastal planners, resource managers, and conservation practitioners a framework needed to accomplish this task. These professionals are often responsible for developing or updating conservation strategies but may not be knowledgeable about how to best incorporate climate change impacts.

This organization was established in 2014 when NOAA combined two offices: the Coastal Services Center and the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. The basic missions of the two programs remain intact, but the new organizational structure is bringing value-added services to taxpayers.


Type of Tool: 
Adaptation Planning / Decision Support
Decision Support
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Tool Cost: