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Water: Climate Ready Estuaries

Coastal Toolkit


This section provides resources for estuarine and coastal programs that are interested in learning more about climate change impacts and developing adaptation plans. The information below provides links to websites, reports, and other resources related to the following areas:

 


Vulnerability Assessments

The following resources are available to coastal managers seeking to assess risks and vulnerabilities in planning for climate change impacts.

Guides

Climate Change Risk Management: CRE Adaptation Projects and the Risk Management Process (8 pp, 720K, About PDF)

This section of the Climate Ready Estuaries 2011 Progress Report examines how CRE projects illustrate and support the risk management paradigm for climate change adaptation. Collectively, the NEP partners demonstrate how risk management can be successfully applied to address environmental challenges in our country's coastal areas.

Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers
The purpose of this guide is to help U.S. state and territorial coastal managers develop and implement adaptation plans to reduce the impacts and consequences of climate change and climate variability. It was written in response to a request from state coastal managers for guidance from NOAA on adaptation planning in the coastal zone.

Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments Exit EPA Disclaimer
The purpose of this guide is to help decision-makers in local, regional, and state government prepare for climate change by recommending a detailed, easy-to-understand process for climate change preparedness based on familiar resources and tools.

Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Exit EPA Disclaimer
This guide, released by the National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Department of Defense, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey, provides conservationists and resource managers a way to understand the impact of climate change on species and ecosystems and supports efforts to safeguard valuable natural resources. 

Oceans and Coasts

U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Products
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program developed a series of synthesis and assessment products (SAPs) to provide information on climate change that is useful to policymakers, resource managers, stakeholders, and the public. Several SAPs address adaptation options for estuarine areas including:

Climate Change Impacts in the United States

The U.S. Global Change Research Program's report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009), has sections on climate change impacts and trends for Ecosystems, Water Resources, and Coasts, as well as a geographic region section.  In January 2013, USGCRP issued a draft version of its next climate assessment report for public review.

Temperature

 

Precipitation

 

Drought

 

Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise viewers can be a useful tool for visualizing sea level rise impacts (consequence) in your study area. These tools do not, however, indicate the likelihood of any given sea level rise scenario.

 

Ocean Acidification

 

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Action Plans

The following resources provide information on climate change adaptation options and other resources that can help coastal managers develop adaptation strategies. 

America's Climate Choices: Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change Exit EPA Disclaimer
This report, from the America's Climate Choices suite of studies from the national research Council, calls for a national adaptation strategy to support and coordinate decentralized efforts. As part of this strategy, the federal government should provide technical and scientific resources that are currently lacking at the local or regional scale, incentives for local and state authorities to begin adaptation planning, guidance across jurisdictions, shared lessons learned, and support of scientific research to expand knowledge of impacts and adaptation.

Climate Ready Estuaries Program Synthesis of Adaptation Options for Coastal Areas (PDF) (32 pp, 1.2MB, About PDF) (EPA, January 2009)
This guide provides a brief introduction to key physical impacts of climate change on estuaries and a review of on-the-ground adaptation options available to coastal managers to reduce their systems' vulnerability to climate change impacts.

Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force: Recommended Actions in Support of a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (PDF) (72 pp, 1.03 MB, About PDF)
The Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, co-chaired by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and NOAA, released its interagency report outlining recommendations to President Obama for how federal Agency policies and programs can better prepare the United States to respond to the impacts of climate change . The progress Report recommends that the Federal Government implement actions to expand and strengthen the nation's capacity to better understand, prepare for, and respond to climate change.

U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Products
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program developed a series of synthesis and assessment products (SAPs) to provide information on climate change that is useful to policymakers, resource managers, stakeholders, and the public. Several SAPs address adaptation options for estuarine areas including:

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More Resources

Climate Ready Water Utilities Toolbox
EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) Toolbox provides access to resources containing climate-related information relevant to the Water Sector. These resources include several categories of information and can be searched by geographic region, water utility type and size, water resources, climate change impact, and climate change response strategies.

Coastal Climate Adaptation
The Coastal Climate Adaptation website, hosted by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, is a resource for state and local officials to share climate adaptation activities and resources. The site also includes basic climate change information and training materials useful for outreach efforts.

Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) Exit EPA Disclaimer
CAKE is aimed at building a shared knowledge base for managing natural systems in the face of climate change.  It helps users by vetting and organizing information available, building a community via an interactive online platform, creating a directory of practitioners to share knowledge and strategies, and identifying and explaining data tools and information available from other sites.

EPA Office of Research and Development, Climate Change Research
EPA conducts research to understand the environmental and health impacts of climate change and to provide sustainable solutions for adapting to and reducing the impact from a changing climate. 

 

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