Coastal ecosystems serve unique ecological functions and provide critical services and defense for coastal human communities.
Coastal wetlands and estuaries, rivers, rocky and sandy shorelines, and coastal forests are experiencing many direct and indirect effects of climate change. Water level changes, increased storm events, flooding, shoreline erosion, and warmer waters are all affecting these important ecosystems. Natural resources professionals can take action now to help coastal systems adapt to a changing climate, while also providing important benefits for coastal human communities.
Adaptation in Action
Coastal ecosystems will require special management considerations in a changing climate given their unique ecological functions and their role as a critical defense for coastal human communities.
Through a collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and regional partners, we have developed a draft menu of Adaptation Strategies and Approaches for Great Lakes coastal ecosystems. The intention of this document is to support natural resource managers to take action on climate change in project-specific planning activities. These new resources are designed to be used with the Adaptation Workbook to make coastal management plans more robust to changing conditions.
These coastal adaptation menus are based on the approach outlined in Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers.
Real-world adaptation demonstration projects:
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: Coastal wetland vulnerability and adaptation
- Ford Cove: Shoreline and Coastal Wetland Restoration Project
Looking for Collaborators
The US Fish and Wildlife Service and NIACS are coordinating the development of a menu of Adaptation Strategies and Approaches for Great Lakes coastal freshwater ecosystems with input from a variety of researchers and practitioners.
The saltwater coastal ecosystems menu has received input from stewardship coordinators with the National Estuarine Research Reserves and others. You can lend your expertise to these projects by:
- Reviewing written products
- Testing tools on real-world projects
- Hosting an adaptation workshop
Work with Us
We offer assistance on adaptation projects for groups that are managing forests, forested watersheds, and wetlands, and plan to expand this assistance to other types of coastal ecosystems as adaptation materials are completed. Examples of our work include:
- Leading climate change adaptation workshops.
- Creating tools to assist with adapting coastal ecosystems to climate change.
- Developing examples of real-world climate-informed management in coastal forests and associated ecosystems.