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Climate Change Adaptation : Case Studies U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service May 14, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change Adaptation : Case Studies U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service May 14, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change Adaptation : Case Studies U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service May 14, 2008

2 Changing Climate Source: NECIA Report October 2006 Union of Concerned Scientists http:

3 Current Changes: Its happening now…  More frequent days above 90°F - 100°F  Longer growing season (+21-43 days)  Earlier spring and later fall  Earlier breakup of winter ice on lakes and rivers  Earlier spring snowmelt-earlier spring stream flow  Rising sea-level Source: NECIA Report October 2006 – Union of Concerned Scientists http:

4 Impacts & Responses: Freshwater systems Climate Driven Changes ImpactsResponse Longer Summer/Increase d Summer Temperatures  Decreased Summer Flow  Increased evapotranspiratio n  Increased Water Temps  Habitat Fragmentation More Intense Storm Events  Increased Flooding  Increased Erosion  Increased Scour  Wetland Inundation  Changes in floodplains  Sedimentation

5 Impacts & Responses: Coastal Systems Climate Driven Changes ImpactsResponse Sea Level Rise  Inundation of Wetlands  Salt water intrusion  Increased Erosion  Loss of marshes and other habitats  Displacement of species  Habitat loss TNC 2007: Conserving Freshwater and Coastal Resources in a Changing Climate

6 Case Studies Actions to prepare and protect ecosystems and reduce the severity of climate change impacts  Enhance resilience  Connectivity  Water Temperatures  Flows  Plan for species/system migration  Migration areas  Upland buffers

7 Dam and Barrier Removal Case study: Mill River, Massachusetts Climate Change Impacts: Altered flows, more intense storms. Adaptation Strategy: Dam removal.  Remove three dams from the Canoe-Snake-Mill River tributary and restore diadromous fish passage throughout 37 miles of the watershed.  Restore a run of 300,000+ herring plus American eel, alewife and resident fish species and bald eagles. Zemko Dam, Eight Mile River, CT

8 Stream Flow Protection Case Study: Connecticut River Climate Change Impacts: Altered flows, higher water temperatures. Adaptation Strategies: Flow management.  Manage flood control, hydropower and water supply systems to protect and restore instream and floodplain communities. Army Corps Study to build basin-wide hydrology model that will include climate change scenarios.  Restore floodplain forests based on current condition and ability to protect/restore hydrologic regimes.

9 Acquisition: Wetland Buffer Zones Case Study: New Jersey Eldora and Gandy’s Beach Preserves Climate Change Impacts: Sea level rise, erosion, inundation from storm surge Adaptation Strategies: Acquisition, restoration. Target protection of about 800 acres on the inland edges of salt marsh preserves and upland buffers to provide areas for coastal wetlands to move landward. Beach dune restoration with Army Corps at Lower Cape May Meadows. Dunes made higher to anticipate climate change.

10 Coastal Wetland Migration Case Study: Coastal Connecticut, Kennebec Estuary Project, Sandy Neck Barrier Beach, MA Climate Change Impacts: Sea level rise, erosion Adaptation Strategies: Planning, acquisition.  Work to define current spatial extent of salt marshes, including species composition, adjoining land use and accretion-subsidence rates.  Identify potential for coastal marsh migration under various scenarios.  Protect 40 acres to allow globally rare ‘mud’ plants to migrate.  Protect 130 acres of dune and marsh system including 55 upland acres for migration.

11 Rolling easements Case Study: Long Island Climate Change Impacts: Sea level rise, subsidence, erosion Adaptation Strategies: Rolling easements, land use planning, acquisition.  Workshops for local officials to familiarize them with the need for stronger set-backs.  Foster discussion of rolling easements to managing shoreline development (aka NC, TX).  Spatially explicit decision tool to visualize the resources at risk.

12 Conservation Planning Case Study: Massachusetts, Lake Champlain Region ( Climate Change Impacts: Increased temperature, changes in habitat composition, changes in predator/prey relationships. Adaptation Strategy: Regional scale connectivity planning.  Identify potential connections or corridors for wide-ranging mammals including fisher, bobcat and black bear between the Adirondacks, Green Mountains and Taconics.  For Massachusetts, apply Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) “connectedness” measure to understand the ecological integrity of land cover.

13 Forest Planning & Management Case Study: St. John Region, Maine Climate Change Impacts: Species range shifts; increase in pests/pathogens, invasive species; more frequent disturbances (drought, high winds); higher average temperatures. Adaptation Strategies: Foster species adapted to anticipated climate conditions; promote resilience to sustain existing species.  No hemlock or white pine, currently rare, are harvested to maintain these sentinel trees at the outer edges of their range.  More than 45,000 acres of reserve lands with “deeply buffered cores areas,” are set aside for sugar maple in anticipation of declines elsewhere.

14 “A CHANGE IS COMING” The past may no longer be a reliable guide to the future

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