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Pacific Islands CASC

The mangrove forests across the Federated States of Micronesia provide critical resources and contribute to climate resilience. Locally, mangrove forests provide habitat for fish and wildlife, timber, and other cultural resources. Mangrove forests also protect Micronesian communities from tropical cyclones and tsunamis, providing a buffer against powerful waves and winds. Mangrove forests in Micronesia can store 700–1,800 metric tons of carbon per hectare (Donato and others, 2011), contributing to the estimated 5–10 billion metric tons of carbon stored by mangroves around the world (Alongi, 2018). This carbon storage is essential for global climate resilience. Mangrove forests and the benefits these ecosystems...
A cocktail of land-based sources of pollution threatens coral reef ecosystems, and addressing these has become a key management and policy challenge in the State of Hawaii, other US territories, and globally. In West Maui, Hawai'i, nearly one quarter of all living corals were lost between 1995 and 2008. Onsite disposal systems (OSDS) for sewage leak contaminants into drinking water sources and nearshore waters. In recognition of this risk, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is prioritizing areas for cesspool upgrades. Independently, we applied a decision analysis process to identify priority areas to address sewage pollution from OSDS in West Maui, with the objective of reducing nearshore coral reef exposure...
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For the past few years, “king tides,” or the highest tides of the year, have been occurring more frequently and significantly affecting coastal environments across Hawaiʻi. Now, disappearing beaches and waves crashing over roadways are seemingly the “new normal.” In response, the state of Hawaiʻi is implementing adaptation strategies to combat tidal flooding in coastal areas. While flood management strategies are being implemented in urban areas, less is known about how tidal flooding, and associated inundation into surface and groundwater, might influence watershed dynamics and the native animals that depend on estuarine environments where freshwater meets the sea. Efforts for biocultural restoration of ecosystem...
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The Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI CASC) supports sustainability and climate adaptation in communities across the Pacific Islands by providing natural and cultural resource managers with access to actionable science specific to the region. PI CASC is hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) with consortium partners at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UHH) and the University of Guam (UOG). During the period of 2019 - 2024, the PI CASC consortium will strive to i) build resiliency and sustainability in ecosystems and communities to climate change impacts; ii) strive to develop the best actionable climate science, while maintaining a non-advocacy stance; and iii) apply the elements...
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PI-CASC regularly interacts with a diverse and extensive network of stakeholder organizations at federal, territory, state, county, and local levels across the Pacific Region, supporting communication and iterative problem solving between researchers, managers, and decision makers. In addition to these partnerships, PI-CASC has two important ongoing collaborative initiatives. Pacific Islands-Alaska CASC collaboration The PI-AK CASC collaboration is aimed at bringing together scientist and resource managers from the Pacific and Alaska regions to share insights on related climate adaptation challenges in Ridge-to-Reef (R2R) and Icefield-to-Ocean (I2O) ecosystems. Similarities in landscapes and communities in these...
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