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This report examines the current state of practice for identifying and prioritizing wetlands for their usefulness in climate risk reduction and climate resilience. It is intended to identify promising paths to advance current practice and to improve implementation of strategies across the coastal states of the Mid-Atlantic Region in order to achieve regional protection of human communities and maintenance of ecological functions over the coming century of climate change impacts.
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Suggested citation: Schrass, K. and A.V. Mehta. 2017. Improved Use and Understanding of NNBF in the Mid-Atlantic. Annapolis, MD: National Wildlife Federation.Executive SummaryThe impacts of climate change are already being felt in the Mid-Atlantic region. Coastal communities and habitats are threatened by sea level rise and an increasing frequency and severity of strong storms. Traditionally, gray infrastructure like seawalls and bulkheads have been used to protect coasts; however, these approaches disrupt intact ecological systems and exacerbate damage along adjacent shorelines. As a result, Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) are increasingly being explored as a means of adapting to climate change while also...
This report summarizes results of simulations with the model Hydro-MEM (the combined Hydrodynamic and Marsh Equilibrium Model) of the evolution of saltmarshes in response to future sea-level rise in four areas: 1) the coastline from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay north to the Virginia-Maryland border (“VA”); 2) the Virginia-Maryland border north to Ocean City Inlet (“MD”); 3) the New Jersey coastline surrounding Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (“NJ”); and 4) Plum Island Estuary, Massachusetts (“PIE”). These sites contain land protected and regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Because ecosystems do not stop at political boundaries, however, these study sites also include surrounding areas that are...
Please cite as: Anderson, M.G. and Barnett, A. 2017. Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science.View the interactive map, download the data, and read the report at:https://www.nature.org/resilientcoastsNearly half of all Americans live and work in coastal counties, areas that also provide critical habitat for a diversity of fish and wildlife. However, the capacity for these places to support human and natural communities in the face of rising sea levels varies widely. In response to this threat, scientists from The Nature Conservancy evaluated more than 10,000 coastal sites in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to determine their...
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Plants and animals undergo certain recurring life-cycle events, such as migrations between summer and winter habitats or the annual blooming of plants. Known as phenology, the timing of these events is very sensitive to changes in climate (and changes in one species’ phenology can impact entire food webs and ecosystems). Shifts in phenology have been described as a “fingerprint” of the temporal and spatial responses of wildlife to climate change impacts. Thus, phenology provides one of the strongest indicators of the adaptive capacity of organisms (or the ability of organisms to cope with future environmental conditions). In this study, researchers are exploring how the timing and occurrence of a number of highly...
This study sought to advance our understanding of the responses of large migratory whales and other marine wildlife to climate change by examining species-specific shifts in timing of migration and habitat use. We used long-term historical datasets to measure changes in timing of seasonal habitat use in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) ecosystem by North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), and minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Occupancy modeling, spatial analyses, and synthetic approaches evaluated changes in the seasonal habitat use by large migratory whales, changes in risk of whale interactions with human activities such as shipping and fishing...


    map background search result map search result map How and Why is the Timing and Occurrence of Seasonal Migrants in the Gulf of Maine Changing Due to Climate? Improved Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features in the Mid-Atlantic Developing Wetland Restoration Priorities for Climate Risk Reduction and Resilience in the MARCO Region Improved Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features in the Mid-Atlantic Developing Wetland Restoration Priorities for Climate Risk Reduction and Resilience in the MARCO Region How and Why is the Timing and Occurrence of Seasonal Migrants in the Gulf of Maine Changing Due to Climate?