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NE CASC @ NEAFWA: Join Us for Two Symposia on Coastal Adaptation & SWAPs

Monday, March 11, 2024

NE CASC enthusiastically invites the regional climate adaptation science community to learn more about our work at the 2024 NEAFWA Conference from April 21-24 in Hyannis, MA. We have organized two special symposia on key adaptation topics.

Symposium #1
Monday, April 22, 1:20-5:00 PM ET
Climate Change Adaptation for Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems

Overview: Climate change is one of the primary threats to northeastern coastal ecosystems. This symposium will bring together climate adaptation scientists and resource managers from the federal, state, university and tribal sectors to share the latest research addressing different kinds of management challenges in the coastal Northeast, highlighting work supported by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC). Featured topics include diadromous fish restoration on Tribal coastal lands, cranberry bog restoration on Cape Cod, and use of tools for prioritizing salt marshes for management.

Presentations will include:

  • Climate Adaptation for Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems, Caroline Gleason (NE CASC)
  • An Assessment of Salt Marsh Vulnerability & Restoration Potential in the Northeastern United States Using Physical and Ecological Indicators, Erin Peck & Julie Walker (NE CASC)
  • Application of structured decision making to salt marsh management in northeast USA National Park Service lands, Neil Ganju (USGS)
  • Approaching Coastal Resilience through Collaborative Conservation of Tidal Marsh Birds, Maureen Correll (USFWS)
  • Organizing Coastal Ecology and Adaptation in the Northeast – Current and Future Directions of NE CASC, Jamie Adkins (NE CASC)
  • Evidence for Climate Adaptation and Habitat Restoration Benefits from Restoration of Commercial Cranberry Bogs in Southeastern Massachusetts Coastal Watersheds, Chris Neill (NE CASC/Woodwell Climate Research Center)
  • Climate-Adaptive Population Supplementation: Harnessing Strain Diversity for Stocking and Planting Practices, Amy Teffer (NE CASC) 
  • Incorporating Ecological Data into the Design of a Wetland Restoration Project to Enhance Rare Species Habitat at Windswept Bog, Nantucket Island, MA, Karen Beattie (Nantucket Conservation Foundation) 
  • Oyster Castle Reefs Improve Salt Marsh Health, Coastal Resilience, and Response to Sea Level Rise, Jennifer Karberg (Nantucket Conservation Foundation)

Symposium #2
Wednesday, April 24th, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM ET
Incorporating Climate Change into Northeastern State Wildlife Action Plans

Overview: State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) are proactive planning documents, known as “comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies,” that assess the health of each state’s wildlife and habitats, identify current management and conservation challenges, and outline needed actions to conserve natural resources over the long term. Across the United States, SWAPs are revised every ten years, with the last revision in 2015 and the next revision anticipated in 2025. While managers have a long history of managing threats such as land-use change, pollution, and harvest, they have expressed a lack of expertise and capacity to keep pace with the rapid advances in climate science, thus making the prospect of integrating climate information into SWAPs, and conservation more generally, a daunting task. This is especially relevant in the northeastern U.S. since it is one of the fastest-warming areas in the world, leading to unprecedented storms, rising sea levels, and extreme precipitation events throughout the region. This session provides information, context, and guidance that managers need to better address climate change in their 2025 SWAPs. Talks will focus on how climate is expected to change in the northeast and how Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (RSGCN) have been and will likely respond to a changing climate. The session will also showcase a range of existing decision support tools that can aid in identifying and implementing effective climate-smart conservation actions at multiple scales and provide case studies of successful collaborative climate adaptation projects. This session brings together multiple stakeholders, including federal agencies, state agencies, NGOs, and academia, to help address this rapidly intensifying issue at a critical time in the States' writing and preparation process.

Presentations will include:

  • Working with the Sovereign Nations of Virginia as the Water Rises, Jeffrey Trollinger (Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)
  • A Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Coastal Properties, Clay Ferguson (Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)
  • A Review of the Northeastern Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Needs’ Biological Responses to Climate Change to Support the 2025 Revisions of the State Wildlife Action Plans, Kevin Burgio (NE CASC)
  • Climate Change Threats on the 2023 Northeast Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need, Melissa Starking, Tracy Monegan Rice & Karen Terwilliger (Terwilliger Consulting, Inc.)
  • A Review of Adaptation Strategies and Actions in the Northeast United States to Support the 2025 Revisions of the State Wildlife Action Plans, Alice Lubeck, NE CASC
  • Climate Adaptation Case Studies in the Northeast, Hanusia Higgins (NE CASC)
  • Vulnerability of Northeastern U.S. Species of Greatest Conservation Need to Climate Change, Alice Lubeck (NE CASC)
  • Reflections on a decade of integrating climate change into State Wildlife Action planning in the Northeast, Karen Terwilliger (Terwilliger Consulting, Inc.)
  • Climate change information for wildlife action plans in the Northeast United States, Ambarish Karmalkar (University of Rhode Island)