Project

Climate change and the extreme weather associated with it can be a major challenge to landowners and land managers interested in the protection, restoration, recovery, and management of wetlands and wildlife habitats. The Midwest is not only experiencing an increase in average temperatures and precipitation, but also an increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as heat, floods, and drought. Forecasting the potential impacts of the changes over the next 25 to 50 years will be important for decision makers and landowners seeking to minimize the impacts to infrastructure and to the habitats themselves and prepare for the future. By providing maps of watersheds and protected areas at greatest risk of increased flooding, sedimentation and eutrophication, now and in the future, decision makers, landowners and land managers can consider options for modifying resource allocation, management strategies and/or changing infrastructure to provide protection for trust resources

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Black River Delta, WI, Public Domain - Credit
Project

USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) throughout the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) have identified high nutrient runoff, a major contributor to Gulf hypoxia, and declines in wildlife populations (especially grassland and riparian birds), as conservation challenges requiring collaborative action. This project developed a spatial decision support system (DSS) to address these issues. The DSS was designed to identify MRB watersheds where application of conservation practices can (1) reduce nutrient export to the Gulf hypoxia zone and (2) enhance conservation for grassland and riparian birds, based on (3) identifying landowners willing and capable of implementing these practices. The DSS identified appropriate conservation practices to be implemented, and quantified resulting benefits for both nutrient export and bird habitat. The DSS  also enabled analyses of whether landowner willingness to implement desired practices was affected by perceptions of climate extremes

Project

Recent extreme floods on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have motivated expansion of floodplain conservation lands. Within Missouri there are more than 85,000 acres of public conservation lands in large-river floodplains. Floodplain lands are highly dynamic and challenging to manage, particularly as future climatic conditions may be highly variable. These lands have the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services like provision of habitat, nutrient processing, carbon sequestration, and flood-water storage that produce economic values in terms of recreational spending, improved water quality, and decreased flood hazards. However, floodplain managers may need tools to help them understand nonstationary conditions on conservation lands. This project worked with floodplain managers to identify the information most needed to understand nonstationary conditions, and to develop tools they can apply to conservation lands to improve decision making

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Example floodplain inundation maps
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