Coastal National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) provide a myriad of beneficial services, including buffering storm surge, improving water quality, supporting commercial fisheries, and providing habitat for imperiled wildlife and plants. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the goods and services provided by NWRs and pose decision-making challenges for refuge managers. The purpose of this project was to explore how structured decision-making – a formal, systematic method for analyzing decisions – could help NWR staff make informed choices about planning for and adapting to sea-level rise and other climate change impacts

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge - Credit: Alan Cressler
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