Conservation in a Changing Climate
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Tools and Resources

NCTC climate change resources: NCTC is consolidating climate change related training opportunities for FWS staff. The NCTC Climate Change Resource Library also provides selected citations to journal articles, documents, reports, and websites.

Updated digital maps are now available that show changes to Coastal Barrier Resource System in five states.

New Interactive Mapping Tool: The Service recently announced the completion of the National Wetlands Database and interactive mapping tool, that integrates digital map data with other resource information to produce timely and relevant management and decision support tools.

USGS National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV): This Viewer includes the historical and future climate projections from 30 downscaled models for two of the recent emission scenarios used by the IPCC.



Climate Change Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Update newsletter allows our staff to share success stories, identify key resources, and stay up-to-date about our agency's climate change response.

The National Climate Team and scientists from across the Service are working together to develop this newsletter, and we welcome your input. Please contact Kate Freund to help provide content for future editions. You can explore past issues through the links at left.

March 2016 Issue

USFWS Science Award Recognizes Gulf Climate Effort

Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment team receives inaugural Sam D. Hamilton Award

This week, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced the winners of its 2015 Science Awards. The team that coordinated the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA) received the inaugural Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science for their innovative application of science. The GCVA teamevaluated the potential impacts of climate, sea level rise, and urbanization on four Gulf Coast ecosystems and 11 associated species to assess their susceptibility to future change and aid in developing adaptation strategies.

The GCVA was an initiative of the Gulf Coast Prairie, Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks, South Atlantic, and Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) in collaborative coordination with more than 50 partners. The award comes with a $50,000 prize that the GCVA team will use to support additional scientific work in the region.

Learn more about the Science Awards, the winners' projects and the Service's commitment to scientific excellence.

Actionable Science for Carbon Storage and Ecosystem Services

USFWS-USGS pilot projects in National Wildlife Refuges

Carbon sequestration is an important ecosystem service associated with peatland and "blue carbon" (mangrove, saltmarsh, seagrass) ecosystems in many national wildlife refuges around the country.

Over the past four years, the Service has worked collaboratively with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) LandCarbon Program to institute pilot projects to evaluate carbon sequestration and ecosystem services in key wetland types in refuges around the country.

Pilot projects are now underway in pocosin peatlands in the southeastern USA (Great Dismal Swamp and Pocosin Lakes NWRs); mangroves along the Gulf Coast of Florida (J.N. "Ding" Darling and Ten Thousand Islands NWRs); mangroves in Pohnpei (not refuge based); recently restored tidal marshes in Puget Sound of Washington (Nisqually NWR); and freshwater boreal forest wetlands of east-central Alaska (Yukon Flats NWR). Future projects are under consideration for mangrove systems in Puerto Rico, freshwater wetlands in the Prairie Potholes, and other systems.

This USFWS-USGS collaboration has successfully generated actionable science related to carbon sequestration and ecosystem services in important habitat types, while also providing data that can help refuge managers make better-informed decisions about the implications of habitat management, including restoration, in these ecosystem types.

Visualizing Risk from Non-Native Species

Tool matches climate requirements to future projections

The Aquatic Invasive Species Branch of the USFWS' Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program developed a tool for matching the basic climate requirements (i.e., temperature and precipitation variables) of a species with climates in the United States.The Branch is using this tool to produce Ecological Risk Screening Summaries (ERSS) on nonnative species. This information provides partners with a basis for making scientific decisions on nonnative species risk management.

A new model feature can match climate requirements to climate projections for the U.S. in 2050 and 2070. To access those future projections such as the sample displayed above for monoecious Hydrilla verticillata, contact Michael Hoff.

Raising the Bar

Collaborative restoration in the San Diego Bay

The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and San Diego Gas & Electric Company are restoring critical salt marsh habitat adjacent to the urban area while also helping to protect nesting habitat for endangered birds from future sea-level rise. The excavated fill from the project was moved and spread out over an adjacent area of the refuge, raising the elevation of the nesting habitat for California least terns and other seabirds by eight feet. The overall project represents compensatory mitigation for the gas and electric company and also includes habitat for light-footed Ridgway's rails.

Learn more here or contact Lisa Cox for more information.

Taking the Pulse of Northern Forests

The Northwest Boreal Monitoring System

Partners within the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) are taking early steps in 2016 to develop a coordinated Northwest Boreal Monitoring System. Because the change drivers of the next century like climate change do not respect traditional political or management boundaries, a resilient landscape requires awareness of broad disturbances, such as invasive species, wildland fire regimes, and permafrost melting. The proposed Northwest Boreal Monitoring System enables the creation of landscape-wide data to detect the impacts of climate change and human disturbances.

Funding comes from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Northwest Boreal LCC.

Read the full story.

Climate Adaptation in the Pacific Islands

Identifying climate concerns and adaptation objectives

In late January and early February, members of the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC, an LCC) traveled to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Guam and American Samoa in order to engage local resource managers in cross-sectoral coordination dialogues about climate change adaptation strategies and opportunities.

Within each Territory, the LCC's workshops provided an overview of current climate hazards facing islands, future projections of climate change and the strategies for improving adaptive capacity in the face of vulnerability and sensitivity.

Learn more about the workshops.

Service Climate Change Practitioners' Forum

June meeting will inform the Service's climate work plan

The Service will hold its first National Practitioners' Forum on Climate Change Adaptation the week of June 6, 2016, at the National Conservation Training Center.

The forum will bring together Service staff and leadership from across the agency for crucial dialogue on how the Service can continue to meet its mission in the face of the transformational challenge of climate change. The forum conversations will serve as the foundation for developing clear next steps to guide the agency through these changes. The forum is being coordinated by the Service's Climate Adaptation Network (CAN).

For more information, contact Kurt Johnson or your CAN member.

New Resources and Announcements:

Western Drought & Refuges

The Service's National Climate Change Scientist, Kurt Johnson authored a guest blog post for the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation on western drought and the growing challenge for National Wildlife Refuge managers

NOAA Warming Trends

NOAA releases new vulnerability assessment suggesting warming ocean may bring major changes for U.S. Northeast Fishery Species.

NOAA also reports that the average annual U.S. temperature in 2015 was the second warmest on record and that every U.S. state experienced warmer temperatures than the 20th century average. 

NPS Coastal Adaptation Strategies

The National Park Service recently released a summary of innovative coastal adaptation efforts for natural and cultural resources in 15 states across the country.

Sharing Climate Information Across Agencies

The GAO examined how climate change information is shared in the U.S. and recommends more coordinated climate information systems across agencies

New EPA Training Module on Climate Impacts & Water

EPA released a new training module designed to increase understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on water resources, and the challenges managers are facing.

An Accurate Lexicon for Climate Change Adaptation?

Is "Resilience" maladaptive? A new study published in Environmental Management questions the use of the term resilience, arguing that it is ambiguous, often misunderstood, and difficult to apply consistently.

Use of Climate Science on Federal Lands

A recent article in Ecology and Society explores management for climate change on federal lands in the West, including perceptions of how climate science is actively incorporated into decisions, management, and planning.

Funding Opportunity through WCS

The Wildlife Conservation Society announced its next round of grant making through the Climate Adaptation Fund. Pre-proposals are due April 8, 2016 by 5:00pm ET.

Upcoming Events:

WEBINAR: Central Valley Landscape Conservation Project

March 16 at 12:00 pm PT

The California LCC hosts this webinar to share new opportunities and cooperative efforts already underway for developing collaborative, climate-smart conservation actions for an ecologically connected California Central Valley.

2016 Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference

Also coming up: Upcoming Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference, to be held in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, April 4-6, 2016.

2017 National Adaptation Forum

Next year's National Adaptation Forum has been announced: May 9-11, 2017in St. Paul, Minnesota!

About this newsletter

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Update newsletter allows our staff to share success stories, identify key resources, and stay up-to-date about our agency's climate change response.

Provide Content

The National Climate Team and scientists from across the Service are working together to develop this newsletter, and we welcome your input. Please contact Kate Freund to help provide content for future editions.  

Explore Past Issues 

Past issues of this newsletter are available on the Service's climate change webpage.

Get Additional Help

Do you know who to contact regarding climate change issues? The Service's National Climate Team helps to coordinate the agency's climate change response and serves as a technical resource regarding climate change science and policy. 


Last updated: April 29, 2016

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