Climate Change
Southeast Region

Our Strategy: The Big Picture on How USFWS Works to Address Climate Change


The Service’s Climate Change Strategic Plan is a blueprint for action in a time of uncertainty. It calls for the Service to rise to the challenges at hand, lay the foundation for wise decisions in the future, and begin taking steps right now to begin a continuous and dynamic process of actions that will be crucial to conserving our nation’s fish and wildlife resources in the years to come.

Our work boils down to three key strategies: adaptation, mitigation, and engagement. All of our climate change work is based these three strategies. Look for the badges on each climate project profile to better understand how that project falls into the bigger picture of our national climate change strategy.

For more resources involving our national climate change strategy, visit our national site.


The Key Three: Adaptation, Mitigation, Engagement

Adaptation - using science to prepare for change

Adaptation forms the core of our strategic response to climate change. Essentially, adaptation is planned, science-based management actions that we take to help reduce the impacts of climate change on fish, wildife, and their habitats, whether that's purchasing additional lands for species with changing migration patterns or building a berm to separate salt and fresh water.

Mitigation - carbon sequestration

Mitigation involves human intervention to reduce the sources, or enhance the environment's natural capacity to capture greenhouse gasses. Sequestering carbon in vegetation such as bottomland hardwood forests in Mississippi can often restore or improve habitat and directly benefit fish and wildlife.

Engagement - working with partners and communities

We must reach out to our own employees, local governments, national and international partners, stakeholders, and everyday citizens to seek solutions to fish and wildlife conservation. We seek to build knowledge and share information in order to increase our collective understanding of how to help wildlife resources adapt in a climate-impacted world.



The face of a Florida manatee floating in clear blue water
A Florida manatee. Copyright photo used with permission of Chad Anderson.

A brown butterfly with eyespots on its wings perches on a reddish orange flower
Butterfly at Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Garry Tucker, USFWS.

A waterfall in the fall season
Waterfall at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Garry Tucker, USFWS.

Last updated: September 28, 2010