Case Study Highlights – Adaptation

Land trusts are incorporating adaptation principles into their stewardship plans in different ways. The following case studies provide examples of various conservation approaches to build resilience of critical ecosystems.

South Kingstown Land Trust – Integrating Adaptation into Conservation Planning

The South Kingstown Land Trust (SKLT)’s vulnerability assessment and resulting conservation planning efforts identify organizational goals, natural resource assets, and management priorities. This iterative adaptive management approach enables the land trust to focus stewardship activities on critical ecosystems while allowing the flexibility to acknowledge uncertainties and revisit results. By integrating climate change adaptation considerations into conservation planning, SKLT is able to address changing environmental conditions using an informed and methodical approach, and to plan future acquisitions and restoration projects based on their stewardship objectives.

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Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers

Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers offers resources to inform adaptation responses for forest land managers.

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Bald Head Island Conservancy: Catalyzing Small Changes in Climate Change Adaptation

To support climate change adaptation planning the Bald Head Island Conservancy has developed a comprehensive public outreach campaign to help educate community members about potential impacts to the island and individual choices that can help improve the socioecological system’s resilience.

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Digital Coast - Climate Adaptation Case Studies

Digital Coast’s Climate Adaptation Case Studies: Stories from the field, highlights how communities across the U.S. are adapting to climate change.

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The Nature Conservancy CA – Connecting Multiple Resource Benefit Management to Resiliency Planning

To inform management decisions in the region, TNC-CA and partners conducted comprehensive climate change planning and vulnerability assessments for this area. The climate change planning effort began by identifying six key species and habitats in the Mount Hamilton project area.

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Planning for Marsh Migration at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Blackwater 2100 is a collaborative strategic conservation plan that aims to address salt marsh loss and migration in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.

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Building Resilience with Natural Adaptations to Change

Bainbridge Island Land Trust is working with property owners to implement natural adaptation solutions to build more resilient coastal systems. The Powel Shoreline Restoration Project removed shoreline bulkheading to enhance coastal habitats and reduce risks of destructive undercutting, leveraging a failing bulkhead to produce an adaptive win-win solution to adapt to change.

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Pacific Forest Trust: Carbon Projects to Mitigate Climate Change

The Pacific Forest Trust is a pioneer of approaches and standards used to create forest climate policies including carbon emissions reductions or offset projects which harness and protect the natural ability of forests to accumulate and hold carbon, acting as carbon “sinks” and providing essential climate benefits.

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Scenic Hudson: Projecting and Buffering Against Sea Level Rise Impacts

In New York, Scenic Hudson is conserving land in 82 communities in ten counties along the Hudson River to buffer against future sea level rise impacts. By targeting key properties for acquisition efforts, this land trust is working to ensure that natural processes such as marsh migration can continue to provide valuable ecological services as well as mitigate the effects of rising waters throughout the estuary.

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Watch Hill Conservancy – Building Knowledge to Respond to Change

In Rhode Island, the Watch Hill Conservancy (the Conservancy or WHC) works to preserve, conserve, maintain, and enhance the scenic, open space and historical values and the character of the area. In addition to promoting preservation, the Conservancy runs educational programs and works to acquire and preserve interests in real property in order to support the continued vitality and sustainability of the community. WHC partners with the Watch Hill Fire District to protect and manage the Napatree Point Conservation Area, a dynamic peninsula system that includes diverse ecosystem types and offers a variety of educational and recreational opportunities to people in this region.

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The Elkhorn Slough Foundation - Clearing the Floodplain, Adapting to Change

The ESF has been responding to potential climate change impacts by working cooperatively to study and address salt marsh loss. In addition to working with agencies and regional research facilities, ESF conservation projects such as constructing water control structures to adapt to rising sea levels and acquisition and management efforts to “clear the floodplain” address climate change challenges by allowing for migration of tidal marshes and building ecological resilience.

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Planning for Big, Connected Conservation – Kentucky Natural Lands Trust

Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) is working to protect, connect, and restore wildlands, large forest tracts, and migratory corridors.

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Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change Through Local Conservation Efforts: A South Kingstown Land Trust Pilot Project

Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change Through Local Conservation Efforts is a report resulting from a two-year pilot project aiming to foster climate change adaptation at the community level.

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Shifting Shorelines, Shifting Conservation Strategies

This publication provides case studies and geospatial best practices for incorporating sea level rise into wetland conservation priorities to support adaptation.

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Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments

The National Wildlife Federation’s Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments is designed to assist fish and wildlife managers and other conservation and resource professionals to better plan, execute, and interpret climate change vulnerability assessments.

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Shellfisher Preserve - Farming shellfish and adapting to changing oceans through social enterprise

The Peconic Land Trust’s Shellfisher Preserve is a collaborative enterprise that combines conservation with aquaculture activities to raise funds for property stewardship and further research on the Peconic Bay Estuary.

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Corridors and Climate: Planning for Regional Species Flow - Lakes Region Climate-Inclusive Conservation Plan Looks Beyond Borders

Conservation organizations in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire have been collaborating since 2010 to develop and implement a regional strategic conservation plan to address regional conservation opportunities and threats.  This cutting-edge assessment and planning initiative identified a connected network of climate-resilient sites with the characteristics needed to ensure plant and animal species can persist as the climate changes. By incorporating this and other data, including habitat and species movements identified in New Hampshire’s Wildlife Action Plan, these organizations are now able to better identify and protect resilient sites in the Lakes Region that will support plant and animal adaptation as the climate changes in New Hampshire.

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North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership - using geospatial tools to build resilience

The North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership is using geospatial tools to identify conservation priorities to support resiliency in the face of climate change.

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