Due to climate change rising air temperatures are already warming freshwater habitats. Some lakes and streams have already experienced water loss due to summer droughts. These, and other changes, are likely to continue and accelerate in the coming decades, and impact water quality and quantity, with negative implications for freshwater ecosystems and the species that rely on these vulnerable habitats. Despite these challenges, land trusts are well positioned to manage rivers, lakes and other freshwater habitats for the multiple benefits – both ecological and economic – they provide.
Climate change has already been linked to changes in wildlife distribution, reproduction and behavior. Enhancing connectivity and “conserving the stage” are critical conservation objectives that can help species adapt to changing conditions.
Given the complexity of climate change and associated threats, preparing to address impacts and minimize vulnerabilities through strategic conservation planning has become even more critical than ever.
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.
This publication provides case studies and geospatial best practices for incorporating sea level rise into wetland conservation priorities to support adaptation.
Shoreline erosion is a natural process. However, sea level rise and poorly planned shoreline development projects can accelerate natural erosion rates. NOAA’s Shoreline Management Toolbox presents alternative approaches for human uses and development near the shoreline.
The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events.
Land trusts and conservation groups across the country are using geospatial techniques such as mapping and modeling to identify and reduce vulnerabilities to climate change impacts.
Introductory discussion addressing why it is important to plan for climate change.
The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina (TNC SC) is integrating climate change in coastal land protection and restoration. Sea level rise, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion are already altering inland and coastal habitats within the dynamic Winyah Bay and surrounding ecosystems.