USACE Responses to Climate Change Program
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) climate and global change adaptation goal is to develop practical, nationally consistent and regionally tailored, legally justifiable and cost-effective adaptation measures, both structural and nonstructural, that will reduce vulnerabilities and improve resilience to these challenges (USACE Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Report 2011- see separate entry). The entire portfolio of USACE Civil Works water resources infrastructure and programs, existing and proposed, may be affected by climate change and require some form of adaptation.
The USACE Responses to Climate Change Program (RCC) includes a core team of advisors with specific objectives and deliverables. A program support team will provide reporting, communications, financial and technical support. Advisors will include experts from other agencies, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The primary goal of this team will be to identify climate change adaptation opportunities. The state of the science and engineering of climate change adaptation related to USACE missions will be compiled based on the experiences of others, both nationally and internationally.
The RCC will provide immediate knowledge transfer to the FY11-20 Sustainability Under Global Change Program which addresses different classes of projects (e.g., of authorized but not yet constructed), additional classes of change (e.g., demographic, social values, land use, political values), and climate change mitigation. The RCC will also identify knowledge and technology gaps to guide research and development activities, and will transfer knowledge and technology to other USACE programs. RCC Program team members will remain actively engaged with global climate change discussions and investigations inside and outside the USACE as they begin to implement adaptation projects. RCC Program demonstration projects will allow USACE to start the process of adaptation while continuing to test and refine analyses supporting climate change adaptation.
The RCC website provides more detail about specific actions the program teams will undertake; teams are organized by sector or impact. These teams, and examples of their key actions, include: Communications (will develop a Communications Plan): Coastal Storms (will develop an interagency report on coastal storm science to help with the development of costal storm vulnerability assessment methods); Sea-Level Change (recently released an updated EC - "Sea-Level Change Considerations for Civil Works Programs," and will update the Coastal Vulnerabilities Tool); Ecosystems ( will compile an interagency report on ecosystem-related climate impacts and responses,and will develop and test a framework for ecosystem climate vulnerability assessment); Hydrology (will develop processes, methods and guidance for hydrology used in climate change impact assessments and adaptation planning and design; with an initial focus on hydrological methods for nonstationary cases, evaluation of evapotranspiration impacts to water management and sedimentation impacts due to climate change); and Water Management (will focus on water management using a holistic approach with that builds on an interagency effort by USACE, Bureau of Reclamation, USGS, and NOAA, developing a gap analysis and assigning work efforts across the different agencies). Other resources are available on the site as well, including a link to contact the program team.