Climate Ready Estuaries: A Blueprint for Change

This report summarizes key findings and recommendations for climate change adaptation in the region surrounding North Carolina's Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (APNEP), which is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Ready Estuaries Program. Recommendations to improve the area’s resilience and adaptation capacity, including specific recommendations to the APNEP policy board are included.

The report summarizes initial outreach efforts, develops a blueprint with findings and recommendations for increasing the region’s climate resilience, compiles  up-to-date science on sea-level rise impacts, and serves as a first step in educating the public and decision makers about becoming a climate ready estuary. The report also offers background information specific to North Carolina, describing APNEP's importance to the state and recommendations to address state-level climate concerns and impacts.

The report's recommendations address three areas of need:

  1. Improving access to and quality of information,
  2. Improving government efficiency and coordination, and
  3. Implementation steps that APNEP should take as soon as possible.

These recommendations are followed by suggested actions. One such action is to create maps to help the region protect its drinking water from the impacts of climate change. Another suggestion is to develop maps that identify risk to existing wastewater infrastructure to protect public health and water quality.

All of the surveyed participants identified lack of reliable information as their most impor¬tant concern. Climate monitoring and modeling of the region should be improved to provide communities with site- or region-specific information on which to base community decisions. Updated maps, including flood maps, will allow decision makers to identify risks to drinking water sources, drainage systems, and water management systems.

 

Publication Date: September 2010

Related Organizations:

  • The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

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  • Assessment

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