EPA Vulnerability Assessments in Support of the Climate Ready Estuaries Program: A Novel Approach Using Expert Judgment, Volume I: Results for the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (Final Report)

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) have been collaborating with the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on an ecologic vulnerability assessment of the San Francisco estuary system to climate change under EPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) Program.

As part of the CRE program, the USGCRP has prepared this report exploring a new methodology for climate change vulnerability assessments using San Francisco Bay’s salt marsh and mudflat ecosystems as a demonstration.  A novel expert elicitation exercise for ‘rapid’ vulnerability assessment was carried out during a two-day workshop in which two groups of seven experts each focused on two key ecosystem processes: sediment retention in salt marshes and community interactions of shorebirds with their predators and prey.

The specific goals of this ecological assessment were to assess:

(1) the relative influences of physical and ecological variables that regulate each process,

(2) their relative sensitivities under current and future climate change scenarios,

(3) the degree of confidence about these relationships, and

(4) implications for management. 

The exercise was designed to capture expert information on the sensitivities of ecosystem process components under future climate scenarios. The methods described in the report offer an approach to access and integrate the existing collective knowledge of local experts, in order to quickly identify substantial adaptation options in the face of climate change.

In order to maintain access to this website, we are linking to an archived version of the website saved on January 26, 2017. The original link can be found here: ht tps://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/global/recordisplay.cfm?deid=236588


Publication Date: January 2012

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