Restoring the Great Lakes' Coastal Future - Technical Guidance for the Design and Implementation of Climate-Smart Restoration Projects

The purpose of this report is to provide an initial suite of tools and methods to assist in the planning and implementation of climate-smart restoration by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners and grantees. The National Wildlife Federation and EcoAdapt have partnered with NOAA’s Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Program to include climate change in the design and implementation of Great Lakes restoration projects. This guide presents a project-based approach to adjusting restoration activities to address the impacts of climate change on the region. 

This Technical Guidance presents a practical approach for restoration project planners to assess the vulnerability of their projects to climate change and identify ways to avoid or minimize expected climate change impacts that would jeopardize the achievement of project objectives over the expected life of the project. Throughout this guidance, case examples illustrate how to apply this climate-smart restoration framework to the actual practice of restoration. These examples, including the restoration of whitefish spawning habitat and sea lamprey control, are presented in tabular format for easy reference. Tables review vulnerability of project goals, targets, and approaches to climate change, and present options for reducing that vulnerability on a number of levels.

Detailed information on conducting a vulnerability assessment, as well as additional resources on restoration, climate change adaptation and the Great Lakes region are provided in appendices.


Publication Date: 2011

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Jennie Hoffman
  • Melinda Koslow
  • Austin Kane
  • Douglass B. Inkley
  • Patty Glick

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment guide

States Affected:


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User Comments:

  • September 14, 2018
    Jessica Grannis, Coastal Resilience Director at National Audubon Society

    Great resource for helping natural resource managers account for climate change in the design and ongoing management of restoration projects in the Great Lakes.