• Ecosystems Resources

Biodiversity and Ecosystems Resources by Region or State

This tab includes all resources relevant to biodiversity and ecosystem adaptationApply filters to view resources for a particular region or state. Alternatively, use the map to explore available resources. 

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USDA NRCS Conservation Easement and Restoration Funding Programs

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers financial incentives and technical support through multiple programs to public and private landowners aiming to conserve wetlands, agricultural lands, grasslands, and forests through long-term easements. NRCS provides funding opportunities to acquire land for conservation in both a post-disaster and pre-disaster context. All NRCS programs are voluntary and allow working lands owners to be compensated for conserving their lands. These programs and easements can increase local resilience to climate change by improving water quality, reducing soil erosion, and enhancing wildlife habitat. Most USDA conservation funding is allocated through the Commodity Credit Corporation and authorized in Farm Bills (about $5.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2018), while other conservation programs - offering mostly technical assistance - are funded by discretionary spending and annual appropriations (about $1 billion annually). 

Related Organizations: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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USDA NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers an Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program to provide both technical and financial assistance to help local communities and individual landowners recover from disaster events that impair a watershed. The EWP Program provides two assistance program options for Recovery and Floodplain Easements. All EWP Program funding is provided to NRCS through Congressional appropriations. EWP Program funding offers the benefit of providing potentially faster and greater geographic coverage support for disaster-impacted communities because while a disaster event is required for eligibility, a presidential disaster declaration is not.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland: Blackwater 2100

2013

In 2013, The Conservation Fund, National Audubon Society, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered to produce a “salt marsh persistence” report for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) titled Blackwater 2100 to address marsh migration in response to sea-level rise and tidal erosion. The objectives of the report are to identify areas of current tidal marsh most resilient to sea-level rise and of the highest value to salt marsh bird species as well as future locations that may support marsh migration corridors. The report’s authors utilized several tools, including the Sea-Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM), to select one of three different adaptation strategies for wetland areas within Blackwater NWR to create a comprehensive management plan. The three adaptation strategies include: (1) in-place restoration actions targeted at improving existing tidal marsh health and productivity; (2) strategic conservation in priority marsh migration corridors; and (3) actions supporting the transition of uplands into marsh. Blackwater 2100 can provide a useful example for natural resources, open space, and coastal managers to plan for minimizing coastal habitat loss due to sea-level rise by evaluating the tradeoffs of different adaptation strategies; and building partnerships with stakeholder groups and the community to examine marsh migration on an ecosystem scale that necessitates public and private land acquisitions and involvement. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Related Organizations: National Audubon Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — San Diego, California: ReWild Mission Bay

July 15, 2020

In San Diego, California, the city and various stakeholders are evaluating different land-use and planning alternatives to conserve and restore migrating wetlands in Mission Bay as a part of local decisionmaking processes. To conserve and restore Mission Bay, San Diego Audubon and other partners started an initiative called “ReWild Mission Bay” that evaluated different alternatives for protecting wetlands through a feasibility study. One of the feasibility study’s alternatives aims to relocate Campland on the Bay, an existing RV campground on land owned by the city, inland. By moving Campland on the Bay inland, the city could address wetland migration while providing community resilience and environmental benefits. The alternative to relocate the location for Campland on the Bay, if implemented, would be aligned with and build on other local planning efforts to convert a part of the surrounding Mission Bay Park into a regional amenity that accommodates both public and private uses. In July 2019, the San Diego City Council approved a lease extension and expansion for Campland on the Bay that has delayed any potential implementation of the ReWild Mission Bay wetland alternatives until after the term of the lease expires. The ongoing work in Mission Bay can serve as an example for other coastal jurisdictions addressing the tradeoffs raised in land-use and planning efforts for coastal retreat and the challenges that can arise in balancing competing stakeholder interests to achieve both human and environmental priorities. ReWild Mission Bay also shows how nongovernmental stakeholders can conduct planning processes to help government agencies make decisions about long-term land uses and restoration activities. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Long Beach, California: Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration and Land Swap

July 15, 2020

The Los Cerritos Wetlands Oil Consolidation and Restoration Project (project) provides an example of how public-private land swap arrangements can be aligned with environmental restoration and protection plans, and used to advance long-term visions for managed retreat. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Complex, located in Long Beach, California, has faced decades of degradation from human activities and development. Much of this remaining wetlands area is privately owned and used to conduct oil operations. The proposed project would transfer 154 acres of privately owned wetlands to public ownership as part of a land swap arrangement. Specifically, as a part of the land swap, the 154 acres currently used for oil production will be exchanged for five acres of wetlands currently owned by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority. The land swap will facilitate restoration of a major portion of the wetlands via a mitigation bank, increase public access, and reduce the oil production footprint and consolidate operations. The land swap plan also involves a number of environmental and social tradeoffs, however. These considerations can provide lessons and recommendations for other local governments studying land swaps as a legal tool to facilitate retreat in coastal areas. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Seattle Public Utilities - Utility Discount Program

2020

In recent years, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which is the city’s water utility and provides drinking water and wastewater treatment, has strongly emphasized community engagement and equity issues through the creation of a variety of organizations and programs. One organization, Connect Capital, which is comprised of SPU staff and members of a community foundation and a community organization, advises SPU on how to ensure that the benefits of future  investments are equitable and address climate threats to those at risk of displacement. One result of Connect Capital’s encouragement is SPU’s investment in infrastructure in frontline communities, such as the South Park Neighborhood. Another equitable initiative under SPU is the Utility Discount Program, under which seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income customers receive a reduction in their water and electricity bills. Households with incomes at or below 70% of state median income pay only 50% of their SPU bill. Further still, SPU’s Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division aims to promote inclusive community engagement and collaboration.

Related Organizations: Seattle Public Utilities

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Equitable Adaptation Legal and Policy Toolkit - Georgetown Climate Center

July 29, 2020

The impacts of climate change disproportionately affect overburdened and low-income individuals and communities of color that already face significant economic and social challenges. The cumulative impacts of pollution, racism, and political and economic disenfranchisement make it difficult for these communities to withstand and recover from extreme heat, flooding, and other climate impacts. To help communities address the challenges of climate resilience and social inequality, the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) partnered with leading experts and practitioners to develop the Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit, a comprehensive online resource to help state and local governments work with communities on climate adaptation solutions that put frontline communities first.

Related Organizations: Georgetown Climate Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Georgetown Climate Center, Tiffany Ganthier, Lisa Hamilton, Annie Bennett, Katherine McCormick, Anne Perrault, Sara Hoverter, Sara Hoverter, Jennifer Li, Joel B. Smith, Joel B. Smith

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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California Executive Order N-82-20 Addressing the Biodiversity Crisis

October 7, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order on October 7, 2020 creating a California Biodiversity Collaborative and setting a goal of conserving at least 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030 to combat the biodiversity and climate crises. The EO also calls for engaging with stakeholders across California to, among other things: prioritize investments to protect biodiversity, habitat restoration, wildfire resistant and sustainable landscapes; protect pollinators, native plants and animals, and soils; naturally sequester carbon; and develop a “Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy.

Related Organizations: State of California

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change Report

December 2020

The Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, established in 2019, included a broad array of stakeholders and conferred with people from across the state to identify, examine, and include strategies to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change impacts. The task force issued its report in December 2020, which identifies 55 strategies across 9 sectors: Climate justice and equity; Energy; Transportation; Agriculture; Resilient Systems; Clean economy; Education; Food systems; and Forestry.

Related Organizations: Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Climate Change

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan

January 2021

California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan, developed by Governor Newsom’s Forest Management Task Force in January 2021, provides a comprehensive framework of statewide strategies for forest management and community resilience. The Action Plan outlines four primary goals, which are buttressed by subsections and more specific “key actions. ” It not only presents mitigation approaches to reducing fire risk, but also embraces adaptation strategies that advance fire-resilient natural environments and bolster the infrastructure of threatened communities.

Related Organizations: California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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