The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is collaborating with Michigan Technological University (MTU), Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), and Great Lakes coastal experts to develop a tool for Great Lakes coastal habitat practitioners.
Home to more than 18 million Americans and a diverse array of fish, wildlife and plants, Great Lakes coasts are an invaluable resource. Coastal areas face a variety of risks to things like hydrologic function, nearshore processes, water quality, and infrastructure resulting from climate change and other causes. Although a variety of broad concepts and considerations are available to natural resource professionals to manage Great Lakes coasts in the face of climate change, tools that move from generalities to tangible, practical, on-the-ground ways which increase coastal resilience are needed. Example of the concept to action framework that tiers adaptation concepts to strategies and more specific approaches for action:
To help meet this need, Great Lakes experts are developing a “menu” of strategies, approaches, and tactics for adapting to climate changes and other stressors specific to coastal habitats in the Great Lakes. Application of this tool will promote implementation of climate-informed land management in freshwater coastal ecosystems. The menus will be tested by practitioners, published in academic journals, and finally disseminated in user-friendly formats.
Habitat types that will be addressed include coastal wetlands; nearshore habitats; coastal dunes; river deltas, mouths, and connecting channels; open beaches; and forests and forested wetlands.
Intended audiences and users of the Great Lakes coastal menu include natural resource professionals, land owners, land managers, ecologists, aquatic and terrestrial resource managers, and decision and policy makers, among others.
Finalization of a draft version of the menu is scheduled for the winter 2021. The review and testing phase will occur through summer of 2021. Publication of the menu and outreach to potential users will proceed thereafter.
Contact Kristen Schmitt to learn more about this effort.
This effort is a collaboration between The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Technological University and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science.