USEPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) program partners with National Estuary Programs (NEPs) and other coastal managers to assess climate change vulnerabilities, develop and implement adaptation strategies, engage and educate stakeholders, and share the lessons learned with other coastal managers. Their website is a great resource for guidance and tools addressing vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning.
CRE recently released its 2010 Progress Report. The program had a number of important accomplishments in 2010, including distributing $450K in start-up grants and $850K in direct technical assistance, developing climate change indicators for two NEPs, and bringing four new NEPs into the program. CRE also conducted two series of expert elicitation workshops in support of vulnerability assessment and climate change adaptation efforts: one for the Charlotte Harbor NEP and another for the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) / Town of Groton, CT.
Our very own coastal engineer, Kirk Bosma, presented coastal engineering alternatives at the Groton workshop. The workshop, which was a collaboration between LISS, ICLEI, Groton, and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, was very well received and layed a framework for some impressive adaptation planning efforts in the town. Groton is now planning to pursue zoning incentives, preliminary risk assessments, and the incorporation of adaptation themes into both the school curriculum and the local plan of conservation and development.