Thursday, June 09, 2011

NOAA Habitat Conservation | Climate

Conserving Habitat in a Changing Climate

The question is no longer if climate change will affect our valuable coastal and marine habitat, but instead—how will climate change impact habitat and its vital services and what can we do to help safeguard coastal and marine habitat in a changing climate.

Continued changes in climate will directly affect habitat distribution, abundance, and condition, which in turn will impact the fish, wildlife, and people that depend on them. Climate change will also increase threats and impacts to our nation's coastal habitat by compounding the effects of existing stressors, such as pollution, drought, floods, disease, invasive species, and development, and adding new stressors, such as ocean acidification.

Some of the most significant impacts from climate change include:

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  • Sea Level Rise

  • Ocean Warming and Acidification

  • Changes in Fresh Water Volume and Seasonality

Looking Ahead

We will continue to work with our partners on developing and implementing conservation actions that promote healthy and resilient coastal habitat in a changing climate. This includes developing new approaches and improving existing strategies, including:

  • Building living shorelines.
  • Restoring vital habitat.
  • Protecting habitat for current and future climate scenarios through conservation easements and consultations to minimize the impacts of federal actions on valuable habitat.

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