Climate Change Adaptation

Coastal cities and towns of the Mid-Atlantic face challenges associated with climate change, such as sea level rise, the possibility of increasingly severe storms, and shifts in the abundance and distribution of fish and other marine species.

To assist in addressing these challenges, the Mid-Atlantic states need tools and information focused on local and regional scales. Coastal communities require information, education, and strategic guidance to increase resilience to climate change.

Superstorm Sandy highlighted the enormous challenges that climate change presents to coastal communities and natural resources in the Mid-Atlantic region. While experienced by families, neighborhoods, and businesses, the storm’s devastating impacts were not limited to one state. Working together, the States can identify opportunities to develop more resilient and adaptive coasts and infrastructure.

Selected Initiatives in the Region

Advancing Preparedness of Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Communities

In 2015, MARCO’s Climate Change Adaptation Team’s (CCAT) performed an assessment of regional assets within MARCO’s geographic boundaries in order to gauge how these may be affected by climate change. The four assets – beaches, nearshore habitat, offshore habitat and marine terminals – were selected based on an analysis of MARCO’s mission priorities, geographic scope of governance, and potential transboundary impacts. A research team, including members of Rutgers University, Georgetown Climate Center and Monmouth University, worked with the CCAT to categorize trans-boundary impacts (i.e. where climate change impacts on assets have the potential to create affects across two or more state boundaries) in three ways: economic impacts, ecological impacts, and social/cultural impacts. The resulting report, available here as PDF, provides the results of the assessment and serves as a guiding document as MARCO continues to develop it’s climate change adaptation priorities and strategic approach.

MARCO Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Information Exchange

MARCO developed a white paper in 2009 that profiles the status of climate change and sea level rise activities in the five MARCO states. The document also presents the states’ activities organized into nearly a dozen distinct categories addressing policy development, data and tools, technical assistance, and more.

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware

This document contains background information about sea level rise, methods used to determine vulnerability, and a comprehensive accounting of the extent and impacts that sea level rise will have on 79 resources in Delaware.

Recommendations for Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Delaware

This document was developed by Delaware’s Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee and by staff of the Delaware Coastal Programs section of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). It is intended to assist government agencies, businesses, and individuals in making well-informed choices about preparing for and responding to sea level rise.

See Resources for additional information.

Page last updated: March 1, 2014