Adaption Strategies to Climate Change: Predictive Response and Restoration!?

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Adaption Strategies to Climate Change: Predictive Response and Restoration!?. DE Climate Change Workshop May 6 2008 Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Simeon Hahn, Krissy Rusello, Anthony Dvarskas, Tom Brosnan Office of Response & Restoration NOAA.
Adaption Strategies to Climate Change:Predictive Response and Restoration!?DE Climate Change WorkshopMay 6 2008Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Simeon Hahn, Krissy Rusello, Anthony Dvarskas, Tom BrosnanOffice of Response & Restoration NOAAThe opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.DARRP Mission:
  • To protect and restore NOAA’s coastal natural resources harmed by releases of hazardous materials or oil spills
  • Authority includes:
  • Settlements have resulted in 7 protection and restoration projects in Delaware. Restoration and/or protection of 530 acres of marine habitats in Delaware (completed and planned activities). Cleanup actions promote recovery of coastal resources and communities at 16 hazardous waste sites.Accomplishments –in Delaware (with our partners) NOAA’s Strategic Plan
  • 1. Protect, Restore, and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources through an Ecosystem Approach to Management;
  • 2. Understand Climate Variability and Change to Enhance Society's Ability to Plan and Respond;
  • 3. Serve Society's Needs for Weather and Water Information;
  • 4. Support the Nation's Commerce with Information for Safe, Efficient, and Environmentally Sound Transportation; and
  • 5. Provide Critical Support for NOAA’s Mission
  • “Adaptation to climate change is now inevitable… The only question is will it be by plan or by chaos?”Roger Jones, CSIRO, Australia; Co-author of IPCCIncrease in salinity and temperatureChanges in rainfall/runoff patternsIncreased tidal inundation and surgesIncreased erosionImpacts to groundwater (salt water intrusion, mobilization of contaminants)Increasing frequency and intensity of storms and floodingConversion of wetlands to open waterChanges in erosion and accretion of beaches, other shorelines, coastal barriers Increased eutrophication, turbidity, and hypoxiaLoss of less adaptable/sensitive species, changes in invasive speciesDecrease in public access to shorelinesInfrastructure impacts: ports, rails, roads, sewage systems, industrial facilitiesSocioeconomic and financial impactsClimate Change Change Effecte.g., US Climate Change Science ProgramUseful Adaptation Links
  • Databases of adaptation projects and strategies
  • World Resources Institute
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Policies and planning
  • Guidebook on climate change preparedness
  • OCRM/Coastal Zone Management Act
  • EPA -,
  • But what about these?
  • Erosion and remobilization of contaminants
  • Increased risk of spills – pipeline infrastructure, shoreline infrastructure, well-heads, arctic shipping lanes
  • Changes in estuarine circulation and contaminant fate and transport
  • Changes in bioavailability of contaminants (e.g., metals)
  • Area InformationStatistics
  • Approx 3,000 vessel arrivals/year
  • 2nd largest petro-chemical port in the nation (largest for crude oil imports)
  • Largest VLCC receiving port in nation
  • 1 million barrels of crude oil imported daily
  • Largest North American port for steel, paper, and meat imports
  • Largest cocoa bean and fruit import port on east coast
  • Port system generates $19 billion in annual revenue
  • Home to:
  • Five of the largest east coast refineries
  • Six nuclear power plants
  • Three states and two federal regions
  • WilmingtonSelected Hazardous Waste Sites in DelawareChesapeake and Delaware CanalRCRA sitesSIRB sitesDoverSIRB SitesLewesSIRB: Site Investigation and Restoration BranchMap source: Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control Predictive Response & Restoration
  • Climate Change
  • Assess/Evaluate potential “at risk” industrial infrastructure and Hazardous Waste sites
  • Work with partners to develop adaptive response
  • Develop appropriate adaptive strategies for future restoration
  • Delaware River Watershed Database & Mapping ProjectsCombines the power of a comprehensive database with the visual strength’s of Geospatial Analyses to provide insights into Natural Resource losses/gains at:Hazardous Waste SitesBrownfield SitesNJ/Delaware River Initiative SitesOil Spill SitesRestoration Sites we can’t be sure of what would happen to chemical and oil infrastructure in DE, we know what happened in LA…
  • Nearly 400 reported releases of hazardous material, e.g., hundreds of stranded drums of unknown materials (
  • 16 major pollution incidents
  • Millions of gallons of oil spilled
  • Should we be concerned???Secondary/Tertiary Impacts
  • As with current spills, cascading effects will need to be considered
  • Recreational impacts
  • Ecological Impacts
  • Commercial Impacts (Port/vessel traffic closures, fishing bans, etc.)
  • Others - In the Athos spill, Salem nuclear power plant was shut down due to potential for submerged oil/water intake
  • Potential Approaches
  • Re-analyze Relative Sea level changes from the perspective of industrial infrastructures and future restoration
  • Couple potential ecosystem changes with increased risks of spills/contamination
  • Develop tools to better identify risks and improve predictions
  • Conduct risk and vulnerability assessments
  • Work with industry to develop risk evaluation leading to decision tree for potential and necessary actions
  • Challenges
  • Incorporate predictive impacts into regional and facility-specific contingency plans
  • Work with Stakeholders to incorporate vulnerability assessment into restoration plans
  • Promote habitat restoration that mitigates climate change
  • Identify and overcome institutional barriers!
  • For More Information…
  • California Restoration and Adaptation Example
  • South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project: goal to convert 15,100 acres of commercial salt ponds
  • Project planning incorporated mid-range sea level rise estimate
  • Higher than anticipated sea level rises could impact progression
  • Would require adaptive management of project
  • Source: South Bay Salt pond Restoration project. Strategy
  • Natural Resources Canada has Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program
  • Projects underway include:
  • Evaluation of risk of erosion and flooding in British Columbia
  • Sea level rise impacts upon Prince Edward Island
  • Fate of salt marshes in Atlantic Canada
  • Source: Natural Resources Canada. Union
  • Vulnerable coastal zones in multiple Member States
  • EU reports address adaptation strategy
  • Source: European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, 2006. European Union (cont’d)
  • Green Paper underlines importance in taking action and leading adaptation strategies
  • Without early policy response adaptation measures risk being chaotic
  • Potential actions defined:
  • Relatively inexpensive “soft” actions (e.g., public planning)
  • Costly defense/relocation measures (e.g., increasing dyke height, relocating populations and critical infrastructure)
  • Adaptation policies emerging in Member States
  • Netherlands Adaptation Strategy
  • Natural coastal defenses such as sand dunes threatened by increased wave action with sea level rise
  • Identified potential strategies:
  • Reinforcement of dykes to withstand more frequent flooding
  • Widening/raising of sand dunes
  • Construction of buildings on floating infrastructure
  • Artificial reefs
  • Allowing predesignated areas to flood — “Living With Water”
  • Adaptation in Developing Countries
  • Work ongoing between international organizations and governments to assess vulnerability, develop strategies
  • Particularly challenging given limited infrastructure and funding
  •  threats from development (e.g., wetland and mangrove loss)
  • Fiji: Coral Restoration
  • Reefs can reduce coastal erosion and sand loss
  • Corals planted, mangroves restored, “fish houses” constructed, removal of starfish infestation
  • Choice of corals important
  • Could be replicated elsewhere
  • Source: UNFCCC.
  • One strategy includes switching to more salt tolerant food production (e.g., shrimp farming instead of rice fields)
  • Thailand and Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Program implemented to restore and conserve mangrove forests
  • Includes community training in mangrove management
  • Sri Lanka
  • Project focuses on East Coast
  • Will rehabilitate:
  • Coastal lagoons (1,000 ha)
  • Sand dunes (75 ha) of sand dunes
  • Mangroves (250 ha)
  • Assessing Field Projects for Adaptation
  • IUCN, IISD, SEI-US, Intercooperation developed Community-based Risk Screening Tool—Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) tool
  • Goal: assist project managers in aligning community projects with risk reduction/adaptation goals
  • One objective: how to adjust projects to  adaptive capacity
  • Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development.
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