Developing Climate Change Strategies for Coastal Communities within the New York Bight ROSC Workshop Leaders: Adam Whelchel, Ellen Mecray Directive & Vision: One of the defining environmental, social, and economic issues of our day is climate change. The projected impacts of climate change and the appropriate strategies to accommodate them are beginning to be considered in earnest at global, regional, and municipal scales. In the New York Bight, a tangible impact will be elevated sea levels and alterations in the frequency, intensity, and duration of storm events. In order to plan and respond proactively and effectively, greater understanding of science-based policy and management tools is essential. We propose a region-wide workshop for municipal decision makers, coastal resource managers, and state agencies to increase awareness of projected impacts and risks and identify key research, educational and planning resource needs to enable communities to develop progressive adaptation responses to the changing climate. The workshop will focus on identifying multi-objective, ecosystem-based approaches across multiple state and local jurisdictions. In addition, emphasis will be directed towards making informed decisions regarding the integral role of natural resources in risk mitigation, existing and future coastal development, and land protection to reduce human and natural community vulnerability. Process: We envision a two-part event. The first part will provide an overview for the NY Bight of 1) exiting coastal climate projections (inundation and flooding), 2) current and future vulnerability or threats and 3) the introduction of potential regional to local approaches (i.e., case studies, pilot programs, etc…). The overview will be followed by interactive sessions designed to capture the current constraints and opportunities (i.e., science needs, policy reform, funding) and perspectives of participants regarding potential adaptation solutions for the NY Bight. The second part will begin to focus the participants on constructively and collaboratively developing both feasible and innovative adaptation strategies. This exercise will also include the identification of additional educational and technical resource needs to overcome existing constraints. Outcomes: • A greater understanding of projected climate change scenarios and the likely impacts to natural resources and risks to human communities in the NY Bight. • A greater awareness of feasible and innovative adaptation response strategies. • An assessment of information gaps, limitations, and opportunities.
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