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Climate Smart Habitat Conservation

Healthy coastal habitat that can adapt to and withstand our changing climate is critical for long-term fisheries productivity, water quality, coastal infrastructure, and the health and economic well-being of coastal communities.

Benefits of Climate Smart Habitat Conservation

Promotes climate adaptation:

  • Build the resilience of ecosystems to adjust to impacts such as sea level rise, rising temperatures, and increased storms.
  • Protect coastal communities from flooding, erosion, and storm surge impacts. 

Enhances climate mitigation:

  • Assure coastal and marine habitats serve as coastal blue carbon sinks, sequestering up to five times as much carbon per unit area as tropical rainforests and other terrestrial areas.

What Are We Doing?

Incorporating climate considerations into actions:

  • Technical guidance on how to incorporate sea level rise information into Northeast region tidal marsh restoration projects.
  • Technical guidance to address river flow.
  • Resources and guidance to consider climate science in consultations.
  • On-the-ground protection and restoration actions to build habitat resiliency.

Building capacity for NOAA and partners:

  • Habitat Conservation in a Changing Climate workshops.
  • Vulnerability assessment trainings.

Engaging in interagency efforts to ensure habitat conservation is included in climate adaptation strategies:

What’s Next?

  • Strengthen partnerships within NOAA and with nongovernment organizations and other agencies.
  • Explore blue carbon as a mechanism for enhanced investment in coastal habitats.
  • Invest in habitats of the future through acquisitions/easements and wetland migration.
In the United States, a sea level rise of one foot could eliminate 17 to 43 percent of today’s wetlands.
In the United States, a sea level rise of one foot could eliminate 17 to 43 percent of today’s wetlands.
"Climate change is real. It is here, and it is happening now, in our backyards and around the globe."

Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator