Climate Change Action Coordination Team

 

Chair Rebecca Smyth, NOAA Coastal Services Center


WCGA Action Plan
Action 2: 
The West Coast states will focus initial efforts, in collaboration with the federal government, on a West Coast-wide assessment of shoreline changes and anticipated impacts to coastal areas and communities due to climate change over the next several decades, and work together to develop actions to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change and related coastal hazards.


 Climate Change Action Coordination Team Final Work Plan


The WCGA recognizes the inevitability of impacts on ocean and coastal resources from climate variations and long-term climate changes. Climate change results in changes in storm activity and sea level, which alter the shoreline. It also inuences ocean currents, upwelling, water temperature and chemistry, and ecosystem stability. Climate effects will impact marine species distributions and abundances from kelp forests to marine mammals to plankton species at the base of the food chain. In addition to global warming, the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere leads to ocean acidication, which has the potential to dissolve the shells of some marine organisms or reduce their ability to form shells. As a result, ocean acidication can result in the death of or injury to marine life. Although models provide predictions and scenarios, these impacts and corresponding ecosystem responses are still shrouded with uncertainties

 

The Climate Change ACT was developed from Overarching Action 2: Develop a west coast-wide assessment of shoreline changes and anticipated impacts to coastal areas and communities due to climate change over the next several decades and work to develop recommended actions to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change and related coastal hazards.


 

The primary objective of the Climate Change ACT is to create a framework and access to information that helps local governments wisely plan for the shoreline impacts resulting from climate change over the next several decades.  In addition, the CC ACT provides recommendations to facilitate continuing coordination among the states and federal agencies by identifying the common regional issues and solutions. 


Recent Accomplishments


  • Sponsored a West Coast Sea Level Rise Study by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science—In 2010, the US Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the states of California, Oregon, and Washington sponsored a study with the National Research Council to estimate future sea level rise. The study will evaluate the major contributors to global sea level rise, predict the range of sea level rise for 2030, 2050, and 2100, and evaluate uncertainties associated with these estimates. In addition, the study will provide values for local and regional contributions to sea level rise. 
  • WCGA CC ACT recently completed a series of workshops along the West Coast following the release of the NRC study to encourage timely, science-based information from the study into actionable, meaningful activities for West Coast communities. The WCGA’s overall goal was to communicate the findings of the NRC study in terms that are useful to land use planners, port staff, and other stakeholders. 

    Budd Inlet in Olympia, Washington

  • West Coast Relevant Sea Level Rise Impact Models: A review to aid local and regional planning

  • Conversations with West Coast Subject Matter Experts: Habitat Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise and Increasing Wave Height/Energy
     
  • The three governors and the premier of British Columbia signed the Action Plan for Ocean Conservation and Climate Change Adaptation of the Pacific Coast Collaborative.







 

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