The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) queried the 50 states for information on any wetland-related climate change adaptation efforts they have initiated as of 2010. Since the term ‘global warming’ first appeared in scientific literature in 1975, human understanding of our role in the greater ecological system has rapidly evolved. The scientific consensus is that the planet is warming, and that human activity is (at least) partially to blame. This consensus also holds that the warming trend will have profound adverse impacts on many species, habitats and human systems. What silver linings are presented by current projections, such as increased opportunity for agriculture in presently colder climate zones, will likely be realized at the cost of many natural resources, already strained. There are a number of efforts underway to lessen the extent to which human activity contributes to climate change. Many states have sought ways to reduce greenhouse gases, implementing things such as emissions standards, energy portfolios, and carbon reduction targets.
Planning and adjustments to states’ coastal management programs should be evaluated and implemented. Such changes are known as adaptation. Changes in temperature and precipitation as well as the timing and intensity of flooding and drought will also require adaptive measures in the interior of the United States. Collectively these changes can be expected to have a significant impact on wetland resources. For the 2010 full report, click here. For technical information on how to use these webpages, click here.
These summaries are updated on an ongoing basis as information about new tools and adaptation planning becomes available for each state. These summaries have been updated in 2013.
Wetlands are a profoundly diverse category of ecosystems. Climate change impacts will be different from one state to another. In addition, states vary in the activities they have undertaken in response to climate change, to date. In order to help users find the most relevant data, ASWM has categorized state actions and perceived threats from climate change. These categories are symbolized at the top of each state’s summary page as in the legend below: