By Jeanne Christie and Peg Bostwick – Association of State Wetland Managers – September 2012

The Association of State Wetland Managers has jointly published a report for the State of Michigan in fall 2012. A number of organizations collaborated in the fall of 2011 to host a Symposium on Wetland Management in Response to Climate Change. Held in conjunction with the Michigan Wetlands Association Annual Conference, the symposium brought together over 150 scientists, policy makers, and agency staff from state, federal, local, and nonprofit organizations in a broad review of wetland and climate change issues. Highlights included a conference keynote address on wetland adaptations and climate change in the Great Lakes region by Heather Stirratt – Regional Coordinator for NOAA’s Coastal Services Center. Sessions included Linking Climate Change to Wetland Management; Habitat Restoration and Protection; and Climate Change and Water Management. The symposium closed with a Next Steps session that set the stage for this report. 

Collectively, these actions provided both an opportunity and a framework for developing and implementing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Coastal and Inland Wetlands in the State of Michigan. This report was developed for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Wetlands Program and Coastal Management Program. However, the DEQ has only part of the responsibilities and authorities that will be part of any comprehensive approach to implementing a climate change adaptation plan for the state’s wetlands. Carrying out many of the recommendations in this document will require the cooperation, expertise and active engagement of many other state, local, and regional agencies and groups. Collectively this much larger partnership will need to review the recommendations in the report and reach agreement on specific actions that can be taken to ensure that wetland resources are included in broader strategies to address and adapt to climate change. To download full report, click here.

For a poster presented at the National Adaptation Forum in Denver, Colorado on April 2-4, 2013 on Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Michigan’s Wetlands, click here