Many of our current efforts to address climate change revolve around how to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gases through renewable energy, cleaner fuels and more efficient technologies. Most scientists, however, predict that even if we significantly reduce our carbon footprint immediately, the impacts of our past actions will continue to increase the occurrence and severity of extreme climatic events such as droughts, hurricanes and floods.

Wetlands have the ability to not only help humans mitigate the impacts of climate change (through carbon sequestration), but also to adapt to extreme weather events associated with climate change.
Wetland protection, restoration, enhancement and creation can be incorporated into land use planning and management decisions as communities look for ways to manage stormwater, floodwater conveyance, drought and storm surges. “Natural” or “green” infrastructure designs have been incorporating wetlands and specific wetland functions to replace or add to the capacity of often outdated and crumbling conventional infrastructure systems such as water treatment plants, dams and/or levees. Typically, this requires a transdisciplinary approach which includes hydrologists, engineers, wetland scientists, land use planners, policy makers, local citizens and other stakeholders from local, state, tribal and federal agencies. Several local, state and federal government agencies have already begun to develop climate change adaptation plans with some overlapping goals in both regulatory and resource management areas.

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