NOAA report highlights climate change threats to nation’s estuaries
The nation’s 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) are experiencing the negative effects of human and climate-related stressors according to a new NOAA research report from the National Ocean Service.
The national study, Climate Sensitivity of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, points to three East Coast reserves, Sapelo Island NERR in Georgia, ACE Basin NERR in South Carolina and Waquoit Bay NERR in Massachusetts, and the Tijuana River NERR on the California-Mexico border, as the most sensitive to climate change.
“The National Estuarine Research Reserves are uniquely positioned across the U.S. to assess ongoing climate change in our nation’s estuaries which is the degree to which the natural resources and the local communities who depend on them are affected by changing climate conditions,” said Dwight Trueblood, Ph.D. a co-author and NOAA program manager for the study. “This information is important to helping coastal managers and local community leaders make informed decisions about the best ways for coastal communities to adapt to climate change.” ...
Researchers determined the extent of relative climate sensitivity in the reserves by looking at five factors: social, biophysical, and ecological sensitivity, and exposure to temperature change and sea level rise.