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A Climate Adaptation Monitoring Tool for Sustainable Marine Planning

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Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience


This chapter explores an approach to address the challenge of adaptation planning in the management of marine resources under a changing climate. The authors address this challenge by developing an analytical approach to manage both uncertainties associated with the changing climate and anthropogenic changes and providing marine and coastal resource managers with a prospective assessment of the potential impacts associated with climate change on coastal and marine resources. The study presents the case of southern and central west coast of Florida in the United States, a low-lying landscape highly susceptible to various climate change impacts including sea level rise, changes in temperature and other where the authors worked with numerous scientists, managers, and a broad base of stakeholders to create a participatory process for adaptation planning. It has shown that adaptation planning must be approached in a holistic manner which considers resource vulnerabilities, identifies activities that mitigate those vulnerabilities, and includes components that identify when to implement the activities. Taken together, the approach that was outlined presents a comprehensive treatment of climate adaptation planning which addresses both the interests of species conservation and societal values, both of which must be accounted for if effective species conservation is to be achieved.

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    CLIP stands for Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP) a geospatial identification of critical lands for Conservation in Florida, developed by researchers at the University of Florida, USA. See Version 4.0. Technical Report – September 2016. Jon Oetting, Tom Hoctor, and Michael Volk

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    The key previous work developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) include the 2010. Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers. NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

  4. 4.

    STAPLEE allows emergency managers to apply a consistent analysis to the range of mitigation options they are considering. The term STAPLEE is an acronym that stands for the following evaluation criteria: social technical, administrative, political, legal, economic, and environmental. Each of these terms represents an opportunity or constraint to implement s particular mitigation option.


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The decision to permanently leave or to remove existing uses from a site.

Adaptation :

The process of adjusting to change, including direct activities, but also supporting legal or cultural practices.

Adaptive infrastructure:

Infrastructure intended to alleviate or avoid expected changes. In terms of climate change and development, common adaptive infrastructure includes various forms of shoreline hardening/ armoring, elevating existing or new activities (e.g., houses, boat ramps). In terms of fixed public infrastructure, this can include utility changes (e.g., water desalination plants), diversification, and elevation of transportation (e.g., adding ferry routes or elevating bridges and roads). In both public and private sectors, adaptive measures can also include portable or semiportable infrastructure (e.g., movable terraces or small buildings).

Beneficial impact:

Significantly increasing habitat quality or the ability of species to persist over time.

Business as usual (BAU):

A common planning phrase indicating policies, practices, or rules which represent a continuation of current practices into the future. Compatible Impact: proposed activity has no significant impact on habitat quality or species persistence.

Comprehensive planning:

Deals more with interactions between potential uses and the implications of spatial patterns.

Emission scenario:

“describe future releases into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, aerosols, and other pollutants and, along with information on land use and land cover, provide inputs to climate models” (World Meteorological Organization).

Habitat quality scale:

A standard qualitative scale used within this study to normalize habitat descriptions across species and within factors used in evaluating habitat characteristics.

Impact assessment scale:

A standard qualitative scale used to measure species and population impacts within this study. Assignment to individual categories can be on the basis of best professional judgment, empirical analyses, quantitative modeling, or a combination of the three.

Longer term:

For purposes of this study, management activities requiring significant changes to existing institutional arrangements or large amounts of funding were categorized as longer term.

Managed relocation:

A broad set of measures, which promote or require movement of fixed infrastructure. In public sector applications, these frequently include development exclusion zones and setbacks, which restrict current and future development, such as Florida’s Coastal Construction Control lines. They can also include mandatory mitigation measures, such as enhanced building codes. Managed relocation can also include the nonrenewal of required permits, such as certificates of occupancy. Insurance has an important role in managed relocation. On the public sector side, rule changes to publicly subsidized insurance programs can be significant (e.g., FEMA’s repeat loss policies). On the private sector side, insurance companies can adjust rates or refuse coverage in particular circumstances. Many of these measures have cumulative and indirect effects on the likelihood and affordability of siting structures in particular locations.

Management triggers:

Conceptual or practice thresholds or observations which indicate that new or different courses of action are indicated. For example, the ratio of sea level rise to mangrove terrain accretion is a likely management trigger within South Florida. If sea level rise stays below the local accretion rate, one set of management responses is indicated. However, if this threshold is exceeded, a completely different set of activities might be undertaken.

Medium-term actions:

For the purposes of this study, management activities which are likely feasible within 5 years given current institutional arrangements were considered as medium term.

Moderate impact:

Some degradation of habitat or species populations is expected but at a level which could be mitigated on site with normal techniques.

New Representative Concentration (RCP) Pathways:

“based on scenarios from four modeling teams/models working on integrated assessment modeling, climate modeling, and modeling and analysis of impacts” (World Meteorological Organization).

No-regrets actions (NR):

Management activities, which are invariant relative to the range of variation expressed in scenarios. For example, critical habitat acquisition might be considered “no regrets” if and only if it is expected to continue to meet management goals under climate change.

Primary habitat:

Factors/features or conditions which represent or are indicative of the best-known habitat and support its long-term persistence.

RCP 4.5

Stabilization without overshoot pathway to 4.5 W/m2 at stabilization after 2100.

RCP 8.5:

Rising radiative forcing pathway leading to 8.5 W/m2 in 2100.


“the addition of new individuals to populations or to successive life history stages within populations”.


Bundles of consistent assumptions, facts, projections, and possible policies.

Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM):

“simulates the dominant processes involved in wetland conversions and shoreline modifications during long-term sea level rise. Map distributions of wetlands are predicted under conditions of accelerated sea level rise, and results are summarized in tabular and graphical form”.

Secondary habitat:

Factors/features or conditions which represent or are indicative of known habitat but in which some essential elements are either missing or degraded. This category can include habitat, which are only used for a single part of a species life cycle.

Sectoral planning:

Seeks to engage particular issues and can do so in great detail, including consideration of individual policies or rules.

Severe impact:

Degradation of habitat or species population is expected beyond the ability of normal mitigation practices to remedy on site.


A factor that cause stress to a species.



Tertiary habitat:

Factors/features or conditions which represent or contain aspects of viable habitat but also have known limitations. For example, habitats which provide cover but not nesting or forage might be placed in this category.


Proposed activity is likely to cause permanent extirpation of local habitat or species populations.

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Vargas-Moreno, J.C., Ponte, E., Glazer, B. (2022). A Climate Adaptation Monitoring Tool for Sustainable Marine Planning. In: Eslamian, S., Eslamian, F. (eds) Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. Springer, Cham.

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