State CZM Strategies for Protecting and Ensuring the Resilience of Coastal Resources in the Face of Climate Change
State coastal management programs that are part of the National Coastal Zone Management Program are grappling with climate change impacts that affect millions of coastal residents, including sea level rise, increasing storm intensity, warming ocean waters, ocean acidification and hypoxia, and more. Natural habitats like tidal wetlands and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) are at the front lines of these impacts, protecting coastlines, reducing pollution loading into coastal waters, and sequestering carbon. This session highlights the innovative policy and management efforts taking place in state coastal programs across the country to protect, restore and ensure the resiliency of coastal resources so that they can continue to provide these vital services well into the future. Panelists will talk about how the tools available to state coastal managers through the National Coastal Zone Management Program, such as the Coastal Zone Enhancement Program, Projects of Special Merit, Special Area Management Plans and new enforceable policies, have enabled them to plan and develop the novel policy and management approaches necessary to grapple with this emerging and growing threat. Panelists will also discuss how the coastal programs can play a unique role in bringing different stakeholders (e.g., state agencies, businesses, NGOs, researchers) together to comprehensively address climate impacts to coastal habitats that cut across issues and sectors. This panel, which includes representatives from state coastal management programs, the science/NGO community, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will address several focus areas of the conference, including coastal management; planning, policy and administration; coastal ecological restoration; and large scale management/restoration.