On behalf of a broad Hudson Valley partnership, The Nature Conservancy today released the Rising Waters report that outlines a series of recommendations for climate change adaptation in the Hudson Valley. Over the coming decades, adaptation will be critical as Hudson Valley communities face significant challenges posed by the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather patterns and rising sea-level.
The Rising Waters project, a multi-stakeholder scenario development process, brought together a diverse group of over 160 Hudson Valley participants to consider the likely impacts of climate change on the Hudson Valley through 2030, and forward recommendations to improve the capacity of the Valley to withstand and adapt to the expected changes.
“The science is clear—the future climate is likely to be a warmer, wetter and wilder climate in the Hudson Valley,” said Katie Dolan, executive director for The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern New York Chapter. “If we act now, there are things we can do help people and nature adapt to the changing climate.”
Key findings include:
Key recommendations in response:
By highlighting the most important future impacts of climate change and what should be done to improve preparedness, the Rising Waters project seeks to identify what can be done to strengthen the capacity of the Valley’s natural systems and human communities to adapt to the expected impacts.
The report lays out four plausible scenarios based on different levels and kinds of societal response to climate change, and provides a method for evaluation of the choices facing communities and the region. This approach provides a framework for local governments, communities, individuals, conservation practitioners, transportation officials, emergency responders and others to work collaboratively and pro-actively to increase their preparedness and adaptive capacity to climate change.
“For a long time now, the conversation around climate change has centered on reducing carbon emissions,” says Stuart Findlay, aquatic ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. “While mitigation is certainly important, we also need to pay attention to the types of actions that will help us and the ecosystems we depend upon to prepare for future climate change. Rising Waters represents a new opportunity to work together so that we can make a difference for everyone who lives and works in the Hudson Valley.”
Rising Waters is spearheaded by The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern New York Chapter and its partners, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Hudson River National Estuarine Reserve, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Water Resources Institute at Cornell University, and Sustainable Hudson Valley. Bio Economic Research Associates facilitated the scenario planning process.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.