Publications

Preparing for climate change impacts to state-owned aquatic lands: A climate change adaptation strategy for the Washington Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Resources Program

Citation

Fredrickson, A.L. 2009. Preparing for climate change impacts to state-owned aquatic lands: A climate change adaptation strategy for the Washington Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Resources Program. M.M.A. thesis, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle.


Abstract

This Climate Change Adaptation Strategy has been prepared to help the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Aquatic Resources Program develop and prioritize its climate change preparedness efforts in the coastal areas of Washington State. This Strategy provides the necessary information to transform the Aquatic Resources Program into a climate resilient institution and to increase the resiliency of the 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands under WDNR management.

As the steward of aquatic lands held in public trust, WDNR has a legal obligation to proactively prepare for the direct and indirect impacts of climate change to these lands. This Strategy initiates the Aquatic Resources Program’s climate change adaptation effort by articulating the next steps that the Program can take to begin preparing for climate change. This Strategy provides an overview of projected climate change impacts to Washington’s coastal areas, articulates a framework for preparing for climate change, and scopes potential impacts to state-owned aquatic lands and WDNR’s management activities. It also assesses the ability of the agency to continue providing a balance of public benefits from state-owned aquatic lands in the context of climate change.

The Strategy presents a vulnerability assessment of WDNR’s co-management of Washington’s Commercial Wild Stock Geoduck Fishery. It concludes by identifying priority planning areas for the Program, and presenting next steps for improving the resiliency of the Program and state-owned aquatic lands. The recommendations include steps to build adaptive capacity and near-term and long-term adaptive actions for the Washington Department of Natural Resources.