Unequivocal scientific consensus states that the impacts of climate change are already occurring and will intensify in the future, likely resulting in significant alteration of coastal ecosystems, coastal hazards and lifestyle changes for fishers, coastal resource users, waterfront property owners and coastal communities. These changes have far-reaching impacts on a range of challenges for coastal resource managers. Dramatically stepped up efforts are needed to guide proactive adaptation actions that benefit human and natural ecosystems for present and future generations.
Putting a coastal climate lens onto coastal management activities is a key aspect of mainstreaming climate change adaptation. Capacity building activities incorporate technical assistance training and outreach and are supported through both the United States Agency for International Development, Sustainable Coastal Communities and Ecosystems (SUCCESS) program and the RI Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Program. While addressing coastal hazards has been a long-term commitment within many of our Coastal Management Programs, the foundation of the current work is Adapting to Coastal Climate Change: A Guidebook for Development Planners, developed under the leadership of the Global Climate Change Team and the Water and Coastal Team of the USAID Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade.