Recent Progress: No Change
Climate resiliency is understood as the ability to anticipate, prepare for and adapt to a changing climate and to withstand, respond to and recover from the disruptions climate change can cause. The Chesapeake Bay Program is considering the development or adoption of up to nine indicators to track our progress toward building climate resiliency. These indicators may include:
- The relative proportion of hardened shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries;
- The availability of corridors that will allow tidal wetlands to migrate inland in response to sea level rise;
- Restored habitat, including wetlands and oyster reefs;
- Lands permanently protected from development;
- Tree canopy in urban communities;
- Land use and land cover across the watershed;
- The extent of local policies that support climate resiliency and local practices designed to better manage stormwater;
- The spatial distribution of select, climate-sensitive fish species; and
- The community composition of underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay.
In 2018, Eastern Research Group, Inc., (ERG) worked with the Chesapeake Bay Program to develop an implementation strategy that defines and describes the steps and resources needed to create each indicator in this proposed suite. As partnership priorities evolve and new sources and methods of analyzing data emerge, the Chesapeake Bay Program may choose to change its course or implement certain indicators from this suite. The ultimate development of these indicators will depend on the quality of supporting data, the added value of the indicators in question and the priorities and resources of the Climate Resiliency Workgroup.
Outlook: Off Course
The Climate Adaptation Outcome is off course from being met. Very little has been done to pursue, design and construct restoration and protection projects to enhance the resiliency of the Bay and aquatic ecosystems due, in part, to limited progress on the Climate Monitoring and Assessment Outcome, which will provide information to guide adaptation actions. Current coordination efforts with local governments and subject matter experts are leading to recommendations addressing climate-related flooding. A 2008 report prepared by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (Climate Change and the Chesapeake Bay: State-of-the-Science-Review and Recommendations) has provided a sound basis for pursing, designing and constructing restoration and projection projects to enhance the resiliency to the impacts of changing climatic conditions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed but more work is required to connect scientific assessments with adaptation planning to target, design and ultimately fund the implementation of restoration and protection projects.
To achieve this outcome, Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to:
- Compiling and assessing current efforts and lessons learned from past and ongoing climate adaptation planning and programmatic efforts within the watershed;
- Preparing a state-of-the-science synthesis of climate impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation information;
- Reviewing and revising conservation, restoration and protection goals and objectives to accommodate anticipated climate-related impacts;
- Engaging stakeholders in establishing climate adaptation priorities;
- Increasing the institutional capacity of the Chesapeake Bay Program to prepare for and respond to climate change; and
- Tracking the effectiveness of and ecological response to climate adaptation actions.
Monitoring and assessing progress toward the outcome will occur through a suite of indicators that will be selected by our partners and stakeholders.
As part of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s partnership-wide implementation of adaptive management, progress toward this outcome was reviewed and discussed by the Management Board in November of 2020. It will be reviewed and discussed by the Management Board again in November 2022.
Logic & Action Plan
Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to taking a series of specific actions that will support the management approaches listed above.
The Climate Resiliency Workgroup leads the effort to achieve this outcome. It works in partnership with the Sustainable Fisheries, Habitat, Water Quality and Healthy Watersheds goal implementation teams.
Participating partners include:
- State of Delaware
- University of Maryland (State of Maryland)
- Bucknell University (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
- Penn State University (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
- Christopher Newport University (Commonwealth of Virginia)
- Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (Commonwealth of Virginia)
- Institute of Marine Science (Commonwealth of Virginia)
- Old Dominion University (Commonwealth of Virginia)
- Polytechnic Institute and State University (Commonwealth of Virginia)
- The District of Columbia
- The Chesapeake Bay Commission
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- National Park Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Chesapeake Bay Journal
- Chesapeake Research Consortium
- The Conservation Fund
- Maryland Sea Grant
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
- National Wildlife Federation
- Sierra Club
- Wetlands Watch