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Climate Resilience and Adaptation Initiatives

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Protecting the estuarine system from climate impacts

APNEP supports research, tool development, and engagement efforts to improve the resiliency of estuarine ecosystems and assist communities in addressing the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.


Scientists have identified the Albemarle-Pamlico region as one of the country's most vulnerable areas to climate change and associated sea level rise.  In the coming years, coastal communities will increasingly consider adopting strategies to minimize the impacts of a changing climate to their residents and natural resources.  In particular, rising seas are expected to significantly impact the ecosystems which sustain many of the region's industries, including agriculture, forestry, fishing, development, and tourism. Furthermore, increased flooding and more severe coastal storms may cause considerable economic and emotional hardship to coastal residents.
The Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, in conjunction with its partner organizations, has a long history of working closely with coastal communities as they face these challenges.  In addition to supporting research and the development of tools and models to help resource managers make informed decisions, APNEP continues to dedicate resources and support towards connecting communities to the best available science and tools as they develop adaptation planning strategies. 

APNEP Initiatives & Resources

APNEP intiatives related to climate change, sea level rise, resilience and adaptation are aligned with the following APNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) actions.  Current and past iniatives can be found using the links below: 

State-Level Initiatives

APNEP is currently seeking to integrate and align CCMP related iniatives with state efforts in Virginia and North Carolina to address climate change and sea level rise outlined in the executive orders below:   

NC Executive Order 80: North Carolina's Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy

VA Executive Order 24: Increasing Virginia's Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards

Curently, we are actively participating in the NC Department of Environmental Quality Natural and Working Lands Stakeholder Group, and development of Coastal Resiliency Regional Workshops and Summit planned for spring 2019.  These activities will be tied to the development of the Climate Risk and Resiliency Plan required by Section 9 of NC EO80.

Climate Ready Estuaries

climate ready estuaries logo

As a National Estuary Program, APNEP is affiliated with the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Ready Estuaries Initiative.  Past projects under this initative have engaged residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders in discussions regarding local and regional needs to address adapatation and resilience planning at the local level.  Projects have included mapping initiatives and water infrastructure risk analyses.  Learn more about past projects.