Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy

Click on this image to view a video from our “Voices of Cascadia Project” where climate leaders speak on why working together to address the challenges we face today is necessary, and an opportunity.

Climate change will have profound impacts on both the human and natural communities of Cascadia, from declining snowpack and increasing wildfire to shifting habitat availability for native species. The scale and pace of these changes will require a historic effort by public and private partners to identify and implement actions that will help human and natural communities adapt. While it is imperative to keep working towards reduce our contribution of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere through climate mitigation, we must also increase the resiliency of our natural and human communities to respond to change and disturbance.  The identification of a shared regional climate adaptation strategy for directing independent and collaborative efforts will be critical to ensuring a sustainable and biodiverse Cascadia into the future.

Public and private partners, including our partner forum, have invested significant resources on building a network of partners across political and organizational boundaries working towards a resilient Cascadia.  We propose this network will create a coordinated regional climate adaptation strategy that increases the efficiency, effectiveness, and cumulative impact of all of our work.

The strategy will be a multi-scale effort aiming at providing access to information, spatial priorities, tools to explore options, resources towards implementation of actions, and communications for creating a resilient Cascadia for ecological and human communities today and into the future.  It will be developed comprehensively but delivered in phases, as some components will take longer to execute.  The process of building and sharing these pieces will be as important as the product.

We wish to engage partners throughout this region to:

  • Developing a shared vision and definition of resiliency for our region, including specific goals that we can collectively aspire towards and a suite of priority issues that we can foster coordination around.
  • Providing a spatial regional tool that reflects this shared vision and allows local actions to quickly observe how they fit into a regional context of a resilient future.
  • Creating an easily accessible, coordinated, and interactive inventory of the tremendous depth of existing resources to inform actions today. We have a wealth of species, landscape, and climate adaptation plans that set forward high priority science, management, and conservation actions to increase resiliency of ecosystems and species in Cascadia. In these cases, we do not need to wait for additional information – we need to inform, support, and implement actions.  Ultimately, we propose creating an online spatial portable that provides easy access and interactive features to explore the inventory of climate adaptation plans and spatial data at all scales relevant to Cascadia.  This inventory includes existing climate adaptation plans, vulnerability assessments, science and data, and resources for implementation.  In the short-term we will utilize our existing website and Databasin to build our inventory and connect partners to rseources with links below:
  • Utilizing tools to forecast future scenarios, from population growth to fire management, for Cascadia to inform regional planning and discussions on our options for the future.
  • Engage, inspire, and connect the human communities of Cascadia through storytelling and communications to increase our awareness of the landscape, highlight those confronting threats with action, and broaden the diversity of people and organizations taking action to achieve a resilient Cascadia.

Cascadia has many practitioners and decision-makers already planning for climate change and acting to improve the resilience of our natural and human communities. It is in a region where state, provincial, and local leaders have embraced the need to address climate change. It is home to scientists focused on producing actionable climate change science, and committed to working with those who can use the science to ensure it is useful. It is an area that attracts funding to conserve its wonders. We have a history of collaborating around individual priority issues to get them addressed. And we have a landscape where opportunities still abound, so we have options for balancing the needs of people with a resilient landscape that can support, inspire, and nurture us far into the future. Together we can better gain support for and act on these opportunities, to ensure a resilient Cascadia.

If you are interested in learning more or engaging in the discussion please contact us.