NOAA report highlights climate change threats to nation’s estuaries

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 29, 2013

“The nation’s 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) are experiencing the negative effects of human and climate-related stressors according to a new NOAA research report from the National Ocean Service.  The national study, Climate Sensitivity of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, points to three East Coast reserves, Sapelo Island NERR in Georgia, ACE Basin NERR in South Carolina and Waquoit Bay NERR in Massachusetts, and  the Tijuana River NERR on the California-Mexico border, as the most sensitive to climate change. Estuaries are places where rivers meet the sea, providing nursery habitat for fish and shellfish while buffering many coastal communities from the impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise. The climate exposure of each reserve provides first alarm indicators about the effects of climate change on the coastal ecosystems. Ongoing research at each of the reserves provides real-time data about how climate change impacts these important natural resources. Almost 40 percent of all Americans, or about 123 million people, live in the counties directly along the shoreline and depend on these resources for food, jobs, storm protection, and recreation. Approximately 50 percent, or $6.6 trillion, of the nation’s gross domestic product comes from coastal watershed counties which support more than 51 million jobs.”

Previous post:

Next post: