Natural Systems

Story: Coordinated planning and response drills improve spill response capabilities.

Story: Coordinated planning and response drills improve spill response capabilities.
The U.S. Coast Guard, EPA and the State of Alaska conduct joint unified planning for oil spill response to eliminate planning redundancy. The Unified Plan provides a coordinated federal, state and local response strategy within Alaska and its surrounding waters. Read more…

Natural Systems

Track and quantify change.

Individuals can use local observer and citizen-science programs to track and quantify environmental changes in coastlines, habitats, and other features, with a focus on context: are these observations normal or unusual? What are the trends these observations are documenting? Agency resource managers can prioritize collecting and establishing baseline science data and conduct vulnerability assessments for resources within their units focused on responding to rapid change. Research agencies can develop standardized protocols for community data collection and measurement procedures to establish baseline data and allow comparability of data from different sources. Agencies can balance scientific data with indigenous knowledge in research initiatives, policy making and sustainable natural systems management programs. Existing networks of information (e.g., assessments, mapping, monitoring tools, data collection) can be integrated to allow users to collect and share traditional indigenous knowledge, local community observations, data collection, and scientific resources. More integrated communication networks could help users better understand changes and threats that are occurring now as well as future forecasting so they can make better planning and adaptation decisions.

Support sustainable natural systems management.

Agency resource managers can consider whether to resist (e.g., control invasive species), assist (assisted migration), or accept change (manage with new patterns) in their management units. Resource managers can develop and implement adaptation plans for sustainable management of priority resources, working with regional partners. Individuals and resource managers can participate in projects and programs focused on wildlife health (e.g., monitor walrus, report unusual mortality events, manage invasive species, carry out coast protocols, monitor and test for disease in species). Communities and resource managers can collaborate to amend subsistence management regulations to ensure subsistence access and species conservation (e.g., change subsistence season dates). Tribes can establish a Tribal Conservation District to manage their own lands.

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