Story: State-federal-Local partnership on Kenai Peninsula works across boundaries to link local climate science and art to scenario and adaptation planning

The coastal communities on the Kenai Peninsula and within the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) are already coping with a variety of challenges related to a changing environment, particularly as communities depend on coastal resources for their economic and cultural livelihood. To address this issue, the Kachemak Bay NERR developed a Climate Resilience Planning Workshop Series with an Adaptation Planning Toolkit to enhance regional capacity of coastal communities on the Kenai Peninsula to adapt and prepare for a changing climate.  Regional leaders and community stakeholders built upon regional efforts through collaborative climate scenario and successful adaptation planning to initiate processes that effectively preserve ecosystem services in the face of climate change by strengthening social, economic, and ecological resiliency to climate-related risks. A Climate Art and Science project was also developed, engaging local artists and youth to approach the difficult realities of climate change, and focus on positive adaptation and a resilient community vision to climate impacts.

Lessons Learned:

  • Incorporating best available science into decision making: Multi-agency and organization research and monitoring informed presentations and participation
  • Cross-boundary collaboration with a wide range of decision makers and stakeholders: City and Borough elected officials; environmental planners; researchers; local, state, and federal resource managers; tribal leaders; and municipal public works and emergency personnel
  • Scenario planning and strategy evaluation process: Developed capacity to assess current problems and future situations with uncertainties, and identify tangible actions and pathways forward

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