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Conservation in the Era of Climate Change: South Kingstown Case Study


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Clara Rubin, Don Robadue, Pam Rubinoff, URI Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant

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Conservation in the Era of Climate Change: South Kingstown Case Study

  1. 1. Conservation in the Era of ClimateChange: South Kingstown Case Study Clara Rubin, Don Robadue, Pam Rubinoff URI Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant Steve Wood S. Wood Pam Rubinoff C. Ansel
  2. 2. Changing Climate: Here and NowPawcatuck River in Westerly, March 2010 USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, 2012 USDA, 2012
  3. 3. Understanding Vulnerability• Exposure• Sensitivity• Capacity• Habitats
  4. 4. Building on Existing Resources CLIMATE CHANGE AND MASSACHUSETTS FISH AND WILDLIFE:• Climate Change and Volume 2 HABITAT AND SPECIES Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife VULNERABILITY• Connecticut Climate Change Adaptation Report• RI State Wildlife Action Plan, 2005• RI Low Impact Design Manual
  5. 5. Non-climate StressorsClimate change heightensimportance of addressingthese problems:• Colonizing invasive species Common reed, Phragmites australis• Expanding development• Habitat fragmentation and loss• Water quality and quantity issues• Decreasing riparian buffers• Loss of wetlands Maine Sea Grant
  6. 6. What is Important to the Land Trust?• Different areas/goals: origin of “focal areas”• Property-by-property management may be limiting• Adaptation strategies may need to be larger- scale landscapes
  7. 7. Habitats• Freshwater aquatic• Forested swamps & wetlands• Beaches & tidal marshes• Terrestrial uplands• Upland forests• Agricultural lands
  8. 8. Cold Water Streams• Key drivers – Increasing temperatures – Changing precipitation patterns• Sensitivity: High – Endangers cold-water dependent species – Vulnerable to invasive species• Management & protection actions
  9. 9. Agricultural Lands• Key drivers – Increased temperatures – Shifting weather patterns, more extreme weather• Sensitivity: Medium – Vulnerable to pressure from invasive species and pests – Precipitation variability leads to droughts and flooding• Management & protection actions
  10. 10. Upland Forests• Key drivers – Increasing temperatures – Variations in precipitation• Sensitivity – Vulnerable to invasive species, pests, diseases – Drought leading to increased frequency and intensity of forest fires• Management and protection Browning Woods Farm, actions SKLT parcel
  11. 11. Tools for you to use • SKLT Pilot example and application • Habitat sensitivity summary • Maps on ArcGIS viewer • List of Management/protection actions • Resource links • Climate change summary • Webpage: RI Sea Grant Climate•
  12. 12. Clara Rubin Pam Rubinoff