Elements of the draft strategy include:

  • Descriptions of current and projected impacts of climate change on the eight major ecosystems of the United States, the fish, wildlife and plant species those ecosystems support and the vital ecosystem services they provide.
  • Goals, strategies, and actions to reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience of fish, wildlife, plants and the communities that depend on them in the face of climate change.
  • Collaborative strategies and actions that agriculture, energy, transportation and other sectors can take to promote adaptation of fish, wildlife and plants, and utilize the adaptive benefits of natural resources in their climate adaptation efforts.
  • A framework for coordinated implementation of the strategy among government and non-governmental entities from national to local scales.

"For more than a century, state fish and wildlife agencies have been entrusted by the public to be good stewards of their natural resources. To do that, we constantly are called upon to address threats to our natural resources,” said Patricia Riexinger, Director of the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “Today's pressures on fish and wildlife and their habitats are exacerbated by climate change and together they emphasize the need for increased conservation and science-based management. The strategy is our nation's insurance for managing healthy and robust ecosystems in uncertain future conditions."

“This strategy provides a framework for safeguarding America’s fish, wildlife and plant resources and the valuable services they provide over the long-term,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA is committed to working with federal, state, tribal and local government agencies, non-government organizations and the public in this process because we all have important roles to play in preparing all regions of our nation in a changing climate.”

Leading the development of the strategy is a Steering Committee that includes government representatives from 16 federal agencies, five state fish and wildlife agencies and two inter-tribal commissions. The Steering Committee includes representatives from the California, Washington, Wisconsin, New York and North Carolina fish and wildlife agencies to ensure that all 50 states’ fish and wildlife concerns are considered. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is providing staff support for developing the strategy.

Public comments can be submitted online through the strategy website via a special link. Written comments may be submitted via the U.S. mail to the Office of the Science Advisor, Attn: National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203. In addition, there will be five public information sessions in various locations around the country and two webinars to provide details and encourage dialogue on the strategy and its development. To register for these meetings and for more information on the public comment process, visit http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-comments.php.