NE CSC Science Coordinator Michelle Staudinger and Research Ecologist Toni Lyn Morelli attended the Northeast State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinators Meeting in Amherst, MA on March 21.
Also attending were members of the North Atlantic LCC and USFWS. The purpose of the meeting was to provide guidance and resources to Northeast State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) Coordinators to assist with implementing their recently revised SWAPs as well as to foster communication among states and increase efficiency in implementing SWAP actions. Michelle and Toni Lyn presented updates on NE CSC science and adaptation initiatives that built on the 2015 synthesis report provided by the NE CSC to the States, as well as new and ongoing efforts to address climate impacts in the coastal zone, on threshold-based adaptation and ecosystem services, climate change refugia and habitat connectivity, and invasive species. These topics were selected due to their collective importance across NEAFWA states as identified in a recent threat assessment conducted by Terwilliger Consulting and supported by the NEFWDTC and Regional Conservation Need (RCN) program. Prior to the meeting, State Coordinators submitted specific questions on each of these topics for the NE CSC to consider and respond to as part of a facilitated discussion on how best the States, the NE CSC, the NA LCC, and USFWS can partner to integrate climate change into the implementation of SWAP initiatives during the coming decade. This dialogue will continue as a session at the upcoming regional science meeting in May as it continues to be a core initiative of the NE CSC mission to identify science that best informs management needs in a changing climate and translate science results into management decisions and adaptation strategies.