The Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC) identifies and addresses climate change impacts on ecosystems by using science to inform adaptive management for long-term ecological and economic benefits.
WHY: Recognizing the urgent need for coordinated, science-based strategies to address the impacts of accelerating climate change on ecological systems (www.climatescience.gov), federal, state and non-governmental research, management and planning agencies in the San Francisco region have joined forces to launch the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (BAECCC). Through our joint efforts, we will provide a national model of cooperative, adaptive conservation to sustain nature’s benefits to our communities (www.millenniumassessment.org) in the face of rapid environmental change. Working cooperatively, BAECCC members leverage expertise, funds and resources to more effectively address the ecological challenges of our time.
WHERE: BAECCC focuses on the ocean to the estuary – from the pelagic, near-shore and coastal areas of the Greater Gulf of the Farallones to the subtidal, tidal wetland and adjacent uplands of San Francisco Bay, stretching inland to Suisun Bay.
WHO: BAECCC founding members include California Coastal Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Game, National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore, NOAA’s Coastal Services Center, NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary, PRBO Conservation Science, San Francisco State University, US Fish and Wildlife Service’s San Francisco Bay Refuge Complex, and US Geological Survey’s Pacific Southwest Area as well as San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture and San Francisco Estuary Project.
WHAT: BAECCC members jointly assess climate change impacts at a regional scale; conduct scientific research and monitoring; develop predictive models to understand possible future changes and prioritize conservation actions; guide natural resource managers in employing, testing, and improving adaptive management strategies; and conduct outreach to local and regional stakeholders, policymakers and the public. Working with numerous agencies, NGOs, academia and other collaborators, BAECCC ensures timely, accessible, web-based information sharing as well as ongoing outreach to policymakers and the public to advance its vision.
Examples of BAECCC’s objectives include:
- Research, Monitoring and Management
- Understand and assess impacts or potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems including sea level rise, ocean acidification, salinity changes, increased sea surface temperature, storm surges, coastal inundation, and extreme weather events;
- Evaluate animal and plant population responses to climate and/or related landscape changes;
- Develop and test cost-effective indicator species management approaches to provide early warning of changes and to evaluate management actions;
- Develop, test and improve strategies to enhance nature’s carbon sequestration capacities;
- Maximize positive outcomes of current regional conservation priorities; and,
- Assess impacts of renewable energy projects and develop approaches to minimize disturbance to natural resources.
- Information Management and Sharing
- Ensure timely, open and shared access to data, analyses, modeling, tools, protocols, management plans, papers and reports through web-based informatics frameworks; and,
- Employ and test a framework to be applied nationally for "adaptive management in the face of uncertainty" to reduce impacts on biodiversity, sustain ecological function, and enhance ecological benefits to coastal communities.
- Policy and Outreach
- Produce and distribute Climate Change State of the Bay Area Coastal Ecosystems Reports;
- Assess new and/or modified federal regulations and policies to enhance adaptive natural resource management capacity in response to climate change;
- Provide tangible measures of the economic benefits to coastal communities of proactive natural resource adaptive management in the face of climate change; and,
- Conduct outreach to policymakers and the public about BAECCC efforts and outcomes.
Ten Year Outcomes:
- Science-based adaptive management approaches are identified, tested, implemented, and disseminated to reduce negative impacts of climate change and variability on coastal and ocean ecosystems as well as human communities.
- Natural resource management protocols, plans, policies, regulations and statutes are revised and developed to prioritize greatest ecological response to increasingly unpredictable climate and greater extremes than experienced in the past century.
- San Francisco ocean-estuary ecological systems have an enhanced ability to respond to rapid climate change to sustain ecological services on which our coastal communities rely.