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Development of a Climate Change Vulnerability Map for Bodies of Water in the Midwestern U.S.

The Northeast CASC-funded research, carried out in collaboration with land managers, helps prioritize locations needing support for adaptation planning with a focus on riparian systems. 

Overlooking the Manistee River
Manistee River, MI in the Midwestern US.

Read the original news story posted by the Northeast CASC, here

The Midwest is experiencing an increase in average temperatures and precipitation, as well as an increase in the frequency of extreme events such as heat, floods, and drought due to climate change. These extreme events pose a major challenge to landowners and land managers who are interested in protecting, restoring, recovering, and managing wetlands and wildlife habitats. A Northeast CASC-funded study assessed the vulnerability of climate change from a land management perspective and identified where the most extreme changes might occur. The map can be used by managers to better understand the effects that projected climate scenarios may have on the hydrology of the areas they work with. USGS scientists John Delaney and Kristen Bouska worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service managers to develop the hotspot mapping, which revealed that watersheds in Iowa, central Illinois, and northwest Ohio have the greatest vulnerability to extreme events. These forecasts will allow for decision makers and landowners to prepare for future effects to aquatic habitats in the Midwest.  . 

This publication is part of the Northeast CASC project, Vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning for projected changes in water quality and quantity for protected areas in the Upper Mississippi watershed

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