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Water, Coasts and Ice

Warming temperatures and shifting weather patterns are causing major changes in water and ice availability, sea levels, and aquatic nutrient cycles across the country. CASC-supported scientists are examining how water, ice, and coastal ecosystems and communities across the United States are being affected by climate change. Browse our projects below or use our Project Explorer database to explore our science on this topic.

Filter Total Items: 165

The Impact of Future Changes in Climate on Breeding Waterfowl Pairs in the US Prairie Pothole Region

The Prairie Pothole Region is recognized as one of the most critical breeding habitats for waterfowl in North America and is used by an estimated 50–80 % of the continent’s breeding duck population. The ongoing acquisition program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System has conserved approximately 1.3 million hectares of critical breeding-waterfowl habitat. This curre...
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The Impact of Future Changes in Climate on Breeding Waterfowl Pairs in the US Prairie Pothole Region

The Prairie Pothole Region is recognized as one of the most critical breeding habitats for waterfowl in North America and is used by an estimated 50–80 % of the continent’s breeding duck population. The ongoing acquisition program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System has conserved approximately 1.3 million hectares of critical breeding-waterfowl habitat. This curre...
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A Climate Risk Management Screening and Assessment Review for Madagascar’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy

Madagascar, a country rich in natural capital and biodiversity but with high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and population growth, faces a number of development challenges, including obtaining sustained financial support from external sources and building internal capacity to address the poor environmental, health, and socio-economic conditions. Climate change poses an increasing threat to ac
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A Climate Risk Management Screening and Assessment Review for Madagascar’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy

Madagascar, a country rich in natural capital and biodiversity but with high levels of poverty, food insecurity, and population growth, faces a number of development challenges, including obtaining sustained financial support from external sources and building internal capacity to address the poor environmental, health, and socio-economic conditions. Climate change poses an increasing threat to ac
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A novel monitoring framework to assess intertidal biodiversity in mixed coarse substrate habitats across the Boston Harbor Islands

The Northeast U.S. coast is experiencing some of the fastest rates of sea level rise in the world. The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is particularly at risk from sea level rise and coastal storm impacts. Erosion and storm impacts have already led to the degradation of shoreline habitats and protective structures (e.g., sea walls), as well as direct impacts to historic landmarks on
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A novel monitoring framework to assess intertidal biodiversity in mixed coarse substrate habitats across the Boston Harbor Islands

The Northeast U.S. coast is experiencing some of the fastest rates of sea level rise in the world. The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is particularly at risk from sea level rise and coastal storm impacts. Erosion and storm impacts have already led to the degradation of shoreline habitats and protective structures (e.g., sea walls), as well as direct impacts to historic landmarks on
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Estimating Global Inland Recreational Consumption to Adapt to Global Change

Inland recreational fishing, defined as primarily leisure-driven fishing in freshwaters, is a popular past-time which can provide substantial contributions to human consumption which are often overlooked at global scales. Here, we aim to establish a baseline of national inland recreational consumption estimates with species specificity to identify the nutritional composition and total use value of
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Estimating Global Inland Recreational Consumption to Adapt to Global Change

Inland recreational fishing, defined as primarily leisure-driven fishing in freshwaters, is a popular past-time which can provide substantial contributions to human consumption which are often overlooked at global scales. Here, we aim to establish a baseline of national inland recreational consumption estimates with species specificity to identify the nutritional composition and total use value of
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Climate Vulnerability of Aquatic Species to Changing Stream Temperatures and Wildfire Across the Yukon and Kuskokwim River Basins, Alaska

Alaska is an ecologically, commercially, and recreationally diverse state, providing value to people and terrestrial and aquatic species alike. Presently, Alaska is experiencing climatic change faster than any other area of the United States, but across the state, comprehensive environmental monitoring is logistically difficult and expensive. For instance, only about 1% of U.S Geological Survey (U
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Climate Vulnerability of Aquatic Species to Changing Stream Temperatures and Wildfire Across the Yukon and Kuskokwim River Basins, Alaska

Alaska is an ecologically, commercially, and recreationally diverse state, providing value to people and terrestrial and aquatic species alike. Presently, Alaska is experiencing climatic change faster than any other area of the United States, but across the state, comprehensive environmental monitoring is logistically difficult and expensive. For instance, only about 1% of U.S Geological Survey (U
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The Influence of Stream Flow Patterns on Juvenile Salmon Growth in Southeast Alaska

In the Gulf of Alaska, streams will experience more dramatic low water events, interspersed with larger and potentially more frequent high flow events in the coming decades. Reduced stream flows are likely to occur due to diminished snowpack and seasonal droughts, while higher flow events are likely to occur with more frequent storms and rain-on-snow events. These changes are likely to influence t
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The Influence of Stream Flow Patterns on Juvenile Salmon Growth in Southeast Alaska

In the Gulf of Alaska, streams will experience more dramatic low water events, interspersed with larger and potentially more frequent high flow events in the coming decades. Reduced stream flows are likely to occur due to diminished snowpack and seasonal droughts, while higher flow events are likely to occur with more frequent storms and rain-on-snow events. These changes are likely to influence t
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Mapping Salt Marsh Response to Sea Level Rise and Evaluating 'Runneling' as an Adaptation Technique to Inform Wildlife Habitat Management in New England

Loss of saltmarsh habitat is one of the biggest threats to coastal sustainability in the Northeast. Salt marsh has been identified as an essential fish and wildlife habitat, and loss of saltmarsh corresponds with precipitous declines in marsh-dependent wildlife. For example, the global population of Saltmarsh Sparrow is predicted to collapse within the next 50 years after experiencing a 9% annual
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Mapping Salt Marsh Response to Sea Level Rise and Evaluating 'Runneling' as an Adaptation Technique to Inform Wildlife Habitat Management in New England

Loss of saltmarsh habitat is one of the biggest threats to coastal sustainability in the Northeast. Salt marsh has been identified as an essential fish and wildlife habitat, and loss of saltmarsh corresponds with precipitous declines in marsh-dependent wildlife. For example, the global population of Saltmarsh Sparrow is predicted to collapse within the next 50 years after experiencing a 9% annual
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Climate, Storms, and the Drivers of Cyanobacteria Blooms in Lake Superior

Cyanobacteria blooms are one of the most significant management challenges in the Great Lakes today. Recurring blooms of varying toxicity are commonly observed in four of the Great Lakes, and the fifth, Lake Superior, has experienced intermittent nearshore blooms since 2012. The recent advent of cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Superior is disconcerting, given the highly valued, pristine water qualit
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Climate, Storms, and the Drivers of Cyanobacteria Blooms in Lake Superior

Cyanobacteria blooms are one of the most significant management challenges in the Great Lakes today. Recurring blooms of varying toxicity are commonly observed in four of the Great Lakes, and the fifth, Lake Superior, has experienced intermittent nearshore blooms since 2012. The recent advent of cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Superior is disconcerting, given the highly valued, pristine water qualit
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Linking Stream Fish Thermal Ecology and Adaptive Capacity to Inform Watershed-Based Management and Species Status Assessments

Stream fish are in peril from a changing climate, particularly for species with restricted distributions or populations on the southern edge of their range. For these fish, the opportunity to escape warming temperatures is limited by the network of stream channels accessible to them. To deal with temperatures beyond their physical capacity, fishes must move, adapt, or die. However, little is known
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Linking Stream Fish Thermal Ecology and Adaptive Capacity to Inform Watershed-Based Management and Species Status Assessments

Stream fish are in peril from a changing climate, particularly for species with restricted distributions or populations on the southern edge of their range. For these fish, the opportunity to escape warming temperatures is limited by the network of stream channels accessible to them. To deal with temperatures beyond their physical capacity, fishes must move, adapt, or die. However, little is known
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Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns

Small lakes are important to local economies as sources of water supply and places of recreation. Commonly, lakes are considered more desirable for recreation if they are free of the thick weedy vegetation, often comprised of invasive species, that grows around the lake edge. This vegetation makes it difficult to launch boats and swim. In order to reduce this vegetation, a common technique in the
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Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns

Small lakes are important to local economies as sources of water supply and places of recreation. Commonly, lakes are considered more desirable for recreation if they are free of the thick weedy vegetation, often comprised of invasive species, that grows around the lake edge. This vegetation makes it difficult to launch boats and swim. In order to reduce this vegetation, a common technique in the
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The Impact of Future Climate on Wetland Habitat in a Critical Migratory Waterfowl Corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region

The Prairie Pothole Region is recognized as one of the most productive areas for waterfowl in North America and supports an estimated 50–80 % of the continent’s duck population. This important habitat is threatened by climate change and continued land-use change. The goal of this research is to establish a framework for assessing future impacts of climate and land-use change on Prairie Pothole we
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The Impact of Future Climate on Wetland Habitat in a Critical Migratory Waterfowl Corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region

The Prairie Pothole Region is recognized as one of the most productive areas for waterfowl in North America and supports an estimated 50–80 % of the continent’s duck population. This important habitat is threatened by climate change and continued land-use change. The goal of this research is to establish a framework for assessing future impacts of climate and land-use change on Prairie Pothole we
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Understanding Brook Trout Persistence in Warming Streams

Cold-water adapted Brook Trout were historically widely distributed – ranging from northern Quebec to Georgia, and from the Atlantic Ocean to Manitoba in the north, and along the Appalachian ridge in the south. However, studies show that due to factors associated with climate change, such as increased stream temperature and changing water flow, the number of streams containing Brook Trout is decli...
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Understanding Brook Trout Persistence in Warming Streams

Cold-water adapted Brook Trout were historically widely distributed – ranging from northern Quebec to Georgia, and from the Atlantic Ocean to Manitoba in the north, and along the Appalachian ridge in the south. However, studies show that due to factors associated with climate change, such as increased stream temperature and changing water flow, the number of streams containing Brook Trout is decli...
Learn More