San Juan Bay Estuary Program Assesses Vulnerability and Targets Adaptation Measures
The Puerto Rico Climate Change Council brought together numerous experts in 2010 to assess potential climate impacts and vulnerability in Puerto Rico’s State of the Climate Report (PDF) (328 pp, 14 MB, About PDF). Among numerous climate risks, the report details several climate threats to the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, one of 28 National Estuary Programs from around the country. As active members of the Puerto Rico Climate Changes Council, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program decided to follow up on the report with a risk determination and vulnerability assessment for the San Juan Bay estuary. The Estuary Program worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Ready Estuary Program to undertake a comprehensive vulnerability assessment and identify adaptation strategies. The Estuary Program used the USEPA's Being Prepared for Climate Change Workbook process to catalog climate related vulnerabilities through community workshops, stakeholder meetings and exercises.
In order to better understand climate concerns and experiences, the Estuary Program engaged the environmental justice communities that live and work around the bay through workshops and on-site discussions. The completed vulnerability assessment better prepares the San Juan Bay Estuary Program to undertake action to adapt to a changing climate. The report represents a first step for the the Estuary Program. The vulnerability assessment will help inform the development of a future adaptation plan that identifies appropriate adaptation strategies. Meanwhile, the vulnerability assessment has encouraged the estuary program to pursue measures to improve the resilience of coastal wetlands and coral reefs.
Conducted vulnerability assessment with extensive stakeholder engagement process
Identified highest likelihood and highest consequence risks for non-point and point source pollution
Used this information to inform management plans and implement resiliency measures