Rapid climate change and an increasing range of climate impacts are already being felt along the U.S. coast, and new research suggests that Northeast coastal waters may be more vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification than previously thought.

A team of scientists with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) recently received a $1 million grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to develop science-based climate-change adaptation solutions for coastal communities and to partner with organizations to help these communities anticipate change and prepare to adapt.

The multi-pronged research project pairs WHOI scientists with regional organizations actively involved in three interrelated coastal ocean climate impacts areas that are affecting many coastal communities in southern New England: sea-level rise and coastal flooding; coastal water quality and ocean acidification; and ocean climate warming and fisheries.

“By working with organizations already established in aspects of these critical research areas, this project will have a collective impact to catalyze improved ocean management strategies and to help the public understand the changes our planet is experiencing,” said Scott Doney, a marine chemist at WHOI and the lead investigator on the project.

The project focuses specifically on the coastal waters of Buzzards Bay and adjacent ocean continental shelf off southern New England, but many of the lessons learned will be applicable broadly to coastal communities of the Northeast and entire eastern seaboard. Partnering organizations include the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.

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Source: ecori.org