Climate Trainings Started Here Impact other Coastal States

The Takeaway: Washington workshop gives planners local data and provides examples of successful adaptation strategies.

Climate change is perhaps the leading environmental issue of our time, but local officials often need help understanding potential impacts on the local level and which adaptation strategies make the most sense for their situation.

Working with partners, the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve developed a workshop for local planners focused on the greater Puget Sound area. The first workshop happened in 2009, a time when many planners in the state were somewhat familiar with “global” information but less familiar with local data and potential consequences. From that first workshop, the reserve worked with a planning team to create a workshop series that included local scientists, data from local research, and regional examples of implemented climate adaptation strategies.

The series was very successful with more than 90 percent of the attendees saying they better understood the topic and will apply what they learned in their work. Workshop materials were shared with other research reserves. To date, at least eight have customized the workshop for their locations. Offshoot activities include classes on climate communications, reserve assistance with climate adaptation planning and vulnerability assessments, and new grants and coalitions offering climate-focused community training and planning support. (2016)

More Information:

Partners: King County, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, Washington Sea Grant, Washington State Department of Ecology