A Change of Climate: Preparing Sanctuaries For Climate Change Impacts
In 2010, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries became the first sanctuaries to issue a comprehensive report on the potential climate change impacts to their habitats and biological communities. Existing observations and science-based expectations were used to identify an extensive suite of potential climate change impacts to habitats, plants, and animals within the San Francisco Bay Area's unique ocean and coastal zones.
Climate change impact reports are one of the first steps called for in the sanctuary system's Climate Smart Sanctuaries guidance, a process that outlines how each site will assess and prepare for climate change impacts on their specific resources. A number of other efforts are underway, including sentinel site monitoring programs and climate literacy projects. Greening and other mitigation efforts are also underway. Sanctuary facilities, such as those at the Florida Keys, are high efficiency structures that meet the highest building standards, and include energy and water savings practices and technologies. Our vessels are also “green;” in 2005, the Huron Explorer was acquired by Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and was retrofitted to be the first in the nation to operate without any petroleum products.