American Water Resources Association

Climate Change Adaptation in an Evolving Delaware Estuary

  • 21 May 2009
  • 11:30 AM - 12:59 PM
  • 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor, Philadelphia, PA


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Climate Change Adaptation in an Evolving Delaware Estuary

Danielle Kreeger, Ph.D.

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary


Like most American estuaries, the consequences of climate change in the Delaware Estuary will be multi-faceted.  Some hallmark resources could be pushed past thresholds where they can no longer support ecological or human health. The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) is beginning to develop a climate adaptation strategy, as one of six national pilots taking part in the EPA Climate Ready Estuaries Initiative. This effort will examine the vulnerability of three "case study" natural resources: drinking water, tidal wetlands, and bivalve shellfish.  Adaptation options will be examined for the protection and enhancement of the natural capital associated with these resources, including key ecosystem services that they provide.  The resulting Climate Adaptation Strategy will furnish recommendations about how to prioritize what should be done to monitor, protect or otherwise safeguard the most valuable and vulnerable features. Adaptation and mitigation strategies must consider concurrent changes in land use, freshwater use, and other factors that are already in motion in the Delaware estuary and its watershed.

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