Working with New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia — the five members of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) — the Environmental Law Institute prepared a detailed assessment of methods to identify, conserve, and restore wetlands for protection of communities and ecosystems in the face of rapid climate change. ELI in collaboration with an expert panel designed an approach that can accommodate continuous improvement by resource managers, legislators, and policy makers. The approach relies on:
- statements of clear (and increasingly specific) policy goals,
- use of wetland prioritization systems that can generate transparent and reproducible results, and
- reliance on data visualization tools to communicate with the public and decision makers.
The report includes hyperlinks to more than 70 tools in use, together with discussions of how they work, and recommendations for the design of a regionally consistent system to advance climate adaptation. The project was supported by MARCO and the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.