WHAT: The Northeast Regional Action Plan was developed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information required to fulfill the NOAA Fisheries mission in the region. The plan identifies priority needs and specific actions to implement the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy in the region over the next three to five years.
WHERE: The Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf extends from Cape Hatteras, N.C. to the Gulf of Maine and supports important and highly productive commercial and recreational fisheries. The coastal waters are strongly influenced by two major current systems, the Labrador Current flowing equatorward from the north and the Gulf Stream flowing poleward from the south.
WHY: The U.S. Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem supports a number of economically important fisheries and a wide variety of other important marine and coastal species from river herring to marine mammals and sea turtles. The region has experienced rising ocean temperatures over the past several decades, along with shifts in the distribution of many fish stocks poleward or deeper. Other expected climate-related changes include sea-level rise, decreasing pH (acidification), and changing circulation patterns which could impact marine resources, their habitats and the people, businesses and communities that depend on them. Decision-makers need actionable information on how changing climate will impact this region's marine resources, and what can be done to reduce impacts and increase resilience.