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From a fisheries perspective, we believe that community resilience means:
The ability of a fishing community to withstand, recover from, and successfully adapt to change. In this context, change may occur over a broad spectrum of environmental, social, and economic conditions, caused by sudden disasters, regulation, or more gradual events such as climate change.
Many questions stem from this definition. How are fishing communities in the Greater Atlantic Region affected by climate change? What do communities need to become more resilient to changes in the distribution of historic fish stocks, devastating storms, and losses in waterfront infrastructure? What can we as an agency do to help the communities we serve become more resilient and adaptable to these and other challenges?
What are we doing?
With help from our Northeast Fisheries Science Center, we are exploring ways to help communities cope with the regulatory, environmental, and economic changes that challenge their sustainability. The collective goal is to improve fishing community resilience by focusing our delivery of information and resources to help communities reduce their vulnerability and improve their adaptability to climate change and other impacts.
We are working collaboratively with partners from the fishing industry, local and state governments, community organizations, and research institutions to enhance the resiliency of fishing communities and living marine resources. We are doing this by focusing on sustainable fisheries, protected resources, habitat, place-based conservation, aquaculture, disaster financial assistance, and economic vitality.
We are also addressing climate change and ocean acidification by incorporating this ecosystem information into our program activities. And we are implementing and overseeing collaborative resource disaster spending plans as needed.
Community Resilience Workshops
Recent workshops (Gloucester, Massachusetts, 2017 and Cape May, New Jersey, 2018) helped us prioritize actions to make our coastal and fishing communities less vulnerable to the impacts of fishery regulations, changes in working waterfront and loss of infrastructure, changing climate, and economic and market fluctuations.
The workshops were widely attended and featured mayors and administrators of prominent coastal and fishing communities in Massachusetts. We also heard presentations from state fishery administrators, scientists and researchers, industry innovators, and fishermen who provided their insights on community resilience problems and solutions. The workshops enabled open discussion on ways our region can help our communities improve their resilience in the wake of the environmental and economic disruptions due to climate change. Check back soon for a summary report.
- NOAA's Coastal Resilience Grants Program
- NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information
- NOAA's Office of Science and Technology Social Indicators
For more information on any of these activities, email NMFS.GAR.Community.Resilience@noaa.gov.