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Climate Adaptation Indicators and Metrics


NERRS reserves are at the leading edge of experiencing the impacts of climate change and related coastal changes. While some have just begun to assess formally what risks and challenges climate change may pose to their reserves and the communities with which they work, others are already involved in adaptation planning or in implementing adaptation strategies.

The Science Collaborative is working closely with the Reserve System to identify helpful approaches to selecting and tracking indicators of successful adaptation. Drawing on her work on indicators of vulnerability, sustainability, ecological health, and tracking indicators of success related to climate change, Dr. Susi Moser is leading the Successful Adaptation Indicators and Metrics (SAIM) effort. The SAIM project supports participating reserves, oftentimes in collaboration with nearby coastal communities, in developing indicators and metrics of successful adaptation to climate change. By regularly engaging with these reserves, the Science Collaborative seeks to better understand:

  • How climate adaptation indicators and metrics are being used;
  • Capacity required to track indicators and metrics on an ongoing basis; and
  • Benefits of indicators and metrics to supporting climate adaptation implementation.

Five reserves have piloted efforts to develop locally appropriate metrics and indicators to help evaluate climate adaptation success. A team led by Dani Boudreau from Tijuana River NERR is now integrating the diverse experiences of these participating reserves and developing resources to help other reserves facilitate dialogues and advance efforts around successful adaptation. To learn more, visit: Tools, Techniques, and Tactics for Advancing Successful Climate Adaptation.


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If your reserve is interested in participating in this work, please contact Susi at [email protected] or visit