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Fifth National Climate Assessment - Read the Report

Building coastal resilience in Alaska

Collaboration across regions and institutions in Alaska supports increased resilience to climate-related risks to lives and livelihoods.   

In Alaska, changes in snow, ice, and weather have increased risks to human lives and threats to valuable natural resources, damaged infrastructure, and disrupted hunting, fishing, and livelihoods. The vast and largely undisturbed landscapes of Alaska and Northwest Canada support unique natural and cultural resources that are valued locally and globally. To help address these challenges, leaders from the Aleutian Islands to the Chukchi Sea came together for a series of four Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Workshops, spearheaded by three Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association.

The workshop series brought together 14 non-governmental organizing partners, 34 tribes, and 14 state and Federal agencies including DOI and NOAA to meet in four regional hub communities across Western Alaska. Tribal leaders, resource managers, community planners, and scientists from different regions explored strategies to improve information resources and to adapt to these unprecedented changes. For example, partnerships between traditional knowledge providers of the Iñupiaq and Western scientists will work to expand our understanding of the Kotzebue Sound marine ecosystem. Workshop attendees developed recommendations collectively. These included strategies for sharing information at the local and regional scale to better coordinate actions, refining products and tools to improve coastal resilience responses, and developing regional coordination aiming to build a coastal climate change network across Northern and Western Alaska.