Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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The purpose of this guide is to help U.S. state and territorial (state) coastal managers develop and
implement adaptation plans to reduce the impacts and consequences of climate change and climate
variability (climate change) in their purview.2 It was written in response to a request from state coastal managers for guidance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on adaptation planning in the coastal zone. It is intended as an aid, not as a prescriptive directive, and a state may choose to use individual steps or chapters or the entire guide, depending on where they are in their planning process.

A climate change adaptation plan identifies and assesses the impacts that are likely to affect the planning area, develops goals and actions to best minimize these impacts, and establishes a process to implement those actions. While an adaptation plan for the coast or the larger state may stand alone, planning to adapt to climate change should be incorporated to varying degrees in all statewide planning efforts (as well as regional and local planning efforts). However you choose to move forward, the ultimate goal is coastal states and communities that are organized to take action, have the tools to take action, and are taking action to plan for and adapt to the impacts of climate change.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2010. Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers. . NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.