This handbook summarises the current state of the National Park Service (NPS) climate adaptation and key approaches currently in practice or considered for climate change adaptation in coastal areas in order to guide adaptation planning in coastal parks. The chapters focus on policy, planning, cultural resources, natural resources, facility management, and communication/education. The handbook highlights processes, tools and examples that are applicable to many types of NPS plans and decisions.
Among others, the document presents lessons learned from Hurrican Sandy:
- Hurricane Sandy presented opportunities for adaptation and for testing adaptation elements in existing plans.
- Natural resources were found to be more resilient than many cultural resources and facilities.
- Historic structures have resilient design features. If buildings are well maintained, they may have a better chance of surviving a major storm.
- National seashores can provide other parks with good examples of preparation for and learning from experience about storm impacts on dynamic landscapes.
- After an event, there is an immediate and strong push to return park assets to pre-storm conditions, which can leave resources vulnerable to similar impacts in the future.
- Baseline monitoring and resource assessments are essential data to evaluate impacts and plan for recovery.
- Post-storm recovery is a critical opportunity to adapt to climate change.