Shared solutions to protect shared values

  • Bowling Ball Beach in Northern California. Credit: Matt McIntosh / NOAA ONMS.

Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative

The President's Interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience released the Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources (Priority Agenda) in 2014. The Priority Agenda called for federal agencies to work with states, tribes, and other partners to select flagship geographic regions and identify priority areas for conservation, restoration, or other investments to build resilience in vulnerable regions, enhance carbon storage capacity, and support management needs. It also directed the agencies and their partners to identify and map an initial list of priority areas within each of the selected geographic landscapes or regions.

Federal agencies, working together with states, tribes, and other partners, designated seven Resilient Lands and Waters Partnerships across the country during the spring and summer of 2015.

In response to this directive, Federal agencies worked together with states, tribes, and other partners to identify ​the following ​seven Resilient Lands and Waters Partnerships across the country: California Headwaters, California's North-Central Coast and Russian River Watershed, Crown of the Continent (northern Rocky Mountains), Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands (Lakes Huron & Erie), Hawaii (West Hawai'i, West Maui, and He'eia (O'ahu)), Puget Sound's Snohomish River Watershed, and Southwest Florida.

These partnerships built upon existing efforts to conserve and restore important lands and waters in discrete geographies and to make them more resilient to a changing climate. This report and companion website summarizes the experiences of each of the partnerships and highlights some key challenges, successes, ​ lessons learned, and recommendations to carry forward this method of large landscape-scale conservation planning. It also highlights many of the dynamic maps and tools that the partnerships have produced to help them identify priority conservation areas and actions in their landscapes. 

The report recommends that future landscape-scale conservation planning efforts address the challenges that climate change is likely to pose in meeting conservation and restoration goals.  It also suggests that the Joint Implementation ​​Working Group of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy ​promote the best practices demonstrated in this Initiative, take the lead in transferring the lessons learned, tools, and practices from this Initiative to other areas, and work with conservation partnerships to identify and address specific tools, information, and guidance that they may need to continue to strengthen the resilience of our nation's natural resources into the future.

About This Report

This report and companion website were collaboratively developed by the Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and the numerous agencies and partners represented in the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative. It was prepared under the leadership and direction of the Joint Implementation Working Group (JIWG) of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, in response to a directive from the President's Interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience's Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America's Natural Resources.

It is intended to inform future discussions among federal, state, local and tribal agencies and other resource managers and conservation organizations help to build resilience to climate change for our nation's natural resources at a landscape-scale.

Read the Full Report

Explore Initiative Results & Recommendations

Get to Know the Partnerships