C limate Ready Estuaries
Ten Year Progress Report, 2008-2018

Cover photograph of the Piscataqua River, © Daine Doucett,
Used with permission.
EPA 842-R-21-004, September 2021

Ten years of helping coastal communities
prepare for and adapt to climate change
In 2008 a handful of coastal communities were
beginning tograpplewith theimpactsthat climate
change would have on their livelihoods, built
infrastructure, natural resources, and economic
wellbeing. Studies were being published
pointing to the importance of anticipating and
addressing threats related to climate change
in the coastal environment. Prompted to get
ahead of the curve, state and local scientists
and practitioners sought the EPA's expertise.
Climate Ready Estuaries was born to provide
the technical and financial assistance that
were needed. It was the first federal program
that focused exclusively on climate adaptation.
It was designed specifically to help local
communities understand and anticipate
coastal problems. Through the development
of practical and risk-based climate adaptation
tools and strategies, the EPA sought to show
how the climate assessment literature could
be used in coastal watershed management.
Coasts and estuaries are vital resources. Because
we love and depend on these places, over half
of the U.S. population lives within 100 miles of
a coast, including the shores of estuaries. The
pressures on these environments are significant,
however, and the impacts to the blue economy
considerable. Coasts already face many
stressors including: large and growing human
populations; degradation of habitat and water
quality; high loads of nutrient, pathogen and
sediment contaminants that are detrimental
to aquatic life and recreation in and on the
water; deterioration of fish and wildlife health
that have an adverse impact on commercial
and subsistence fishing; and natural hazards
such as storms and hurricanes—and these
are all exacerbated by climate changes.
This report describes the accomplishments of
Climate Ready Estuaries during the past ten
years in working with coastal communities in
the National Estuary Program. Overall, the focus
during that time was to conduct vulnerability
assessments for climate change and begin to
address risks. EPA's National Estuary Program is a
non-regulatory, place-based program to protect
and restore the water quality and ecological
integrity of estuaries of national significance.
The 28 estuaries are located along the Atlantic,
Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto
Rico. Each National Estuary Program has a study
area that includes the estuary and surrounding
watershed. A National Estuary Program's priorities
are decided together by local, city, state,
federal, private and non-profit stakeholders.
In 2018, EPA celebrates the achievements
of Climate Ready Estuaries and the National
Estuary Programs. The National Estuary
Programs are important EPA partners and
National Estuary Program communities are
more prepared now than they were when
Climate Ready Estuaries was formed ten years
ago. In the future, the goals of the program will
continue to be to assess coastal vulnerabilities,
develop and implement hazard adaptation
strategies, and engage with and educate
stakeholders on the importance of addressing
coastal challenges. There was and remains a
need for the EPA to respond to the needs of
our partners and support the blue economy.

National Estuary Programs

Puget Sound Partnership (Wash.)
Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (Wash./Ore.)
Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (Ore.)
San Francisco Estuary Partnership (Calif.)
Morro Bay National Estuary Program (Calif.)
Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (Calif.)
Gulf of Mexico
Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program (Texas)
Galveston Bay Estuary Program (Texas)
Barataria-Terrebonne NEP (La.)
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (Ala.)
Tampa Bay Estuary Program (Fla.)
Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (Fla.)
Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (Fla.)
Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (Maine)
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (N.H.)
Massachusetts Bays Program (Mass.)
Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (Mass.)
Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (R.I.)
Long Island Sound Study (Conn./N.Y.)
Peconic Estuary Program (N.Y.)
N.Y.-N.J. Harbor and Estuary Program (N.Y./N.J.)
Barnegat Bay Partnership (N.J.)
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (N.J./Pa./Del.)
Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (Del.)
Maryland Coastal Bays Program (Md.)
Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (N.C.)
Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (Fla.)
San Juan Bay Estuary Program (P.R.)

Resources for Environmental Managers
Being Prepared for Climate
Change family of products
Being Prepared for Climate Change: A
Workbook for Developing Risk-Based
Adaptation Plans (2014)
Checklists of Potential Climate Change
Risks, 1 ed. (2014)
An online companion Risk Based
Planning Tool, which includes five
videos about workbook steps 1-5
Climate Change Vulnerability
Assessment for San Juan Bay,
Puerto Rico (2015)
Preparing for Climate Change in
Eastern Long Island, New York
Being Prepared for Climate
Change (2014)
Being Prepared for Climate
Change: A Workbook for
Developing Risk-Based Adaptation
Plans (2016)
Helping Communities Plan for
Climate Change (2014)
Technical Reports
Climate Change and Coastal
Watersheds: Adaptation to Attain
Clean Water Goals and Sustainable
Coasts (2012)
Vulnerability Assessments in
Support of the Climate Ready
Estuaries Program: A Novel
Approach to using Expert
Judgement (2012)
•	Volume I: Results for the San
Francisco Estuary Partnership
•	Volume II: Results for the
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary
Climate Change Risk Management:
CRE Adaptation Projects and the Risk
Management Process (2011)
Rolling Easements (2011)
Synthesis of Adaptation Options for
Coastal Areas (2009)
Lessons Learned
Lessons Learned from the Climate
Ready Estuaries Program: Southeastern
U.S. Climate Ready Estuaries (2014)
Lessons Learned from the Climate
Ready Estuaries Program: New
England Climate Ready Estuaries
Lessons Learned from the Climate
Ready Estuaries Program (2011)
Climate Ready Estuaries
Progress Reports	
Ten-Year Progress Report (2019)
2012 Progress Report
2011 Progress Report
2010 Progress Report
2009 Progress Report
King Tide Blogs	
Photography Tips for Citizen
Scientists Capturing the 2015 King
King Tides and Sea Level Rise
King Tides and Sea Level Rise, Part
2	(2013)
King Tides and Sea Level Rise, Part
3	(2013)
A Peek into Our Future (2013)
"King Tides" for the U.S. State
Dept's Our Planet blog (2012)