Dr. Wendy Graham and Karen Schlatter of the Water Institute recently attended the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center 2019 Regional Science Symposium in New Orleans November 12-15. The goals of the Symposium included:

  • Share science resources, tools, best practices, and lessons learned in climate adaptation efforts.
  • Identify actionable science needs of natural and cultural resource managers.
  • Provide a venue for researchers and managers to share information about current activities, plans, and opportunities for collaboration.

The Symposium featured presentations and breakout sessions with resource managers, researchers, Tribal Nations, NGOs, and other agencies working on climate impacts and adaptation for wildlife, habitat, and cultural resources. Of particular interest to the Water Institute were sessions on coastal resilience, ecosystem services, and climate exposure, impacts, and adaptation in the Southeast.

The Symposium also featured a field trip to the Barataria Preserve in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve lead by National Park Service (NPS) Scientists and a local swamp tour boat captain. The boat tour provided a unique look at Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and insights from NPS on climate impacts and challenges for the park such as rising sea levels and stronger storm events. The highlight of the tour was a walk onto extraordinary freshwater floating marsh habitat (bouncy!), which is formed by soil subsidence below a dense floating mat of plant roots and peat.