Project Title: Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Needs
A number of integrated teams are working in the Mid-Atlantic to find appropriate mechanisms to improve community resilience to impacts and extremes from climate variability and change. Although a plethora of best practices and planning tools exist to guide community adaptation and mitigation, many barriers limit local-level policy and/or behavior change from occurring. A key strategy for overcoming these barriers is through effective stakeholder engagement. I plan to expand our initial conversations to build relationships and leverage well established stakeholder networks within the region, focusing the efforts on including district and state (DC, MD and VA), county and municipal governments (e.g., Baltimore, MD and Norfolk, VA), NGOs (e.g. National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation) and private industry (e.g. builders, farmers, corporations) to strengthen stakeholder engagement and advance understanding and action on implementing resiliency strategies. These engagement activities will be facilitated in part through collaboration with the Sea Grant network (especially Maryland Sea Grant (MDSG), but also Virginia and South Carolina Sea Grant programs which already have climate integration specialists), with an existing climate community of practice, and with current partners committed to working with diverse audiences. Part of the goal of working with Maryland Sea Grant is to explore establishing a climate integrator specialist in the state. We will ask: What added value does a climate integrator specialist bring to advancing stakeholder engagement, expanding a climate community of practice, and facilitating end-user outcomes? How can we most effectively use the climate integrator specialist to further inform and expand university climate research and public engagement programs? Could we create a community or network of formal and informal climate integrators within (and potentially beyond) the region to explore best practices and understand the elements that are regionally-specific versus generalizable and how could it be most effective?
Funders: This project is funded by the University of Maryland Tier 2 Proposal Development Support.