The challenges of climate change in coastal Delaware, as well as solutions and tools to better understand its impacts, will be the focus of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays’ upcoming Citizens Advisory Committee Citizens Café, set for 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, via Zoom. The public is invited and preregistration is required.
Delaware is at the forefront of climate change impacts, with the lowest average elevation in the nation and sea level rise rates measuring more than twice the global average. The state has seen a temperature increase of about 0.2 degrees per decade since record-keeping began in 1895, which has also meant a longer growing season as the first and last frosts of the year are adjusted.
Guest speaker Dr. Daniel Leathers will explore the tools that the Center for Environmental Monitoring & Analysis has available to help understand and monitor climate change in Delaware’s coastal environment. Leathers serves as CEMA’s director and is Delaware’s state climatologist. He also is a professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Geography and director of its meteorology/climatology program. He is co-founder and associate director of the Delaware Environmental Observing System.
“Sea level rise and other impacts of a changing climate will greatly affect our state,” said Leathers. “Monitoring climate and building environmentally relevant decision support tools for its residents is of great importance in understanding and limiting the consequences of a changing climate.”
Michelle Schmidt, CIB watershed coordinator, will share updates on the role climate change plays in the center’s draft revised comprehensive conservation and management plan. The CCMP documents goals and activities that the center and its partners agreed to address based on scientific data and input from key stakeholders and the community. The center uses the CCMP to direct and carry out activities that protect and enhance the inland bays. The original CCMP was created in 1995 and updated in 2012, and a revised version is now nearly complete.
For more information and to register for the Citizens Café, go to www.inlandbays.org.