Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula

Tribal Adaptation Plans
North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development

It is increasingly apparent that the global climate is rapidly changing and that these changes will affect the people, ecosystems, economy, and culture of the North Olympic Peninsula. The most noticeable impacts will likely include:
• A diminishing snowpack lowering the region’s summer river flow and extending the summer drought season;
• Shifts in the timing and type of precipitation, creating rain on snow events and unseasonably high stream flows that scour river bottoms and flood low-land areas;
• Ongoing sea level rise driving coastal flooding, saltwater inundation, and enhanced shoreline erosion;
• Extended warm temperatures which result in increased river water temperatures, enhanced wildfire risk, decreased soil moisture, and stressed forests through disease and insect outbreaks; and
• Increasingly corrosive ocean waters (i.e. ocean acidification) from the ongoing absorption of human emissions of CO2.
This project synthesized the best available climate change projections with local stakeholder expertise of vulnerable sectors to ultimately develop climate change preparation strategies for the North Olympic Peninsula. The outputs of this effort are compiled in this Preparedness Plan and include a regional Vulnerability Assessment (Section I & II) and Adaptation Plan (Section II). With this project and other similar efforts, the region has a unique opportunity to promote collaboration on climate change adaptation between federal, state, local, and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and private businesses.

climate change, adaptation strategies, infrastructure, ecosystems, water supplies