The Resilient Coast: Policy Frameworks for Adapting the Wetlands to Climate Change and Growth in Coastal Areas of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico


The purpose of this publication is to review legal and policy frameworks that enable adaptation of coastal estuarine nondeltaic wetlands to climate change.
There are no explicit provisions, however, to protect future wetlands on lands that may be inundated under sea level rise. A few existing policy instruments could be used to insure the availability of inundatable lands for the formation of new wetlands. The most promising and perhaps most easily applicable legal framework for wetlands protection would be the adoption of a mechanism similar to the rolling easement provisions of the Texas Open Beaches Act. States and NGOs could bring pressure on the federal government to include preservation of inundatable lands as acceptable mitigation for some wetland filling. Land trusts and other preservation groups should make inundatable lands priority preservation areas.

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Authors: John S. Jacob and Stephanie Showalter
Number of Pages: 40
Publication  Date: August 2007