A group of red, round, and spiky sea urchins on a grey and green sea floor.


The world’s climate is changing at an increasingly rapid rate due to greenhouse gas emissions from human industrial activity and population growth. While these changes are global, the ramifications occur at all scales, and decisions for adaptation must be made. Governments, regions, and communities need to understand what is happening, what knowledge gaps exist, and how they may be able to respond. Coastal regions are unique and especially vulnerable to climate change, and the impacts are diverse and often cumulative. Identifying how these changes are already starting to occur, and could occur in the future, is important for planning appropriate management responses. 

This project was developed in collaboration with the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP), whose planning region is similar to the geographic area known as the Northern Shelf Bioregion (NSB). This report is intended to be a tool to help guide future research and climate change adaptations in the region, specific to the interests of MaPP. It outlines the current available knowledge on climate change projections with associated impacts, exposure, and risks to the coastal social-ecological system of the ‘MaPP region’, also referred to as the Northern Shelf Bioregion.

This report focuses on climate-associated impacts, exposure, and risks to four key sectors of the coastal social-ecological system in the NSB: 

  1. ecosystems;
  2. fisheries and aquaculture;
  3. human communities;
  4. marine infrastructure.

Key climate change projections for the MaPP region are included based on the literature and expert interviews, with information provided specific to the four MaPP sub-regions where possible given the scale of the data. In particular, we focus on highlighting the differences and similarities among and between the four MaPP sub-regions, if and where feasible given the data available. 

Through this work, we also aimed to identify gaps in knowledge and ongoing adaptation actions that have been implemented in the region, as well as recommend further adaptation actions based on the literature. As well, we include recommendations for future research on climate change impacts, vulnerability (including exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity), and risk, in this region, as well as mention any ongoing and planned climate change research pertaining to the key areas of interest to MaPP to help guide future adaptation work. 

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