Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography

2011 Spring Seminar Series


Danielle Kreeger
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

Monday, February 21, 2011
3:30 PM
Room 3200, Innovation Research Park Building I


The consequences of climate change in the Delaware Estuary will be multi-facedted and will interact with ongoing landscape change. Increased temperature, sea level, salinity, storms, and altered seasonal precipitation likely will perturb ecological relationships, push some species past tolerance limits, breach ecological thresholds, and degrade core ecosystem services. Vulnerabilities to bivalve shellfish, tidal wetlands, and drinking water were assessed as case studies of natural resource impacts. Although a few resources may see some benefits from warming, our analysis suggests that there will be more losers than winners. Adaptation options were characterized for these case study resources, highlighting many tough choices that may be required since funding and expertise to support adaptation will likely continue to be limited. For example, strategic retreat may be necessary for some wetlands, we may need to choose which bivalve species are sustained, and the costs of drinking water protection will likely escalate. Tools are being developed to prioritize adaptation tactics based on projected natural capital outcomes. More rigorous scientific information is needed, including ecosystem models and a watershed-based, climate monitoring network so that adaptation plans "adapt" to changing conditions.


Danielle Kreeger is a functional ecologist who has focused most of her work on shellfish and wetland systems. After her Ph.D. work at Oregon State University, Dr. Kreeger worked as a post-doc at the Plymouth Marine Biological Laboratory, UK, and then at the Academy of Natural Sciences. She is now science director at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and research associate professor at Drexel University. See for more information.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

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