Working together to provide scientific information, tools, and support for decisions to conserve large connected areas that sustain natural and cultural resources and people in a rapidly changing world.
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) and Climate Science Centers (CSCs) are non-regulatory conservation partnerships that have been established to help respond to environmental stressors that transcend state lines and are beyond the organizational ability of any one agency. LCCs are the primary stakeholders of the Department of the Interior’s CSCs. CSCs provide decision-focused research, information products, and tools to inform landscape-scale conservation plans developed by LCCs. By connecting science with on-the-ground management, LCC and CSC scientists and staff work with resource managers to develop vital tools and understanding to help natural systems withstand a range of landscape-scale stressors magnified by a changing climate.
- Providing conservation and climate information for stakeholders to use in making management decisions.
- Coordinating activities and best practices for effective conservation and climate adaptation.
- Developing decision-support tools and products that engage a variety of stakeholders and address regional priorities.
- CSCs seek to understand climate-related ecosystem vulnerabilities and adaptation issues. LCCs address a broader suite of conservation challenges specific to their regions, including climate and land use change.
- Each CSC focuses on regional research objectives in direct response to the science needs developed by LCCs and conservation partners. This process promotes multi-scale science that links landscapes and communities within and beyond regional boundaries.
- Each LCC provides a forum where a large suite of conservation partners can identify priority management problems, related objectives, and science needs and convey those to CSCs. This method promotes the interdisciplinary, regional-local, and public-private dialogue needed to respond effectively to challenges posed by climate change.
- CSCs and LCCs leverage the science capacity and management expertise of diverse partners to ensure efficient development and application of information.
- CSCs and LCCs develop coordinated and complementary science programs, leveraging the most appropriate science assets (i.e., university, federal, other) across all science providers in the region.
- Both CSCs and LCCs provide fundamental science support for decision-making by understanding priority objectives, assembling key datasets, and supporting the creation of models and web-based tools.
- The collaboration of CSCs and LCCs ensures strong communications between scientists and managers across the landscape.
LCC-CSC Collaborations: Projects and Progress
Coastal Wetland Habitat and Sea-Level Rise
Funds will be leveraged between several organizations to facilitate regional and local decision-making efforts to manage coastal wetlands and waterbird habitats in the face of sea level rise and increased coastal flooding. The Atlantic coastal LCCs (North and South Atlantic, Peninsular Florida and Caribbean) and CSCs (Northeast and Southeast) will work together by conducting joint planning and information-sharing workshops with National Wildlife Refuge Managers and other decision makers to identify areas of management concern and use these to frame a ‘problem statement’ that encompasses the complex, multi-scale nature of these issues and, at the same time, offers a logical and strategic approach to problem-solving. The project will capitalize on LCC and CSC networks to ensure that results and feedback are communicated in both directions.
Stream Temperature Mapping in the Northeast
The NorEaST project is funded through the Northeast CSC and is developing a data portal to serve as a coordinated, multi-agency framework to map and store continuous stream temperature locations and data for the NE CSC region. The project was initiated to address the needs of the North Atlantic and Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC partners, among other state and federal natural resource managers. The goal is to gain access to the best available data and tools to support decisions related to freshwater stream temperature and flow regimes and how these factors will influence the distribution of aquatic species. Through the NorEaST project, additional stream temperature data have been acquired to develop and inform stream temperature models and fish predictive models for an Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC project on fish vulnerability to climate change.
Reducing Gulf Hypoxia and Helping Wildlife Impacted by Extreme Climate Events
Natural resources agencies and organizations throughout the Mississippi River basin have identified high nutrient runoff, a major contributor to Gulf hypoxia, and declines in wildlife populations as complex conservation challenges requiring collaborative action through the LCC network. With financial and technical support provided by the Northeast Climate Science Center as well as multiple federal, state and academic LCC partners across the basin, project coordinators are developing a spatial decision support system to identify watersheds within the Mississippi River basin where application of conservation practices can reduce nutrient export to the Gulf hypoxia zone and enhance conservation for grassland and riparian birds. The project will identify landowners who are willing and capable of implementing these practices. The decision support system will identify appropriate conservation practices to be implemented, and quantify resulting benefits for both nutrient export and bird habitat. The system will also enable analyses of whether landowner willingness to implement desired practices is affected by perceptions of climate extremes. This pilot effort seeks to move current conservation approaches to a more strategic level by identifying where to locate conservation, restoration and management efforts in critical watersheds for the greatest overall benefit to both people and wildlife.
Below is a map of all Landscape Conservation Cooperatives showing the approximate boundaries of the NECSC.
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Strategic Habitat Conservation
- U.S. Department of the Interior - Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
LCCs (22 Nationwide)
Aleutian and Bering Sea Islands; Arctic; Appalachian; California; Caribbean; Desert; Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers; Great Basin; Great Northern; Great Plains; Gulf Coast Prairie; Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks; North Atlantic; North Pacific; Northwest Boreal;
Pacific Islands; Peninsular Florida; Plains and Prairie Pothole; South Atlantic; Southern Rockies; Upper Midwest and Great Lakes; Western Alaska
CSCs (8 Nationwide)