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News Releases from Region 10

EPA’s New Web Portal Helps Communities in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Prepare for Climate Change

Contact Information: 
Suzanne Skadowski (skadowski.suzanne@epa.gov)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new online portal that will provide communities here in the Pacific Northwest and across the U.S. with information and tools to increase resilience to climate change.

Using a self-guided format, the Adaptation Resource Center, or ARC-X, gives users information tailored specifically to their needs, based on where they live and the particular issues of concern to them. Communities in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska can search by region and area of interest, including sea level rise and ecosystem impacts: https://www.epa.gov/arc-x/tailor-your-climate-adaptation-search.

Climate change impacts in the Northwest include changes in the timing of streamflow that could reduce water supplies for competing demands. Sea level rise, erosion, inundation, risks to infrastructure, and increasing ocean acidity pose major threats. Increasing wildfire, insect outbreaks, and tree diseases are already causing widespread tree die-off. Learn more about climate impacts in the Northwest: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/northwest.

Recent statistics from the Office of Management and Budget show the federal government has incurred more than $357 billion in direct costs due to extreme weather and fire alone over the last 10 years. Climate change is also expected to pose significant financial and infrastructural challenges to communities in coming decades. EPA designed ARC-X to help all local government official address these challenges – from those with extensive experience and expertise dealing with the impacts of climate change, to those working in underserved communities who are just beginning to meet those challenges. Learn how some communities in the Northwest are adapting: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-07/documents/northwest_fact_sheet.pdf.

Building on climate adaptation training for local governments EPA launched last year, ARC-X provides another important resource for building climate resiliency.  The system guides users through all steps of an adaptation process, providing information on the implications of climate change for particular regions and issues of concern; adaptation strategies that can be implemented to address the risks posed by climate change; case studies that illustrate how other communities with similar concerns have already successfully adapted, along with instructions on how to replicate their efforts; potential EPA tools to help implement the adaptation strategies; and sources of funding and technical assistance from EPA and other federal agencies.

To access ARC-X: www.epa.gov/ARC-X.