What FWC is Doing
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is Florida's lead state agency addressing the impacts of climate change on fish and wildlife. The FWC's Climate Change Initiative envisions a future where Florida's natural systems are connected, diverse and resilient in a changing climate. The Climate Change Initiative is led by the agency's Adaptation Coordinator and Climate Change Core Team. A Climate Change Steering Committee, established in 2008, provides oversight for the Core Team. Climate Change Steering Committee membership includes leadership from across the agency and the committee is chaired by FWC's Assistant Executive Director.
The mission of FWC's Climate Change Initiative is to:
Intrinsically integrate adaptation into everything we do so that healthy and abundant fish and wildlife will continue to provide valuable cultural, economic, and environmental benefits for the people of Florida.
Through the Climate Change Core Team, the FWC is currently focusing on goals outlined in the team's five-year work plan. The topics addressed in the Climate Change Core Team's goals include:
- Robust science and technical capacity
- Effective communication
- Increased capacity to adapt to climate change
- Integrating adaptation into agency planning
- Implementing adaptation management actions
Since the FWC began its work on climate change following a 2007 resolution signed by the Commission, the agency has conducted research and multiple climate change vulnerability assessments on Florida species and habitats. The Climate Change Initiative has built on this science through strategic planning and adaptation projects funded by multiple sources and partnerships, including the State Wildlife Grants Program. The "Guide to Climate Change Adaptation for Conservation," published in 2016, provides resources and information covering the FWC's past climate adaptation efforts and more. The FWC has also offered trainings for staff and partners on climate-smart conservation and adaptation and currently coordinates a Climate Adaptation Internship Program.