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Resilience in a Changing Environment in the Mid-Atlantic

DECEMBER 9, 2016--As a member of the North Atlantic Regional Team (NART) Simeon Hahn, OR&R Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) Regional Resource Coordinator in the Mid-Atlantic helped organize and participated in the NOAA in the Mid-Atlantic Meeting held on December 1 at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia.

Participants included OR&R’s Diane Wehner, ARD Northeast Branch Chief (acting), and Carl Alderson of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service as well as representatives of most NOAA line.

The nation's first urban wildlife refuge was a fitting place for the meeting as the general theme was Resilience in a Changing Environment in the Mid-Atlantic, with specific context being on what NOAA is doing related to urban locations and issues, including environmental justice issues. The Mid-Atlantic is one of the most densely populated regions with large cities facing significant environmental, infrastructure, and social justice issues. There are many competing uses of the region’s resources that affect the environment, coastal economies, and society. Issues range from water quality and habitat and restoration of ecosystem services, to public access and waterfront revitalization. Within the general urban theme, four topic areas were explored: aquaculture, ecological forecasting, habitat protection and restoration, and social and economic issues, which were facilitated by Simeon Hahn. These topics have many intersections; the attendees only scratched the surface, but the conversations sparked some ideas and possible cross office actions/connections that NOAA can take to better serve constituents in these locations and in particular underserved communities. Opportunities for federal, state, and local partnerships exist under initiatives such as the Urban Water Federal Partnership.

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