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The Casco Bay region is vulnerable to all seven of the climate stressors identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA): warmer summers; warmer winters; warmer waters; increased drought; increased storminess (evident in higher total precipitation, frequency and intensity); sea-level rise; and ocean acidification (US EPA 2014). These climate stressors do not operate in isolation. Compounding their impacts are factors such as population growth, habitat fragmentation and destruction, and resource depletion that can further tax ecosystems and species. This document summarizes current scientific evidence of these trends within Maine and, where possible, within the Casco Bay watershed (which coincides closely with geographical boundary of Cumberland County).


This report was prepared for the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership by Marina Schauffler, Ph.D., of Natural Choices LLC. The research was supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate-Ready Estuaries Program, as part of a climate change vulnerability assessment, under Cooperative Agreements #CE96185501 and #CE96190301 with the University of Southern Maine.