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Community Resilience in the Greater Atlantic Region

Gloucester Harbor (Credit: NOAA Fisheries)

From a fisheries perspective, we believe that community resilience means:

The ability of a fishing community to withstand, recover from, and successfully adapt to change. In this context, change may occur over a broad spectrum of environmental, social, and economic conditions, caused by sudden disasters, regulation, or more gradual events such as climate change.

Longline mussels (Credit: NOAA Fisheries)

Many questions stem from this definition. How are fishing communities in the Greater Atlantic Region affected by climate change? What do communities need to become more resilient to changes in the distribution of historic fish stocks, devastating storms, and losses in waterfront infrastructure? What can we as an agency do to help the communities we serve become more resilient and adaptable to these and other challenges?

With help from our Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), we are exploring ways to help communities cope with the regulatory, environmental, and economic changes that challenge their sustainability. The collective goal is to improve fishing community resilience by focusing our delivery of information and resources to help communities reduce their vulnerability and improve their adaptability to climate change and other impacts. The concept of community resilience carries through in the GARFO’s Strategic Plan and NEFSC’s Vision Statement, Mission Objectives, and Strategic Science Plan.

Community Resilience Logo

We are working collaboratively with partners from the fishing industry, local and state governments, community organizations, and research institutions to enhance the resiliency of fishing communities and living marine resources. We are doing this by focusing on sustainable fisheries, protected resources, habitat, place-based conservation, aquaculture, disaster financial assistance, and economic vitality.

We are also addressing climate change and ocean acidification by incorporating this ecosystem information into our program activities. And we are implementing and overseeing collaborative resource disaster spending plans as needed.

For more information on any of these activities, email