The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy: A Model for Collaborative Conservation

Salon F

Susan Gibson
DoD Regional Environmental Coordinator, USACE South Atlantic Division
Chris Goudreau
SECAS Coordinator,NC Wildlife Resources Commission

The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS) is an approach to conservation at multiple scales that is generating both momentum and early successes. SECAS strives to unite the conservation community around a shared, long-term vision for the future of natural and cultural resources in light of the dramatic changes sweeping the Southeastern United States, including urbanization, competition for water resources, and extreme weather events. Our surroundings provide a wealth of benefits in the form of goods like food and fiber, clean water and air, and services like water purification and habitat for our fish and wildlife resources. Balancing the provision of these goods with economic drivers and the needs of society is a daunting challenge – particularly in a landscape where greater than 90 percent of the land is privately held.

The SECAS effort is based on collaboration and was initiated by states of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) and the federal Southeast Natural Resource Leaders Group (SENRLG) with support from Southeast and Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), the Climate Science Centers, and the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP). The unique role of SECAS is to identify and support the steps necessary to regionally plan, implement, and evaluate actions that sustain habitat, mitigate threats, and adapt to future conditions.

This session will appeal to those interested in conservation planning at a regional level, strengthening collaboration across diverse partners, and connecting conservation and the working landscape – be they lands held to generate economic growth, recreation properties or military installations. Specifically, the session will: (1) highlight the need for SECAS; (2) explain the development and use of the SECAS Conservation Blueprint Version 2.0; (3) provide examples of multi-partner success stories – or case studies; and, (4) identify how to get engaged – both in the Southeast and more broadly across North America.