Fort Jefferson of Dry Tortugas National Park and its moat. Photo by NPS.
Climate change threatens some of the most treasured natural and historic places in our nation. The Gulf Coast bioregion is characterized by its gradual topography that makes it vulnerable to storms and sea level rise, and its delicate balance of fresh water and salt water. Predicted warming will result in altered fire regimes, loss of wetland habitat, and greater vulnerability to hurricanes. An example of changes that park managers are concerned about is more intense hurricane activity decreasing survival of endangered Florida manatees. Cultural resources are also in jeopardy. For example, the moat at Dry Tortugas National Park is the last layer of protection between Fort Jefferson, a 19th century coastal fortification, and sea level rise.
Suggested links to learn more about climate change in this region: