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Steering Committee strategizes for putting LCC science in hands of practitioners

Four years after their first meeting, members and partners of the North Atlantic LCC met to review progress, and discuss next steps for conservation design, science delivery and communications.

During a fall Steering Committee meeting in Rhinebeck, N.Y., more than 40 North Atlantic LCC members and partners met in person and on the phone to review work, and plan for next steps to ensure that LCC science is getting into the hands of practitioners who can put it to use.

Four years after their first meeting in New Castle, N.H., the gathering was an opportunity to reflect and look ahead. As North Atlantic LCC staff provided updates on projects, products, and communications over the course of the two-day meeting, Steering Committee members offered continuous input to inform future applications and directions.

The series of updates began with those related to the Northeast Conservation Framework and the LCC Conservation Science Strategic plan. Science Coordinator Scott Schwenk summarized LCC Science Projects and Products to date by system - aquatic, terrestrial, coastal and marine, and cross-cutting - and by product type - foundational mapping, vulnerability assessments, and conservation design. There are 23 projects complete or underway. 

Schwenk also reviewed the objectives, accomplishments and next steps for the Connecticut River Watershed Landscape Conservation Design Pilot - a pioneering landscape conservation design project nearing its public roll out. 

North Atlantic LCC Coordinator Andrew Milliken reviewed three Department of the Interior Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Projects managed by the LCC, and USGS Steering Committee member Pete Murdoch discussed common metrics being developed to evaluate the effectiveness of Hurricane Sandy projects focused on increasing coastal resiliency. 

Science Delivery Coordinator Steve Fuller reviewed the status of the LCC Science Delivery Program, and reviewed the collaborative effort between the Northeast states and the LCC towards Northeast Regional Conservation Opportunity Areas. 

LCC Data Manager Renee Farnsworth reviewed the regionally consistent, scalable, spatial data layers within the North Atlantic LCC Conservation Planning Atlas site. There are now more than 100 data layers available.

Communications Coordinator David Eisenhauer reviewed existing communications tools including a virtual toolkit containing a range of materials that can be shared directly with constituents or used as reference for conversations about the cooperative. These materials are intended to help explain the LCC approach, highlight LCC partnerships, and showcase LCC science and delivery.

The meeting ended with an open discussion on strategic directions led by North Atlantic LCC Steering Committee Vice Chair Bill Hyatt, during which members identified goals and strategies for making the LCC stronger and more relevant to shared objectives. 

Click here for a full summary of updates and accomplishments along with key points of discussion.




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