Congressional Briefing on Vulnerability of Southeast Watersheds to Climate Change

WWF Briefing to Examine Impacts of Climate Change on Southeast US Watersheds

July 9, 2008
2:15 PM

CONTACT: World Wildlife Fund
Joe Pouliot

WWF Briefing to Examine Impacts of Climate Change on Southeast US Watersheds
25 Gulf Coast Students to Participate in Hill Event


WHAT: Congressional briefing on vulnerability of Southeast watersheds to
climate change

WHEN: 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Thursday, July 10, 2008

WHERE: 210 Cannon House Office Building


* Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Select Committee on Energy
Independence and Global Warming
* Dr. Steve McNulty, U.S. Forest Service
* Ms. Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President of Conservation Strategy and
Science, World Wildlife Fund
* The Rev. Christopher Worthley, Executive Director, Allianz Foundation
for North America
* WWF Allianz Southeast Climate Change Program students

Tomorrow, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Allianz Foundation for North
America and the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global
Warming will host a briefing on the results of a climate change
vulnerability assessment of the Cumberland, Mobile, and Tennessee River
Basins. The river basins are globally unique and ecologically important,
and are vital sources of clean water. The assessment comes at a time when
portions of the region are experiencing exceptional drought conditions for
the second consecutive year.

The vulnerability assessment indicates that climate change and increasing
climatic variability will both directly and indirectly influence water
quantity and quality, especially when coupled with land use changes. In
addition to posing problems for the region’s water users, the changes
threaten the most diverse freshwater ecosystems in the United States, with
hundreds of unique, threatened or endangered aquatic species.

The assessment report, prepared by Dr. Steve McNulty of the U.S. Forest
Service, was commissioned by WWF and Allianz. Dr. McNulty’s research was
supported by 25 students from the Gulf coast region of Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama who are members of the WWF Allianz Climate Change
Program, a competitive academic project that is training the next
generation of environmental leaders. At the briefing, the students will
highlight their research findings and personal perspectives, along with
the need for strong policy and a scientifically informed public dialogue
on issues related to climate change.


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