NOAA and the State Department Sign Agreement to Support Vulnerable Small Island Communities

  • 28 September 2021

Small islands are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, with many facing compound events related to changes in sea levels as well as threats from ocean acidification, shifting temperature and rainfall patterns, and extreme events like storms, droughts, and marine heat waves. At the April 2021 Leaders Summit on Climate, the United States formally announced a new multi-agency partnership to foster small island leadership that would combat the climate crisis and promote resilience in ways that reflect their unique cultures and sustainable development needs. In support of this multi-agency partnership, CPO and the Department of State established a formal partnership through an interagency agreement signed September 17th to advance island-led resilience. The activities conducted through this interagency agreement will directly support a unique island-led initiative called the Local2030 Islands Network. This initiative will enhance the capacity of small island developing nations in the Pacific and Caribbean to integrate climate data and information, and apply effective coastal and marine resource management strategies to support sustainable development. As the most vulnerable populations often have the lowest capacity to respond to these challenges, there is a clear need for increased capacity in small island regions to understand, predict, mitigate, and adapt to climate change in the context of enhanced resilience and sustainable development. 




Climate and Fisheries Adaptation Program (CAFA)

MISSION: The Climate and Fisheries Adaptation Program (CAFA) is a partnership between the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (NOAA Research) Climate Program Office, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) Office of Science and Technology that supports targeted research to promote adaptation and resilience of the nation's valuable fisheries and fisheries-dependent communities in a changing climate. By bringing together NOAA scientists with many partners, CAFA addresses priority needs for information and tools identified in the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science StrategyRegional Action Plans, and other sources.  

ISSUE: Healthy fisheries are a significant component of the U.S. economy. Commercial and recreational marine fisheries generate over $200 billion in economic activity and support more than 1.8 million jobs annually (FEUS 2016). Fisheries also support working waterfronts and coastal communities, provide opportunities for commerce, are tied to rich cultures, and help meet the growing demand for seafood across the U.S. and the world.

Climate change is impacting fish stocks, fisheries, and fishing communities, and these impacts are expected to increase. Changing climate and ocean conditions (e.g. warming oceans, changing currents, coastal inundation, extreme events, etc.) can affect the abundance, distribution, and productivity of fish stocks that support economically important fisheries. Sustainable fisheries management requires an improved understanding of how climate, fishing, and other stressors interact to affect fish stocks (including their habitats and prey), fisheries and fishing-dependent communities.  

PROGRAM HISTORY: The CAFA Program was established by the NOAA Research Climate Program Office and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology in 2014 to advance understanding of climate‐related impacts on fish stocks, fisheries and fishing communities. The partnership originated through the former Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) Program and in 2021 was renamed the Climate and Fisheries Adaptation (CAFA) Program as part of the Climate Program Office Adaptation Sciences Program.

SPONSORS: Funding for the CAFA Program comes from the OAR Climate Program Office and the NMFS Office of Science and Technology, the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. 




CAFA PI Spotlight



Contact Us


Jennifer Dopkowski
NOAA Research
Climate Program Office
P: (301) 734-1261

Roger Griffis
NOAA Fisheries
Office of Science and Technology

P: (301) 427-8134


1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.