Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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36 Proceedings Fall 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings of the world, and, as ocean temperatures increase and ocean waters become more acidic, reefs and other marine ecosys- tems will degrade. As a result, marine life will migrate to new and more hospitable locations, without regard for inter- national boundaries or exclusive economic zones. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fshing may increase, as current fshing grounds become less productive, new fshing grounds become available, and disputes arise due to competition for migrating resources. In addition, fshermen in some regions where the stocks they rely on for fnancial stability have migrated to new regions or been overfshed, may, in a desperate attempt to make a living, turn to illegal activity, including smuggling drugs, weapons, and humans across international boundaries. The Coast Guard's role in fsheries enforcement will be necessary to monitor and pro- tect the safety, security, and environmental sustainability of these regions. This will make operations in the maritime environment more challenging in the future. Looking Ahead Indeed, climate change may initiate or increase threat activ- ity such as disaffected populations, border security, com- munity resilience, and crisis management. Climate change challenges and infuences might not neces- sarily be felt in the near term, but if left unchecked, they have the potential to threaten economic growth and regional stability. Fortunately, the Coast Guard has a successful his- tory of planning and adapting to changing environments, which will be necessary to confront the growing threat of climate change. A new and broad strategic focus is warranted, and the Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy is the frst step in a decisive approach to climate change. This document empha- sizes three basic strategic priorities to guide Coast Guard operations in the Western Hemisphere and to ensure our nation, markets, and oceans will remain secure and pros- perous for the long term: • combating networks, • securing borders, • safeguarding commerce. Underlying each strategic priority is recognition that climate change will, in some way, amplify risks and threats. The Western Hemisphere Strategy addresses a range of issues, including how to safeguard maritime and shore-based infrastructure in preparation for future climatic impact and what new authorities the Coast Guard may need to operate in a maritime environment affected by climate change. In the coming decade, the Coast Guard must broaden its strategic focus to safeguard our nation's primary security interests and recognize that climate change will exacerbate an ever-increasing list of threats and hazards. The mari- time environment is changing, and to keep up, the Coast Guard must adapt. Climate change will not be without its challenges, but the Coast Guard, with its proud legacy and innovative strategic approach, is more than capable of meet- ing whatever challenges the future holds. About the author: Ms. Hillary LeBail is a presidential management fellow currently detailed to the State Department's Offce of Ocean and Polar Affairs. Her home agency is FEMA, where she works as an analyst in the National Prepared- ness Assessment Division, evaluating how prepared the nation is to pre- vent, respond to, and recover from disasters. She also recently completed an assignment with the U.S. Coast Guard's Offce of Emerging Policy, where she helped shape the Coast Guard's Arctic Strategy, Western Hemisphere Strategy, and issues relating to climate change. Endnotes: 1. Global Climate Change. Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration, 2013. 2. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sum- mary for Policymakers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, IPCC, 2013. Bibliography: Neffenger, Vice Admiral P. Safeguarding our Hemisphere. Proceedings Magazine. U.S. Naval Institute, October 2013. Spaner, Captain J.S. & Hillary LeBail. The Next Security Frontier. Proceedings Maga- zine. U.S. Naval Institute, October 2013. Global Climate Change. National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration, 2013. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Summary for Policymakers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, IPCC, 2013. National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. National Research Council, 2011. What We Know: The Reality, Risks, and Response to Climate Change. The AAAS Climate Science Panel, 2014. Fact Sheet: Executive Order on Climate Preparedness. Washington, DC: Offce of the Press Secretary, the White House, 2013.