With its wealth of habitats and protected fields, forests, wetlands, and waters, Acadia National Park is an unparalleled natural laboratory. Long-term and sustainable protection of Acadia’s natural resources requires an array of tools—research, public outreach and education, restoration work, and monitoring of air and water quality, forest health, and visitation statistics.
Friends of Acadia Wild Acadia Project Coordinator Brian Henkel ties a guide line to a tree to measure the elevation of Stanley Brook in Acadia National Park. (Photo by Ashley L. Conti/Friends of Acadia)
Wild Acadia is a partnership-based, interdisciplinary, and updated approach to managing Acadia’s natural and cultural resources. Rather than managing to a past state, this approach seeks to understand the stresses to Acadia’s resources, the resulting changes from those stressors, and new ways to manage park ecosystems so that they are better equipped to handle changing environmental conditions.
Climate change has shifted Acadia’s weather patterns and temperatures, creating pressures from invasive insects and plants, seasonal drought, and significant storm events. Rising visitation may also create pressure on Acadia’s resources as visitors flock to the park’s moderate temperatures.
Friends of Acadia is investing in a series of Wild Acadia initiatives to help park ecosystems be resilient to the changes happening within and around them. It is no longer enough for park managers to replace infrastructure exactly as it was before or to repair environmental damage without thinking about the environmental conditions anticipated in the park in 40 years.
Through Wild Acadia initiatives, Friends of Acadia and partners will help park resources survive and adapt to changing conditions so that future generations may enjoy them as we do.
Leaders in Climate-Smart Science
Acadia makes national news on RAD approach to climate change. Read the stories about the important work happening in Acadia.