Overview of Working Group and the VCAPS process

The purpose of the Working Group on Climate Change Impacts on Shellfishing in Wellfleet Harbor is to identify:
  • threats to shellfishing in Wellfleet Harbor from climate change
  • the role of shellfish in mitigating impacts from climate change and other environmental hazards in Wellfleet Harbor
  • strategies to increase the resilience of Wellfleet and its shellfishery in a time of climate change.

GROUP MEMBERS (2013 – 2015)

Barbara Brennessel
Janet Drohan
Mark Faherty
Curt Felix
Diane Murphy
John Portnoy
Jacob Puffer
Judy Taylor
Rebecca Taylor
Bob Wallace
Patrick Winslow

The outcome of the working group included reports summarizing threats and opportunities, including specific actions that the Town and others can consider further to manage threats to the shellfishery in both the short and longterm. Specifically, the Working Group developed information to inform local planning by addressing these questions:

  1. What are anticipated impacts in Wellfleet Harbor and to shellfish from climate change?
  2. To what extent do existing plans and proposed actions address impacts in Wellfleet Harbor and to shellfish from a changing climate? (Harbor Plan, Shellfish Management Plan, etc.)
  3. What information is needed to understand impacts and how they can be managed (reduce vulnerabilities, adapt, etc.)?
  4. What are additional / new actions that can be taken to reduce vulnerabilities and increase resilience of Wellfleet Harbor and its shellfish to a changing climate?

Additional Assistance

Greg Berman
Mark Borrelli
Roxanne Smolowitz


Dr. Seth Tuler
Dr. Thomas Webler

This report was prepared by the Social and Environmental Research Institute with funding from the NOAA Climate Program Office (Award Number NA12OAR4310106). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


SERI conducts research on a broad range of social and environmental issues, while emphasizing topics related to discursive approaches to policy and social relations to the environment. The Institute conducts applied research projects that realize the practical gains provided by theory and that act as a means to realize concrete benefits to individuals, society, and the environment.

Further information about SERI is available at: www.seri-us.org

Further information about the process used to organize the Working Group is available at: www.vcapsforplanning.org

For further information about the project or SERI, contact:

Dr. Seth Tuler
Research Fellow
Social and Environmental Research Institute
phone: 413-387-9320
email: sptuler@seri-us.org