Each year New England’s coastal cities and municipalities suffer millions of dollars in property damage, loss of life and economic disruptions when coastal storms and other natural disasters strike. This project supported municipalities in taking sustained action to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from coastal hazards and the effects of climate change.
The focus of this effort was on reducing the vulnerability of the built and natural environment to the effects of sea level rise and/or climate change by strengthening municipal responses. The eligible activities of this municipal grants program were:
- Identify short-term, mid-term and long-term goals; modify local ordinances, codes, design standards, bylaws, plans (e.g. hazard mitigation plans, emergency management plans, etc.), and programs (e.g., storm water management programs, master plans, capital improvement plans and protocols, etc.) to reduce the vulnerability of the built and natural environment to the effects of sea level rise and/or climate change.
- Develop and implement new protection mechanisms to preserve and protect natural resources.
- Reduce the vulnerability of public infrastructure (roads, water, wastewater) to the effects of sea level rise through the modification of plans, ordinances, codes and programs.
- Protect wildlife, wetlands and coastal forests vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise and/or climate change through planning and targeting efforts to ensure the long-term viability of these areas and resources.
- Prepare informative messaging and materials about the rationale for land use and resource protection requirements, increase public awareness and foster support for floodplain/hazard areas, storm water best management practices, land protection and ecosystem services (e.g., flood retention, etc.).
Municipal technical assistance grants were awarded to the following communities:
- Ogunquit, Maine to assess adaptation strategies for protecting their sewage treatment plant from sea level rise & storm surge
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire to assess the impacts of sea level rise and storm surge on municipal facilities and other sensitive areas and to start integrating adaptation into municipal procedures.
- Scituate, Marshfield, and Duxbury, Massachusetts to assess the vulnerability of public infrastructure and other natural resources (salt marsh & shellfish) from impacts of sea level rise, to identify adaptation strategies, and related outreach
- Block Island, Rhode Island to assess adaptation strategies for ferry terminals and associated infrastructure and develop short and long-term engineering solutions
- Greenwich, Connecticut to compile and analyze elevation certificates as a means to improve understanding of risk and improve emergency response efforts.
- Guilford, Connecticut to develop analyze long-term impacts of sea level rise & increasing storm frequency on community, including natural resources coastal resilience action plan with short and long term strategies