This chapter, the Climate Change Adaptations and Resiliency Tasks, has the following sections:
- General Resources about Climate Change and Adaptation
- Cultural Resources
- Natural Resources
- Public Health
The “General Resources” section provides an overview of climate change and background on resiliency. Each section, except for the “General Resources” section, follows this outline: Category Description, Vulnerability Overview, Potential Partners, Potential Funding Streams, General Tools, and Actions.
- The Category Description provides a brief overview of what the category entails with a little background on that category in Connecticut.
- The Vulnerability Overview are a general list of potential vulnerabilities associated with each category in Connecticut. These vulnerabilities may vary in risk depending on location and are not necessarily transferable to other geographies.
- The Potential Partners listed may be able to assist with various parts of implementing the action with funding knowledge, technical expertise, or serving as a team member. Their ability to participate will be based on their availability at the time. There may be additional partners in other areas of your state.
- Potential Funding Streams are not exhaustive but may provide alternatives to traditional municipal funding opportunities.
- General Tools provide overall guidance about the category and strategies for climate adaptation.
- Actions, also listed in Appendix B, are specific activities that can be conducted at the local scale for each category and sub-category. Useful tools or examples are provided underneath each action.
For the purposes of this toolkit, resiliency and adaptation are used often. It can be confusing at first. Simply put, resiliency is the ability to respond to hazardous changes and return to the original day to day operations. It is for both short-term impacts (e.g. hurricanes) and long-term impacts (e.g. warming temperatures). Adaptation would be the strategies put in place to make a place resilient such as flood walls or cooling centers.
Check out a printable version of the toolkit.
There are numerous plans created by municipalities, regions, and states, which guide their decision-making. Each of these plans and projects were the result of significant public outreach, research, and/or planning efforts. As such, the goals, recommendations, and resources developed from these plans or projects inform resiliency across the main topics. In addition to a review of resiliency information from other states or national documents, the following local, regional, and Connecticut planning-related documents were reviewed for this toolkit:
Consulted Plans/Programs (State or State-wide)
- State Water Plan
- State Climate Change Preparedness Plan
- Draft Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
- Draft Shared Stewardship: Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan
- Sustainable CT
Consulted Plans (Regional)
- NHCOG Regional Transportation Plan 2016
- NHCOG Northwest Connecticut Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023 Update
- Litchfield Hills Natural Hazard Mitigation plan
- NHCOG Plan of Conservation & Development 2017
- Housatonic River Management Plan. Dodson Associates. September 2006.
- Western Water Utility Coordinating Committee Integrated Report 2018
Consulted Plans (Local)
- Natural Hazard Mitigation plans for towns in NHCOG region including Burlington, Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Warren, and Washington)
- Plans of Conservation & Development (municipal and regional)
- NHCOG and Northwest Connecticut Conservation District, “Building Municipal Resilience & Climate Adaptation through Low Impact Development”, CIRCA-funded project
- CIRCA, Municipal Resilience Planning Assistance for Sea Level Rise, Coastal Flooding, Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure, & Policy
- SAFR Connecticut Connections Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Concept – National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) (This project will use the concept of Resilient Zones to draft a narrative vision of a Resilient Northwest Hills)
- CIRCA, Drinking Water Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan
- SCRCOG- Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning for Protection of Public Drinking Water
- CIRCA – Financing Resilience in Connecticut: Current Programs, National Models, & New Opportunities
Over the course of this project, the following organizations and agencies were solicited for information:
- State Agencies
- Former Adaptation Subcommittee from the CT Climate Preparedness Plan
- Environmental Protection Agency
- UConn CIRCA
- Local historic commissions
- Local land use, energy, and conservation commissions
- Regional land trust organizations
- Agricultural advocacy organizations
- Municipal officials including chief elected officials, health departments, public works, and Emergency Management Directors
- Adaptation and resiliency projects from New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, California, and Colorado
Project outreach occurred in two primary ways, education and information solicitation. Input was sought from the Region 5 Regional Emergency Planning Team (REPT), NHCOG Public Safety Task Force (PSTF), Emergency Management Directors, energy commissions, land use commissions, conservation commissions, and from cultural, public health, and agricultural institutions in region. The author of the toolkit presented the project at the following forums:
- Presentation at NHCOG meeting – 10/12/17
- Presentation at DEHMS Region 5 REPT – 11/20/17
- Presentation at CIRCA Municipal Resiliency Forum – 5/11/18
- Rural Resiliency Sharing Session – 7/26/2018
- Presentation at DEHMS Region 5 REPT Steering Committee and Survey– 8/8/18
- Presentation at Southern New England American Planning Association Conference – 10/19/18
- Presentation at NHCOG meeting – 11/8/18
Numerous local, regional, and state organizations were contacted and invited to provide the following:
- GIS maps;
- Adaptation case studies for topics such as agriculture, infrastructure, natural resources, public health, and cultural resources;
- Strategies or policies in your organization regarding adaptation/resiliency; and
- Current or forthcoming resources on adaptation or resiliency that may be helpful to municipalities or local organizations.
Invited examples of potential information included:
- ecological habitats at the highest risk from climate change: Cold Water Streams, Tidal Marsh, Open Water Marine, Beaches and Dunes, Freshwater Wetlands, Offshore Islands, Major Rivers, and Forested Swamps for the state and/or NW Hills
- Temperature changes in inland waterbodies
- changes in vector borne diseases in the state
- changes in vector populations (e.g. ticks, mosquitoes)
- private water well usage and/or failures
- Farmland properties in state
- Loss/gain of farmland
- Critical infrastructure in flood-prone areas (FEMA won’t have digital FIRM maps for NHCOG region until 2022 so any existing digital flood data for northern CT would be very helpful)
- Maple syrup production in the state (and/or reports on Maple health in the state)
- Anticipated temperature impacts on bridges and dams
- Changes in forest flora and fauna composition
- Vulnerability/Adaptation reports for agencies, organizations, or municipalities in the state
- Lists of cultural resources that may be at risk to climate change in Connecticut (historical sites, buildings, social groups, etc.)
- Estimates on disproportionate climate change impact on vulnerable populations.