CT DEEP has finalized the state’s Connecticut Climate Preparedness Plan

Jul 15th, 2013 | By | Category: Climate Change, Top Story

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has finalized the state’s Connecticut Climate Preparedness Plan. The plan – required by Public Act No. 08-98 – An Act Concerning Connecticut Global Warming Solutions – evaluates the projected impacts of climate change on Connecticut agriculture, infrastructure, natural resources and public health and recommends strategies to lessen those impacts.

More frequent extreme precipitation events coupled with coastal storm surge, like this one that hit Groton in Spring of 2010, was one of the climate change impacts that were considered during the Groton Coastal Climate Change Adaptation Project workshops held in 2010. (photo: John DeCastro, CT DOT)

More frequent extreme precipitation events coupled with coastal storm surge, like this one that hit Groton in Spring of 2010, was one of the climate change impacts that were considered during the Groton Coastal Climate Change Adaptation Project workshops held in 2010. (photo: John DeCastro, CT DOT)

The strategies outlined in the Climate Preparedness Plan center around five basic themes:

  • Intensify efforts to ensure preparedness planning;
  • Integrate climate change adaptation into existing plans;
  • Update existing standards to accommodate change expected during infrastructure design life;
  • Plan for flexibility and monitor change; and
  • Protect natural areas and landscape features that buffer potential impacts from climate change.

Building on the strategies outlined in the Climate Preparedness Plan – as well as the state’s experience with major storms of the past two years, the work of Governor Malloy’s “Two Storm Panel,” and the outreach and analysis undertaken by the General Assembly’s Climate Change & Shoreline Preservation Taskforce – DEEP is working on a number of action items to accomplish key resiliency and adaptation goals.

From the Executive Summary:

The most effective adaptation strategies affect multiple sectors of Connecticut society, utilize  available resources, have a positive cost to benefit ratio, create jobs, have political support (e.g., existing government priority and legal and regulatory framework) and have identifiable leadership. Adaptation strategies should retain the cultural values of Connecticut and empower local communities to take direct action in concert with state, regional, and national efforts.  The strategies include achievable benchmarks within a defined timeframe, a detailed implementation plan, and offer co-benefits for other non-climate management programs.  Small demonstration projects will help define broader implementation plans, and garner public, political and financial support by demonstrating early and larger potential successes. Building on these successes requires an informed public which dictates the need for expanded public education and properly targeted messaging.

In assessing the impacts of a changing climate in ?The Impacts of Climate Change on Connecticut Agriculture, Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Public Health? (Adaptation Subcommittee 2010) it became clear that a number of impacts cross the topical planning areas that the General Assembly established in Section 7 of Public Act No. 08-98.  Section 4 of the Impacts Report identified that water quality and quantity, ecosystem services, buildings and transportation significantly impact agriculture, infrastructure, natural resources and public health interests in Connecticut. The adaptation strategies for these intersecting issues mostly concern land use and resource planning, and include a number of assessments/inventories needed to further inform the adaptation planning process.

View or download the 111-page Connecticut Climate Preparedness Plan (PDF)

For more on this story, visit: DEEP: Connecticut Climate Preparedness Plan.

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