Shoreline panelThe Climate Adaptation Academy (CAA) is developing a list of challenges that municipalities and residents are facing as a result of climate change and we need your help. CAA is a partnership between Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and was developed after talking to a variety of local officials and residents, consultants and state officials. While the impacts of Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy grab the headlines with dramatic pictures of flooding, collapsed houses and eroded shorelines, there are many complex and equally important climate related issues that will challenge both coastal and inland communities in the next several decades. Identifying these issues in the near term will help advance the effort to fully determine the magnitude of each and begin to develop an adaptive response. This will be a long-term process and, to be effective, will require participation of a wide range of individuals, institutions and governmental agencies.

An important component of all CAA presentations is an opportunity for participants to share the challenges they face and ways they have developed to adapt to the impacts of climate change. We don’t know all the answers. In some cases we don’t even know the questions. The CAA is designed to be a continuous process by which the complex and emerging climate adaptation issues facing municipalities and residents are identified and innovative solutions are shared.

The list below includes the issues that our research has identified as being of concern to people in Connecticut as they begin to address the impacts of climate change. We have developed programs and held workshops to address a number of these issues. For others we are exploring partnerships and plan to engage in education and outreach on these topics in the future. Please let us know if there is an area of concern that you do not see below.

Climate Adaptation Academy topics identified to date:

  • General climate adaptation outreach for municipal officials and the public
  • Flooding—this includes impacts on stormwater systems, wastewater treatment systems, street flooding, flood insurance and more
  • Shore Protection/Living Shorelines
  • Climate Impacts on the real estate community
  • Adaptation issues for businesses, especially those located on the coast
  • Legal issues of climate adaptation
  • Impacts of climate change on agriculture
  • Climate impacts on the natural environment
  • Flooding, storms and mold
  • How climate change will affect septic systems and water supplies
  • Development of a Rapid Response Team to assist municipalities and homeowners after storm events
  • Climate impacts/storm surge on transportation systems
  • What to use –too much information from too many sources

Contact: Bruce Hyde at bruce.hyde@uconn.edu or Juliana Barrett at julianna.barrett@uconn.edu