Sea Level Rise Projections for the State of Connecticut | Draft Report Released


The Draft Report, Sea Level Rise in Connecticut, authored by CIRCA Executive Director and Professor of Marine Sciences, James O’Donnell was released as of March 27, 2018. This full technical report informed the Executive Summary and the science presentation contained in the Draft Report presented to the public on October 19, 2017. A recording of that presentation and a pdf of the slides can be found below. Reviewing both the Draft Report and the October 19, 2017 30 minute presentation recording is recommended.
Draft Report | Sea Level Rise in Connecticut


Sea level rise is a well-established impact of a warming planet due to expanding warming oceans and melting ice currently trapped on land. In 2012 NOAA released global sea level rise scenarios that were referenced in Connecticut state statute requiring that sea level rise be considered in state and local plans of conservation and development and natural hazard mitigation plans. That same statute charged UConn CIRCA with updating the scenarios to be local for the state of Connecticut. On October 19, 2017 CIRCA released the local sea level rise scenarios in a public meeting. Based on the scenarios CIRCA recommends that Connecticut plan for the upper end of the range of values projected of 50cm (20 inches) of sea level rise by 2050 and that it is likely that sea level will continue to rise after that date. The Institute also recommended that the scenarios be updated at least every 10 years to incorporate the best available science and new observations. The public meeting also included a presentation on policy and planning recommendations on how to incorporate sea level rise into state and municipal planning ordinances and floodplain management.

View October 19, 2017 Public Meeting webinar recording (audio and slides) (use ‘playback’ button for quicker access)

(Note that the webinar recording starts just after the title slide of O’Donnell’s presentation, but no information was lost other than a general welcome to the meeting.)

News Coverage:

“Long Island Sound Flood Risks Rising With Higher Sea Levels,” Hartford Courant, October 19, 2017


Download Presentation Slides (no audio):

Coastal Flood Risk in CT: O’Donnell

Sea Level Rise Policy & Planning Recommendations: Rath



Executive Summary of ODonnell Report on Sea Level Rise

DRAFT Full Technical Report Released March 27, 2018

White papers from the policy and planning study are forthcoming.

If you have questions about these reports or presentations, please contact CIRCA at or call 860-405-9214.