CIRCA has received State funds to expand Resilient Connecticut from southwest Connecticut to the entire State. “Resilient Connecticut 2.0” will include a statewide expansion of the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) followed by climate adaptation project development in the communities of the Hartford area and southeastern Connecticut. This planning effort will help develop the “resilience project pipeline” as referenced in the Governor’s Executive Order 21-3.
What Kinds of Challenges Are Considered in Resilient Connecticut 2.0?
At least five severe rain events caused flooding between June and October 2021, from Tropical Storm Elsa in July to Tropical Depression Ida in September. These floods caused damage to infrastructure and communities across Connecticut. While shoreline towns were spared significant coastal flooding in 2021, the storm of January 17, 2022 caused widespread flooding in coastal towns from New Haven to Stonington. Extreme heat events were recorded in June, July, and August, with the National Weather Service issuing an excessive heat warning on August 12, 2021. Climate change is affecting flood and extreme heat event frequency and intensity in the state.
How Can You Become Involved in the next stage of Resilient Connecticut?
Resilient Connecticut 2.0 will include three main components in 2022, from development of vulnerability assessment tools to preliminary development of project focus areas that we call “resilience opportunity areas.” The third component will continue into 2023.
Spring 2022: Statewide Expansion of the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI)
The CCVI developed for Fairfield County and New Haven County will be updated and expanded to the State of Connecticut, mapping flood and extreme heat vulnerabilities in all municipalities. Check out the viewer tools that will be updated to depict statewide flood and heat vulnerabilities. Your input is critical for ground-truthing the flood and extreme heat vulnerabilities mapped with the CCVI.
Spring/Summer 2022: Focused Planning and Municipal Engagement
CIRCA will meet with the municipalities of the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG), and Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG) to delineate “zones of shared risk” for flood and isolation risks, screen actions from adopted hazard mitigation plans, and generate ideas for climate adaptation and resilience projects that address extreme heat, flooding, and flood-related hazards. These meetings may resemble prior consultations to update hazard mitigation plans, but will be focused on climate resilience over longer timeframes.
Fall 2022 to Spring 2023: Resilience Project Development
CIRCA will review social vulnerability index mapping, results of the CCVI, findings from the focused planning with the municipalities, and other planning priorities to select “resilience opportunity areas” and develop climate adaptation and resilience projects that address extreme heat and flood risks. Our ideas cannot advance to the State’s resilience project pipeline without your input. For examples of resilience opportunity areas developed in Fairfield County and New Haven County, view the individual maps.
CIRCA plans to start meeting with the municipalities of CRCOG, SCCOG, and RiverCOG starting in February and March 2022. We will also conduct several public webinars and have our annual summit on Earth Day, April 22, 2022. Make sure you are subscribed to the Resilience Roundup to get information about events like this and other monthly updates in your inbox. For more information, contact David Murphy, CIRCA’s Director of Resilience Engineering, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more in a March 5, 2022 article published in The Day newspaper, “Climate resilience initiative expanding into southeastern Connecticut.”