As a region of 21-towns, the Northwest Hills will experience a variety of impacts from climate change including changes to precipitation rates, shifts in seasons, increased high heat and high-ozone days, and extreme weather events. To address these concerns, the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG) used CIRCA’s grant support to draft a report, “Enhancing Rural Resiliency: A Vision and Toolkit for Adaptation in the Northwest Hills” and created a web-hosted Rural Vision & Toolkit website. This project is consistent with the NHCOG 2017 regional Plan of Conservation and Development, which specifically identifies climate change-related policies and specifically lists preparing, “a climate change adaptation plan including a web-based toolkit” as a strategy to help achieve this goal. While the project achieves several regional objectives, it is also be highly transferable to other towns in Connecticut. This Municipal Resilience Grant award was for the amount of $54,863.
Doing a full climate change vulnerability assessment, including flooding, is timely given improved data availability in Northwest Connecticut – especially new FEMA data and digital map products. With limited capacity, towns in this region will benefit from a geographically-focused compilation of climate change adaptation data and strategies coupled with a vision for regional resiliency. The toolkit format, organized by practical categories, is easily searchable by other communities and consider a range of climate change impacts. The broad offering of strategies in the “Resilience Vision” document will target NHCOG municipalities at their current financial, technical, and administrative capacity.
Joanna Wozniak-Brown – Regional Planning, NHCOG