Below is a brief summary description of our current projects. Click the Learn More button to read the detailed project description, or use the left navigation.
Advancing High Resolution Coastal Forecasting & Living Shorelines Approaches in the Northeast
The Advancing High Resolution Coastal Forecasting and Living Shorelines Approaches in the Northeast advances northeast regional forecasting for inundation from storms under future sea level rise scenarios and identifies policy barriers and potential solutions for the use of living shorelines in the northeast.
Building Municipal Resilience & Climate Adaptation Through Low Impact Development
Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG) proposed project utilizes regional collaboration, increases adaptive capacity through education, and strengthens local resiliency to climate change. Working with the Northwest Conservation District (NCD), their goal is to develop a Low Impact Development Manual for the town of Morris that could easily be replicated for the many small towns across the state of Connecticut.
CIRCA/Restore America’s Estuaries Living Shorelines Conference: “Living Shorelines: Sound Science, Innovative Approaches, Connected Community”
On December 1 and 2 living shorelines practitioners from around the country met in Hartford, Connecticut for a first-ever national living shorelines summit. The summit was jointly sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA). The event drew nearly 300 researchers, government employees, engineers, students and others, the two-day event covered both the national and regional landscapes. Day 1 had a national focus. Presenters explored groundbreaking science, forward-looking permitting, effective outreach and education strategies, and innovative finance mechanisms. On Day 2 conference participants broke down by region to discuss relevant successes, challenges, and solutions to advance the deployment of living shorelines in their home states.
Developing and Implementing a Restoration and Management Plan to Combat Threats and Challenges to Coastal Dune Resiliency in Urban Landscapes
This project will implement a plan of best practices to restore a degraded sand dune along the Milford, CT shoreline in a high traffic, urban beach community and develop a plan for post-restoration management of the restored dune.
Drinking Water Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) will work together for the purpose of preparing a Drinking Water Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Plan to assess, identify, and address vulnerabilities for community water systems in Fairfield, New Haven, New London, and Middlesex counties. The Plan will utilize spatial data, flood risk, climate information, surveys and interviews with water utilities to ensure preparedness and resiliency of community water systems before, during, and after future storms and hazards, including the impacts of climate change and drought.
Financing Resilience in Connecticut: Current Programs, National Models, & New Opportunities
The Financing Resilience in Connecticut: Current Programs, National Models, and New Opportunities literature review and fact sheet provide information on existing resilience financing programs in Connecticut and model programs that can be applied in the State to educate municipalities, regulators, policymakers, and legislators on financing options.
How Will Sea Level Rise-Driven Shifts in Wetland Vegetation Alter Ecosystem Services?
This project examines how sea level rise (SLR) - induced shifts in vegetation will mediate ecosystem service provision by LIS coastal wetlands.
Jarvis Creek Sea Level & Flooding Variability
The Jarvis Creek Sea Level and Flooding Variability study in Branford, CT determined how downstream flood prevention activities affect areas upstream in terms of flooding frequency. The Institute provided a report.pdf with policy directions for the DEEP Office of Long Sound Programs for future consideration of similar upstream impacts.
Municipal Resilience Planning Assistance for Sea Level Rise, Coastal Flooding, Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure, & Policy
The Municipal Resilience Planning Assistance for Sea Level Rise, Coastal Flooding, Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure, and Policy project provides information for wastewater system vulnerability assessments, combined river and coastal flooding for pilot sites, and policy options for priority resilience projects for towns in the Sandy-impacted counties.
New Haven Industrial Toolbox
The City of New Haven is a coastal town with repetitive flooding problems. In response to frequent flooding, the City organized the Program for Public Information, a committee charged with making recommendations to help address flooding issues.
Public Support for Adaptation to Sea Level Rise
The Public Support for Adaptation to Sea Level Rise project will survey Connecticut coastal residents to examine their preferences and values with respect to various measures to preserve coastal areas and resources in the face of sea level rise.
Real‐time Flood Prediction & Vulnerability Analysis of Connecticut’s Inland River Network
The Real‐time Flood Prediction and Vulnerability Analysis of Connecticut’s Inland River Network project provides a hydrology model for Connecticut’s rivers and applies this model to determine flood vulnerabilities in current and future climate scenarios.
Resilient Coastal Communities under Wind & Flood Hazards
The Resilient Coastal Communities under Wind and Flood Hazards project will evaluate and compare trade-offs in residential home building designs to reduce risk of wind and flood damage in order to reduce coastal community vulnerabilities. The towns of Fairfield and Milford are participating in the study.
Road Flooding in Coastal Connecticut
The coastline of Connecticut is characterized by numerous inlets where the rivers and streams carrying runoff from land towards the ocean and the saline tidal waters of Long Island Sound intrude into the channels.
SAFR Connecticut Connections Vulnerability Assessment & Resilience Concept – National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC)
The SAFR Connecticut Connections Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Concept – National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) developed a climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessment for the coasts of New Haven and Fairfield counties and a resilience concept for using the natural high ridgelines of Connecticut to connect low-lying coastal communities to resilient transit-oriented development along Metro North.
Scoping of Dredge Material Islands & Wetlands for Green Infrastructure Resiliency
The Scoping of Dredge Material Islands and Wetlands for Green Infrastructure Resiliency Projects Along the Connecticut Shoreline in Fairfield and New Haven Counties project will provide design guidelines and a regulatory framework for creating wetlands from dredge materials in Connecticut to increase shoreline resiliency.
Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments – Southeastern Connecticut Critical Facilities Assessment
The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) conducted an assessment of 18 community facilities located in or near flood zones that are critical for ongoing public services, including fire and police stations, town halls, and departments of public works. The assessment identifies the risks to properties and service continuation from flooding, wind damage, and snow loads now and over the next several decades. For each site, the assessment recommends appropriate flood prevention measures, potentially including relocation, site modifications such as flood walls, flood proofing, and elevation of utilities. This CIRCA funded project was a recommendation of the region’s 2012 Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Results will help municipalities incorporate resilience planning into funding priorities.
Stratford Point Living Shoreline: Restoring Coastal Habitats to Maintain Resiliency and Function
Led by researchers at Sacred Heart University, this project expands an existing living shoreline project at Stratford Point, Fairfield County, Connecticut. On-going coastal restoration efforts and research at the site consist of an artificial reef, smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) marsh, high marsh, coastal dune and upland woody/grassland mosaics.
Waterford Municipal Infrastructure Resilience Project
The Town of Waterford identified their sewer pump stations as potentially highly vulnerable to impacts from flooding and sea level rise. The town’s Waterford Municipal Infrastructure Resilience Project is a two-part project that will assess the vulnerabilities of the sewer pumps stations as well as include an analysis of drainage at Gardiners Wood Road.
Waves in Long Island Sound and Living Shorelines Site Suitability Tool: NOAA CREST project
The NOAA CREST project has significant wave heights for different return periods for all of Long Island Sound, measurements of waves in Old Saybrook and New Haven harbors, a review of design guidelines and tools for site assessment of living shorelines. This information is summarized in an online map viewer.
Western Connecticut Council of Governments – Regional CRS Program
In order to stem the high cost of flooding to home and business owners, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers flood insurance in communities that comply with basic floodplain management standards through the National Flood Insurance Program. Communities may choose to enter into the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS) in order to reduce the cost of flood insurance premiums for their property owners. Communities participating in the CRS Program go above and beyond the minimum standards and, depending on their level of mitigation efforts, can garner insurance premium reductions from 5-45%.