Climate Change & Infrastructure Resilience
Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts
Washington County Climate Vulnerability Assessment (11.7MB PDF) NOTE Town-Specific CVAs are under development for towns who attended the 5 bay-specific Climate Vulnerability Assessment meetings in the Fall of 2013.
There is a range of adaptation responses that landowners, businesses, and municipalities can take to limit exposure to our vulnerabilities. These include the responses summarized below.
Click on the image at right to download the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Washington County (NOTE it is an 11.5MB PDF file) to obtain more detailed adaptation responses across the following areas of concern:
- evacuation and shelter planning including in real time
- establish communications protocol between UMM-GIS Service Center Director and County EMA Director to ensure real time scenario development in event of actual predicted hurricane in the Gulf of Maine
- pre-position equipment to areas that will be cut off during a storm
- print alternative scenario maps
- map house bound and elderly residents; add to Climate Vulnerability Assessments ensuring confidentiality of information
For roads, bridges and transportation:
- Inventory transportation infrastructure
- Participate in and update culvert mapping inventory
- Keep sand & salt piles above flood levels
- Improve stormwater capacity
- Improve culverts, flow under causeways
- Evaluate substructure of roadways most vulnerable to inundation
For municipal officials:
- Limit building in flood prone areas
- Adopt construction codes for coastal properties
- Maintain wetlands and floodplains to absorb flood waters
For Public Health:
- Plan for heat emergencies
- Distribute education about pest borne illnesses especially Lyme disease;
- Translate health advisories into Spanish and Passamaquoddy
- Assist elders and low income households with air conditioning/cooling
For any and all concerned:
- train all personnel on use of on-line scenario mapping tools
- always document impacts from severe storms (Damage and Injury Assessment AKA “Form 7” & photos)
- Managing wastewater to minimize shellfish closures
- Improving municipal wastewater treatment and protect facilities from storm damage
- Protect fish and shellfish nurseries and storm buffers by maintaining existing marine wetlands and prevent development in floodplains.
- Implement flexible regulatory frameworks to allow adaptation to changes
- Expect change in the workforce and the economy, especially for fisheries-dependent communities.
- Cooperate with scientists in research on shifting species, changing habitats, economic and regulatory strategies, etc.
- Plan for changing seasons, precipitation patterns, and pests.
- Explore new crops and varieties.
- Farms that grow diverse varieties are often more resilient to weather variations. If one crop or variety fails, others may survive.
- Keep abreast of news about pests and plan to fight them.
- Support a diverse local food economy that allows farmers to be adaptable and resilient. Try new foods!
- Anticipate change and taking advantage of new opportunities.
- Keep abreast of news and planning for new forest pests to fight them or prevent invasion.
- Consult with foresters and other woodlot owners to learn about management practices to maintain the health and profitability of forests.