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Adapting to the Rise: A Guide For Connecticut's Coastal Communities

After working with over 35 municipalities on community resilience building, the Coastal Resilience Team developed “Adapting to the Rise: A Guide for Connecticut’s Coastal Communities”. This guidebook provides town planners, city managers, municipal staff, elected officials, and concerned citizens with 1) a basic understanding of several topics related to adapting to immediate and future flooding and sea level rise, 2) examples from communities that have advanced various adaptation strategies, and 3) links to resources and background material.

The first chapter provides a description of building codes for the coastal floodplain required by the National Flood Insurance Program. An evaluation of the codes’ effectiveness is presented as well as recommended actions that municipalities can take to improve building survivability through reduced structural exposure. The second chapter introduces innovative zoning options that towns can implement to address long-term growth, resilience, and conservation. The third chapter provides details on enrollment in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System. This is perhaps the most significant initial step a town can take to improve overall resilience. The fourth chapter discusses various financing options for towns and incentives for developers to promote resilient development and “climate ready” communities. Readers are encouraged to follow the footnoted links to referenced documents, websites and other particularly informative and helpful resources.

The Nature Conservancy Coastal Resilience Team in Connecticut has also developed tools, guidance documents, and a Community Resilience Building Workshop series to assist coastal and inland communities comprehensively identifying vulnerabilities and strengths and prioritize actions to reduce risk and improve resilience. These tools and services are introduced here in this guidebook and are available in further detail by clicking HERE.

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