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Legal and Policy Options for Advancing Coastal Resilience in Southern Connecticut

Created: 3/18/2019 - Updated: 6/04/2019

Photo attributed to LEONARDO DASILVA. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Summary

The Regional Framework for Coastal Resilience in Southern Connecticut is a joint project managed collaboratively by the Southern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments, The Nature Conservancy, and the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments. The project was supported by a Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resilience Competitive Grant to assess and reduce risks associated with extreme weather events and increase resilience along ~30% of Connecticut’s coastline. The project focuses on community resilience building through natural and green infrastructure and land-use planning through ten contiguous coastal municipalities in Southern Connecticut including Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford, West Haven, New Haven, East Haven, Branford, Guilford, and Madison. As part of the broader project, the Southern Connecticut Regional Framework for Coastal Resilience: Legal, Policy, and Regulatory Assessment Guide is designed to advance risk reduction from extreme events, increase the resiliency of ecosystems, and initiate a Regional Resilience Framework via a partnership among local governments, regional planning agencies, NGOs, state agencies, and academia. This “Guide” is a truncated version of a much more detailed report prepared by the Marine Affairs Institute (MAI).

The content was produced by MAI through independent legal research and interviews. Independent research included direct consideration of federal and state laws and municipal charters, ordinances, and regulations, as well as other relevant sources of legal authority. Interviews were conducted in accordance with a standard protocol and were held with key staff from participating municipalities, relevant regional governance organizations, state agency personnel, and other knowledgeable stakeholders.

This guide is organized into two sections: 1) audit of legal authorities central to regional resilience policy and planning; and 2) legal and policy options for advancing natural/green infrastructure and improving overall municipal resilience. Jurisdictional and procedural processes are separated into the following categories:

  • Planning and zoning, including building codes, flood and erosion control, coastal management, and wetlands regulation;
  • Water quality protection;
  • Parks, wildlife, and open space; and
  • Transportation infrastructure, including navigation and highways.

Status

Submitted by project lead. Last updated May 2019

Citation

Whelchel A. (2019). Legal and Policy Options for Advancing Coastal Resilience in Southern Connecticut. Ed. Rachel M. Gregg. [Summary of a project of the Marine Affairs Institute, Southern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments, The Nature Conservancy, and the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments]. Retrieved from CAKE: https://www.cakex.org/case-studies/southern-connecticut-regional-framewo... (Last updated May 2019)

Project Contacts

Project Lead

Adam Whelchel

Diector of Science

awhelchel@tnc.org

Email Address: 
Position Title: 
Director of Science

The Roger Williams University School of Law's Marine Affairs Institute, in partnership with Rhode Island Sea Grant and University of Rhode Island, is a comprehensive clearinghouse for marine law and policy, engaged in preparing the next generation of marine law professionals. Located between Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay at the gateway to Cape Cod, RWU Law offers an ideal location in which to learn about and conduct research on issues in coastal law.

The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) is a public agency with representatives from twenty-two towns, cities, and boroughs, formed to provide a basis for intergovernmental cooperation in dealing with a wide range of issues. The Council was organized in October of 1992, taking over the mission of the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Planning Agency (SCRPA), which had been in existence since January 1961.  

The Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCog) is a multi-discipline, regional planning organization with six member communities — Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull — centered on the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

Keywords

Scale of Project: 
Community / Local
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Disaster Risk Management
Land Use Planning
Landscape Architecture
Policy
Research
Transportation / Infrastructure
Water Resources
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Sea level rise
Timeframe: 
1-3 years
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Capacity Building
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Community Planning (developing climate-smart communities)
Create or modify shoreline management measures
Habitat/Biome Type: 
Coastal
Freshwater
Effort Stage: 
Completed

Related Resources

Adaptation Phase: 
Awareness
Summary: 

The Bridgeport Climate Preparedness Workshops: Summary of Findings report is the culmination of an engagement process focused on comprehensively reducing risk and improving resilience in the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut through a community-driven process.

Summary: 

The Town of Guilford, Connecticut released its Community Coastal Resilience Plan in May 2014.

Sector Addressed: 
Land Use Planning
Policy
Transportation / Infrastructure
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration

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