The mission of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is to increase the resilience and sustainability of vulnerable communities along Connecticut’s coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change on the natural, built, and human environment.
CIRCA is a multi‐disciplinary, center of excellence that brings together experts in the natural sciences, engineering, economics, political science, finance, and law to provide practical solutions to problems arising as a result of a changing climate. The Institute will help coastal and inland floodplain communities in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast better adapt to changes in climate and also make their human‐built infrastructure more resilient while protecting valuable ecosystems and the services they offer to human society (food, clean air and water, and energy). The Institute will combine the world‐class research capabilities of UConn and the progressive policies and practical regulatory experience of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) to translate sound scientific research to actions that can ensure the resilience and sustainability of both the built and natural environments of the coast and watersheds of Connecticut.
In collaboration with local, regional, and national partners, the Institute’s multi‐disciplinary research, outreach, and education programs will strive to:
- Improve scientific understanding of the changing climate system and its local and regional impacts on coastal and inland floodplain communities;
- Develop and deploy natural science, engineering, legal, financial, and policy best practices for climate resilience;
- Undertake or oversee pilot projects designed to improve resilience and sustainability of the natural and built environment along Connecticut’s coast and inland waterways;
- Create a climate‐literate public that understands its vulnerabilities to a changing climate and which uses that knowledge to make scientifically informed, environmentally sound decisions;
- Foster resilient and sustainable communities – particularly along the Connecticut coastline and inland waterways – that can adapt to the impacts and hazards of climate change; and
- Reduce the loss of life and property, natural system and ecological damage, and social disruption from high‐impact events.