Preparing for Climate Change in Groton, Connecticut: A Model Process for Communities in the Northeast

Posted on: 3/31/2011 - Updated on: 3/06/2020

Posted by

Hannah Robinson



A series of coastal climate change adaptation workshops were held in Groton, Connecticut throughout 2010. The workshops were designed to convene federal, state, and local government, as well as academic, non-profit, and community partners to develop a model for coastal community adaptation planning in a “home rule” state. In addition to fostering vertical collaboration between levels of government, the process allowed horizontal coordination within each level that resulted in innovative collaborations. The key stakeholders involved, the commitment from supporting and sponsoring agencies, and the cutting-edge science and economic modeling presented all worked to make the process successful. While a 500-year storm event that occurred on March 30, 2010 almost cancelled the second workshop, the washed out and flooded roads and bridges illustrated that 1) climate impacts are already costing multiple levels of government large amounts of money; 2) locals already know much of how and where they are vulnerable; and 3) there is a need to work towards solutions immediately to avoid additional unnecessary costs and risk. While Groton and state and federal government agencies are continuing the adaptation processes that were initiated during these workshops, it will take additional and continued stakeholder involvement and support for coordinated and successful adaptation to occur. This report speaks to other lessons learned and contains insight and resources so other communities (especially coastal communities) can begin or continue their adaptation planning process.


Stults, M., & Pagach, J. (2011). Preparing for climate change in Groton, Connecticut: A model process for communities in the Northeast. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Retrieved from CAKE:…

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ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability is the leading nonprofit membership association devoted to local governments engaged in sustainability, climate protection, and clean energy initiatives.  In the United States, ICLEI USA is the recognized leader in its field, creating cutting-edge tools and establishing national standards.

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