Climate Change and Resilient Communities

Climate Change and Resilient Communities


The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their 4th Assessment Report note that evidence of climate change is unequivocal, based on observations of increased global air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and globally rising sea levels. In Connecticut, a southern New England state bordered by Long Island Sound, climate change will translate into higher average air and sea temperatures, increased winter precipitation with more rain and less snow, less summer rainfall and a greater frequency of short-term droughts. Projected increases in sea level associated with a warming global climate will lead to coastal inundation, causing greater flooding, erosion, and impacts from storm surges. These changes in the regional climate and sea level will negatively impact both human and natural systems.

Coastal areas will be especially hard hit with flooding and storms potentially degrading wetlands that now provide buffers to human communities, generating more property damage. Rising water temperatures in Long Island Sound are already impairing fish and shellfish stocks, such as the lobster, and sea water acidification associated with rising CO2 concentrations may yield additional deleterious impacts for marine species. In 2005, the State of Connecticut developed a mitigation strategy, the Connecticut Climate Change Action plan, focused on decreasing the state’s green house gas emissions and has created a series of working groups to develop climate change adaptation strategies.

Sea Grant Resilience Toolkit

The National Sea Grant Resilience Toolkit represents tools that have been developed over the years to help communities become more resilient. Each entry includes a description of the tools, a link for more information, and a point of contact. To navigate the site, you can browse by topic area or tool type. If you click on the tags and categories at the bottom of each entry, it will take you to similar tools. You can also see the Toolkit highlights, which features Resilience in Action - some examples of successful demonstration projects, and Featured Tools - resilience tools that have been successfully used in many different states, regions or communities.

How is Connecticut Sea Grant addressing climate change?

Connecticut Sea Grant is addressing the multi-faceted challenge of climate change through existing program initiatives. Climate change serves as an overarching area of emphasis, informing outreach and education activities. Strategies to determine climate change impacts and to adapt successfully have been developed.

The Sentinel Monitoring for Climate Change Program in Long Island Sound is a multi-disciplinary scientific approach to provide early warning of climate change impacts to Long Island Sound ecosystems and species to facilitate appropriate and timely management decisions and adaptation responses. These warnings will be based on assessments of climate related changes to a list of significant climate change sentinels. The goal of this strategy is for sentinel data to provide scientists and managers with the information necessary to prioritize climate change impacts and determine appropriate adaptation strategies. Find out more and download strategy HERE.

Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) are partnering with researchers, consultants and other professionals to work with municipalities and relevant professionals on climate resiliency through the Climate Adaptation Academy (CAA). We also partner with the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) at UConn.

Connecticut Sea Grant Research

Connecticut Sea Grant sponsors cutting edge scientific research through its competitive grants program,funding coastal and marine projects that are relevant to the citizens of Connecticut and the broader region. Several of these funded projects are directly related to climate change. Click here to view research projects.


Connecticut Sea Grant's Extension, Communications, and Education programs, as well as other staff, carry on a number of outreach efforts related to climate change and resilient communities in Conneccticut, Long Island Sound, and beyond. See Outreach activities.


View our publications related to climate change and resilient communities. Climate Change and Resilient Communities publications.

Links to Additional Online Resources

Click here for useful web resources.

For more information, contact Juliana Barrett.