6: Integration with Existing Community Activities

Local and Tribal governments and communities have hundreds of projects on their to-do lists. Often these are critical infrastructure improvements that are long overdue. Even status quo upgrades for roads, culverts, water lines, wastewater, stormwater systems, and other public infrastructure have costs that extend beyond existing capital improvement plans. Community decision-makers have the difficult task of selecting only a few efforts from a multitude of needs. The intention of this section is to support towns and Tribes in connecting resilience planning and designing for climate change within existing needs and activities as an extension of what they are already doing.

This section provides an overview of the diverse priorities a community or region should consider when conducting climate action planning or project planning and implementation. Each planning process or project will consistently present opportunities to incorporate climate change science and long-term resilience planning. To streamline this process, it is important to have the right pathways to climate information, access to decision-support tools, processes in place for consensus building, and diverse partners to share leadership when projects extend beyond the capacities of public officials alone. Within each of the subsections for each priority work area or core audience is a synopsis of climate change-related issues, specific best practices to address these issues, and resources to help.

Each subsection starts with a description of municipal priorities and core audiences that could be the focus of climate action planning.

6.1 Community Planning and Economic Development

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership)

Strategy F: Build Healthy and Resilient Communities

  • Plan for Community Resilience:
    • F1 – Conduct a community vulnerability assessment that identifies climate risks and vulnerable populations and includes a review of existing plans and policies. Adopt a climate resilience plan that describes high-priority strategies for reducing risk and vulnerabilities (maybe a standalone plan or included in a comprehensive plan).
    • F2 – Update the local or county EMA hazard mitigation plan to address changing/future conditions and identify specific strategies to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to climate change impacts.
    • F3 – Develop or enhance early warning systems and community evacuation plans.
    • F4 – Develop a storm debris management plan.
  • Reduce Flood Risk:
    • F5 – Complete the Maine Flood Resilience Checklist.
    • F6 – Participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
    • Enroll in the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS) at Class 9 or better, reducing flood insurance premiums for community residents.
    • F7 – Achieve CRS Class 6 or better, maximizing flood insurance savings for community residents.
    • F8 – Map sea level rise projections in the local or county EMA hazard mitigation plan.
    • F9 – Require consideration of sea level rise projections and impacts in planning and permitting coastal development.
    • F10 – Adopt freeboard requirements in the special flood hazard area and higher freeboard critical infrastructure and long-lifespan assets.
    • F11 – Adopt a low-impact design (LID) standard for stormwater management.

While Section 4 provides examples and approaches to initiate climate action planning, this section focuses on approaches to integrate climate adaptation in existing municipal activities. Each community will need to discuss and prioritize which activity is the right fit and timing for their needs and available resources. Communication between municipal committees, town staff, and the town council or board of selectmen is key to streamlining these processes. Section 5 includes resources and best practices for community engagement within many different work areas, including for public education.

“Maine municipalities have many existing tools to address resilience to changing climate conditions. Hazard mitigation plans, comprehensive plans, economic development plans, transportation plans, capital improvement plans, zoning ordinances, and site plan review and subdivision ordinances all provide existing platforms. In fact, these plans and ordinances should be interconnected to ensure that the municipality’s plans for growth and development and for effective hazard mitigation are supportive of one another. The following section provides brief descriptions of the municipal planning tools that are covered in more detail in individual guidance documents”.19 Figure 3 depicts the three general types of plans, as well as examples of specific plans that can accommodate climate action planning.

Figure 3. Cascading plans that can be influenced by resilience planning

graphic of Cascading plans that can be influenced by resilience planning - see attachment page for description

Figure 3. Cascading plans that can be influenced by resilience planning (cited from the Regional Resilience Toolkit: 5 Steps to Build Large-Scale Resilience to Natural Disasters.)20

6.1.1 Integrating Climate Adaptation into Comprehensive Plans

“Developing a comprehensive plan is an extraordinarily powerful process through which a community develops a vision for its future along with the strategies to implement that vision.” The Land Use and Planning Regulation Act (30-A MRSA, Chapter 187) also known as the Growth Management Act (GMA) sets forth the State’s goals for economic growth and natural resource protection. The State relies on municipal and regional plans to support those goals.

Comprehensive plans are also a municipality’s ‘business plan’ – strategies in the plan laid out the municipality’s approach to important government functions such as land use regulation, economic development, natural resource protection, capital investment, transportation, recreation, community engagement, and public safety. This is a logical and important place for a municipality to integrate concerns about the impacts of a changing climate.

Enacted in April 2022, LD 1970: 130th Maine Legislature, Second Regular Session, An Act To Implement Agency Recommendations Relating to Sea Level Rise and Climate Resilience Provided Pursuant to Resolve 2021, Chapter 67, P.L. 590: State of Maine, An Act To Implement Agency Recommendations Relating to Sea Level Rise and Climate Resilience Provided Pursuant to Resolve 2021, Chapter 67 (PDF) now implements recommendations from Maine Won’t Wait Climate Action Plan by amending the laws governing municipal planning and land use regulation. The changes enable the development of local climate action plans, and incorporation of plans into a municipality’s or multi-municipal region’s growth management program and could enable land-use ordinance changes. Chapter 590 is further supported through an agency financial and technical assistance program housed at the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.

Climate resilience and adaptation can be incorporated as a separate chapter in comprehensive plans or integrated throughout the document. A comprehensive plan’s climate resilience policies and implementation strategies can provide municipal leaders with the basis to budget for, seek grant funding for, and carry out specific actions to increase resilience. For example, a plan’s transportation policy to, “Assure culvert capacities reflect trends for increasing storm intensity” can be complemented by a strategy to “inventory and assess existing culverts and prioritize replacement of those that have insufficient capacity for a 50-year storm event.” 21

For detailed instructions on how to integrate climate actions into comprehensive plans, the Municipal Climate Adaptation Guidance Series on Comprehensive Planning (Maine.gov, Maine DACF) (PDF) provides specific examples in each section of a comprehensive plan that is required by state regulation.

Maine’s Flood Resilience Checklist (Maine Coastal Program and NOAA) (PDF) is a useful blueprint for crafting a discussion around resilience and adaptation (also see Table 2 for additional decision support tools). Other National Guidance

Municipalities and nonprofit organizations in other states have developed templates and resources for integrating climate adaptation into comprehensive planning. “Comprehensive planning that is done within the frame of climate consciousness can replace the need for a separate Climate Action Plan”.22

  • Climate Change Adaptation through Local Comprehensive Planning (CAKE-X) (PDF) is a guidance document for Puget Sound Communities developed by EcoAdapt in 2017. It provides a rationale for why communities should include climate change in their comprehensive plans and background on expected climate change impacts to the Puget Sound Region. It also includes a model process for incorporating climate change into each element of a plan, as well as a section on plan implementation.

Beginning in 2010, the American Planning Association (APA) developed best practices for comprehensive planning and sustainability. This work, under the project name Sustaining Places, “offers a framework with standards for creating livable, healthy communities in harmony with nature — communities that have resilient economies, social equity, and strong regional ties.” Four steps show how to turn those principles into a plan and score the results. Insights from 10 pilot communities add the real-world perspectives of big cities, small towns, and everything in between. Out of that initiative in 2012 came Sustaining Places: The Role of the Comprehensive Plan, a guide that makes the case for building sustainability into long-range planning. Now APA has gone further, explaining how to put those plans in place.

6.1.2 Case Studies of Maine Communities’ climate action plans

Increasingly, municipalities in Maine are integrating climate adaptation and mitigation measures into comprehensive plans. Different approaches abound, though there are efforts to provide templates for towns and regions to make the process more accessible and streamlined. This section provides a few examples.

Georgetown Comprehensive Plan

The Town of Georgetown updated their comprehensive plan in 2019.24 This plan used recommendations from the 2015 Climate Change Adaptation Report developed by the Georgetown Conservation Commission. Their comprehensive plan identifies climate change and sea level rise as major risks to the Town’s future and has specific goals and action items to address those risks.

The plan was developed in collaboration with the University of Maine. Georgetown was one of 30 towns that were reviewed as part of a larger research project. From this collaboration and research, the partners at the University of Maine published a paper in 2019, “Comprehensive plans as tools for enhancing coastal community resilience” (Taylor & Francis Online).

York Comprehensive Plan

In 2013, the Town of York and the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission developed a Sea Level Rise Chapter within their comprehensive plan, with funding from the Coastal Communities Grant Program. The Chapter inventories the best available data on trends in sea level rise and offers the best available predictions for the future.25 In 2021 while updating the comprehensive plan, the Town of York also developed and is now voting to endorse a climate action plan to help the community to prepare for climate impacts and to meet climate emissions reductions goals.

Kennebunkport Comprehensive Plan

The Town of Kennebunkport and its Comprehensive Planning Committee of finalizing a new comprehensive plan having released a draft in 2021. Climate change is addressed in all relevant sections. “We aspire to a comprehensive plan that puts our community on a sustainable path, one that is responsive to the challenges posed by a changing climate.” More information is available on Kennebunkport 2030: A Citizens’ Guide to the new Comprehensive Plan website.

Kittery Comprehensive Plan

The Town of Kittery’s Comprehensive Plan 2015-20225 (Volume I: Comprehensive Plan) has a goal and section devoted specifically to coastal resilience. The goal is to: “Establish short, medium and long-term plans to address the effects of climate change, including increased storm frequency and strength, coastal erosion and rising ocean levels, and transition of both public and private energy consumption to low and zero impact methods.” To meet this goal, the Plan describes the following objectives:

  • Establish plans to address the effects of climate change.
  • Reduce energy consumption and transition to low and zero-impact methods.
  • Provide education and incentives to protect the environment and improve quality of life.26

The Town is now making progress towards this goal and underlying objectives, and with a Climate Adaptation Committee (Kittery, Maine) has started to develop a climate action plan.

We seek examples from inland and Downeast, Maine for the next edition.

6.1.3 Capital Improvement Plans

This is a provisional section that requires content from external contributors.

Capital Improvement Plan Case Studies

This is a provisional section that would benefit from other case studies, including local to Maine, if applicable.

The following example is from Maryland:

6.1.4 Integrating Climate Adaptation into Ordinances and Zoning

Communities are adept in using ordinances and zoning to encourage the most appropriate use of land in a locality as well as the general welfare of community members. Mechanisms include floodplain management; zoning (including shoreland); subdivision / Site Plan Review (SPR); stormwater management; and wetlands, sustainability, and shellfish ordinances. These are established approaches that can be used to steer local actions and activities that reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

In 2022, The Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC) developed a Municipal Guidance Document that outlines opportunities for incorporating coastal resilience measures in existing municipal and land use ordinances. A draft table that provides an inventory of zoning and ordinance options to guide a community’s deliberation is in Appendix B. SMPDC is also in the process of developing a Model Coastal Resilience Ordinance.

A few examples of how to use land use ordinances to increase resilience to climate change are included in the Municipal Climate Adaptation Guidance Series Overview document, including links to the specific topics in the series:

  • Zoning Ordinance: The zoning ordinance is the logical tool to use to manage development in areas vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise or increased levels of precipitation. Overlay zones can be created in high-hazard areas that set different standards based on the specific type of hazard.
  • Shoreland Zoning Ordinance: The model shoreland zoning ordinance that most Maine communities have adopted includes a requirement that new construction be elevated a minimum of one foot above the base flood elevation. Several communities in Lincoln County are considering amendments to their shoreland zoning ordinance to increase the minimum elevation to three feet about the base flood.
  • Floodplain Ordinance: Most towns with a floodplain management ordinance adopt the state’s model Floodplain Management Ordinance (Maine.gov, Maine DACF). Among other provisions, it requires that new construction within certain flood zones be built to a minimum elevation of 1 foot above the base flood elevation (BFE). However, a municipality has the authority to adopt a higher minimum elevation above BFE to accommodate sea level rise, and several Maine municipalities have done just that.
  • Site Plan Review Ordinance: A municipal Site Plan Review Ordinance can be used to encourage or require consideration of changing climate conditions in proposed projects. It can be used along a continuum from simply requiring that an applicant consider changing climate conditions to requiring an explanation of how the project proposal incorporates that consideration to requiring that projects meet certain specified standards related to changing climate conditions. Suggested language is provided in the Model Site Plan Review Ordinance guidance document.
  • Subdivision Ordinance: Like a Site Plan Review Ordinance, a municipal Subdivision Ordinance can be used to encourage or require consideration of changing climate conditions in the design and development of a new subdivision.

These approaches can help the community to gradually relocate away from high-hazard areas; ensure that new development avoids climate risks; establish building standards for vulnerable infrastructure to tolerate forecasted water levels for flood and sea level rise; and minimize flood and pollution risks by intentionally thinking about how water moves through the landscape of your community.

Maine Case Studies

This is a provisional section, and we request further examples from across Maine.

6.2 Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership)

  • Strategy E: Protect Maine’s Environment and Working Lands and Waters, Promote Natural Climate Solutions and Increase Carbon Sequestration
    • E2 – Incorporate a goal into conservation plans of conserving 30% of land in the community by 2030 (including undeveloped town property), with a priority on addressing conservation gaps related to high biodiversity areas, undeveloped blocks, and land and water connectivity.
    • E3 – Create or update a watershed plan to identify flooding and water quality priorities and adaptation options.
    • E4 – Develop a natural resource and habitat inventory that includes climate stressors and impacts.
    • E5 – Conserve, revegetate and reconnect floodplains and buffers in riparian areas.
    • E6 – Preserve climate-threatened natural areas such as wetlands, riparian areas, and headwater streams through zoning or other regulations.
    • E8 -Adopt policies that prioritize natural, nature-based or ecologically enhanced shoreline protection for coastlines, rivers, and lakes.
    • E9 – Identify and protect sites for living shorelines and saltmarsh migration areas.
    • E10 – Identify and protect open space in the floodplain to increase flood buffers and community resilience.

Climate change will have broad impacts on Maine’s natural and working lands, and the essential ecological functions they provide. For ecosystems, habitats, and wildlife across Maine, climate change introduces a range of new stresses including hotter summers, warming waters, changes in rainfall, the reduction or loss of snow cover, and sea level rise.

Municipalities and Wabanaki Tribal Nations have home-rule authority and autonomy in day-to-day jurisdiction and land use planning that impacts natural resources and habitats. Recent assessments of species and habitat vulnerability and exposure to climate change have highlighted the extent and magnitude of factors that will shape living conditions for Maine’s native plants and animals. If plants and animals are to successfully adapt to climate change, they will need access to suitable places to live; they also may need to move around the landscape to respond to changing conditions. Despite extensive predicted changes, the actions that towns can take to protect ecosystems from climate change mirror long-proven approaches to planning for future growth in concert with maintaining natural ecosystem integrity.

One element of maintaining ecosystem integrity is maintaining “landscape connectivity.” Landscape connectivity can play out at very broad scales – facilitating a northward shift in the range of entire species which requires protection of larger linked habitat blocks, and at very local scales – allowing individual animals or small populations to move between local habitat patches. This can include moving to find certain micro-climates such as going to higher elevations, or along stream corridors to cooler and wetter areas. Both scales are critical to support the plants and animals that live in our communities.

Maintaining terrestrial and aquatic habitat connectivity; protecting large habitat blocks; and avoiding impacts to rare and vulnerable habitat features remain tenets of ecosystem resiliency. Integrating ecological function into planning and design is not only good for native plants and animals, but also benefits the resilience of human communities through future cost avoidance, improved air and water quality, and protection of traditional recreation and natural resource-dependent economies.

For example, addressing water quality issues of urban impaired streams, replacing failed road crossing structures, and restoring once-productive intertidal resources are becoming increasingly common and expensive challenges faced by towns and Tribes. These examples of resource degradation likely could have been avoided with prior and more sophisticated environmental planning. Instead, years of incremental stream buffer clearing, increases in impervious surface areas, and poor storm runoff control have led to current degraded conditions. Fortunately, both modern development practices and our knowledge of landscape functions have evolved, and communities can minimize impacts to natural resources. through proactive planning practices. Anticipated changes to global climate and the expected human response, including human climate migration, have expedited the need for robust planning processes that will result in a resilient and connected natural landscapes while still accommodating growth needs.

For communities in Maine, Beginning with Habitat has developed planning tools to help understand where key natural resources and sensitive habitats occur while highlighting opportunities to build greater habitat resiliency through straightforward planning.

Beginning with Habitat (BwH) is a decision-making approach and a GIS mapping-based guidance on how to use these resources to develop an open space plan or take other actions to support resilient open space in your community – like paying attention to stream connectivity.

In addition to these map-based resources, BwH offers planning assistance, from ordinance tools to model open space plans that can help to make sure natural landscape functions and services persist while we accommodate future development needs. If your town is exploring ways to better protect surface waters, minimize rural forest fragmentation, or simply manage existing town open space to better respond to future conditions, Beginning with Habitat can assist.

Ultimately, BwH empowers decision-makers to guide growth in such a way that the quality of Maine’s future, including fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, and outdoor recreation – and all the economic activity it brings to our state – will endure.

For more information on the Beginning with Habitat program and available resources, visit the following links:

Communities that manage town forests or other municipal open spaces should also be aware that climate change may change how our forests look and function ecologically. We are likely to see changes in tree cover, loss of familiar tree species, and an increasing prevalence of invasive species. These changes will impact both the resilience and the “feel” of protected open spaces; warmer temperatures and changes in winter snow cover may also change when and how people recreate on conserved lands. Developing an invasive species or forest management plan and assessing the vulnerability of trails to flooding and the increased frequency and severity of storm events can help communities prepare for those changes. Beginning with Habitat has a Landowner Outreach Biologist ready to assist with local habitat management needs. For additional information specific to open spaces, visit the following websites and resources:

Example funding sources specifically for open space and/or wetland conservation are included in Section 7.

6.3 Energy Sources, Transmission, Distribution, and Communication

Power generators, fuels, lines, pipes, and towers – This is a provisional section.

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership): 

Strategy C: Reduce Carbon Emissions in Maine’s Energy and Industrial Sectors through Clean-Energy Innovation: 

  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
    • C1 – Conduct a baseline for energy usage by municipal/Tribal government including electricity, heating and transportation fuels, and other energy sources.
    • C2 – Identify and track a simplified set of emissions indicators for community emissions reduction (e.g. number of EVs registered in the community, number of homes with solar panels, number of heat pump rebates from Efficiency Maine).
    • C3 – Adopt a resolution setting targets and a plan for reducing emissions and advancing clean energy from municipal/Tribal operations that align with the state’s targets.
  • Advance Clean Energy Adoption:
    • C4 – Adopt a renewable energy ordinance(s) that allows, enables, or encourages community-appropriate renewable energy and energy storage installations.
    • C5 – Adopt a streamlined permitting process for small-scale renewable energy installations.
  • Transition to Clean Energy:
    • C6 – Enter into a long-term service contract or power purchase agreement (PPA) or adopt a clean power purchase policy to ensure increasing local government energy supplies come from renewable energy.
    • C7 – Install a renewable energy project (solar, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digestion, etc.) on municipal/Tribal property (e.g. school rooftop, wellhead protection area, landfill, brownfield site, etc.).

Strategy D: Grow Maine’s Clean Energy Economy and Protect Our Natural Resource Industries

Support Clean Energy Jobs and Businesses:

  • D3 – Assess the suitability of privately-owned brownfield and disturbed/contaminated sites for clean energy projects and encourage project development.
  • D4 – Establish incentives for clean energy industry or businesses to locate in community.
  • D5 – Encourage and support clean energy industries in economic development plans.

We request content for this import section in future editions of the workbook.

6.4 Transportation

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership)

Strategy A: Embrace the Future of Transportation:

  • Accelerate the Transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs)
    • A1 – Purchase or lease electric vehicles for municipal or Tribal government-owned vehicle fleets. (Grants capped at $2,000 per light duty EV.)
    • A2 – Install EV chargers in public parking areas.
    • A3 – Adopt ordinances to encourage EV charging infrastructure, including at multifamily dwellings, businesses, and public parking areas.
    • A4 – Adopt an anti-idling ordinance.
  • Improve Mobility and Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
    • A5 – Implement strategies that increase public transit ridership and alternative transportation modes, including bike and walking infrastructure.
    • A6 – Implement strategies that encourage municipal/Tribal employees to commute via carpools, public transit, bike/walk, or other alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles.
    • A7 – Adopt a telework policy for municipal/Tribal government staff positions that can work remotely some days per week.
    • A8 – Adopt land use and development policies in plans and codes that reduce the need for driving (e.g., locating schools, workplaces, and shopping near where people live; encouraging density of development near housing and transportation).
    • A9 – Adopt a Complete Streets policy which addresses safety, bike/pedestrian uses, and transit.
    • A10 – Adopt a broadband plan that reduces the need to drive by increasing access to high-speed internet for underserved residents to support telecommuting, access to remote education, and telehealth.

Strategy G: Invest in Climate-Ready Infrastructure

  • Assess climate vulnerability of infrastructure:
    • G1 – Conduct a vulnerability assessment for critical community infrastructure that includes: 1) the climate hazards to which infrastructure assets are exposed and how the intensity and likelihood will change over time; 2) the susceptibility to damage or failure given location, design, age, .condition, and state of repair; and 3) the consequences that impairment or failure of the infrastructure will have on the community.
    • G2 – Develop a Capital Investment Plan that a) identifies vulnerable municipal/Tribal facilities and assets, and b) prioritizes resilience in improvements and/or new construction.
    • Utilize Climate-ready standards, designs, and practices to improve infrastructure:
    • G3 – Improve and protect drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce physical damage and sustain function during extreme weather events

Roadways, culverts, and bridges are inherently exposed to damage from water. Hazards originate from either coastal flooding via sea level rise or storm surge, riverine flooding when extreme water levels driven by rain or snowmelt overtop natural or engineered features, or when road runoff is severe enough to cause damage on road shoulders or ditches. Designing transportation systems weighs a community’s tolerance for risk and the costs associated with upgrading transportation systems to better endure flooding or runoff.

The first step for municipalities is to discern which areas or elements of the transportation system are at risk. If floodplain maps are available, a common surrogate to localize hydrologic modeling that incorporates climate science is simply to use the 0.2 %, 500-year storm within the FEMA floodplain rather than the 1%, 100-year storm scenario in design specifications. We believe this approach should be complemented with sea level rise maps and/or sea level rise and storm surge maps to ensure that vulnerable locations within a community’s transportation system are not overlooked by the 0.2% storm floodplain maps alone. Public works department supervisors and field crew are likely to have important local knowledge of where and how flooding and water damage occur throughout the transportation system. Make use of this collective information to envision which features of a transportation system need modification for more intense precipitation and flooding occurrences.

Prioritize projects by urgency for public safety and travel and as opportunists, consider added resilience whenever culverts, bridges, or roads are scheduled for maintenance or replacement.

The costs associated with higher design standards are often minimal. Although few small municipalities’ public works departments perform exacting cost-benefit analyses for routine maintenance and upgrades, we believe it is advisable to consider tracking the time and expenses associated with chronic small-scale damages to transportation systems. Such tracking acts as a way of monitoring climate change-related damages and supports community decision-makers in understanding the costs of inaction compared with the investment of upgrading transportation system features to accommodate more extreme events.

Rethinking Tidal Road Crossings:

Traditional practices for designing tidal road crossings do not adequately address the unique complexities, uncertainties, risks, or benefits associated with tidal environments and climate change. In response, the Maine Coastal Program and an inaugural CoastWise Steering Committee convened experts in the field and marshaled the input of over 30 organizations to develop the CoastWise Approach for tidal crossing design. CoastWise provides a voluntary set of best practices, decision-making tools, and path for designing safe, cost-effective, ecologically supportive, and climate-resilient tidal crossings.

90% of Maine’s tidal road crossings are tidal restrictions and are thus more apt to experience flooding, higher maintenance costs, and to interrupt access to emergency services during major storm events. Furthermore, when tidal flows are not restricted by road crossings, tidal wetlands can provide a variety of services to society including coastal storm and flood damage protection, pollutant removal, fish and wildlife habitat, and opportunities for shellfish harvesting and recreation. Some habitats, like salt marshes and seagrass meadows, have an outsized ability to store atmospheric carbon that would otherwise contribute to sea level rise and other climate shifts. To deliver these services, tidal wetlands must remain healthy and resilient to sea level rise which requires tidal flow that is unimpaired by our transportation system.

We request content for the following case studies for the following edition:

  • Prioritizing based on public safety
  • Road elevation
  • Road built to accommodate episodic saltwater flooding
  • Culvert upgrade/change for fish passage and testimonial from Stream Smart Crossings
  • Bridge example

6.5 Drinking Water

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership)

Strategy G: Invest in Climate-Ready Infrastructure

  • Assess climate vulnerability of infrastructure:
    • G1 – Conduct a vulnerability assessment for critical community infrastructure that includes: 1) the climate hazards to which infrastructure assets are exposed and how the intensity and likelihood will change over time; 2) the susceptibility to damage or failure given location, design, age, condition, and state of repair; and 3) the consequences that impairment or failure of the infrastructure will have on the community.
    • G2 – Develop a Capital Investment Plan that a) identifies vulnerable municipal/Tribal facilities and assets, and b) prioritizes resilience in improvements and/or new construction.
  • Utilize Climate-ready standards, designs, and practices to improve infrastructure:
    • G3 – Improve and protect drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce physical damage and sustain function during extreme weather events.

“Regardless of whether drinking water comes from a public system or a private well, it is one of the most crucial elements making an area habitable. Maine is fortunate to have high quality and quantity of drinking water throughout most of the state. However, both public and private drinking water systems may be at risk from changing climate conditions. This is another issue for which engineering expertise as part of the vulnerability assessment may be a worthwhile investment. Drinking water supplies may be at risk from saltwater contamination due to sea level rise and/or storm surges regardless of the type of drinking water infrastructure. Increasing temperatures are likely to increase the demand for water and draw down for irrigation is likely to impact low-flow conditions differently. Maintaining adequate quantity and quality of drinking water requires long-term planning and budgeting”.27

Key considerations for increasing resilience in drinking water infrastructure:

  • Participating in community planning collaborations and emergency response exercises.
  • Analyze a range of climate impacts over a specified period of time (scenario-based approach).
  • Assess the location and condition of all parts of the drinking water system relative to sea level rise and flooding risks, and if on the coast consider retrofitting the system to detect and respond to saltwater intrusion if appropriate.
  • Assess how forested or grassland habitats associated with drinking water aquifers may be affected by climate changes, e.g., case studies like the Wells Barrens Preserve.
  • Determine if adaptation is needed in the face of climate impacts and if strategies exist and are cost-effective.
  • Consider additional sources for source redundancy or develop interconnections if appropriate.
  • Use planned maintenance and repair as opportunities to implement adaptation strategies.
  • Investigate funding options for work beyond the scope of planned maintenance and repair.
  • Update drought contingency plans, develop emergency response plans, and establish mutual aid agreements with neighboring utilities if appropriate.
  • Establish alternative or on-site power supply.
  • Monitor surface water conditions and consider retrofitting intake to accommodate lower flow or water levels.

For more information specific to drinking water, visit the following websites and resources:

6.6 Wastewater Utilities

“Wastewater infrastructure is essential for protecting the public health from waterborne diseases and protecting the quality of our fresh and coastal waters. Evaluating the vulnerability of wastewater infrastructure should include not only evaluating the treatment plant but pumping stations and sewer lines as well. This is an area where engineering expertise is a worthwhile investment as part of the vulnerability assessment process. Treatment plants are frequently located at the ‘low point’ in town – it could be in a floodplain, it could be in an area at risk from sea level rise. Sewer lines may run along roadways and be at risk if culverts or bridges are damaged from increased amounts of precipitation which then creates risk of sewerage spilling into rivers and streams. Understanding the level of vulnerability of all the components of the system and possible adaptation strategies is essential to being able to make an informed determination on whether cost-effective options exist to increase its resiliency.

Several Maine communities have gone through this analysis; see links on the following page for case studies.

Communities with septic systems should consider mapping the location of these systems in relation to floodplains and areas at risk from inundation from sea level rise. Increased freshwater flooding or impacts from sea level rise are both stressors that can impact if and how well a septic system continues to function. Malfunctioning septic systems can impact drinking water supplies, and natural resources, and pose a serious risk to human health.”28

Key considerations for increasing resilience in wastewater infrastructure:

  • Analyze a range of climate impacts over a specified period of time (scenario-based approach).
  • Assess the location and condition of all parts of the wastewater system relative to sea level rise and flooding risks.
  • Determine if adaptation is needed and if strategies exist and are cost-effective.
  • Use planned maintenance and repair as opportunities to implement adaptation strategies.
  • Investigate funding options for work beyond planned maintenance and repair.
  • For septic systems: map the current location of septic systems.
  • Analyze the location of septic systems relative to increased flood risks and sea level rise.
  • Consider ordinance language to add performance standards for the installation of new systems in vulnerable locations and inspection and decommissioning of existing systems in vulnerable locations when certain conditions arise.
  • Integrate climate change projects for your utility across multiple activities including a County Hazard Mitigation Plan, Emergency Operation Plan, Asset Management Plan, Capital Improvement Plan, as well as in a community-wide Climate Adaptation Plan or standalone plan Climate Plan for the utility.
  • Explore multiple funding sources to assess, plan, design, and implement climate projects including:
    • FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program & Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
    • EPA Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters & Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Loan Funds (DWSRF) (CWSRF) & Loan Principal Forgiveness
    • USDA Rural Development Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants
    • HUD CDBG and Section 108 Guaranteed Loans
    • SBA Disaster Loans

For more information specific to wastewater management, visit the following websites and resources:

Learn from and connect with peers across many examples in Maine:

6.7 Stormwater

As highlighted in the Scientific Assessment of Climate Change in Maine, precipitation in Maine “has become both heavier and more frequent,” with most of the increase in precipitation coming from one-inch and two-inch storm events (though three-inch and four-inch storm events are also increasing in frequency.)

Addressing Increased Sediment Runoff and Non-Point Source Pollution:

The highest concentrations of pollutants and sediments occur in the initial surface runoff during a storm event. This is known as the “first flush” effect and it is the reason why current Maine stormwater management rules require capture and treatment of the first inch of stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces and 0.4 inches of runoff from landscaped surfaces for new development projects. An increase in the frequency of precipitation events due to climate change will increase the amount of sediment and pollutants running off a site. This will negatively impact water quality in the State’s streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. A reduction in water quality affects the entire ecosystem of organisms that rely on clean water, including us.

Federal authorities on water quality like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as regional environmental protection organizations like the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) and the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) encourage the use of green infrastructure to filter and remove pollutants from stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure offers excellent pollutant removal through a variety of mechanisms including physical filtering, nutrient uptake by vegetation, and microorganism breakdown.

Green infrastructure practices also come with a variety of co-benefits:

  • Improved air quality
  • Increased water quality and reductions in stormwater runoff and pollutant loading
  • Decreasing localized temperature and reduction of urban heat island effect
  • Noise abatement
  • Increase natural habitat and biodiversity
  • Improved aesthetics leading to an increase in social and economic value
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Carbon dioxide removal

Additionally, the Bureau of Land Resources at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is currently working to update the Construction General Permit to help address soil erosion and sediment control on construction sites. The Stormwater Engineering Team in the Bureau of Land Resources at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is also in the process of updating the Chapter 500 stormwater rules. Two areas of focus with the Chapter 500 update include changing precipitation frequency and intensity due to climate change and low-impact development.

Addressing Legacy Infrastructure and Flooding:

An increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events will also impact existing stormwater infrastructure. Some legacy infrastructure is not designed to handle the increasing volumes of stormwater runoff leading to failures, flooding, and erosion problems.

Entities like the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) are incorporating increasing precipitation volumes into their stormwater infrastructure design and working to replace undersized culverts. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection also operates the Municipal Stream Crossing Upgrade Grant Program to help municipalities upgrade culverts at stream crossings to improve public safety, minimize flooding, and improve habitat for fish and wildlife.

In communities with combined sanitary and storm sewers, increasing rainfall intensities may increase combined sewer overflow (CSO) events where a mix of untreated wastewater and stormwater discharge into waterways to prevent overwhelming wastewater treatment facilities. Currently, communities with combined sewers are required to obtain discharge licenses with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and efforts are underway to reduce and eliminate the occurrence of discharge events.

  • Case Study: Assessing and Reducing Impervious Cover and Evaluating Green Infrastructure Feasibility in Urban Centers and Combined Sewer Communities in New Jersey. Additional information and examples can be found here: Water Resources Program: Projects & Programs – Keep the Rain from the Drain (Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station). New Jersey has large areas of intense urbanization and development. Studies suggest that watersheds with as little as 10% impervious coverage can see impairments to water quality. Since 2014, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program has been assessing impervious coverage totals for dozens of municipalities using land use cover GIS layers using grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and others. Based on this data, they identified many municipalities greatly exceed 10% impervious coverage leading to major impairments to their watersheds. Using the impervious cover data, aerial image analysis, and site visits, the Water Resources Program creates reduction action plans that identify 10-20 opportunities in each municipality where impervious cover can be removed or disconnected and treated with stormwater management practices. The Water Resources Program also conducts Green Infrastructure Feasibility Studies where they identify 15 locations in a town that could benefit from green infrastructure practices to treat stormwater runoff. For several of these locations, a rendering of the proposed green infrastructure practice is provided to help facilitate implementation. Many of the projects in the impervious cover reduction action plans and green infrastructure feasibility studies end up getting built with the help of federal and private grants. These projects also fit with the other initiatives in the state to disconnect impervious surfaces and slow stormwater from entering combined sewer systems to reduce overflow events. While no programs currently exist in the State of Maine to identify retrofit opportunities to legacy development at a large scale like the Rutgers Water Resources Program, there may be an opportunity for communities to establish their own initiatives. The Southeast New England Program recently released the “New England Stormwater Retrofit Manual” to provide guidance around sizing, designing, and implementing stormwater infrastructure retrofits.

Key considerations for increasing resilience in stormwater infrastructure:

  • Inventory existing stormwater infrastructure for location and condition and ensure proper inspection and maintenance protocols are established
  • Size new development using projections of future storm events that account for precipitation changes due to climate change
  • Identify opportunities to disconnect existing impervious surfaces
  • Assess existing development for opportunities to retrofit legacy stormwater infrastructure or provide additional treatment/storage with green infrastructure practices
  • Require low-impact development techniques for new development projects
  • Investigate Green Infrastructure opportunities
  • Require conservation subdivisions that protect and maintain open space and natural areas

Additional sample best practices for stormwater management:

  • Sized to treat stormwater on-site, preferably for a 100-year storm event
  • Must have formal equipment access
  • Ease and minimal cost of cleaning
  • Permanent maintenance easement
  • Method and access for evaluation of maintenance
  • Pretreatment devices are strongly recommended to prevent clogging or sedimentation problems
  • Provisions for groundwater monitoring and assessment of quantities of water removed along with estimates in the design of expected sediment quantities
  • A detailed and reasonable Operations and Maintenance plan exists

Regional Stormwater Management

Another approach to developing best management practices is forming a regional stormwater group to advance the implementation of common solutions and to share lessons among peers. To bring a formal structure to a group, a regional coordinating position could be funded specifically for stormwater management and could add capacity where limited resources may exist. While the examples below involve groups of Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System, or MS4, communities, a regional stormwater group could also be formed by towns that are not MS4s as they often also have common work areas as it pertains to stormwater management and community goals.

  • Interlocal Stormwater Working Group (Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District) – A coalition of fourteen municipalities and two nested MS4 communities in the Greater Portland and Saco areas are working together to address stormwater pollutants. The Interlocal Stormwater Working Group (ISWG, pronounced “izzy-wig”) consists of Biddeford, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Freeport, Gorham, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Saco, Scarborough, South Portland, Southern Maine Community College, University of Southern Maine, Westbrook, Windham, and Yarmouth. These communities work collaboratively to implement the Clean Water Act Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The permit aims to reduce the impact of stormwater pollution on local waterways. In Maine, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) administers this permit on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District coordinates ISWG and provides regional support and implementation of many of the permit’s six required minimum control measures (MCMs). More information is available on the Interlocal Stormwater Working Group page (Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District).
  • Southern Maine Stormwater Working Group – The Southern Maine Stormwater Working Group (SMSWG pronounced “sim-see-wig”) is a collaboration of five Towns in York County working to protect stormwater from pollution that includes Berwick, South Berwick, Eliot, Kittery, and York. Each of these towns is regulated by a Clean Water Act Permit. The Permit requires that the towns conduct public education and outreach activities related to stormwater pollution prevention, inspect the storm drain system regularly for pollutants, and maintain the storm drain system and municipal properties. Clean Water is the primary goal of the SMSWG activities. More information is available on the Southern Maine Stormwater Working Group website.
  • Bangor Area Stormwater Group – The Bangor Area Stormwater Group (BASWG pronounced “ba-see-wig”) is a collaboration of Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, Milford, Old Town, Orono, Veazie, Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, Eastern Maine Community College, Maine Air National Guard, University of Maine Augusta – Bangor, and University of Maine. BASWG uses public education and sound science to improve regional water quality through collaborative stormwater management in the Greater Bangor Urbanized Areas. More information is available on the Bangor Area Stormwater Group (BASWG) website.

For more information specific to stormwater management, visit the following websites and resources:

Resources Relating to Green Infrastructure:

Retrofitting Legacy Stormwater Infrastructure:

Examples in Maine:

Additional Department of Environmental Protection Resources:

Join the Maine DEP Stormwater Engineering Team Listserv to find out more information about the Chapter 500 update and other stormwater-related topics:

6.8 Buildings

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership):

Strategy B: Modernize Maine’s Buildings: Energy-Efficient, Smart and Cost-Effective Homes and Businesses

  • Transition to Heating and Cooling and Efficient Appliances in Municipal/Tribal Buildings:
    • B1 – Adopt and execute a plan for energy efficiency and building envelope weatherization improvements for municipal/Tribal buildings. Collaborate with the local school district for school building improvements.
    • B2 – Upgrade to energy-efficient interior lighting in municipal/Tribal buildings.
    • B3 – Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances in municipal/Tribal buildings.
    • B4 – Install a heat pump system or VRF system for heating/cooling and heat pump water heating in municipal/Tribal buildings.
    • B5 – Upgrade streetlights and exterior lighting for municipally/Tribally owned facilities with energy efficient LED lighting (and minimize light pollution with downlighting where possible).
    • B6 – Adjust procurement policies to prioritize climate-friendly Maine forest products (e.g., mass timber, wood-fiber insulation) in construction projects.
  • Advance the Design and Construction of New Buildings
    • B7 – Adopt the energy efficiency stretch building code (currently IECC 2021).
    • B8 – Require EV charging readiness and solar energy readiness for all new construction.
    • B9 – Support regular professional development for code enforcement officers, especially Efficiency Maine’s code trainings.
    • B10 – Adopt C-PACE ordinance for commercial property owners to install renewable energy systems, energy efficiency measures, and EV charging infrastructure (pending state program launch).

Maine’s cities and towns play a vital role in reducing the carbon emissions from the building sector in their communities. Buildings account for nearly 40% of annual CO2 emissions worldwide. Eleven percent of emissions are from the construction industry while 28% of emissions are from operational energy use.29 In the State of Maine, almost one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions are from the heating, cooling, and lighting of our buildings.30

While the building sector can be divided into various components and looked at in different ways, for the purposes of municipal actions a community can implement, the three primary sectors are municipal, commercial, and residential buildings. Within all three sectors, there are existing buildings and new construction buildings to address.

6.8.1. Municipal

The easiest and most logical first step to address carbon emissions within buildings in a community is to implement changes within municipal buildings. Given the municipality has complete control over the operations and any renovations or new construction, making significant changes within these buildings is very achievable. There are budget implications that will require input from municipal government and may require residents’ approval, but by implementing changes to municipal buildings, a community can demonstrate its commitment to carbon reductions making it politically easier to enact changes for the commercial and residential sectors.

Many progressive communities have started their journey towards a more sustainable future by passing a municipal “green building” ordinance or policy. While these ordinances/policies look different for each community, the goal is a commitment from the municipality to operate and build facilities to a certain standard. The New Buildings Institute has published a zero-emissions building policy for municipalities which is a road map for municipalities to make changes to their operations and achieve zero emissions in current and new buildings.

Here are their primary steps:

  1. All municipally owned, occupied, or leased buildings take action to achieve net-zero emissions. This shall be achieved in new construction, major renovation and energy retrofit projects larger than 5,000 square feet by implementing the following strategies:
    1. Prioritizing energy efficiency by achieving appropriate Site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) targets developed by using energy modeling for new buildings/retrofits and benchmarking in existing buildings.
    2. Specifying electric sources for space conditioning, water heating, cooking, lighting, and all other non-emergency functions.
    3. Offsetting building operational energy use with renewable energy sources.
    4. Considering opportunities to reduce the lifecycle impacts of embodied carbon associated with materials.
  2. All municipal departments shall develop a plan for the elimination of sources of fossil fuel combustion within their existing buildings by 2035.
  3. Disclose the environmental impact of select building materials used in new construction and major renovation projects by submitting Environmental Product Declarations.
  4. To further reduce GHG emissions from buildings, the following strategies are encouraged, but not required, as part of new construction and major renovation projects.
    1. Take steps to reduce the embodied carbon emissions associated with building materials.
    2. Account for GHG emissions from refrigerants and take steps to promote the use of low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants.
    3. Account for GHG emissions from transportation sources and promote electrification of the county’s [municipality’s] vehicle fleet.

Other municipalities have instituted the preceding steps suggested by the New Buildings Institute and/or put in place policies mandating that all new buildings or major renovations be certified using a green building certification process. Several of the most common certifications include LEED, Green Globes, Living Building, and WELL Building Certification. Each certification has unique characteristics which might make it the best for an individual municipality.

6.8.2 Commercial

The next sector to address on the municipal level is the commercial building sector. Businesses are the lifeblood of the community and depend on the services provided by the municipality to thrive. By pushing them to operate carbon-free buildings, the municipality can increase its competitiveness while creating a progressive environment that will attract other businesses.

Energy Use in the Commercial Building Sector

There are three distinct categories of policies that have been adopted by different municipalities around the country to address energy use in commercial buildings: 1) benchmarking and transparency policies; 2) audit, tune-up, and re-commissioning policies; and 3) building performance standard policies.

Benchmarking and Transparency Policies

The least demanding to owners is a benchmarking and transparency policy. As of October 2021, nearly 50 states and municipalities have adopted benchmarking/transparency policies including Portland and South Portland.31 These policies require most commercial buildings over a certain size to track and report their energy usage on a regular basis. This information is then in the public realm and can be disclosed. These policies usually do not include a next step for either the commercial building or for the municipality. The goal of benchmarking and tracking policies is to demonstrate the amount and costs of the energy used within a building’s operations to motivate owners to reduce usage. Lack of compliance results in penalties to the owner.

Audit, Tune-up and Re-commissioning Policies

A more progressive approach to building energy use is a policy that requires owners to audit and then make changes to their properties. Similar policies have been passed in 15 different jurisdictions within the US as of October 2021.32 Beyond simply reporting on usage, owners are required to then conduct an audit of the building to identify operational or capital problems resulting in unnecessary energy use. Various municipalities treat the final step differently as some do not require those changes to be made while other jurisdictions require owners to implement the suggested changes to their buildings’ operations. Currently adopted policies vary in length of time between audits from 5 to 10 years.

Building Performance Standard Policies

The most stringent of the policies currently adopted in the US are termed building performance standard policies. As of October 2021, eight jurisdictions have adopted similar policies.33 These policies generally require buildings to adopt a baseline for performance or set that baseline as of a certain date and then track and lower their usage over time with specific targets set by the municipalities. By requiring buildings to meet certain performance standards, municipalities can make significant reductions in carbon emissions. Penalties are levied for lack of compliance.

Non-Energy Specific Green Building Ordinances

Various municipalities around the US have adopted policies that go beyond simply looking at the energy use within buildings. These policies have primarily been focused on using specific certification standards as a requirement for major renovations and new construction of commercial buildings. Although several programs are available, the most common certification program for US buildings is the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification. The process is a third-party certification that can be adapted for almost all building types. The process includes several requirements and optional elements for the building to pursue. For LEED, certification levels from “Certified” up to “Platinum” are available for projects and municipal policies vary on their requirements for levels of certification. This approach of using a third-party certification which requires a holistic approach to a building has proven to be a relatively easy way for a municipality to raise the standards for commercial buildings without encumbering staff with added responsibilities of monitoring and certifying projects.

While some jurisdictions have required certifications, others have provided incentives for buildings to achieve certifications. Expedited permitting time, reduced fees, and other measures can often be enough for owners to adopt certification standards.

6.8.3 Residential Codes and Stretch Codes

Residential buildings may be the most difficult sector to regulate. While requirements like the suggestions for commercial buildings are an option, requiring owners to make additional investments in their homes can be politically tricky. Building codes are the easiest way to push residential buildings to adhere to higher standards. The State of Maine has just passed new building codes including a building energy code. These required measures will help to push buildings throughout the state to be built to a higher standard for energy efficiency and local jurisdictions play a major role in enforcing the new state codes. Various tools are available from the State to help in the enforcement process and municipalities should make a strong commitment to enforcing the new codes. The State has also made it possible for local jurisdictions to adopt a “stretch code” for its energy efficiency code. As the name implies, the code goes beyond the statewide code and calls for added efficiency within new buildings. The stretch code adopted by the State is equivalent to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code. Progressive municipalities can adopt the stretch code and require new buildings to adhere to these strict requirements for energy efficiency.

6.8.4 Historic Properties and Climate Change

The future of historic properties is often overlooked in the complex process of planning for the effects of climate change, yet historic properties will also be physically affected by wind, water, heat, and fire. Historic homes, businesses and industries, and civic and religious structures help create a unique sense of place, and in many cases comprise the “infrastructure” that draws tourism and investment. Community members, municipal officials, planners, preservationists, and scientists can contribute to deciding how – and which – historic properties can be protected and can work to create incentives for properties to become resilient while preserving their historic significance. Due to their materials, designs or siting, some historic properties may require specialized approaches to protect them from water, wind, waves, heat, fire, or erosion.

Historic properties may differ from non-historic properties in many ways, e.g., structurally, or architecturally, they may include unique or fragile materials – sometimes irreplaceable, or feature craftsmanship and design characteristics of a specific era or tradition. Historic properties also derive their significance from their context – often including the location or setting. Every historic property is important for a particular reason, and there are character-defining features inherent in the property that convey its significance, without which the property’s historic value may be diminished or lost. Understanding these features is key to helping historic properties adapt to the changing climate. The scale of the character-defining features can range from the tooled foundation treatment on a home to the layout and siting of a planned residential community. Some historic properties are iconic in their settings – lighthouses on the edge of the coast – and others may represent the identity of a community – a mill integrated into the town seal, for instance. Any adaptations or efforts to improve resilience should uniquely consider the features, contexts, materials, and associations of historic significance.

It is important to provide property owners with the resources to identify these features, contexts, materials, and associations for their property so that they can take them into consideration when planning to increase resilience or undertake adaptations.

Certain types of funding and/or permitting require the historic significance of a property to be considered before undertaking a project. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (US General Services Administration, NHPA) requires federal agencies to consider the effects on historic properties of projects they carry out, assist, fund, permit, license, or approve throughout the country. If a federal or federally assisted project has the potential to affect historic properties, a Section 106 review is required. This review gives interested parties and the public the chance to weigh in on these matters before a final decision is made. This process is an important tool for citizens to lend their voice in protecting and maintaining historic properties in their communities.

As with municipal or regional adaptation efforts generally, adapting historic properties to climate change is a circular process: incorporating study, analysis, planning, implementation, and monitoring before repeating this cycle as needed. Below are a series of action points that characterize this process.

  1. Identify properties. Use existing community knowledge and consult with the Maine Historic Preservation Office to identify historic properties in your community. If the historic properties are well documented, this will inform mitigation and adaptation options; if not, create an easy-to-use inventory form to record the character-defining features of a property (this can be combined with number 4 below).
  2. Community dialogue. Convene stakeholders at all levels to consider the economic, social, cultural, and historic value of the communities’ historic properties. Consider the variety of functions they perform (i.e., is the old school now a community clinic?) and the variety of users associated with the resource. If a historic downtown, fort, or concert hall draws visitors and tourists from away, what is its value to the local economy? Develop initial short-term and long-term priorities. Discuss the economics, risk, and insurance to help communities understand the importance of spending money on planning to preserve and protect their historic properties.
  3. Identify Risk. Identify threats at a community-wide level (including wildfire, floods, storms, heat, water, drought, and how economic decline or migration threaten historic properties) and provide property owners with easy-to-access information on specific threats (i.e., floodplain maps, sea level rise layers, wildfire vulnerability maps, etc.).● Weathering Maine (ArcGIS). Location of National Register-listed properties, cultural resources, and National Historic Landmarks vis a vis inundation scenarios.
  4. Undertake a vulnerability assessment on the historic resources to identify specific points of weaknesses or strengths. In some cases, historic properties may already have an existing capacity for resilience (think large porches or awnings to protect from heat). This can be done at a local or regional scale or target a specific resource. New technologies, such as LIDAR and 3D scans can assist with surveys. Examples of vulnerability assessment forms include:● Survey 123 (ArcGIS): Portland South Portland Vulnerability Assessment for Maine
    Maryland Historical Trust Architectural Survey Form for Hazard Mitigation Planning
  5. Engage in further dialogue with the community and stakeholders to identify risk tolerance, refine economic assessments, present visual simulations of how the threats affect historic properties, and discuss roles, responsibilities, and funding.
  6. Make a Plan. Make a hazard mitigation plan, disaster plan, or comprehensive plan, that recognizes and includes historic resources. Example guidance for threats, options for mitigation, and considerations of historic properties include:
    1. Staying Above Water Property Owner’s Guide (Greater Portland Landmarks) (PDF)
    2. Guidelines of Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (National Park Service)
    3. Boston Resilient, Historic Buildings Design Guide (City of Boston) (PDF)

The following are examples of short-term actions a community can take to implement projects specific to historic preservation:

  • Create an action plan/ implementation team for community resources. Pre-plan for specific sites under a multitude of scenarios with Emergency Management officials and local organizations. Know who is going to do what in advance of a foreseeable threat.
  • Purchase and install or store resiliency measures or devices (barriers, pumps, cooling units) appropriate for the characteristics of historic resources used by the community or public. Bulk purchase of protective equipment at a discount, or a tax incentive for adaptation activities can act as incentives for property owners to prepare for climate change.
  • Publish town-wide, neighborhood, or threat-specific guidance on options for adaptation and resilience. Publish the action plan, links to product information, and the results of surveys and assessments in multiple formats and targeted both to specific organizations and the entire community. Make this information readily and easily accessible.

The following are examples of long-term actions a community can take to implement projects specific to historic preservation:

  • Short-term plans and practices are important and can provide an incremental approach to dealing with climate change, but a longer-term vision is needed. Today’s flood barrier may be tomorrow’s underwater navigational hazard.
  • Revisit, revise, and update the action plan on a regular schedule.
  • Consider alternatives to physical preservation (3-D mapping, photographic documentation) as warranted.
  • Acknowledge that the community’s response to the challenge of climate change becomes part of its history and identity.

6.9 Public Health and Services

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership):

  • Strategy F: Build Healthy and Resilient Communities
    • F13 – Identify and plan to reduce public health threats in the community that are exacerbated by climate change.
    • F14 – Develop and implement an extreme temperatures emergency plan, including strategies that increase use of cooling centers by residents.
    • F15 – Establish a peer-to-peer program for checking in on vulnerable community members during extreme heat or cold events.
    • F16 – Increase community-level resilience to mosquito-borne diseases by implementing vector controls to decrease mosquito habitat.

Example Resources:

  • Ozone Air Quality: Forecast Maine Department of Environmental Protection Current and Expected Air Quality Concentrations for upcoming 24 hours
  • Atmospheric Deposition of Acid Rain: Maine Department of Environmental Protection Field Measurements
  • Data on Heat Illness and Lyme disease in Maine: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control & Maine Tracking Network Health and environmental data, by geographic region, across age groups, genders, regions, and time periods, customized tables, charts, and maps
  • Extreme heat: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control. Tips and strategies for dealing with extreme heat and hot weather, symptoms of heat-related illness.
  • Heat: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Heat Safety, Heat Watch vs. Warning, Heat Index, During a Heat Wave, Common Heat-Related Illnesses.
  • Lyme Disease: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control
  • History; resource for residents, educators, physicians; data; reports and publication; legislation

6.10 Urban Forests and Forestry

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership):

  • Strategy D: Grow Maine’s Clean Energy Economy and Protect Our Natural Resource Industries
    • D2 – Adjust procurement policies to prioritize climate-friendly Maine forest products (e.g., mass timber, wood-fiber insulation) in construction projects.
    • Strategy E: Protect Maine’s Environment and Working Lands and Waters, Promote Natural Climate Solutions and Increase Carbon Sequestration
    • E1- Set targets for increasing green space and tree planting to increase shade and water access in public spaces and carbon sequestration.
    • E2 – Incorporate a goal into conservation plans of conserving 30% of land in the community by 2030 (including undeveloped town property), with a priority on addressing conservation gaps related to high biodiversity areas, undeveloped blocks, and land and water connectivity.

All urban forests offer common environmental, economic, and social benefits to communities. Community trees and forests, when used as green infrastructure, reduce air and water pollution, and can reduce stormwater challenges. Shade from trees cools pavement and buildings reducing the “heat island” effect of developed areas, and thus lowering air conditioning costs and improving public safety during heat waves. Urban forests, trees, and green spaces attract people to the outdoors, foster active living, improve physical and mental health, and are associated with reduced crime rates and increased neighborhood pride and social connections. Street trees increase real estate value, can hold spiritual value, contribute to a sense of place for residents, and overall create more desirable places to live, work, and play. The extent that urban trees and forests provide these services depends on composition and design, varying considerably among factors including the quantity, species, collective health and age of trees/forests, location, and adjacently the associated effort and costs for installation and maintenance.

Urban trees and forests are thus an element of how communities adapt to the hazards of climate change. However, the trees themselves may also be vulnerable to climate change. Rising temperatures, more frequent and severe storms, and variability in seasonal rainfall and drought patterns create physiological stresses on urban forests. When climate change stresses urban trees and forests, the ecosystem benefits to community wellbeing are compromised.

Climate change will continue to alter species ranges and regeneration rates, further affecting the health and composition of urban forests. Warmer winter temperatures increase the likelihood of winter tree kill. Therefore, proactive management is necessary to protect urban forests against climate-related threats and sustain desired urban forest structures for future generations.

Local climate action plans should incorporate urban forestry into mitigation and adaptation strategies.


The sustainable use of wood, food, and other goods provided by urban forests can displace imports associated with a higher carbon footprint. Urban wood is a valuable and underused resource.

Strategically planting trees around buildings promotes energy efficiency, and enlarging and improving planting sites improves tree longevity and increases stormwater infiltration; including trees in street improvement projects.

Urban forests also help mitigate climate change by capturing and storing carbon dioxide CO2. Large-stature species with dense wood store the most carbon, and trees of certain species may exhibit more desirable lifetime carbon capture-to-emissions ratios. Maintaining tree canopy in perpetuity also sustains carbon storage within urban trees and forests and allows carbon to accumulate in soils.


Planting a diverse mix of pest-tolerant, drought-resistant, low-maintenance, and long-lived trees ensures greater resilience of urban forests to climate change. Planting small groves of water-tolerant species in areas receiving peak volumes of stormwater runoff reduces flooding and removes pollutants. Establishing and adhering to a regular maintenance cycle can help protect communities from the hazard of blow down in storms. Hazardous or diseased trees must be removed or treated, and young trees must be pruned early and often to encourage the development of strong branching structures that are less vulnerable to storm and wind damage.

Local governance:

Due to limited staff and budget resources, many communities rely on partnerships with private landowners, organized citizen groups, and nonprofit agencies to effectively manage urban ecosystems. Communities should assess staffing capacity dedicated to the management of the urban and community forest along with local professionals available for tree and forest planning and management.

Volunteer and citizen-based initiatives may complement or augment municipally run adaptation and mitigation strategies. Community volunteers can gather the data needed to develop informed urban forest management and climate action plans. Neighborhood workdays provide opportunities for residents to join forces to restore, maintain, and/or expand the urban forest. Such citizen involvement improves urban forest health while strengthening community social ties, creating an environment conducive to cooperative adaptation to climate change.

Specific strategies:

  • Know what you have through inventory/mapping of the resource. This forms the basis for planning and management.
  • Assess staff capacity, local resource professionals, and local organizations or affiliations dedicated to urban and community forest health and open space stewardship.
  • Use this information to develop realistic budgeting.
  • Follow through on the plan by maintaining a healthy and diverse forest. Climate change poses the greatest risk in forests that lack diversity and structure. Plant a diversity of non-invasive and preferably native species hardy to Maine’s weather (drought, intermittent flooding, heavy snow, ice, wind). Planting open spaces with variety in size, age, and structure will increase forest resilience to the many extremes of climate change.

For more information specific to forestry, visit the following websites and resources:

6.11 Marine Resources, Fisheries, and Water Quality

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Maine Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership):

Strategy D: Grow Maine’s Clean Energy Economy and Protect Our Natural Resource Industries

  • Support Maine’s Natural Resource Economy:
    • D1 – Adopt policies that enable, support, or incentivize local food production and consumption, including community gardens.

Strategy E: Protect Maine’s Environment and Working Lands and Waters, Promote Natural Climate Solutions, and Increase Carbon Sequestration

  • Protect Natural and Working Lands and Waters
    • E2 – Incorporate a goal into conservation plans of conserving 30% of land in the community by 2030 (including undeveloped town property), with a priority on addressing conservation gaps related to high biodiversity areas, undeveloped blocks, and land and water connectivity.
    • E3 – Create or update a watershed plan to identify flooding and water quality priorities and adaptation options.
    • E4 – Develop a natural resource and habitat inventory that includes climate stressors and impacts.
    • E5 – Conserve, revegetate and reconnect floodplains and buffers in riparian areas.
    • E6 – Preserve climate-threatened natural areas such as wetlands, riparian areas, and headwater streams through zoning or other regulations.
    • E8 – Adopt policies that prioritize natural, nature-based or ecologically enhanced shoreline protection for coastlines, rivers, and lakes.
    • E9 – Identify and protect sites for living shorelines and saltmarsh migration areas.

Maine’s economic and cultural well-being has an outsized dependence on marine resources and the security of coastal communities. Many coastal communities in Maine are home to diverse fisheries, aquaculture, and other marine sectors. Climate change is affecting the habitat underlying sustainable marine resources and the distribution of those species in Maine’s waters. Much of the working waterfront infrastructure that supports these sectors and provides coastal access is owned and/or maintained by municipalities. While there are various factors affecting access to these fisheries and sea farms, sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding have unique risks that municipalities should consider when planning for climate adaptation and resilient fisheries. In addition to habitat protection, proper planning will allow for continued reliance on the ‘blue economy’ for jobs, tourism, and the availability of local seafood and sea vegetables.

The first step to building more resilient fisheries and shoreside infrastructure is to take an inventory of existing marine resource-based jobs and businesses and local ecosystem services pertinent to marine industries. This can include the number of municipal shellfish licenses, the number of state and federal fishing licenses held by residents, DMR data on all species of fishery landings (volume and value), the number and acreage of aquaculture leases, and the factors within the purview of town decision-making that relate to habitat and ecosystem health for local fisheries (further detailed below). A similar inventory should be conducted for working waterfront infrastructure, including wharves, docks, slips, broadside berthing, boat ramps, moorings, hoists, parking, unloading, bait or gear storage, access to ice, etc. Also, access points to intertidal areas are important to inventory and map to understand any loss in access, as well as to help identify future access points. An example template for this kind of inventory was developed through efforts by the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and partners (Working Waterfront Inventory Report and Template). The Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act, MRSA Title 30-A, §4312.3.G; §4326.1.D; §4326.3-A.E., 2001 (Maine Legislature website) requires that each comprehensive plan (for a coastal community) include an inventory and analysis of marine-related resources and facilities such as ports, harbors, commercial moorings, commercial docking facilities and related parking, and shellfishing and worming areas.

Once these inventories are created, municipalities can use existing data and resources (Table 2) to assess risk. There may be challenges regarding access to data, as fisheries landings and population data typically lag months to a year (or more) behind, depending on the frequency of stock surveys and population abundance estimates and reconciliation of landings data.

There are other important coastal considerations for municipalities regarding ecosystem health and integrity, such as conserving or restoring habitat (Section 6.2), maintaining good water quality for commercial fish species and for coastal environmental health more broadly, and consideration of the cultural, environmental, and economic distinctions among near-shore environments including beaches, marshes, coastal bluffs, intertidal mudflats, and intertidal rocky zones. Risk to environments and ecosystems can be informed with a number of GIS-based mapping tools, for example, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Beginning with Habitat and Department of Marine Resources’ Shellfish Closures and Monitoring Data Map Viewer, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Climate Vulnerability Assessments. NOAA Fisheries assesses the vulnerability of fish stocks, protected species (marine mammals, sea turtles), habitats, and fishing communities to changing climate and ocean conditions, to better inform the many diverse people and businesses that depend on them.

Given the direct implications of water quality for the health of marine resources, it is imperative that municipalities evaluate existing monitoring data when making any decisions that may affect water quality in estuaries and the intertidal zone. The State and a number of academic and nonprofit organizations regularly test and monitor various water quality parameters in nearshore waters. Results from this monitoring are typically available online from the state and local organizations that collect the data.34

In addition, for municipalities with shellfish programs, the DMR conducts shoreline surveys every 12 years to locate potential point- and non-point pollution sources. Once identified in the survey, towns can work with homeowners on failing septic systems, farmers on waste management, or sewer and stormwater professionals, for example. Municipalities can also limit the likelihood of harmful algal blooms by assessing and regulating fertilizer and pesticide use through an ordinance and/or outreach and education. For example, the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District has a YardScape Program that towns can utilize to educate their residents. Municipalities can address risk and potential mitigation or adaptation measures in coastal comprehensive plans. Municipal committees, along with the harbormaster and local land trusts or nonprofit organizations can collaborate to implement these measures where needed. They may also work with landowners and farmers to address any potential non-point-source pollution concerns and mitigation. With proper community outreach and engagement, adaptation, and mitigation projects should be reviewed and prioritized, approved by the town council or board of selectmen (where necessary), and funded through public or private funds.

Projects should be monitored and evaluated using relevant outcomes, metrics, and indicators (see Section 4). Finally, the marine resources and infrastructure in inventory that are not prioritized for action should continue to be monitored for changes.

6.12 Agriculture

Alignment with State and Maine Climate Council Strategies and Community Actions (Community Resilience Partnership):

  • Strategy D: Grow Maine’s Clean Energy Economy and Protect Our Natural Resource Industries
    • D1 – Adopt policies that enable, support, or incentivize local food production and consumption, including community gardens.
    • D2 – Adjust procurement policies to prioritize climate-friendly Maine forest products (e.g., mass timber, wood-fiber insulation) in construction projects.
  • Strategy E: Protect Maine’s Environment and Working Lands and Waters, Promote Natural Climate Solutions and Increase Carbon Sequestration

Maine agriculture is diverse and generates over $660 million of direct value in the Maine economy. Farms rely on a variety of local business services to support their operations, thereby contributing to the local economy. From potato and broccoli operations in St. Agatha to small urban farms in downtown Lewiston, the nature of agriculture in Maine varies in size, scope, and strategy. Beyond the direct economic impact of crop sales, farms, and farmers are responsible for stewarding many shared public resources: including scenic landscapes, ground and surface water reservoirs, and wildlife habitat. These resources all contribute either directly or indirectly to healthy communities and ecosystems. To best protect the integrity of these resources and the food system more generally, farmers need to be welcomed participants in municipal planning processes.

90 percent of Maine food is imported from out-of-state sources. Transportation of food over long distances contributes to climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Disruptions in supply chains have demonstrated the importance of local sources to support community food security. Maine has enough land to produce large volumes of food for itself and neighboring states. Local plans and ordinances should support expanding agricultural capacity.

Farming is largely weather-dependent, and climate change is impacting agriculture in various ways. Warming temperatures may increase the length of growing seasons and expand the variety of crops that can be grown in Maine. However, agriculture can also be adversely affected by both too much and too little rainfall at various points in the growing season. Shifts in Maine’s climatic conditions have already put pressure on Maine farms and food producers: historic levels of drought, new pest populations that have migrated northward or survived mild winters, and unpredictable frost dates at the beginning and end of the seasons have all led to challenging growing seasons in recent years.

Development pressures are often a threat to farms. Local comprehensive plans and land use ordinances that recognize the importance of protecting agricultural lands can reduce sprawl, municipal infrastructure costs, and loss of open space. Soils designated as “Prime Farmland” or “Farmland of Statewide Importance” are unique resources that can support a wide range of agricultural activities – they typically have ideal drainage and water retention capacity, adequate depth to bedrock, ideal conditions for plant nutrition, and minimal slopes or stones. Protecting these soils is a high priority in safeguarding the future of our food system. Even if they do not fall within the property boundary of a farm, natural resources like surface and groundwater sources or resilient and diverse ecosystems are major factors in the viability of local agriculture and should be considered as indirect, but important, facets of a strong food system.

Many farms in Maine have adopted practices to either reduce the carbon output of their operation or to mitigate risk to their operation with a changing climate. This could look like reducing tillage to build biologically active soil with greater water-carrying capacity, building greenhouses or high tunnels to protect crops from extreme weather events, or letting some fields return to meadows or forests to build wildlife habitats and sequester carbon. Municipal officials are encouraged to recognize that farming looks different in different places and that the very nature of agriculture in Maine is changing as quickly as our climate.

For more information specific to agriculture, visit the following websites and resources:

6.13 Education and Community Science Programs

Throughout Maine, the Department of Education, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and universities are working towards educating all generations about the impacts of climate change and how to mitigate and adapt. Public participation in science activities can build local environmental literacy, the data from community science investigations can help communities prepare for and respond to climate impacts, and the participatory process can galvanize public interest and attitudes in your community’s choices for adaptation.

Community science programs can involve members of the public through photography, collecting samples, and mapping or counting a variety of indicators. Community science can empower community members, can leverage the cost savings of volunteerism, and can broaden municipal governments’ capacity for many efforts by way of recruiting new participants to join workgroups and committees that interface with town leadership. School and University students and teachers, existing town committees, and members of the public with community organizing or science backgrounds are typically principal contributors. The most impactful community science programs are those that have a clear, decision-oriented objective, ensuring that the data collected, and the new knowledge gained from community science goes beyond providing only more information and leads to specific improvements in a community process or action. 35

6.13.1 Maine Department of Education

Interdisciplinary climate education is a central focus within the Office of Innovation at the Maine Department of Education (MDOE). The new Maine Science & Engineering standards (NGSS) were adopted in April 2019 and incorporate climate change. MDOE developed a PK-12 MOOSE Climate Education Learning Progression. All modules are inquiry-based and encourage students to apply critical thinking skills and develop their own ideas and answers to essential questions. MDOE is also developing a statewide environmental literacy plan which incorporates climate change education.

6.13.2 Professional Development for Climate Educators and Students

There are many regional, statewide, and national resources available for professional development for educators as well as for students to become involved in climate education. A few of these programs are described in this section.

Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA)

“MEEA organized the first statewide Climate Education Summit in 2021. On the leading edge of aligning state climate education with upcoming national guidelines, MEEA, our Changemakers Network, JustME for JustUS, the Nature Based Education Consortium, and Maine Climate Action Now, identified the need for a convening event where organizations working on intersectional climate and climate justice education can learn about the work of one another, build a shared vision about climate education and literacy in Maine, and start to identify strategies that will support the advancement of critical climate and climate justice education statewide”. More information is available on the Maine Environmental Education Association website.

The Climate Initiative

The Climate Initiative (TCI) is a nonpartisan, science-based climate change organization whose mission is to empower youth voices for climate action. Through education and empowerment initiatives, youth are learning about climate solutions and becoming agents of change in our communities and beyond. They offer many programs to engage youth in local communities and empower them to become agents of change. The Learning Lab provides interactive tools and curriculum for students and teachers. Their ambassador program trains youth and adults to turn their climate passion into action. TCI offers a Community Mapping Workshop to discover the places your community values and to start important conversations on how climate change will affect them. They coordinate town hall meetings to provide a platform for youth to engage with politicians, business leaders, and decision-makers in their communities. TCI also offers a Gulf of Maine Field Studies class, which focuses on addressing local issues. More information is available on The Climate Initiative website.

6.13.3 University of Maine Climate Change Institute – Climate Education Resources

The University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI) has, “assembled a collection of materials produced by CCI researchers and students that can be used in the classroom – informational websites, data tools, videos, learning activities, and other resources – to support teaching about climate change and its connections to people.”

The Climate Education Resources webpage has content organized by themes, and each item has a list of related Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and suggested student grade levels. More information is available on the Climate Education Resources page (UMaine’s Climate Change Institute).

6.13.4 Gulf of Maine Research Institute – LabVenture:

Each year, GMRI hosts nearly 10,000 Maine middle schoolers in its LabVenture program — a hands-on, interactive, authentic investigation of the changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

Completely free for Maine schools, nearly 70% of the state of Maine’s fifth and sixth-grade cohort experience LabVenture annually. At the lab, students use authentic tools of science and methods of inquiry to explore many of the same questions about the Gulf of Maine that research scientists at GMRI are addressing. More information is available on the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s LabVentures page.

6.13.5   Community Science Initiatives

There are numerous community science initiatives throughout the State. Just a few of these programs are detailed in this section.

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant coordinate the Signs of the Seasons program in partnership with the USA National Phenology Network (USA- NPN), Acadia National Park, Schoodic Education and Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Maritime Academy, Maine Audubon, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and climate scientists and educators at the University of Maine. Using backyards as laboratories, participants’ phenology observations of plants and wildlife provide data on the local effects of global climate change.
  • Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative (Community Science) Network. The Climate Change Observatory Network (CCON) is a photo monitoring with environmental organizations and communities to assist with the observation, measurement, and documentation of long-term climate change trends. Using participatory tools and collaborative partnerships, the program brings people with various perspectives and knowledge together to co-learn about climate change and adaptation. The CCON encourages participation in climate change study, develops an interest and community ownership in climate action, and inspires collaboration amongst community stakeholders to develop adaptation strategies and solutions.”
  • The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) has a Coastal Flooding Citizen Science program. GMRI provides guidance on how to contribute observations that will help identify high-risk flooding areas in a community. Community members volunteer to identify the weather and water level conditions during flooding events and describe how the flood impacts a community.
  • The Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife has a Citizen Science Program, with several different ongoing projects aimed towards monitoring priority wildlife species.
  • Maine Audubon has a Community Science Program where volunteers can help collect data to support wildlife conservation

Continue to #7: Funding and Financing Opportunities →

19 Municipal Climate Adaptation Guidance Series: Overview (2017) (Maine.gov, Maine DACF) (PDF)

20 Regional Resilience Toolkit: 5 Steps to Build Large Scale Resilience to Natural Disasters (2019) (EPA) (PDF)

21 Municipal Climate Adaptation Guidance Series: Comprehensive Planning (2017) (Maine.gov, Maine DACF) (PDF)

22 Comprehensive Planning: Guidance for Puget Sound Communities. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA.

23 Sustaining Places: Best Practices for Comprehensive Plans, PAS Report 578, By David Godschalk, FAICP, David Rouse, FAICP (2012) (American Planning Association)

24  Georgetown, Maine’s Comprehensive Plan

24 Coastal Community Grant Case Studies, Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission Town of York Comprehensive Plan SLR Chapter (2012) (Maine.gov, Maine DACF, Maine Coastal Program) (PDF)

26 Town of Kittery Comprehensive Plan: Volume 1 (2018) (PDF)

27  Municipal Climate Adaptation Guidance Series: Overview (2017) (Maine.gov, Maine DACF) (PDF)

28  Municipal Climate Adaptation Guidance Series: Overview (2017) (Maine.gov, Maine DACF) (PDF)

29  IEA Global Status Report, (2018) Page 11 (IEA) (PDF)

30  Maine Won’t Wait, (2020), Page 11 (Maine.gov) (PDF)

31 Comparison of U.S. Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Policies, October 2021 (Institute for Market Transformation, IMT) (PDF)

32 Comparison of U.S. Building Audit, Tune-Ups, and Retrocommissioning Policies (IMT)

33 Comparison of U.S. Building Performance Standards (IMT)

34  Shellfish Sanitation and Management (Maine.gov, Department of Marine Resources)

35 Parker Gassett, Katie O’Brien-Clayton, Carolina Bastidas, Jennie E. Rheuban, Christopher, W. Hunt, Elizabeth Turner, Matthew Liebman, Emily Silva, Adam, R. Pimenta, Jason. Grear, Jackie Motyka, Daniel McCorkle, Esperanza Stancioff, Damian, C. Brady & Aaron, L Strong (2021) Community Science for Coastal Acidification Monitoring and Research, Coastal Management, 49:5, 510-531, DOI: 10.1080/08920753.2021.1947131 (Taylor & Francis Online)