The creation of an Institute for Community Resiliency and Climate Adaptation was announced today at UConn’s Avery Point Campus in Groton.
The Institute is a collaboration between the University, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Institute is designed to increase the resilience and sustainability of vulnerable communities and individuals along Connecticut’s coast and inland waterways as they are affected by the growing impact of climate change on the environment. By bringing together experts in a wide range of academic disciplines and by developing cutting-edge research to solve practical problems, the UConn/DEEP/NOAA partnership will facilitate development of strategic plans for protecting the state’s coastal region.
UConn President Susan Herbst, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and the Commissioner of DEEP Daniel Esty were among those speaking about the collaboration and the role the Institute will play in contributing to the environmental integrity of the state.
The Institute for Community Resiliency and Climate Adaptation represents a major step toward what was envisioned nearly two years ago when Herbst not only reaffirmed UConn’s commitment to its Climate Action Plan, which contains numerous greenhouse gas reduction measures, but also approved the addition of an Adaptation Section to its plan.
In collaboration with local, regional, and national partners, the Institute will strive to:
- Improve scientific understanding of the changing climate and its local and regional impacts on coastal and inland floodplain communities;
- Develop and deploy natural science, engineering, legal, financial, and policy best practices for climate resilience;
- Undertake or oversee pilot projects designed to improve resilience and sustainability along Connecticut’s coast and inland waterways;
- Create a climate-literate public that understands its vulnerabilities to a changing climate and uses that knowledge to make scientifically informed, environmentally sound decisions;
- Foster resilient and sustainable communities – particularly along the Connecticut coastline and inland waterways – that can adapt to the impacts and hazards of climate change;
- Enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure (e.g. power, water, communications); and
- Reduce loss of life and property, ecological damage, and social disruption from storms.
By Sheila Foran