Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators

Waterfront Community Resiliency and Sustainability

All coastal municipalities have prepared plans for shoreline resiliency and infrastructure sustainability and resiliency by 2025, with all future development compliant with those plans by 2035.

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The target is being tracked in Connecticut under three categories and is ahead of schedule.

The target is being tracked in New York under three categories and is ahead of schedule.

CT Coastal Resiliency Plans
Towns with Coastal Resiliency Plans (CT)Towns address resiliency in Conservation/ Development Plans (CT)Towns adopt regional "COG" Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (CT)
201811520
Towns with Coastal Resiliency Plans (NY)Towns address resiliency in Conservation/ Development Plans (NY)Towns adopt regional "COG" Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (NY)
2022771266

Status and Trends

All coastal municipalities have prepared plans for shoreline resiliency and infrastructure sustainability and resiliency by 2025, with all future development compliant with those plans by 2035. Eleven towns have developed their own stand-alone “Coastal Resiliency Plan” (CRP). Another five towns have developed resiliency/sustainability plans as a component of their overall “Plan of Conservation and Development” (POCD). Lastly, another 20 municipalities have adopted Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (NHMP) developed by their own regional planning districts, known as the Council of Governments (COG). In addition two of the towns, who have adopted COG Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans (NHMP), are in the process of revising their POCD to incorporate NHMP recommendations for resiliency and sustainability actions.

There are 77 Long Island Sound coastal municipalities in New York. Out of the total number of municipalities in New York, 66 have adopted Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs), and 12 have developed stand-alone resiliency/sustainability plans or included resilience/sustainability as a major component of their Comprehensive or Master Plan (as of 2010 or more recent).

Challenges

The biggest challenge will be for all future development to comply with the coastal resiliency and sustainability plans.

The accuracy of tracking this target is dependent upon the willingness of Long Island Sound communities to provide us with information on their local resiliency and sustainability planning efforts. There is currently no established process for tracking the implementation of plans or compliance of new development with resiliency and sustainability plans.

How is This Target Measured?

In New York, the New York Sea Grant SRC Extension Professionals are tracking and maintaining information on developed plans and strategies for municipalities within the LISS coastal boundary in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. The NYS Department of Environmental Protection is tracking and maintaining information for New York City and boroughs within the LISS coastal boundary.

How is This Target Addressed?

Each Ecosystem Target is supported through the tangible strategies known as Implementation Actions (IAs) that are identified in the Long Island Sound’s 2020 Update to the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP).

In the 2020-2024 CCMP update, the primary IA identified to address this particular ecosystem target is “Support community development, adoption, and implementation of new or updated Municipal Sustainability Plans and Coastal Resiliency Plans.” This IA is currently being addressed through the implementation of the LISS Sustainable and Resilient Communities Work Group and the work of the LISS SRC Extension Professionals guided by a five-year work plan.

Importance

Sustainable development and redevelopment, as well as the protection of urban and suburban infrastructure from the effects of climate change, are two of the main principles of the CCMP. This target will encourage municipalities within the LISS coastal boundary to develop and implement comprehensive plans, which will have long-lasting benefits to their residents. The implementation of these plans should not sacrifice ecosystem integrity.

Resiliency and sustainability plans are defined in the Long Island Sound Study CCMP as:

  1. Resiliency Plan: A plan developed by a community to evaluate the vulnerability of infrastructure, riparian and coastal areas and develop strategies for making these features and infrastructure more resilient to hazardous events (e.g., sea-level rise and/or weather events). The plan should include the preservation of natural functions and systems to protect the built environment where practical and also preserve and protect ecosystem services.
  2. Sustainability Plan: A plan developed by a community to ensure they are meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs; this includes proper stewardship of the natural environment to preserve it for the future.

Additional Information

The Connecticut Institute of Resilience and Climate Adaptation established in 2014, is a collaborative partnership of the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  CIRCA was established to identify and assist local municipalities with climate resilience and adaptation strategies.  On CIRCA’s Policy and Planning web page it states:  “In order to support community climate adaptation planning and policy through research and analysis, CIRCA seeks to better understand the challenges facing the state and its communities. The Institute examines various methodologies to understand better how towns can manage diverse policy goals, funding challenges, alternative approaches to adaptation, and implementation problems in pursuit of effective climate adaptation.”

The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management established the boundaries of the planning regions and the municipalities within those planning regions establish the Regional Council of Governments (RCOG).  As a result, Connecticut has nine (9) COGs.  Five of which encompass the 36 southern Connecticut coastal municipalities.

Contact

Samarra Scantlebury, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
[email protected] 

Kathleen Knight, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
[email protected]

Source of Data

Connecticut Institute of Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)
(See data notes for comprehensive CT list of sources)

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