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. As of now, data is unavailable in New York to track this target.

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

Status and Trends

All 36 coastal communities in Connecticut are meeting the interim 2025 target, having adopted, and in some cases developed, coastal resiliency plans under three broad categories. Eleven towns have developed their own stand-alone “Coastal Resiliency Plans” (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 96 Long Island Sound coastal municipalities in New York. New York State Development of Environmental Conservation is in the process of developing a survey to track the status of coastal resiliency plans.


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

How is This Target Measured?

In Connecticut, the Connecticut Institute of Resilience and Climate Adaptation, CIRCA, is collecting data and resources to assist municipalities in developing climate resilience tools, strategies, and plans in their communities. CIRCA is also tracking and maintaining data on completed plans and strategies.

This target is currently not being tracked in New York. However, NYSDEC is developing a resiliency and sustainability planning survey that will be distributed to local municipalities in 2018 in order to begin tracking this information in New York’s Long Island Sound watershed.


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 driving the revision of the CCMP. This target will encourage municipalities, within the coastal zone, 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.


Casey Personius, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
[email protected]

Mark Parker, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection [email protected]

Rebecca French, CIRCA

Source of Data

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

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