Coastal Adaptation: A Framework for Governance and Funding to Address Climate Change - New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut region

The Regional Planning Association (RPA) - for the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut region - developed this report on coastal climate change adaptation strategies and governance - responding to climate impacts projected for the area such as sea level rise, extreme storms, and severe flooding. According to the report, more than 20% of the region’s municipalities (167) face a future of coastal flooding (either intermittent from storms or permanent from sea level rise). Along with the report, RPA is recommending a new Regional Coastal Commission to help implement adaptation solutions across state lines, produce a regional coastal adaptation plan, and “award funding from new adaptation trust funds” - among other goals. 

The report is meant to support the anticipated commission by identifying best practices that can inform the structure and authority, collaboration and effectiveness, membership, data and information sharing, and funding of the commission. This can be found in the section: Implementing a Regional Coastal Commission: Best Practices from Around the Country, along with information on other coastal commissions and their successes. 

The report reviews the New York and Connecticut Coastal Management Programs, while recognizing that when these programs act independently from one another can hinder the effectiveness of achieving the same climate adaptation goals.  New York and Connecticut both have legislative mandates to consider climate impacts in their Coastal Management Programs. See: New York York State’s Community Risk and Resiliency Act and Connecticut’s 2012 Public Act 12-101New Jersey, has no specific regulation within the State’s CMP that requires municipalities account for climate change.

RPA also proposes the creation of three Adaptation Trust Funds for NY, NJ and CT, funded by surcharges on insurance premiums. They suggest each trust fund could be feasibly capitalized by a surcharge on regulated property and casualty insurance premiums statewide, and put into a public benefit corporation authorized by each state. A number of potential trust fund financed projects are described to illustrate the concept.  

Publication Date: October 16, 2017

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  • Best practice
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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