resilient MA: Climate Change Clearinghouse for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In 2018, Massachusetts launched resilent MA, an online clearinghouse for local governments and the public with comprehensive information about the state’s work on climate adaptation and mitigation. The clearinghouse contains science and data on expected climate changes, information on community resiliency, decision support tools, and links to grant programs and technical assistance that local government and communities can use to fund and support actions to adapt to climate change.

The site primarily organizes available resources across three main categories:

  • Explore sectors
  • Identify changes
  • Take action

This content parallels the steps a community can take to become more resilient from beginning to learn about how climate change is impacting Massachusetts to implementing or “taking action.” The site also contains interactive maps, access to state documents, and a robust search feature that connects users to adaptation-related resources from Massachusetts partners (e.g., nonprofits) and others states.

Under “Explore sectors,” the site catalogs climate vulnerabilities, risks, and strategies according to the following sectors, which also align with the state’s other climate adaptation directives, plans, and initiatives: agriculture, forestry, local government, education, energy, recreation, and transportation. Each sector page includes “Highlighted Resources”; a snapshot of climate change impacts specifically confronting that sector; actions that can be taken for that overall sector to become more resilient (e.g., planning, law and policy, technology); links to sector-specific funding sources; and relevant state and federal agency programs and contacts.

The “Identify changes” section of the site allows users to learn about four different impacts from climate change facing Massachusetts: rising temperatures, changes in precipitation, extreme weather, and sea-level rise. Each impact page summarizes that impact at a global and local level and its historic and projected changes in Massachusetts. Each page also suggests how different audiences can use the clearinghouse to address each impact. For example, on the sea-level rise page, the clearinghouse states:

Climate change will drive rising sea levels, and rising seas will have wide ranging impacts for communities, natural resources, and infrastructure along the 192 miles of the Commonwealth’s coastline. The data and resources available through the Clearinghouse will allow municipal staff, elected officials, community groups, property owners and others to:

  1. Understand the extent of future sea level rise based on current climate projections and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios;
  2. Assess the vulnerability from sea level rise to property, infrastructure, natural resources, and local economies up and down the Commonwealth’s coast; and
  3. Take steps now to plan, prepare and build coastal resilience as cost-effectively as possible.

The “Take action” section is further divided into three subsections on planning, implementation, and outreach and education with links to additional state and partner resources for each subject.

The site also contains an interactive map for users to see how climate change could affect their community. All of the climate projections included on the website are specific to Massachusetts and were produced by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

 

Publication Date: June 2018

Related Organizations:

  • State of Massachusetts

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Resource Types:

  • Tool (general)
  • Websites

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