Monitoring, Mapping, Modeling, Mitigation, and Messaging: Maine Prepares for Climate Change
The Environmental and Energy Resources Working Group was established by Governor LePage to identify ways that Maine can better respond to climate change. Lead by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), this Working Group’s report summarizes ongoing adaptation projects and identifies ways that the work could be streamlined. It also includes input from stakeholders at public meetings which helped inform its recommendations. The report’s recommendations are divided into five broad approaches: monitoring, mapping, modeling, mitigation, and messaging. Each section is prefaced by a discussion of the importance of that approach and a summary of existing projects.
The adaptation projects and strategies in each category are listed according to their relevance to either the Natural Environment or the Built Environment. Ongoing assessments and projects are described for climate impacts on wildlife, forests, fresh water, coastal parks, priority conservation areas, as well as land use and transportation infrastructure. Some examples are highlighted below.
Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), mapping work includes supporting the Coastal Hazard Resilience Tools Project, which focuses on understanding vulnerabilities and educating the public to develop adaptation strategies. It also entails utilizing the Project’s updated GIS maps in partnering communities.
The report discusses the positive reception of new coastal inundation maps, which were funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - and the Working Group recommends sea level rise modeling of Maine’s coastline.
Recommendations from the working group include prioritizing infrastructure upgrades for evacuation routes that are climate vulnerable.
The Working Group recommends that the Department of Environmental Protection develop a statewide clearinghouse for concerns and climate adaptation resources, as suggested by the public.
To more effectively plan for resilience, the Working Group also recommends adding staff from the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Emergency Management Agency to the Working Group.
Publication Date: September 2014
- Policy analysis/recommendations
- Progress report