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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Hampton, New Hampshire: Community-Driven Climate Adaptation Planning Process

July 15, 2020

The coastal town of Hampton, New Hampshire has identified the need for long-term climate adaptation planning to address the impacts of sea-level rise and improve community resilience to coastal flooding through a state-local, public-private partnership. This ongoing adaptation planning process that started in 2018 is being led by the Seabrook–Hamptons Estuary Alliance (SHEA) — a local conservation nonprofit — with support from others including the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program (NH Coastal Program) and town officials and staff. The approach taken by SHEA and the NH Coastal Program offers a unique example of community-driven, multifaceted planning focused on informing and educating the community through a series of workshops and surveys to gauge awareness and opinions across a range of different adaptation strategies. The adaptation strategies presented to the community for consideration include: protection (“keep water out”), accommodation (“live with water”), and managed retreat or relocation (“get out of the water’s way”). The results of these efforts are being used to inform local actions going forward. Policymakers and planners in other municipalities may find Hampton’s work instructive for how to increase awareness of the benefits and tradeoffs of retreat across a spectrum of adaptation strategies at the outset of community-driven, public-private decisionmaking processes. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Hampshire Senate Bill (S.B.) 285: Establishing a Coastal Resilience and Economic Development Program

August 3, 2019

On August 3, 2019, the State of New Hampshire passed Senate Bill (S. B. ) 285 to establish a coastal resilience and economic development program and provide local governments with innovative new tools to address climate emergencies due to sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding. One notable provision of the bill allows municipalities to either alter their existing boundaries or create a new municipality by combining existing ones (Section 2, codified in New Hampshire Revised Statutes § 31:9-d).

Related Organizations: State of New Hampshire

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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From the Ground Up: The State of the States on Climate Adaptation for Agriculture

March 2018

Recognizing the leading role that states are playing in addressing climate change, this report from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy catalogues policies related to the need for agricultural adaptation in the 18 states states with climate adaptation plans (or specific agricultural policy papers). These states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Related Organizations: The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Patterns and Projections of High Tide Flooding Along the U.S. Coastline Using a Common Impact Threshold

February 2018

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) analyzes "high tide flooding" (also known as "nuisance flooding") in this report, and finds that it is becoming more commonplace due to sea level rise. High tide flooding impacts roads, beaches, parks, and private property, and is generally more disruptive than damaging. However, there are places such as Norfolk, Virginia; San Diego, California; and the U. S Marshall islands where it is currently a serious problem. Even more, with continued sea level rise, flooding is likely to increase.

Related Organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Authors or Affiliated Users: William Sweet, Greg Dusek, Jayantha Obeysekera, John Marra

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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New England and Northern New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework Project

January 2018

Led by the U. S. Forest Service (USFS)’s Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, this assessment evaluates the climate change vulnerability of forested ecosystems in the New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, northern New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont). The report summarizes the current state of forests in the region including threats and management trends, describes climate impacts as they would progress under projected future climate scenarios, and relays the results of an extensive vulnerability assessment of the region’s forests.

Related Organizations: Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New Hampshire’s Climate Risk in the Seacoast (C-RiSe) Project

New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services administers the Climate Risk in the Seacoast (C-RiSe) project which is intended to provide municipalities along the Great Bay with the resources they need to assess sea level rise and storm surge flooding. The Great Bay communities that have been assessed include: Rollinsford, Dover, Madbury, Durham, Newmarket, Newfields, Exeter, Stratham, Greenland, and Newington. This project is funded through the Coastal Zone Management Act by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Related Organizations: New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Incentive Zone Program for Municipalities

September 3, 2017

In 2017, New Hampshire passed a new law, New Hampshire Revised Statutes § 79-E:4-a, that enables municipalities to create a tax incentive program to encourage resiliency in coastal areas. Municipalities can establish “Coastal Resilience Incentive Zones” (CRIZ) in their jurisdictions to grant property owners tax relief for undertaking “resilience measures” for qualified properties or structures identified as impacted by storm surge, sea-level rise, or extreme precipitation projections.

Related Organizations: State of New Hampshire

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Avoiding Septic Shock: How Climate Change can cause Septic System Failure and Whether New England States are Prepared

February 2017

This white paper discusses climate change impacts on septic systems in New England, and whether states in the region are prepared for these impacts. The paper provides a state-by-state analysis of septic system regulations in New England and discusses how these regulatory frameworks are not fully considering climate change impacts, especially groundwater table rise. It also identifies challenges in septic system regulation, and suggests recommendations and best practices for how states and municipalities can work to change laws, amend rules, or adopt new policies or incentives to better construct, manage, and regulate septic systems to be resilient to climate change.

Author or Affiliated User: Elena Mihaly

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission Final Report: Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise and Extreme Precipitation

November 2016

The final report of the New Hampshire Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission details the growing climate risks from sea-level rise, flooding, storm surge, and extreme weather in coastal New Hampshire. The Commission also recommends policy measures for the the state's legislature, state agencies, and coastal municipalities to help reduce vulnerabilities.

Related Organizations: New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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New Hampshire Setting SAIL (Science, Assessment, Implementation, and Legislation) Project

The New Hampshire Setting SAIL (Science, Assessment, Implementation, and Legislation) project supports state and local implementation of recommendations from the New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission’s (NHCRHC) report, Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation, through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The New Hampshire Coastal Program (NHCP) leads the project through a public-private partnership with the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (NHCAW).

Related Organizations: New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, New Hampshire Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission

Resource Category: Funding

 

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