The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation assessed the impacts of climate change on forests throughout the state, and developed the state’s first guide to forest adaptation. The report provides forest practitioners with a comprehensive review of adaptation strategies for current and projected climate change, as well as many policy-level strategies have been included in recognition of the connections between statewide policy and forest management.
Authors or Affiliated Users: James Horton, Matthew Langlais, Timothy Morton, David Paganelli, Nancy Patch, Sandra Wilmot
Resource Category: Planning
In September 2020, the Vermont State Legislature passed the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688), which requires the state to pursue climate solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support environmental and economic resilience. Specifically, the act transforms Vermont's existing GHG emission reduction goals into legal requirements and orders the development of the state’s first Climate Action Plan to identify strategies to reduce state GHG emissions, build healthy and resilient communities, and adapt to Vermont's already-changing climate. Notably, the act includes a provision that allows private citizens to bring a lawsuit against the state government upon the state's failure to adopt or update any rules necessary to implement the Climate Action Plan, including for failure to promulgate rules necessary to implement adaptation or resilience actions, in order to require the state to comply with the act. The act also has a noteworthy focus on equity and ensuring that resilience building programs are accessible to rural, low-income, and marginalized communities.
Resource Category: Law and Governance
The Lake Champlain Sea Grant is a cooperative program of the University of Vermont and Plattsburgh State University of New York and part of a national network coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The project's mission is to identify and address critical ecological and economic issues affecting the Lake Champlain basin and its resources and to share that information. This program empowers communities, businesses, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding the management, conservation, utilization, and rehabilitation of their aquatic resources for long-term environmental health and economic growth.
The USGS NH-VT Water Science Center provides current real-time data on streamflow, water quality, surface water, precipitation, and daily lake levels from sites throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. The center also has a number of reports covering ground water conditions, water levels in bedrock wells, estimated water withdrawals and return flows, flood studies, and other topics. With scientists, technicians, and support staff in the Pembroke, New Hampshire, and Montpelier, Vermont, offices, the Center works in cooperation with many Federal, State, and local agencies to evaluate the source, distribution, use, quantity, quality, and biology of water resources.
Climate Solutions New England (CSNE) promotes collaboration and collective impact towards the goal of greater energy self-reliance and weather resilience that contribute to healthy, prosperous, and sustainable communities across New England.
Avoiding Septic Shock: How Climate Change can cause Septic System Failure and Whether New England States are Prepared
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
New England and Northern New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework Project
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.
Resource Category: Assessments
The Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New England’s main grant program to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks in order to protect and improve human health and the quality of life, advance resilience, and preserve/restore important ecosystems. EPA acknowledges that all communities are at risk for climate change and extreme weather impacts, and supports planning and preparation for these impacts within Healthy Communities projects.
Resource Category: Funding
Department of the Interior (DOI): Upper Midwest & Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC)
The Upper Midwest & Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (UMGL LCC) is one of 21 LCCs established by Secretarial Order No. 3289, which focus on on-the-ground strategic conservation efforts at the landscape level. LCCs are management-science partnerships that inform integrated resource-management actions addressing climate change and other stressors within and across landscapes.
This report is the first region-wide overview of how communities in the Northeast are preparing for climate change, and what resources and assistance they need to succeed. The intent of the report is to provide a snapshot of the barriers and resource gaps that need to be addressed in order for local, regional, and state governments to effectively plan for and implement climate preparedness strategies.
Resource Category: Assessments