• Resources for Small Communities

Adaptation Strategies for Rural and Small Communities

This tab includes strategies, best practices, and legal and policy analysis relevant to adaptation efforts in rural and small communities.

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Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission 2008 Final Report

March 17, 2008

In May 2006, the Alaska Legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution 30, creating an Alaska Climate Impact Commission. The Commission was charged with assessing the impacts and costs of climate change to Alaska and developing recommendations for preventative measures potentially implemented by Alaskan communities and governments. The eleven-member commission released their final report in March 2008

Related Organizations: Joint Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Annexing Higher Ground and Preparing Receiving Areas in Hamilton, Washington

June 2021

In 2019, after decades of repetitive flooding, the town of Hamilton in Skagit County, Washington partnered with Forterra, a local land conservancy nonprofit, to annex a 48-acre parcel of land located outside of the town’s 100-year floodplain. Annexing this land will provide Hamilton with a higher, drier ground area where town residents could voluntarily relocate to new homes. Forterra is developing plans for the annexed parcel to build affordable, environmentally conscious homes for Hamilton residents. Hamilton provides an example for other municipalities and local governments either in a pre- or post-disaster context for revitalizing a community challenged by frequent flooding through adaptation actions. As done in Hamilton, local governments may consider possibilities for providing relocation options to residents within a floodplain, including by annexing new land, particularly where sufficient higher ground land within existing municipal boundaries is not available. Annexation can allow local governments to maintain local communities, tax bases, and economies.

 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Annexing and Preparing Higher Ground Receiving Areas in Princeville, North Carolina Through Post-Disaster Recovery Processes

In 2017, the Town of Princeville, North Carolina engaged experts and communities in a long-term, comprehensive planning process to annex a 53-acre parcel of land located outside of the town’s 100-year floodplain to develop a safer, higher ground area where residents, structures, and infrastructure can be relocated. After experiencing flooding impacts from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Princeville was selected as one of six municipalities in North Carolina to receive technical and funding support from the state through the Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative. Princeville provides an example for other municipalities either in a pre-or post-disaster context for how to balance the preservation of original townships while dealing with flooding vulnerabilities, while increasing the resiliency of core community assets and services through adaptation actions. As done in Princeville, local governments may consider options for relocating vulnerable residences and community facilities and services, including by annexing new land where sufficient higher ground land within existing municipal boundaries is not available to reallocate critical land uses and maintain local communities, tax bases, and economies.

Related Organizations: Town of Princeville, North Carolina

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Arizona Water Meter - A Comparison of Water Conservation Programs in 15 Arizona Communities

October 2010

In response to climate change and other factors that increase competition and reduce availability of water in Arizona, Western Resource Advocates' Arizona Water Meter report highlights the water conservation programs of 15 diverse Arizona communities and evaluates their programs by seven important water conservation criteria: 1) minimizing per capita water use; 2) water rate structures that encourage wise water use; 3) community-based water conservation programs; 4) conservation ordinances; 5) funding for conservation programs; 6) stemming system water loss; and 7) effluent reuse.

Related Organizations: Western Resource Advocates (WRA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Case Study: Florida Keys Community Land Trust

July 25, 2020

The Florida Keys Community Land Trust (CLT) demonstrates how land trusts can deliver resilient affordable housing options in disaster-affected areas. The Florida Keys, a 125-mile long chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida in Monroe County, were devastated in 2017 by Hurricane Irma. Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key as a Category 4 hurricane and its sustained winds of 132 mph and 8-foot storm surge devastated homes, businesses, and infrastructure in the Lower and Middle Keys. Twenty-five percent of the homes in the Florida Keys were damaged or destroyed by the storm, with disproportionate impacts on manufactured homes that made up the bulk of affordable housing in the County.

Related Organizations: Florida Keys Community Land Trust

Author or Affiliated User: Jessica Grannis

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Adaptation Investment and the Community Reinvestment Act

June 2019

This report was conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Harvard University to explore the connection between climate adaptation and resilience and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which encourages banks to invest in and address the credit needs of low- and moderate-income areas and underserved rural areas. The CRA was enacted in 1977 and, according to the Federal Reserve, “requires the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators to encourage financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they do business, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods.

Related Organizations: Harvard University, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jesse Keenan, Elizabeth Mattiuzzi

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Focal Resources of the Sierra Nevada, California

February 2014

In collaboration with the U. S. Forest Service and California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CA LCC), EcoAdapt has identified a suite of priority climate change adaptation strategies for focal ecosystems and wildlife species of the Sierra Nevada region of California including: Alpine and Subalpine Systems, Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs, Yellow Pine/Mixed Conifer Systems, Red Fir Systems and Marten, Wet Meadows and Fens, and Oak Woodlands. After a vulnerability assessment process, draft implementation plans were developed for each of the focal resources, incorporating the priority adaptation actions.

Related Organizations: EcoAdapt, Department of the Interior (DOI): California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change and Agriculture, Including Aquaculture and Fisheries, in New Jersey

January 2016

The Rutgers Climate Institute put together this fact sheet to provide a brief and accessible summary of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in New Jersey, which includes climate effects that will impact crops, livestock, aquaculture, and fisheries. It explores the primary climate change risks to agriculture and fisheries in the state, and provides short summaries on how these sectors can both adapt to climate risks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Related Organizations: Rutgers University, U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Coastal Management in the Face of Rising Seas: Legal Strategies for Connecticut

August 2, 2012

This article examines legal strategies to help state and local governments reconcile these governance challenges when adapting to sea level rise (SLR). In the context of Connecticut state law, this article examines how land use regulations can be used to ensure that coastal development is more resilient to SLR impacts and less harmful to coastal ecosystems.

Related Organizations: National Sea Grant Law Center

Authors or Affiliated Users: Jessica Grannis, Julia Wyman, Meagan Singer, Jena Shoaf, Colin Lynch

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years

October 2014

This report from the Union of Concerned Scientists describes the threat of tidal flooding in the East Coast and Gulf regions and offers steps that communities can take to adapt. The report makes the case that tidal flooding, currently just considered a nuisance, could become a daily or weekly occurrence, redefining how and where people along the coast “live, work, play, and move through their daily lives. " Data was collected in 52 locations to provide projections for sea level rise and tidal flooding in the region until 2045.

Related Organizations: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Melanie Fitzpatrick, Kristina Dahl

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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